Smart Travels - Europe With Rudy Maxa
This series delivers the best of what Europe has to offer, featuring hassle-free ways of traveling to great destinations and discovering Europe's vitality and character. It also teaches the necessities of traveling smart as Maxa adds a touch of luxury to the day-to-day journeys of discovery.
Smart Travels - Europe With Rudy Maxa Previous Broadcasts
Switzerland and the Alps (Episode #407)
KQED Life: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
The Swiss Alps reverberate with cowbells, accordions, and laughter. We make our home base in the year-round playground of Interlaken, the "town between two lakes". We sail across glacial Lake Brienz, famous for its beautiful woodcarving. We head to the spectacular Lauterbrunnen Valley for a heart-stopping gondola ride to alpine heights, and hike past flower-filled meadows and mountain chalets. Then it's off to vibrant Zurich for shopping, chocolate and tasty Swiss cuisine. Tips on transit passes and buying cheese.
France's Burgundy and Loire Regions (Episode #204)
KQED Life: Thu, Jun 23, 2016 -- 11:30 PM
The Burgundy region boasts top French wines, romantic canals, Romanesque churches and some of France's most renowned cuisine. We base in the small town of Beaune and learn about its history of winemaking. From the vineyards of the Cote d'Or to the culinary delights - we discover the exquisite taste of Burgundy. The city of Dijon and the cathedral at Vezelay add artistic treasures to the Burgundy experience. For the second half of our trip, we head for the Loire Valley and chateaux country. From our home base in Amboise, we visit the famous chateaux, including magnificent Chenoneau, and Francois I's overwhelming Chambord. Tips include touring wine country, discovering smaller chateaux and ballooning over the Loire.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 -- 5:30 AM
Bordeaux and the Dordogne (Episode #406)
KQED Life: Thu, Jun 23, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
The world's finest wines, sweeping vineyards and fine food couple with a river valley dotted with castles. We sample the best Bordeaux then cruise the lovely Dordogne and Lot rivers with stops at chateaux, ancient watermills, and perched villages. Cooking classes and an underground adventure to see pre-historic cave paintings round out the trip. Tips on wine tasting and walking paths.
French Riviera (Episode #203)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 22, 2016 -- 11:30 PM
From Nice to St. Tropez, we drop in on the hot spots along the Mediterranean's famous Cote d'Azur. Based in lively Nice, we visit the local beaches and superb modern art museums featuring works by Matisse, Picasso and Signac. A short hop up along the winding Grande Corniche leads to wealthy Monaco. Then it's on to glamorous Cannes and the lively beaches at Juan le Pins. In stylish St. Tropez, we visit the prettiest beaches and tour the colorful town. Inland, we make our own perfume in Grasse and explore a medieval hill town. Tips include renting a car, and accommodations.
- KQED Life: Thu, Jun 23, 2016 -- 5:30 AM
Carcassonne and the Pyrenees (Episode #405)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 22, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
From a fairy tale fortress to the gentle Pyrenees, Rudy takes in the castles and peaks of this magical region. We tour the largest fortress in Europe, Carcassonne, and sample the local stew, Cassoulet. A gallop through the countryside takes in several romantic castle ruins and the artwork of Toulouse Lautrec. Then we head for high country and one of the world's natural wonders - a mountain amphitheatre with cascading waterfalls. Tips on driving in France, and mountain trails.
Greek Islands (Episode #202)
KQED Life: Tue, Jun 21, 2016 -- 11:30 PM
On the Greek Islands we get familiar with the ferries as we island- hop the Aegean. Sun-drenched, upscale and exotic, Santorini sits on the rim of an ancient, but still active, volcano. At one end of the island, the archeological site at Akrotiri uncovers a city frozen in time by the volcano's eruption 3,600 years ago. The island of Naxos offers serenity, a low-keyed pace and bargain accommodations. Its massive marble quarries and kouros sculptures were the toast of ancient Greece. We catch some R&R on trendy Mykonos, and then head to sacred Delos-an uninhabited island covered entirely with ancient ruins, and the place where the great god Apollo was born. Tips: Discovering little off-the-beaten- path surprises.
