360a Joanna Lumley's Travels; Holy Toledo; Good Night and God Bless
as a young backpacker enroll Trish Clark found. There was no room at the youth hostel. So she tried staying in a guest room Atacan vent and liked it her remember seeing very very large typewriter behind which that I'm very very old. None and thank goodness. She smiled coming up. We'll hear how monasteries and convents might be just the place for a good night's sleep in some prime locations around Europe. And will immerse ourselves and one of the best cities for experiencing the atmosphere of the medieval world to- later, the ancient capital of Spain. Toledo jets have to get lost the beauty of Toledo is getting lost. Plus British actress Joanna Lumley joins us to share how her family history takes her back to India. Nepal and even hard to visit Bhutto, oh, it was just a blissful place. I think it's changing quickly nowadays. So again, I would say to anybody who wants to travel travel now because it's changing the tons of getting bigger the hotels getting Sheikha. It's all just ahead on travel with Rick steves guides from. Spain lettuce in medieval magic, you'll find not far from Madrid in TOTO, and we'll hear how convents and monasteries are getting into the hotel business in Europe. That's coming up in just a bit today on travel with Rick steves. Let's start with someone who's fans call her. Something of a goddess not only for her role as Patsy stone in the British comedy, absolutely fabulous. But also for her outspoken leadership as a champion of many human rights causes actress Joanna Lumley work with the girka Justice campaign in the UK even under the status of national treasure in Nepal lately. She's also started hosting some remarkable travel. Documentaries. Joanna joined us to talk about her adventure up the length of the Nile river, she's also recently filmed a three part special on Greece. Joanna Lumley said natural born traveler, and we're honored to have her back with us on travel with Rick steves, Rick. It's such a passion. I think I was practically born in a suitcase. I was born in cash man the year before India gain. Her independence, and from then I travel back, and I travelled out to Hong Kong, I live profuse and travel back, then travelled out to Malaysia where we lived forbid because my father was with the British army, which is the Indian army the show me in India, and his regiment was the Gucker regiment, which is I didn't know whether you've heard of the girka art in the US, but I I have Gerke knife. When I went to Nepal I bought a Gerke night. And it's one of my privacy. Here's a cookery that curved denial love it. Now, what is it about the gherkins? Who are they first of all the the Hillman of Nepal and two hundred years ago? There was a huge skirmish with the the the the Nepalese is they were fighting the British and they respected each other so much that the gutters at the end of the battle. When those corpses. Lying live the place. The leaders of the Napoleonic came up to the British and said we like the way you fight. Can we fight for you? And that was it that was the beginning of this extraordinary marriage. The not part of the Commonwealth. It's their voluntary service every year. That's what they want to do. And they join up and it's the finest job you can have in Napoleon's too. Along to to become a British girka. And my father was an officer with Googlers. Yeah. Fearless warriors. Isn't there? A famous saying if a man says, he's not afraid of dying. He's either lying or he's girka. That's true. So they've been really much appreciated by the old school British empire or dude of him by all actually by the army navy and F was everybody's got somebody who has fought to the guk is in the pasta. You want them on your side? If you're in a war, you do and thou so frightening that their reputation goes ahead of them like a kind of bow wave and people go near the guk coming quite from just resigned and put the hands up in the air. Join a by the gherkins, you're considered a daughter of Nepal and literally a national treasure. They've got some struggles, and you empathize with that. And you've helped them what are their struggles? And have you been involved the struggles whereby some extraordinary normally of British law, although a lot of Commonwealth troops. I I'm sure that you'll listeners understand what that means. Which is this great linkup of old countries that used to be in the in the British empire and the empire. Long gone. But most of these countries have remained friends with Britain, and the the troops over this and a seven nine enough ghanistan all over the place, but the gawkers are not part of the Commonwealth, and they had a completely different deal. So when they had finished their service, they will boost it off the country. Whereas other Commonwealth soldiers were hard to they have the right to remain or become British will stay there will work in Britain. And it just seemed wrong that the ducks are being treated differently. So very small group of decided to take up the cause took it the high court fought fort fort and gradually the country on our side. Got the press on our side got parliament on our side and got the rules changed. Wow. To the Gorkhas and are treated the same year. Could for you every every year we have remembrance days on November the eleventh eleven o'clock in Zoe's them. It's the most solemn occasion practice in the calendar. And it's the Queen comes out sent-off to honor all fallen in in both the great wars. And while England is Christian the Senate half is very careful. Not to have any religious symbol on it. Because it's. People who died for all faiths represented that. And all the Commonwealth leaders of that all of them. And it's it's a turbine moving ceremony action. You suddenly thing, you know. It's the old rather sort of sixties hippie thing Rick riches, I wish we could live in peace together. Because when we all are making friends, of course, we're all different. Of course, Yvonne, different couch night isn't practices and standards in history. But we're also much the same. You know, if we could live in peace, boy, your your travels have helped to remind people of that as a beautiful thing. Now, we've talked about your father being in the British service. Your grandfather actually had mother's father in town. He was a diplomat in his sort of area where he was as it were ambassador to was Tabet