Tapas of Life—Frequent Traveler Kay S. Recounts her Adventures with VBT

Kay S. is a true VBT traveler at heart. “I could do two to three trips a year and be happy as a clam.” Though she hasn’t quite traveled at that pace in the past few years, she and her husband, Albert, have taken three vacations with VBT and they are already looking ahead to their fourth adventure—perhaps in Colorado or maybe right here in Vermont.

Croatia

Kay’s journey with VBT began a few years ago when she and Albert joined us on our Bike and Barge vacation in Holland. A great introduction to VBT, our Holland vacation was “a great trip for someone who isn’t a real serious rider.”

The couple started their Holland vacation with a pre-trip extension in Amsterdam, which turned out to be a lovely contrast to the little towns that Kay loved so much. Of course riding and cruising through quaint villages was a treat, but, when not dining on our private barge, Kay really enjoyed exploring the river towns in the evening. She soon learned that chatting with a few locals and picking an intimate spot for dinner was the perfect way to end a full day of biking along the serene waterways of Holland.

Bike Tour HollandKay felt that traveling by bike and barge was the perfect way to soak up the peace and tranquility of the Dutch countryside. Winding with rivers and dikes she could hear the gentle lapping of the water as windmills rotated above and she could see the reflection of the colorful flowers in the rippling water. And with the advantage of spending 7 nights in different locations while still unpacking just once aboard our comfortable barge, everyone in the group could recount their experiences on the deck each evening.

Due to their experience in Holland, Kay and Albert found that they really enjoyed the way VBT approaches travel. “You get a bit of everything. You see local sights, meet local people and learn about the history. It’s like a ‘Tapas of Life’.”

Like many travelers, Kay and Albert became interested in their next destination by looking at a friend’s Facebook page. The pictures in question were of Croatia, a VBT destination that Kay describes as, “the most beautiful place I’ve been.”

Though the rides were a bit more challenging than those in Holland, Kay still asserts that she “would go back in a heartbeat.” On particularly challenging stretches, the VBT support van would come around to check up on travelers to offer a lift or a quick refreshment.

Once again, Kay found that biking through Croatia allowed her to see “the soul of the country.” Kay recalls seeing locals working in the fields and even inviting her to enjoy some fresh olives and grapes straight off of the vine.

Off their bikes, Kay and Albert enjoyed dining with locals in their home, a great way to get in touch with residents through their cuisine. Group dinners also went a long way in helping VBT Travelers get to know one another. In fact, Kay and Albert have kept in touch with travelers from each one of their three VBT Vacations. They frequently touch base with their travel buddies to fill them in on family news and to discuss future travel plans.

Wine Country Tour

After their time spent in Europe with VBT, Kay and Albert next opted for a trip a bit closer to home. They took their whole family and their in-laws along for VBT’s Bike tour of the Wine Country in California. On this experience,  they all enjoyed learning about the local food culture, how fresh olive oil is produced and the ins and the outs of California vineyard operations. They may have even indulged in a sampling or two.

As it turns out, Kay and Albert’s California vacation is still paying off. Upon returning home, Kay submitted a Traveler Review at www.VBT.com and ended up winning a drawing for $1,000 in VBT Traveler Credits. Though they are still undecided, the credits might go towards a biking vacation in Colorado, a bike tour of Vermont or even a Walking Vacation in Italy. But with Kay’s preference for the way VBT assembles and operates tours, deciding on a destination will likely be the hardest part.

Top 10 Reasons to Travel to Europe

10. The Art in Amsterdam: Try not to get too distracted by the nightlife in Amsterdam and set aside a little time to visit the iconic museums that the city has to offer like the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House or the Rembrandt House Museum.

Amsterdam Museum

9.  The food in Italy: It’s not simply pasta and pizza all the time. Travel along the coast and you’ll find plenty of unique and inspired seafood such as ricci di mare or sea urchin. Though it’s not all about pasta and pizza, save a little room, because those are delicious, too!

8.  The Wine of France: When it comes to wine in France, the Localvore movement has been flourishing since the Middle Ages and many French residents take a good deal of pride in their local varietal. Whenever possible, we recommend drinking local. Fortunately, when traveling in France you’re likely to have good luck with the regional vin wherever you happen to be.

7.  The Live Music of Ireland: Sure you should try a Guinness while exploring the Emerald Isle, but try to plan your night on the town so that it coincides with traditional music night. That way you can share a pint and shake a leg with the locals.

Dancing House in Prague

6.  The Architecture of the Czech Republic: Both modern and untarnished, historic buildings adorn the streets of Prague and you’ll feel, both, the history and the youth of the city as you tour the Czech Capital. Plus, you’ll never be late because you can hear the bells of the Astronomical Clock throughout the city.

5.  Late Night Snacks in Spain: No need to sacrifice on food quality simply because it’s after 10—That’s just when things start to heat up in Spain. Enjoy a light meal early to tide you over, and when the sun has dipped well below the Mediterranean, let the tapas begin!

4.  The Islands of Croatia: Offering an Eastern European spin on “Island Life”, Croatia boasts some of the most scenic havens on earth. Just ask Condé Nast Traveler magazine, who consistently rates Hvar among the 10 Most Beautiful Islands in the World.

3.  The History of Sicily: Part Greek, part Moorish and wholly Sicilian, this Mediterranean island features fascinating history at every turn. Bring a camera as you ride along its ancient streets and be thankful you’re cycling. It’s much easier to park a bike than it is to park a car on Sicily’s narrow lanes.

Belgian Beer2.  The Beers of Belgium: While the French and the Italians have devoted themselves to wine production, brewing has been elevated to an art form in Belgium. When sampling, just keep in mind that beer can be a bit stronger on the other side of the Atlantic.

And the number 1 reason to visit Europe… VBT has 33 Active Vacations there and would love to be your host!