- KQED Life: Wed, Jun 22, 2016 -- 5:30 AM
Madrid (Episode #404)
KQED Life: Tue, Jun 21, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
The Spanish capital Madrid welcomes us with grand plazas and sparkling fountains. First stop is the Prado, one of Europe's great museums and home to Goya, El Greco and Velazquez. We tour El Palacio Real, the seat the Spanish empire, and the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, a fascinating hoard of art treasures hidden away in the center of the city. After dark we sway to the rhythms of Flamenco dancers and lose ourselves in Madrid's pulsating nightlife. Then we day-trip to the imperial city of Toledo to roam the twisting streets and narrow alleyways of this historic center. Tips on traditional food and jewelry.
Barcelona and Costa Brava (Episode #403)
KQED Life: Mon, Jun 20, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
A Mediterranean marvel, Barcelona simmers with beautiful beaches, medieval mazes, eye popping art and hypnotic architecture. From tapas bars, to surrealist art, to Modernist structures, we'll feast on Barcelona's delights. Rambles along La Rambla, Gaudi's treasures, a neighborhood festival, designer shopping and waterfront fun are some of the highlights. For the best in beaches we head north to the coves of the Costa Brava. Tips on tapas and nightlife.
Edinburgh and Scotland (Episode #402)
KQED Life: Fri, Jun 17, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
Friendly and feisty, Scotland makes us feel right at home. In Edinburgh, we climb the ramparts of this city's famous castle, shop for kilts, visit mysterious Rosslyn chapel and thrill to a spooky ghost tour. Then we head to historic St. Andrew's to practice our swing on the world's most famous golf course. In the Scottish highlands, we try our hand at skeet shooting and falconry, and tour the Dewar's whisky distillery. Then it's off to historic Stirling to stroll the battlefields of Braveheart before setting sail on legendary Loch Lomand. Tips on golf and Scotch whisky.
Athens and Delphi (Episode #201)
KQED Life: Thu, Jun 16, 2016 -- 11:30 PM
While Athens sprawls, its historic core survives. After climbing the majestic Acropolis, prowling the Plaka, and cheering Greece's best folk dancers, we take some easy trips outside the city. We make a pilgrimage to the famed oracle of Delphi and tour a beautiful medieval monastery. Then it's off to the Peloponnesian Peninsula, where we scope out Nafplion's charming port and visit the epic ruins of King Agamemnon in the ancient capital of Mycenae. Along the way, we investigate local superstitions and sample tangy specialty treats. Tip: Finding great Greek food, traditional and contemporary.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jun 17, 2016 -- 5:30 AM
Bath and South Wales (Episode #401)
KQED Life: Thu, Jun 16, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
We conjure a bit of magic when we visit the Georgian city of Bath and follow tales of Camelot into South Wales. In Bath, we marvel at ancient Roman spas and peek into the high society of Jane Austen's day. We stop by Wells to admire that city's spectacular cathedral, and we quest for the Holy Grail in the mystical town of Glastonbury. The poignant landscape of Wales' Wye River Valley offers a wealth of scenic riches. We investigate Caerleon's claim to King Arthur and explore a ruined abbey that inspired poet William Wordsworth. Tips on bookstores and country fairs.
Copenhagen and Denmark (Episode #113)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 15, 2016 -- 11:30 PM
Join Rudy in the wondrous kingdom of legend and fairytale - Denmark. Here Vikings plundered and Hans Christian Anderson spun children's stories. In cozy Copenhagen, we splurge on pastries, visit the Little Mermaid and dance till dawn at Tivoli Gardens. On a day trip to Roskilde, we check out three incredibly well preserved Viking ships. We ride horseback through the Danish countryside, stroll through writer Karen Blixen's gardens, and storm the moat at "Prince Hamlet's" Castle. Tips on canal rides and museum passes.
- KQED Life: Thu, Jun 16, 2016 -- 5:30 AM
Four Great Cities of Europe (Episode #313)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 15, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. A European city bustles - it's a hub of commerce and the arts, energy, surprise and international flavor. Where do you start if you have just 24 hours? Here, we highlight some best choices for sampling the urban culture of four great cities. London calls for high tea at the Athenaeum and modern art at the New Tate. Paris treats us to impressive dining, the Musee D'Orsay and the Pompidou. Rembrandt's The Night Watch and traditional rijsttafel dinner are mandatory in Amsterdam, and in 1,000-year-old-Brussels, we land in what some call "the most beautiful town square in Europe." Europe's great cities stay with you.