Sikkim, which in those days was an independent country part of India and Bhutan, which is still an independent country and the summer months, he lived into bet. And then it got very very cold up there on high plazas, and he would move down to count which is in Sikkim. Some mother was brought up there. Rhode opponents up in the high hills. I read in nineteen thirty one he had to travel all the way to Bhutan to give the king a special special owner from King, George the fifth. Yeah. Now that was a long journey back that nineteen. Jenny my my grandmother went with him. My aunt my mother was at boarding school in England too young to go, but my aunt went. They took about one hundred pack animals is huge diplomatic venture three months through the jungles not through the jungles midwinter sieves through quarter of its through the snow and Putin is like into the highest parts of baton high. They got mountains of twenty five thousand feet and the low parts are will you grow oranges. So you have a heck of a difference in height and climate you retraced that your grandfather's journey, and what sixty five years later, and you filmed it, and you you did a documentary film called the kingdom of the thunder. Dragon. What was that? Like what was your name for Bhutan? Oh, it was just a blissful place. I think it's changing cannot be. So again, I would say to anybody who wants to travel travel now because it's changing the tons of getting bigger the hotels getting Sheikha, which in many ways is nice. But in many ways, it's lovely to see the countries. It was it was knocked off hidden kingdom of fast Himalayan kingdom with great zones. I like fortress monastries planted about the place in tiny villages around the outside. But largely completely empty. It's about the size of Switzerland. It's got values which grew all the medicinal herbs. You can kill yourself. From the herbs that you'd pick in the valleys of Bhutan. It's mysterious and friendly and lovely to this day. I think curves misquote controlled they're so it's limited who gets in there and so on, but it's opening up and you had with your family connections. It's amazing had dinner with what the former Queen Mother of Bhutan is is that now she had a connection with your grandfather or her family's didn't actually you come back two generations later. What was that? Like it just phenomenal. I was so proud and the wom- fringe Innis. They had because my grandfather was instrumental in keeping Bhutan a separate sovereign nation rather than being next into Britain negoti was advising wherever he went. He would say I think this this wouldn't and he said, I think it would be sensible to keep John separate and independent and they've always been great from him for that. But. Of course, he had doored. He he was very great linguist. He had twelve thirty nine which is the boonies Royal family, or it's tremendously complex out there. But some of them were two Bettman's. And of course, he knew to batons. He was a friend of the thirteenth, Dan, Laura. And so all these extrordinary stories from kind of nother world another world did they did they show off? Did you sit and watch athletic competitions, or well, we didn't they didn't do it for us. But we came in on one of their big ceremonies, which was like a four day, fair fisting and people gathering together and religious dances. Where they were beautiful mosques animal mosques, rather sort of weird almost hellish missed them snarling, and these are supposed to be the faces of demons and gods in the underworld the other world and the old people looking at it. I could see in their faces. They truly believed there memorizing these extraordinary dancing figures. So that when they posture into the next life that they'd recognize them, it was terribly moving and thrilling they couldn't have treated a smoke kind in Curtis. -ly? I think that honesty wherever you are in the world. If you have a good sense. Of humor and a modest and courteous and bulletin, learn a few words, just thank you. Please good evening in their language, even if you struggle there. No, you're trying you know, you can make friends sofas. Join it's beautiful to think these cultural treasures these beautiful ritual survive. And it's also sorta sad to think that their embattled as the whole world is becoming much nice. It's great to go see that. And it's great to support that as we can. Joanna Lumley our guest right now on travel with Rick steves, you may know her for her role as the irrepressible. Patsy stone, the britcoms, absolutely fabulous and some of her travel. Documentaries from British TV are now being distributed in North America, including Joanna Lumley Greek odyssey previews posted at a theme learning dot com. And Joanna did a TV adventure searching for Noah's ark. And join a I'm fascinated by Noah's ark on Mount Arafat. Right, right. We're Turkey hits Iran. And what did you find? Is there? A Noah's ark. What's going on with that? We had nothing to go. And except in the bible in the Old Testament in the bible. It says it tells the story of Noah and the flood it said the ark came to rest on Mount Arafat. So you okay. I didn't know anything about anything ballistic. Oh, Cameroon start off just like baby beginners where do we go from here to straight out to Montero at and said is the Arcadia. And of course, we met nomadic people there, we met religious people who said, no, it's not here. We met people across the valley who said this is the shape of the look at the shape. This has got timbers on it. These timbers ruled this must be Noah's ark. And then somebody saying, no, no, that's just a mudslide. That's not the was the flood Hanner the flood couldn't have richer another flood career, and we could read of the places where in various accounts, say say, no the awkward arrested. They're not awkward arrested here, the eight people it's in this village called eight it's down here. It's down there. All of these things. It's like anything anybody who's reporting after an incident. The story gets turned slightly somebody embellishes it somebody decides to elaborate on it or claim it for their own to you have to take it with not a pinch of salt. But with a very broad acceptance, you know, and not stamp on people's beliefs. I think do I know when you look at Mount Arafat, it comes out of the land like Mount Fuji or mount rainier. And it's one of these sensational mountains, it's the tallest mountain in