Hi, I'm Rick Steves back in Europe...this time with a focus on practical travel tips! In this three-part special edition, we travel my favorite 2,000-mile loop through Europe, splicing in all the essential skills to help you travel on your own-smooth and smart.
The point of this special is that you can learn from my 30 years of experience and have a better trip. How well you're able to enjoy the delights of Europe depends upon how well you plan and how skillfully you travel. And there's a lot to enjoy check this website.
From the monuments of Rome to a Turkish bath in Istanbul, from the markets of Naples to new friends in Spain, and from the scalps of the Alps to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, you'll want to get the most out of every mile, minute and dollar you spend in Europe.
In this three-part travels-skills special we start in the Netherlands, venture through Germany, dip into Italy, sweep through Switzerland and France before finishing in England. In this first episode we start in Amsterdam, cruise the Rhine, visit Rothenburg and end in Munich. Our main tips in this show: settling in upon arrival and transportation-exploring Europe by train and by car. We landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. To get to Europe, Americans need only a passport, plane ticket and money. Airports here are well designed and user-friendly.
Notice how easy it is for English-speakers to step right over that language barrier. Here in Amsterdam-like most of Europe-everything's in two languages: Dutch for the locals and English for everyone else. And there's an information desk ready and waiting. But even in the Netherlands where everyone seems to speak English...it's polite to learn and use a few key local words. To get your cash, ATMs are the way to go. They provide local currency at the best rates- quick, easy and in English. But each ATM transaction comes with a fee.
Minimize these fees by comparing card policies before you leave home and by taking fewer and bigger withdrawals in Europe. It's just like withdrawing cash at home-you just need your four-digit PIN. But, before you leave, let your bank know you'll be overseas so there's no hang-up in using your card over here. My hotel's in the city center. Getting downtown from European airports on public transportation is easy. You've got options. If you're packing heavy, really tired, or with a small group, a taxi can be the best value. When I'm on my own and packing light, public transit-trains and buses-can be the best choice-and it's far cheaper. Buses are clearly marked.
These days, you'll buy tickets and lots of other things using machines.
- Things to know when traveling in Germany! so first of all always follow the rules Germans love their rules so don't break them and if you ever find someone yelling at you in German and you're not sure what they're saying just look at what you're doing because something is wrong. Don't try to figure out what they are saying because you won't understand just say Enschuldigung ( excuse me) This week we're gonna talk about the rules on the streets.
First the Autobahn. Yes it is true what you have heard about the Autobahn There is no speed limit however when there is a construction zone it may go down to 80 kilometers so watch out for that. Also, when driving on the Autobahn stay to the right. The left side is for passing only. If you stay on the left you will get someone on your ass.
You may think you're going fast but in Germany there's always someone that can go even faster. Blitzers! You will not see many police officers pulling people over but be careful because the innovative Germans have thought ahead and they have randomly planted Blitzers all around town. And what is a Blitzer? A Blitzer is a speed monitor with a camera to track your speed or doing anything you shouldn't be doing. It will conveniently take a picture of you in your car and send you a fine in the mail.
These are usually only between 10 to 15 Euro fines depending on how fast you're going and it won't usually show up on your American driving license history but it is still a ticket nonetheless. Look out for zebra stripes these are for pedestrians only and they always have the right-of-way. Also watch out for the bike lanes because they are only for cyclists. Stay out of the way or you will get nasty looks or even get run over. Never cross a crosswalk on a red light especially when children are watching. On a positive note not everything is restricted in Germany.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that you're allowed to drink beer on the street. Thank you for watching. Click subscribe to stay tuned for our next video as we will give more helpful tips on traveling in Germany and please like share and leave a comment about what you've learned or what you're interested in learning more about Germany. Tschüss! Auf Wiedersehen/
Hola, hola, internet, welcome to Sonia's travels, where we talk all things travel. Today, you and I are going to tackle a subject that all of us have had to deal with at some point.
That is what the heck do I do if I'm at the beach alone and I want to go swimming. Well, fret not, my friends because I have the answer. And, besides, nobody wants to carry around a super heavy bag anyway. So, this is what you gotta do. Only take the essentials.
That is sunblock, your phone, your wallet. By wallet, I mean a credit card, some cash, and an ID, nothing else. Maybe your camera but only if you really, really need to, and your towel. Yes, this is my towel. It's the kind that swimmers use. This nifty little thing absorbs water like nothing else. Squeeze it out and reuse over and over again.
