Oh my. It’s been three years since that trip to Sweden, and three years since that last post. I have no idea where that time went, but it sure has gone quickly. During that time we have been to many places and had many adventures; more about those later—fingers crossed!
One thing that I have discovered during that time—and have begun utilizing and touting ever since—is the free tour phenomenon. These are walking tours where there is no fixed cost; instead you tip your guide what you thought the tour was worth to you.
The first time I had heard of a free walking tour was late in 2015, when I joined one in Riga. It was a city I had never been to in a region I had not been to, and my travel buddy and I were interested in learning as much as we good about it.
In short, it was fabulous. Our guide had a wonderful sense of humour and a way with the crowd. He spoke excellent English because he had been a youth hockey player and traveled many places to tournaments, including the US, a place that mesmerised him.
Entry at Wilson Station, Chicago’s Red Line. Photo Courtesy Chicago Detours
It took me a long time to get to Chicago, a city I’d heard and read so much about in architectural history classes. When I finally made it, years ago, the first thing I did was head to the Chicago Architectural Foundation and sign up for one of their boat tours. We all – child, grandma, husband and self – loved it.
Today I just discovered Chicago Detours, a company offering bus and walking tours of Chicago’s history and architecture. This is is kind of stuff I just love, and so apparently do lots of other people looking to get more out of their travel experience. Next time I get to visit the Windy City, I won’t need to go to an office and sign up…I can do so from their website.
Nice to know that while technology has changed, Chicago’s committment to showcasing its fabulous architecture hasn’t!