the area. Yes, it's big. And it's quite a tough one to climb because even though people climbed for her than that you've got to take a deep breath before you settle mount which has a lot of great mountains, the easy peasy luxury. It you go really got started out there before lunch fatal, very tough, regardless of if there is a Noah's ark or not it is a fascinating part of Turkey to explore. It's completely acceptable to go to northeastern Turkey, and you certainly get away from the tourist, and you you enjoy a very warm. Well. Welcome. And who knows you may find a big piece of beam or or whole that goes back thousands of years with no his name coughed on. I'm Rick steves. This is travel with Rick steves, we've been exploring some very interesting corners of the world with pets. Eastone aka Joanna Lumley. Absolutely fabulous Joanna. Thanks for traveling with us. Thank you so much Rick interim from Patsy choose. Thank you that was that was fun Bula s- Frank. I think Rick you'll fabulous. Thank sweetie. DVD's Joanna's travel series about tracking the source of the Nile river and Joanna Lumley. Greek odyssey are available in North America from a theme learning dot com. Next guides from Spain. Tell us how the ancient capital of Spain is an easy and rewarding day from Madrid. And we'll hear how convents and monasteries. Alfred good option for budget accommodations in many of Europe's prime locales where at eight seven seven three three three seven four to five. Holy toto. Its travel with Rick steves as a man who managed us. Manu bali. Rick steves moss offer that program. My name is human Madge. And I like to travel with Rick steves in Farsi that would be estimate whom on imagine us Manu star Bali Eric steph's must offer that program. If there's any place in Spain that has more history and art per square inch than any other place. I would say it is the historic capital. Toledo. Toledo is the historic the artistic end, the spiritual capital of Spain the political capital used to be but that's moved north to Madrid. We're joined by two Spanish guides for Roman and Francisco, Gloria, and we're going to talk about the historic capital of Spain. Toledo Francisco and Horry. Thanks for joining us again. Thank you the great introduction. A tornado is from across the gorge at the Parador for the view of the historic capital of Spain. Remember it's chosen because of its strategic point in a tight bend in the Tahoe river Francisco when you stand on the other side of the Bank looking over at tornado as a Spaniard, what do you see in? What do you think? What do you think? Did you see us a history see all the historian of his pain in one tiny little village to city, but you can walk across it in fifteen minutes. Yes, it's a CD. But for you knew nited states that do Khalil small village, we consider city you have to snap. Toledo. It was a perfect strategically speaking perfect as a commercial route and the romance. There were not a stupid, and they knew how to those things. So they created Toledo as stop technically. It's very easy to defend because it's an if you have a river. There's no way to get into later unless you have a bridge. So it is a very technically speaking perfect for that location. So on three sides of the city, it is this incredible steep gorge that you could never get, you know, your troops up and the river as a natural moat and on one side, you have a very solid wall. So it's a it's a nicely fortified city Romans really knew how to construct into the paint. Now Horry when you think of toe Lehto, but you live in Madrid. Toledo was the historic capital. Why did the capital move up to Madrid abandoned Toledo? We have to go back to the time. So the second his father Charles defers, the first emperor that we have over there. He was sixteen. Family religious, and Toledo believe it. Or not nowadays is still the second Catholic city in the world. In those day was still very power with Catholic church. So Charles of hers, led the church to be involved very much in the political affairs. Philip the second son was also, very Catholic. But he was wiser than his father, and he knew how to separate politics from religion. We this cues we this queue of the construction of the Escorial monastery. And so he wanted to separate the church and the political power. So he had to move away from the cathedral heathen know-how. So we have about with against the French Quintin battle we won. And monastery was horrid we build the monastery of s Korea North west hundred with key use of supervising those works the second decide to move the court from Toledo to Madrid. So he built his palace in what we think of is the Royal palace in Madrid. Actually, he moving side of the Olot Casserly all moist castle that it was immigrated immigrated. While he was building just by this that with the new one now when we think of Toledo, maybe the political power moved out, but still the religious power and the the great art of Spain. This is in Toledo this when you think of religious power in Spain and tornado you think of the cathedral, tell us about the cathedral and the religious power of the city. Well is the fourth cathedral in the world fourth in the first one is some Peter's. Yeah. Ingram imposing London Syria. Right and Toledo two out of the top four in Spain yet. No, let me say this the the art in there the sacristy in the cathedral has enough art to put a museum on the map. Really? You know? I mean, the Greco collection. They have in the employees, you know, breathtaking airing Kohner, I mean, the the most transphobic Aotearoa this eighteen kilos of solid gold with a hundred twenty kilos of forty pounds of gold for the monstrance monstrance would be the the big decorative container of the wafer for the community. Exactly. And he's taking out once a year on the Corpus Christi day in possession. And the only the sacristy and emotions all the art in there. And there is a part over there, which is called a transparent the transplant that was built on this team hundreds and that was really kind of of an architect through challenge. A challenge is right because the church was dark and medieval yet, but in the Brocaj they needed more light. So what did he do? They opened the whole. Open. They gave it a skylight. Yep. And they've got it just encrusted with little baroque, cupid's and babies and offcially is is an altarpiece, which is built in the everything in marble. It's one