Exploring the Austrian Alps Before Google Maps (Video)

Rick Steves’ Europe travel series is the next best thing to going on a trip yourself.

Currently, I have no big trips planned so all I can do is dream… Dream of being in Europe atop one of the highest peaks of the Alps jumping the dividing line between Germany and Austria.

This episode is focused solely on the Alps of Austria and Italy. There’s something charming and nostalgic about this series that appeals to me (maybe because the original episodes aired in the 1990’s). Perhaps it’s because these great monuments of nature haven’t changed much in tens of thousands of years, so many of the tourist sites are exactly the same as they would have been a few decades ago.

It’s also interesting to see how things may have changed in the time since this travel series first aired.

Image: Screenshot/Youtube

The Alps are as simple as they are majestic. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Outdated attire aside, this series is full of useful information. For instance, the interesting towns surrounding the Alps are worth mentioning.

The town of Innsbruck, which names itself the capital of the Alps, is stunning. Located in Austria, this town is like right out of a Wes Anderson movie. Its origin dates back before 15th century (and it doesn’t look that different than it looked then).  A charming mountain town that should be on the list for anybody planning a trip to the Alps.

The Italian border is only about 30 minutes away from Innsbruck. Part of my facilitation with this travel series is this is all pre-smart phone. It’s pre-GPS so when Stevens needs to figure out a way to get to a new town, he has to stop at an “automobile club” to ask directions. He then needs to actually read a map and figure out which way to go. (Could I do that these days? I am not so confident).

Wait what is that paper thing? A map? I've never heard of a paper map. Image: Screenshot/Youtube.

Wait what is that paper thing? A map? I’ve never heard of a paper map. (Screenshot/YouTube)

There is a lost art to traveling before the Internet.

Perhaps there was a bit more adventure to it. You didn’t have Yelp to figure out where to go eat, and you certainly didn’t have GPS to help you not get lost.

When you travel, there is a certain beauty in becoming lost. Sadly for the online generation maybe it’s something we will have to experience only in old travel videos.

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