Okay, so, the natural question is, what do you lay on the sand with? Simple. Wear a sarong to the beach and that's what you use to lay on the sand. On to the tricky stuff. Your phone, your wallet, your camera, what do we do with those? Well, if you're going to go to the water, you take them with you. This pouch is 100% waterproof. I put my phone, my mini wallet, or my camera in it and I take it with me to the water, no matter what.
Yes, I agree, the plastic fanny pack is not gonna make the sexiest of outfits, but, hey, you know, you do what you gotta do. What if I want to bring my big camera? Simple, you bring a dry bag. You put it in here and you take it with you to the water. Just like the pouch, it's 100% waterproof. I put my camera in it and I take it with me in the water. Frankly, I usually go to the beach with a dry backpack. That way if I'm at an iffy place or if I'm carrying too much equipment, I actually put everything in my backpack and I take it with me to the water.
Normally, I'm really not too paranoid. I usually scout out somebody that looks trustworthy and I ask them to look after my stuff. That would be my bag and my sarong and whatnot. But I do always take the most important valuables with me no matter what. In case, you know, my towel gets stolen, whatever, I have an ID, I have money, I have what I need to get back to wherever it is that I'm going. So, there you have it. I hope that you enjoyed these tips, that you use them this summer, and that nothing gets lost. See you later, bye. Psst, hey, don't leave yet. Don't forget to subscribe.
HOST: Thanks for your company and welcome to a special forum as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week. Today we are joined by three big name ex football self-confessed gamblers and they are here to tell us their stories of how they've emerged from those dark days. We have got an ex Swans - Daryn Cresswell and a couple of ex Demons - David Schwartz and Daniel Ward.
David, I will start with you. It's been nine years since you've last had a bet. It's been a long nine years for though, hasn't it? DAVID SCHWARTZ: It has. It has gone very quickly too. It is amazing what happens when you make good decisions and you are thinking clearly and not under pressure and you don't have the weight of debt collectors and people chasing money around you.
So, the last five years in particular has been probably the best five years in my life. HOST: Do you ever feel as though that you do overcome it, to a point where you know it's not going through too? DAVID: Yeah, I think I'm just about there too now. It has been over three thousand days. I gambled pretty much the majority of my life, up until I gave up and then, it does take time to stop thinking about it. I think the last couple of years have been almost guilt-free and having no thoughts of having going back and gambling, but there are still things that do trigger memories and sounds and smells and there's some things that goes that, that hang on, that was a good time but then you actually got to think back and say no, it wasn't play casino games in Malaysia.
They were bad times. HOST: Yeah, Daryn, your time away from gambling isn't as long but again you have got a similar story to tell, haven't you? In terms In terms that you are at a stage now and a space now where it seems really good. DARYN CRESSWELL: Yeah I probably spend about three years I think obviously when I first went inside to jail for what happened to me but certainly I'm in a better place and I've been around a place of good people and it helps. And having that support is really important. And moving to the Gold Coast has been terrific to me and it has got me out of Sydney where it all started basically and that being in that environment and I've got a lot of people around me at the moment who have given me great support which makes it a lot easier.
HOST: Daniel, your story has been well played out publicly like the other two guys. Just where are you at the moment? DANIEL WARD: Yeah, so my story is four years since I've had a punt next month.
So, like Schwartz, there are times where it can be difficult, the longer you stay, it gets easier and easier and you think back like Schwartz said, in that nine years starting to have those guilt-free days and probably still struggle with that a little bit because life grows on you. And you affect the people closest to you - your wife and kids. But no, it's going well. HOST: There's so many aspects we have to discuss over the next period of time. I supposed one of the things, that has already come out in the short chat we had to this point is, just acknowledging the the problem. Is that the key to any point, for all of you?
DAVID: I think it is. No one wants to admit that they have got weaknesses and issues and I think the three of us - I've spoken to Cresswell and Daniel about this but, you are proud, because you get to the highest level of sport and you think there are times you are invincible. So, you don't think anything can go wrong. So, it's really tough to sit there and look yourself in the mirror and say, Okay you've got issues. You need help. And the great thing is, with the footy community, when you do put your hand up and ask for help, it's amazing how many people come running to give you as much help as they can give.