of the most lavish pieces of churches. Absolutely fantastic. It's one of those that when you look at it from the inside you say, wow. Or when you think about Toledo, of course, you've got the religious history in the art. But you've also got a military history. Their Khazar, I think is symbolic to spend herds of of some of the recent military challenges of the country is you're right. Let me tell you Arca saris on Arabic world that means the castle Alcazar the Kevin Costner. So in the old days. It was located in Haggas point of CD just overlook this around. It was a very strategy location in the old times. Nowadays, we come to the point that military talking sort of samples award insane. See we were in Toledo only took about couple of months. Okay. Because for the Republicans. I mean, Republicans in is paying the left is okay for the repairs. That's an important thing. Because in states when you think Republicans getting to the right, and the Democrats be to the left, but in Spain when you hear Republicans those would be on the left wing yet quite left. Yeah. Okay. So it will it was willing to be a kind of a very good propaganda for the. The beginning of the civil war to have Toledo as their site now. So that was a very big battle over there. But only at the very beginning of the civil war took about couple of months, and who will who Franco Ranko. And so it was it was a fascist bastion. But today when we look at the new museum tells the story of military history and through thing. Thing. And it's a brand new museum. It's the nest museum I think in Spain for military history. But what was interesting to me is almost nothing about the civil war. It's still a hot topic. It's hard to cover the civil war in the museums. Yeah. See, very careful. It's so interesting for me, it's been a long time ago. But there still are difficult feelings and families and to do a museum with the very candid approach very modest posted the civil or maybe a little more time to buy. Yeah. We need some of the -cation on that issue. Yeah. Tornadoes spiritual capital of Spain the city we're visiting right now on travel with Rick steves with Spanish tour guides for. Hey, Rome on and Francisco, Gloria, you can share your own impressions and travel tales from Toledo with us in the radio section at Rick steves dot com. Francisco if you're going from Madrid to Toledo, how do you do? It depends way. You go train. Yeah. The new bullet train goes thirty five minutes. I mean, so it's really a bedroom community of Madrid. If you. And if you're thinking about souvenirs and things to buy and things to eat in Toledo, or hey, what would be some things to remember face divine fillet, though by all means out of the knives and the Damascene jewelry. What is the name Damascene comes from Damascus, which is the type of jewelry used to be crafting, Damascus? Yeah. And he's like gold leaves in art formed from Damascus in Syria, and it came all the way across Africa with the rampaging expanding Muslim hordes. You're going to bring their religion into in Europe. Yeah. And they left that art form to this day and people are pounding. So it is pounding carefully. Yeah. The gold leaves inside the Lia or over the okay another secretly of iron cigarettes, beautiful metalwork yet. Beautiful knives and hordes through. And if you buy a sword, you can't carry it under the airplane back home that something I learned you can't if you check it you have to check it. Yeah. And then and then what about the typical sweets from Toledo demoss open Meisel is sour almonds with sugar different shapes different kinds of marzipan. Yeah. You've got some with pine nuts through some of the almonds. Yeah. But that is the rich style. I mean, the old days was your sour sour almonds and sugar to me one of the most unique things about Toledo is just getting lost in spec streets. This city is so if any city in Europe is labyrinths seen if any city causes us a challenge in our guide books to make a map that you can follow. It is oh later. How do you? What's your trick you print Cisco for navigating toilet? Toledo. Jess have to get lost. I mean, the beauty of Toledo is getting lost and finding not your way around enjoy being. I mean, you can't go. Far because you're surrounded by a river. I mean, you're gonna Fall River so big deal. Then turn right? The beauty of Toledo is that getting lost getting this mawla street give me lost Francisco. And what would I find what little surprise might reward us for having that interest spirit when you go through Toledo's, suddenly you're gonna turn to write off to the left, and you're gonna find a small convent, I would recommend you to knock on the door. And obviously the non is not going to come out. You have new Amir. America needs you call it lazy, Susan subtly that the nine will tell you. I might police and you have to answer seen Baker Vida, which means that. Hello mary. You don't see the non you. Don't see the not new. So you're gonna knock in. What is she going to say been mighty up Sima? So what does that mean holding their Hello Mary? Yeah. Would you have to answer seen big other conserva which means that she was born without sin or really say that again seen Picabo conserva seen Picabo seen contributor? Okay. Wow. And that is the polite way she was born without sin. And then she'll let you in and you'll get. What do you on? And they will tell you some of these homemade marzipan that they do they do. So the number making the Mars upon. Yes. All of these culinary gastronomy things that take time that we don't have time to cook them all of these nuns make the nuns, what is the famous libra at order or or sodas work and pray and their work might be. Yeah. The best way to eat. All right. If you're walking in the back streets trying to get lost in laid what else might you find Rick. Unfortunately, I have to say, I don't get lost in felony more. It'd be there so many times. I am lucky enough to stay there overnight. Sometimes. Yeah. And believe it or not I still do it. It's like what he stark Therese around. I just go out just to wonder just to wonder just to see the streets empty that time of anywhere in Europe that some of my favorite things to do is just too. I've done my sight seeing and they just go out after dark the dresser back in the hotels and just wonder is whether it's not just seat anywhere and just how little room, you know. And you get the flavor if you'll safe in the dark Beck streets of Toledo. Uh-huh. