Forbes Traveler.com

Trade Rome and Moscow for Naples and Kiev

“It was the summer of 1973,” says Gene Openshaw, recalling his first trip to Europe with a hint of nostalgia. “We traveled for two and a half months, from the top of the continent to the bottom: Norway to Athens to Morocco, and points in between.” The classic Eurail pass-toting backpacker, he was touring the continent with a childhood friend and celebrating his high school graduation in grand style.

“It really felt like we were on this great adventure into the unknown,” he says, more than three decades later. In the years since, Openshaw has returned to Europe more than two dozen times—both as a tourist and writer. The childhood friend and traveling accomplice was Rick Steves, and the two men would go on to establish one of America’s most successful travel guides, “Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door.”

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