I think alot fear is with people not wanting to put their hand up because they fear that they going to get whacked over the head or it is going to be made public. You know for me, that is the greatest thing. As soon as it went public, I had more eyes and a lot of pressure on. A lot of people putting out their hands saying, I'm here to help and that's the most comforting thing about it. There were so many people willing to put in, as long as you do, as long as you put in the hard yards, there will be a lot of people are willing to go along for the ride as well. HOST: What was the lowest point that you experience, when you remembered.
Was the day and if you can reflect upon that, weekend when you turned around and a quarter of a million dollars and without really thinking about it. When you look back on it, was that the moment for you? And as you do answer that question, you wouldn't mind relaying that story for our watchers. DARYN: I was down probably about two hundred and forty seven thousand thousand or two hundred and thirty nine thousand, was the two hundred and fifty thousand dollar limit.
And it was a Sunday morning so I had thirteen thousand to play with them and I ended up by the end of the Sunday, seventeen thousand upfront but that's whole thing about gambling is about the big win and then, the next Monday I am looking at what horses are going around. Tuesday on the internet, all that type of things. So you are always looking to win big all the time. A lot of gamblers will tell you about their big wins but not about their big losses.
Quite a lot of us have more losses than wins at the end. But, the turning point for me was, even before I went to court. I wasn't totally convinced that I had a problem. I thought I could just walk out of it, but when you get sentenced and you look across and you see, your family and your wife and everybody around in tears and upset that going away for ten months made me do a lot of thinking and reflection on what had happened. And obviously not having that addiction or that obviously when you are in jail, you can't bet, so obviously that sorta helped me in my recovery and taught me alot about patience in life in general.And certainly I need to get from the bottom to my feet for sure. HOST: David, you have got a similar story in here.
There was a big that was celebrated at the time you were doing it. All the big wins and I've read your book and there were millions of dollars lost by you when it was all undone. Just when you can, as you talk here, just explain the highs that you get but ultimately they become the biggest lows, don't they?
DAVID: They do. Money become irrelevant, whether one dollar or a hundred thousand, it all mean nothing. And it was to the point where, it was kind of you against the system. And you would think, and I think that has been spoken on behalf of the other two guys. You almost believe that you can do things that normal people can't do and that's to beat the system, which you can't. It's not built that way.
And you fill that up with alcohol which, I used to love betting and having a drink with my mates. You become bullet-proof. It's not about. In the end, it wasn't about winning or losing. It was just having to put a bet on and having that adrenaline going through the system. I speak to a lot of people about punting now.
And most, 99% of the population can handle it. You can go down and have a bet and it doesn't affect you. My mom can, most of my friends can. For those 1 per cent that don't, we are the issue and we have got to understand that it just doesn't work for us.We can't do that. So, I can go back in and ever bet again.
If I do, I know what will happen. As I said before, the help is super important. I had a partner at the time that stood by me, that actually made me and help me understand the value of money again. It's really important the fact that money becomes understandable. As a footballer, you earn it easily and you can lose it easily, but you always remember that at the end of the day, there is probably another nine thousand dollars a week jumping into your pay packet.
HOST: We will be touching on the footy environment soon. Just, your story too. There are lies told aren't there? When you have a gambling addiction. It is just almost a natural outcome of what it is it is you are going through and you obviously hurt people when you lie to those closest to you, don't you?
DANIEL: Yeah massively and probably alot like the other two, some of the stories I came up with, I could write Hollywood scripts for. You think about it now and - HOST: Give an example of some of the stuff you did say to your nearest and dearest? DANIEL: I couldn't.
There is.. I couldn't actually give you one. Probably one is the fact that I countless amounts of times would and for the other fact to gamble may sound crazy, the amount of times.
If I had twenty dollars in my wallet, I would rather go and punt with that than, have a feed, put petrol in my car. The amount of times I run out of fuel in the car, just because I gambled things. I would rather turn that twenty into hundred and full tank and a feed later you know all that type of stuff. It's something that when I think back on, I am not very proud but you know the big thing with me, and I struggle with it for a long time was that we did think that we could beat the system and you know just that one win and I was over it, I had enough of gambling. But you created all these debts and drama and I just wanted to get out of that and that kept bringing you back. For me was the fact like Schwartz said, putting my hand up and saying you can't beat the system.
You are not where you should be but you know, you are going to end up a hell of a lot worse. HOST: People become gambling addicts through any course of life. The three of you were obviously footballers at the highest level. The footballer environment, be it an AFL club, just a general that makes you, always at play within the footy club.
