Here in North America the travel guidebook author and travel show host Rick Steves is almost universally loved, but is also the target of good natured satire as well. While I’ve met Rick, and even spent an afternoon hanging with him at a café in a little town on Lake Como, I can’t claim to be personal friends. However, I can attest to his affability and self-effacing charm. When I recently read a clever spoof of his guidebook writing style at the McSweeney’s website, I knew he would be tickled.
Here are some excerpts from the article and a link to the full piece.
Westeros from Game of Thrones
There seems to be a never-ending list of places to experience when visiting Westeros, so you can’t go wrong as long as you aim for a summer visit. Winters here are absolutely brutal. Throughout your trip, you’ll encounter many well-preserved and battle-scarred houses and hopefully some mystical beings. You’ll definitely want to follow the local rules closely as some of the fines and punishments are more severe than you can imagine. The views will provide everything you’d expect in a harsh medieval landscape: picturesque backdrops, fiery dragons, and horrific ritualistic executions. Wear comfortable shoes.
The Chocolate Factory from Willy Wonka
Although it’s cheap, avoid staying at the cramped and dingy Bucket Family House since you’ll be stuck sharing beds with a few elderly guests. Even though tickets are notoriously hard to come by, a visit to the factory is highly recommended. The extremely limited entrance policy also ensures crowds and lines are kept at a minimum. Don’t miss the Wonkatania Boat Ride. This terrifying experience is worth the price of admission alone. Keep an open mind on the factory tour, and you’ll happen upon chocolate rivers, impossibly small elevators, and little street performers that will sing preachy yet campy songs. Not at all kid-friendly.