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There's no problem with that. And you could find so many magical little corners. Oh, true. Yeah. I'm Rick steves. This is travel with Rick steves where imagining being until later our phone number's eight seven seven three three three seven four to five. Donald is on the phone from Richmond in Indiana. Donald thanks for your call. We're going to be going to Spain and about three weeks and when we staying in Madrid. And I wondered whats that we were interested in looking at Toledo, obviously and the period of conviviality if you owe between Islam Catholic and Judaism there, and I wanted to particularly at the synagogue of El Transito and see if that is still functional synagogue is. Now been converted to a church is the museum now, he's just this apartment museum doesn't work as synagogue any longer. But just round the corner of that. I mean to come going side and visited of course, and you will see everything is a beautiful place very well displayed, but just from the corner of translator, you have another tiny little synagogue was afterwards. Now, it's just a monument visit which is called Santa Maria, LA Blanca, Saint of the white. So both of them are together in the neighborhood. But none of them works nowadays associated Jeff. Museum. If you are a Jewish American traveling in in Toledo, and you want to find some judaica or some association that is interested in the Jewish heritage. Is there something like that in a little? No, there's no, but you can find a lot of information. When you go to though, you must start the of the square in the very top of the city, which is called the so-called ovarian square and over there the information office, his they'll have lots of good information about you as in Toledo because while they're apparently there's not much of a Jewish community living there. Now, there's a tremendous history of Jews Muslims and Christians living together in tomato quite famously. Yeah. Well, those also known as the western Roussin, the western Jerusalem, also always been only Cordova. Wasn't area of Judaism as data was before guy scorer still worth while to see quite over yet for the you have to go to go to the house of separate is a very good institution down there that they have very well done job in the all the culture, especially which are train station. We're going to be in Madrid advice, we take one of these bus tours or just take these speed trains from less at the Berea station down to tomato. I thought he was stationed at outer Donald from Madrid got trains going every hour or so they take to have thirty minutes or something from Tokyo two tornado. Okay. That's the that's the best way to get there. And it's quite an insist just to ride the Ave in Spain is a great experience. It is. Reservations well in advance where it can you get trained tickets right there? Now, you just go there and good in tickets. And if you go very first time in the morning, you might be you might have some travel, but just go, you know, like if you go at ten you will be there by eleven in the heart of city service. Not from good. Thank you. Thanks. Donald have a great time on your next trip to Spain. Amec Steve's this is travel with Rick steves. We're talking about tornado with two tour guide friends of mine Francisco, Gloria, and or hey, Roman. So we've talked about many dimensions of toilet. But we haven't really talked about the beautiful art, especially by out Greco Greco conference go when you think of El Greco, what do you think of? For people who doesn't really know. At Recco depends on Gregoire ones are people that are like stretched, very thin and very very told. And a Greco he has his one of the most beautiful paintings said the burial of the counter for cath that it's intellectual you have to go to small church that as the church of Santo mate. And there's where you're gonna find it this type of paintings at the beginning. They didn't kind of like them today. We appreciate him very much because quit trendy. It is because it's the Greco, you know, it is futuristic. I mean, it's like modern and it was from four five hundred years ago is right up to the renaissance mannerist exactly and hit these figures are like little flickering flames tackling. Well, you know, I it has like a symbol. You know in Pentecostal in Khorasan someone described is these flames are common top of the heads of the hottest. Also, it's more or less the type of movement of flames and everything has to do with religion funerals. It is so beautiful. Into see it in see two in where it was designed. We'll see the burial of the count or guys right there in the church where aggressor was hired to do. So it's when you're going to enjoy El Greco and understand a Greco in the context of Toledo. What do you think to let it wouldn't be what it is with other Greco and a wreck over being he's now without the city of Philadelphia in you know, that records commission to buy a painting for the s Korea monastery by the market a time. And the Mark the time hated it. No. I didn't hear about that. Yeah. And he will he wanted to be part of the the painter of the court at the time. But he was refused by the monarch why because the moaner Haley the painted. He was commissioned paint for. That's not a good idea when you're trying to get worked from the monarch. Yes, he became so famous insulator. That's did you know Greco was famous for making one of the very first landscape paintings, which is a painting of Toledo. We believe us. Yeah. And that's one thing great about towards just the views Greco, presented the views. And we can appreciate the views. And not only is that he really painted. What you could see nowadays. Well, that's one thing that you're struck by. When you look at Greco painting is how little Toledo has changed. Yeah. Hasn't changed physically? When you look at Toledo from across the gorge. Yeah. It's the tornado that Unger. And if you stand Toledo after dark when all of the tourist go back to Madrid. You can appreciate the city a lot of ways like oh Greco did or hey, Roman and Francesco Gloria thanks so much for sharing a little bit about the great city of Toledo in Spagna. Hang. Thank you. If we can to the sound of nun's choir singing, hymns down the hall as your idea of heaven. You'll be glad to know. There are plenty of options for being a guest at historic convents