Did it contribute to what you guys went through? Did it actually facilitate it? Did it make you more difficult to overcome once it was apparent that you had problems? DAVID: It hits all the demographics - Males, a lot of the single, high money earners, lot of spare time. The club environment suggest for you that they are there for for your back.
Also, if you happen to do something wrong, the club will fix it, will cover it over. You got so many people just there to support you. You almost think, well hang on I am in a privileged position here. I am going to take advantage of it. Plus when I walked into the Melbourne footy club and I think Ward here would be the same, the culture was to gamble.
You know, most social events were around gambling. A lot of our social activities were at the casino or a pleasant Sunday afternoon. So, every danger sign you speak to and people about and young kids, the footy club had around them. So, it was up to the leadership group to really pull that in and identify and I don't think that was done too well, at our club in particular.
HOST: You were basically the peak of your football, weren't you when you got to the height of your gambling problems. Do you look back on those, do you feel your behaviour influenced others? DAVID: Yeah, maybe.
I always, I accept responsibility for all my actions and I think everyone else should too. You know Ward came in as a young man. I never forced him to put his hand in his pocket and put it on.
So, I don't take responsibility for individuals. But, for the culture itself and maybe the activities we were running, I do accept some responsibility. But, not for one moment do I sit here and feel any guilt that any other players went down that path. HOST: Because of what happened to you?
DAVID: Directly for what I was doing. I was a solitary panel. I don't think I ever gambled with Daniel. I didn't gamble with too many Melbourne players. I like to do it on my own.
I like to do it, you know in almost anonymity. And now, because punting has changed so much - HOST: I was going to say, you can do it now, because you can do punting anonymously, can't you. But you couldn't have in your days. I mean you are all public gamblers whether at a TAB or casino - DAVID: Or at the racetrack. HOST: It is actually easier now isn't it? To gamble.
Do you all agree with that? Not that you are, but? DARYN: I started at the counter, I was just betting numbers. I had cash and it was easy to do that and all of a sudden, it costed twenty grand but, you go and hand twenty grand to TAB and you will feel a lot worse than actually doing it over the phone, when it is just a number. So, there is really some downfalls, I reckon in today's society with gambling and the council and a lot of credit, you can get. HOST: I'm real familiar with your story Daryn.
I mean you drew into a mortgage and transferred money around and obviously that's what people can do even today, isn't it? That facility is open to people if they chose to go down. I mean you are aware of current day footballers similarly dealing with problems like yourself? DARYN: Yeah at the current stage, I'm aware of one.
Well known and very strong at a very strong and successful club and obviously withdrawing facilities does happen largely over housing and it builds up over time and that's something I did and it's easy to do and like as Ward said, the amount of debts you incur and you lose a big number of money one day and you want to forget about it, but then obviously the phone calls and people chasing up for money. It's a bad situation to be in. And you look at the rugby league player Ryan Tandy and the situation he got himself into now and unfortunately he's not here with us but, there are situations I went through and I just couldn't amount the pressure and the eyes that were on me at that stage and and in Tasmania, it's hard to deal with. And obviously it is important to have strong people around you and good people to help you get through that. Like, when I went in, I didn't know what was going to be on the other side.
When I came back out and some of the people that wrote me letters and actually come and visited me, really sorta helped me alot in my spirit to go forward and make something out of myself and through those people I am probably in the best position I have ever been in since I was playing at the Swans, so I'm really in a great place and just really want to help any other people that is in that situation, because it is easier I've done. I was sitting in those meetings as a twenty six, twenty-seven year old AFL player, and they used to come and talk about responsible gambling etc. I never bet in my life, what are they talking about? All of a sudden, within two years, I was addicted and it can happen that easily. HOST: Daniel, the shame that comes and you guys have mentioned, the embarrassment and the stigma attached you all have been through and admirably you all got through.
But, do you mind just diving into that shame that you touched on a moment ago, so you fully tell the stories, the depths you go through, so how much you don't, couldn't even look at the door sometimes to face the real world. DANIEL: Yeah, it's not so much, I am a big boy, the shame and guilt and all that. You know you have to deal with it sooner or later. As a man, you need to stand up and cope that. But it's probably more the people closest to you as well that get affected.
You know my wife, and she has to deal with a lot of these and stuff and even to this day, we are still trying to get ourselves out of the mess and that's sorta shame and guilt I feel for what I've forced upon others. We mentioned before about lies that's I've told and it's hard to have those conversations with close friends and family that I told that to and even some of those relationships are still hard to amend now. It's a long process, but my life four years down the track is hell of alot better than what it was, four years ago and I didn't see a way out then. Your choice.
You know if you are doing the right thing, you putting your hand up, generally people will give you their time of the day and realise you have made errors and if you are willing to make up for them, they can help. HOST: What was the key moment for each of you in realising you had a problem that needed to stop and needed to dealt with in the most drastic of ways. I will go with you David. The key, the moment you realise you have this serious problem with no turning back. DAVID: Money runs out.
Number one. Because if you still got the thing that can feed your addiction, the addiction is still going to continue. Going broke was number one. For me, my family came along and, Karen. Karen never saw me play football and she, we just had our first child.
Was his christening and so for me, family took priority. I grew up without my old man. He died as a problem gambler as well. The last thing I wanted to do was to leave my family without or with having the same influence that my dad did.
So, that was a pretty big driving force for me to make sure that the legacy that I leave for my kids wasn't the same as what my dad left. So, that was a real driving factor and you know it's doom and gloom when you are going through it. But the minute you make that decision to actually to rehabilitate and get yourself on the straight arrow, this enormous weight comes off.
And, it's like your next challenge in life. You say, Right up, let's get into it. That's the way you go, and for those that are experiencing difficulties in gambling, that decision away from actually becoming the person you want to be. Until you make that decision though, you are just going to be like the person who's going to start the diet tomorrow.
If you don't get onto it, you just going to prolong it and prolong it, but the time you are ready to make the decision, you are thirty or forty per cent worse off than where you could have been than when you could have been when you had made the decision earlier. HOST: I see you both nodding as David spoke about the money drying up being the trigger point. Now that you know what you know and people listening to you speak today about this problem. What would be the trigger point now, in hindsight for, maybe you Daryn?
I know the money dried up to your point where the court system got to you. But, when you look back, when should you have acted. And I ask that question just for people who are probably watching this thinking I've got that problem, I've still got money to burn though. What would you say to that person? DARYN: When you are waking up every morning, or before you get to bed every night, you get that something amazing is going to happen the next day.
And the money did dry up for me. That's right. The biggest mistake I made is that I didn't come out early enough and obviously ask for help. And you can't do it by yourself.
I remember when my Uncle Charlie used to go out every Saturday to play bingo, and he would invariably go out happy and come home happy, no matter what. For such a simple and easy game it certainly calls people to it with a fervor usually devoted to more vivid or athletic games–but perhaps that is where the attraction in bingo lies. Bingo is a simple game. Bingo is an easy game. Bingo is a game that is played with friends. Bingo is played in communities. And so, therein lay the attraction for my Uncle Charlie, I’m sure. He’d come back with all sorts of conversation scraps, bits of people's lives, and glimpses of all his friends and neighbors’ faces.
Along with the grids and numbers and little white balls,
he got what he really wanted–a community. Bingo to him was not so much about winning–in fact, I can never really recall any time when he really discussed scores or wins when he got home. Bingo was about sharing, and about being with fellow human beings. Settled comfortably with a simple game of bingo amongst friends or strangers, everyone could find a common ground upon which to easily relate and be together. And with that in mind, bingo is just what a game should be!
Many people have had to pass the time and decided to have some fun with it and started playing bingo. There’s a bit of an idea that bingo can’t be fun, and I can see why some people would think that. You look at a small town bingo hall with just a couple of people and a really stuffy atmosphere and that really doesn’t make you want to go there and have fun. But if you try out bingo from 888, the famous online bingo website, you will definitely change your mind. When you play online it’s a completely new experience. You can chat with friends and there are some interesting cash prizes that you can get right there and then. There’s also more of a “game” and a “challenge” atmosphere for those of you more into the gambling part of it. At the same time, people only trying to have some fun and who don’t care much about the earnings will have a space for themselves as well. In fact, many people go there for the bingo but stay either because of friends they made or even for the other online casino games that are available on the website. It’s a really fun experience overall and everyone should give it a go
BINGO! Just What A Game Should Be
I remember when my Uncle Charlie used to go out every Saturday to play bingo, and he would invariably go out happy and come home happy, no matter what. For such a simple and easy game it certainly calls people to it with a fervor usually devoted to more vivid or athletic games–but perhaps that is where the attraction in bingo lies