monasteries and seventies all over Europe. We'll hear how religious institutions offer an attractive alternative to hotels BNB's from the author of series of guidebooks that take you inside the cloisters for good night's sleep and decent breakfast. That's next on travel with Rick steves. If you think it's getting just to expensive to find a comfortable quiet night sleep in the top sites of Europe. There's no turn it of you probably didn't know about that. Chris Clark would like to recommend. She's the author of a series of guidebooks accommodations convents monasteries and seminaries in Europe her good night, and God bless series recommends places to stay in Austria, Czech Republic, ended Lii and volume. Two covers France, the you. You can't end Arslan. Her latest is an e book guy to staying along the community, Santiago in France and Spain Trish, thanks for joining us think you tell us about the first time ever slept in a convent. Will it happened some decades ago, actually, and I was at the end of a working holiday in London. And I decided to spend a week in Rome on my way back home to a strata plan to to really lit head down. I have lots of fun go at night, see all the sights, but when our arrived at the hostile that. I'd plan to stay in much. My disappointment obvious told thou completely bought out. However, I think fearing that was about to boost into a flood of tears the manager told me not to worry that. He would ring the convent up the road regarding tell you, I was very worried crews a headlong lift school and having been taught by nuns last thing I wanted to do is to spend any part of my holiday with them. However, I didn't have any money. And so the. Four I couldn't afford a hotel. So I had no choice at all. And I soon found myself wondering the via Stena wondering, the healed this Richard convent, and I was imagining all sorts of terrible things that they were going to be rigid. Rules have to be up at six in the morning to attend mass and gotten the woods grace before meals years ago. So I was very concerned when are found myself at the front door anyway, took a couple of deep breaths and pressed the buzzer, and before I could change my mind, the dough sprang open, and I've ventured inside. And I noticed that always very airy mabul Todd, foia, black and white tiles on the floor. And there was a lovely wide. Grandma. Will stay case leading up stays and on the left hand side was reception area, and the are members of very very large typewriter behind which that a very very old none and thank goodness she smiled, and I started to feel better immediately. Now, she. She didn't speak a word of being listened. I didn't speak would battalion, of course. But we managed and it wasn't long before I had the catered my room in my pocket. And as I turn to wonder the stip, she called me back, and she had a pace of paper and light when our looked I noticed that she'd written down all cheap restaurants in in the area. So I won't up stays got to my room open the door and gain. I was pleasantly surprised the room was only small that. It seemed to have everything I needed, and it was absolutely spotlessly clean. I soon got item atropine nation about sleeping in a bed. That was once occupied by non and the next morning. I was woken by the sound of the most beautiful music. And I realized that it was coming from the chapel and the nuns was singing hymns during morning. Mass win the singing stalled breakfast was ready. And this was another revelation woke down to the dining room, and it was beautifully set up with white Leinen and the cutlery shown. And young postulates would doing the breakfast. And it was a time of day that they obviously relished because they chatted away. Why code and they obviously enjoyed talking to people from all over the world. And our can remember them bringing these big baskets of the most fragrant braid Rove's and placing them annoy each table, and this was followed by huge Suva parts of the most delicious milky coffee our squad unsophisticated, then it was only some years light that I realized that this was actually cafe latte. I it was really strange. I found myself quite enjoying this experience. And at the end of the week. I was really sorry to leave that are found myself seeking out these places whenever I travelled the seas. But the interesting thing is that a couple of years ago. I have to update this convent for the book, of course. So I went back only discover that nothing much really changed. I knocked at the door around the buzzer. And the dough sprang open and I walked in and. I looked to the left, and they was very all non behind a new computer. It wasn't the same one. I'm sure what decade or what year was that? First. Visit will this would have been in the nineteen seventies in the nineteen seventies. I think I did the same exact thing that you thought it was all and they said go to the convent or go to the monitor deep, and I thought, you know, just like you curfews, and all this kind of will they was a curfew then with there was a curfew. Yeah. But it was a beautiful experience. And you went on to write a book about this. And now you've got two volumes, and you list, all the different convents and monasteries and different religious accommodations. All over one volume is for Austria, Czech, Republican Italy. And the other one is for France UK, an Ireland. Yes, that's right. These places are everywhere and people don't know about them. It's rags to riches for a backpacker and today, and if you're not a backpacker, it provides a very sometimes austere, but as you mentioned, very clean and very friendly and very comfortable if basic. Alternative to fancy hotels. Will I find that they generally provide cheap clean Saif and will located accommodation and when I travel that's all I won't. And I find that style in the win. I'm traveling on my own, particularly when I'm traveling with my children, or with my girlfriends, we always seek out these places, and it's always a trait to find a new one there. Hundreds of confident monastery guest houses in France alone. The Mayes on new seminary down nays is one of my favorites, and our member spending a week there and making this my base as I researched the confident mom street combination in the area, and it was the most pleasant time because the monastery the summary Silvo, the guest house itself actually faces the by of angels and the views from the front facing window over the beach and over the bay and the ferried Corsica sales past the front window and couldn't help thinking when I was dying the with the with the glorious views would provided inspiration. For the trainee priests may possibly have been a source of major distraction. I figure it might have been the latter. Because the salmon redid have to close down didn't it that that right? I would imagine you've had cases where you can actually enjoy the Gregorian chance or some of the traditional music that has been sung in these cathedrals for for thousand years. Yes, that's right. This is a little village lovely little village, which I'm sure, you know, called Salim is Walia semi is. And it's not far from the moms in there are two magnificent monsteries here. One for monks and one phenoms, and this order has been credited with reviving the old mediaeval music of the church, the Gregorian chant, and you can hear the chanting in either of the churches during the various services during the day, as you know, the gory and challenges, it's almost an emotional thing. When you listen to -mongst nonce, Joan -ting. I'm Rick steves. This is travel with Rick steves were talking with Trish Clark. Her book is good night. And God bless and Trish, these places sort of originated as part of Christian hospitality in the old days. They would just offer wayfarer 's and pilgrims a roof over their head. I would imagine, but they've evolved now, and and they're actually in a position where they need to raise revenue, and, you know, the traditional sources of revenue farming or whatever you can count to that in the history of these monasteries where they would make perfume where they would make some kind of medicine or they would farm, but now they are innkeepers in the twenty first century will still do only other things as well. And deride hospitality has always been a tradition of the religious orders. But these days I'd been forced make it more of a business. I think because in many cases, the religious orders are left with these huge complexes where there are numerous in some cases, hundreds and hundreds of empty rooms. And to me, it just seems to be a snapping to do. To put in small suite bathrooms and trying to track travelers Trish when you're checking into a convent or monastery. Do you feel like you're you're dealing with mother superior? And or you surrounded by monks chanting, or is it something that they hire people to run for them in some cases, they do. I mean, isn't all that you've probably heard of cool communites, and they're an unclothed, and I've noticed that they have throughout Europe a lot of convent guest houses when I stayed in one in Rome, recently, the nuns moved to the top floor of the building and the head small hospitality company. Running the accommodation section. So in cases, like that you actually don't even see the nuns, and then I'm thinking of another convent in rhyme. Cool. The CASA Di Santa brigada with nonce have really hands on role in running the guest house, and they serve breakfast Thyssen's lunch. They served in a I'm sure I could run a five star hotel. Actually, they have those unique scarfs with. The band on them. They do. Yes. Have you been a love their place ca- center brigada? Yeah. And you step in, and it's like stepping into another world in these women are so peaceful. And so they aren't they amazing so loving, and they kind of they don't walk glide, and you go through this, polished, marble, interior. And if you like you've found wastes in the middle of crusty medieval room, that's right? And you know, I had a lovely experience. When I stayed there. I wanted a taxi, and I said to the the sister on reception or should I just woke out onto the riot? And y one down and she said, don't worry all get one boy, and sort of been this flurry of white robe. She strode out down the steps onto the footpath. And after few seconds. She stood out on the road, and pointed at these taxi that was coming towards, and of course, the Texan drive did exactly as he was told and climbing and pulled up near the foot path. And this was followed by a very animated conversation between the two and after they'd finished. She came to me. And she said now, I've told him which way to go it'll cost you fourteen. Zero pie anymore because that inclines not. And there's a lot to be said for having a sister in a flowing white robe, grab your taxi for you. And give them. Where you go rather unique experience. No, you know, that place is an example of a very beautiful and very popular convent that rents rooms. Consequently, it will be booked out a lot of times in advance you need a book these things in advance. And a lot of cases issue do and it's quite easy to these days because most of the conference guest houses have websites now. Whereas, you know, twenties ago, they didn't of course. And so you can book via the website. They've never been known as being on the cutting edge of technology. I think but they do have. And they're not that good at marketing aid, though. That's for sure I'm Rick steves this travel with Rick steves, we're talking with Chris Clark. Trish writes, a book called good night, and God bless actually two volumes one listing convince in monasteries renting rooms and Austria, Czech, Republican Italy and the other one covering France, the United Kingdom and airland. Now, these places are designed for pilgrims and trips groups and so on, but but now they find themselves needing to rent out rooms to travelers can anybody just find the Email? Address or the website of these various places and and just get a hold of Booker directly. Yes. You can Rick. My most of these places now building websites, and you can generally make the booking by the website. What I always do I send an Email or used to be late of an Email in in English. And then I used the language translator on the web and translated into whatever language by need and just send it off. And it's not perfect, but it works, right? There is a bit more of a language barrier in this area than you might find in hotels because of quirky reasons I've stayed at a convent in Rome that was built a believed for Ukrainian pilgrims, and it is staffed by Brazilian nuns. And they speak Portuguese. First Ukrainian second Atelli, third English fourth. You get these kind of quirky mixes because of various orders in their heritage. And who their who their mission is to help? And today, they're helping travelers in English with Email so that can be a little bit complicated. But it seems to be getting up to date and enrolling. With the times here. Yeah. I think they're improving them occupying then acquired the, but they getting better Trish Clark is the author of the good night. And God bless series of guidebooks to a wide variety of accommodations at religious institutions in Europe. Her website is good night. And God bless dot com. You'll find a link to her site in this week's travel with Rick steves program notes and that the radio section of Rick steves dot com. Now, Trish when you go to a convent or monastery, what is the etiquette or the the religious kind of trappings? What if somebody is not a Christian will they feel welcomed there? What about unmarried couples gay couples? And so on yes will unmarried couples and gay couples. I guess I'd probably would have a reservation there about recommending that they at a convent guest house because I know most of the conference, I know they just have single beds Ono confident rhyme recruits, go king-size pay the kings is or about that. Things. Remarked? I always struck by how they've got these little, you know, iron framed single bids. But maybe they've gotten a little more going. What what I guess, you know, there are single beds and single rooms, but they're a little bit more with these dies. But is there how much religion is put on you? When you stay in one of these places will have never been pressured to attend a religious service, or to guide a mass or to even cya pray never been pressured at all because it's changed these days, you know, it's unfortunate some wise, but it's become more of a business rake, the dining the income nine they need the income to stay in their in their hands. And and you know, just to leave and to support the elderly nuns who might be in needing care excetera right for that just they will have private bathrooms now, and they will have less curfew. Most of them. Do your nice of them to a lot of them are just an amazing locations because historically the church would own. The palace for the Bishop across the square from the cathedral. And now that was rented out just to pay the rent. I'm constantly amazed at how will these places are located. I mean and particularly in Rome. I mean, the one I was describing at the beginning. That's in the via sustain which you would probably know it's straight that runs from the pats Barberini up to the Spanish steps, and you climb into your bed, and you look and you see behind the whitewash peeking through a fresco from five hundred years ago that was painted there for some Bishop or some religious authority and you're sleeping in the middle of history in the middle of culture surrounded by wonderful environment created by that religious tradition, and it's not very expensive to boot. Now, as you said a lot of them are in the business for making money now. So they're not really the cost of youth hostels, but generally, Trish, what would the cost be when you're thinking about in Europe of staying in a religious institution for accommodations. Well, I was looking up last night. And when I stayed in in. A convent in Florence about four years ago. I paid forty euro night. And then looked at the website last night and the prices doubled. So it was about eighty four room a twin bedded room to people probably with breakfast one hundred and ten dollars than is something like that. It's not youth hostel prices. But it is the privacy of a hotel. It is a special experience. And a lot of cases, the food is heavenly will it can be and the conference that you were just talking about in the in the Piazza Fanis is just around the corner from the most mazing restaurant, which you probably knows will Kula the have you been I don't know about that one. But it's a beautiful area. That's the company fury. Yes. That's right. Was right near the near the pantheon this restaurant, and it's actually run by nuns, and one thing I like about your book is with each convent or Monastir you list. You also talk about things to do and places to eat in that vicinity. Yes. Trish decades ago convents were famous for having curfews like youth hostel. What is the situation for curfews now in convincing monasteries? Yes. I can remember when I stayed in the car for the first time I had to be in by ten o'clock, but I didn't really mind because breakfast was served. So only that by the time, ten o'clock came around. I was ready for that. Anyway, but they more generous leased is with goof us and not all of them have fusi the, but the ones that a run strictly by nuns generally do have an eleven o'clock eleven thirty pm curfew the way this hospitals company involved in running the guest house, of course, it just operates Laka hotel. And I think we should remind travelers that you know, it is what it is. You don't check into a convent if you plan to be out clubbing all night long. Or if you plan to make a lot of noise in your room or or party, it's this is a different environment, and we need to be respectful of that and accept the parameters that come with the opportunity to spend less experience. More by staying in a convent trysts website to know more about her work lists convents all over the world. Not just in the places of. Europe that we've been talking about good night and God bless dot com. And the guidebook is good night. God bless and Trish Clark. Thanks for introducing so many travelers to a wonderful alternative to your standard hotel. Thank you. Travel with Rick steves as police by Tim, tappan. At is a Kaplan Wilner at Rick steves Europe. Edmonds Washington, we get promotional support from Sheila Gur's off website support from Andrew Wakeling at our theme music is by Jerry, Frank. Thanks the BBC in London for their health this week. Rick produces updated walking tours too many of Europe's most popular destinations defined the latest ones in Rick's audio Europe travel app. It's at Rick steves dot com slash radio. And will look for you again next week with more travel with Rick steves. Rick steves has spent a third of his adult life in Europe researching and writing guidebooks Europe through the back door teaches the skills of smart travel travel as a political act at meaning to the journey and Rick steves bestselling country city and pocket guide books. Cover every corner of Europe. To learn more. Visit the travel store at Rick steves dot com.