Amsterdam and the Netherlands (Episode #112)
KQED Life: Tue, Jun 14, 2016 -- 11:30 PM
The country of the Netherlands inspired the Dutch masters and became a powerhouse that conquered the sea. We bicycle to Amsterdam's great art museums to see the works of Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Then we climb to the attic where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis. Later, we prowl windmills and check out Amsterdam's infamous red-light district. Next stop is the Hague, home to the International Court of Justice. Finally, we peek at the delightful city of Delft where we learn techniques for making world-renowned china. Tips on riding trolleys and buying Delftware.
- KQED Life: Wed, Jun 15, 2016 -- 5:30 AM
Medieval Europe (Episode #312)
KQED Life: Tue, Jun 14, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
The medieval world is one of the big draws of European travel. Moody ruins, "tippy" towers, cobbled streets, sparkling mosaics, monasteries, castles and cathedrals form the core of many a tourist's dreams. In this episode, we revisit some favorite spots and toss in a few new sights as we make a little sense out of a fascinating 1,000 years - from the fall of Rome to the dawn of the Renaissance. We sort it all out with several short itineraries in Ireland, Austria, Germany and France.
France's Normandy (Episode #311)
KQED Life: Mon, Jun 13, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
From a dramatic, historic coast to rural pastures, this sweet section of France abounds with apple orchards, enchanting villages, stunning abbeys and sparkling seaports. We base in the lovely seaside town, Honfleur. At Giverny, and in the museums in Rouen and Honfleur, we discover the birth of Impressionism. Near the famous beaches of Normandy, the Norman Conquest unfolds in the Bayeux tapestry and we remember the poignant victory of World War II's D-day. Cider and cheese draw us to the lovely farmland just inland from Honfleur. Our journey ends at the awe-inspiring Abbey of Mont-St-Michel. Tips on car rental, shopping for antiques and touring cider country.
France's Champagne Region (Episode #310)
KQED Life: Fri, Jun 10, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
The Champagne region of France bubbles over with fine wine, gourmet cuisine, picturesque towns and gothic spires. We base in Reims, home of the historic cathedral where French kings were crowned. From Reims, we tour wine country, visiting champagne producers both large and small. In the medieval town of Troyes, we shop for fine chocolate and discover a collection of modern art. North of Reims, the city of Charleville delights with its golden architecture and tradition of puppetry. Our final destination is the imposing fortress of Sedan, the largest castle in Europe. Tips on how to buy quality champagne and touring wine country.
Oslo & Norway (Episode #309)
KQED Life: Thu, Jun 9, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
The grand panoramas of Norway prove irresistible to adventurers. In Oslo, we see testaments to maritime prowess in Viking ships and the celebrated Kon Tiki raft. We "Scream" with painter Edvard Munch before heading south to the glorious vistas of Telemark country. After dropping by the home of playwright Henrik Ibsen, we're off to a boisterous celebration of Norwegian village life, complete with traditional costumes, dancing and potato pancakes. Next, it's a ride on Europe's most spectacular railway and a boat cruise through the impossibly beautiful scenery of the fjords. We end up in Bergen, Norway's best-preserved medieval city, taking in a traditional stave church and views that inspired composer Edvard Grieg. Tips on railroad travel.
Stockholm & Sweden (Episode #308)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 8, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
Sweden is a natural-born beauty, winning us over with luxuriant landscapes and sleek Scandinavian style. We cruise through Stockholm's sun-dappled archipelago, visit a designer hotel and sip cocktails in the trendy Ice Bar (a lounge built completely of ice!). We stroll through the Karl Milles sculpture garden, and admire the world's best-preserved 17th century warship, the Vasa. Then it's off to the woodsy "Kingdom of Crystal" where we peek in on Sweden's best glass artists and get rowdy at a traditional herring dinner. We pay tribute to a grand medieval castle once called the "key to Sweden". Then we escape to the vacation island of Oland, an out-of-the-way charmer with timeless windmills, ancient ruins and glorious sand beaches. Tips on shopping for glass.
Prague & Budapest (Episode #307)
KQED Life: Tue, Jun 7, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
We leave Western Europe behind as we venture to the exotic cities of Prague and Budapest. In Prague, we marvel at the startlingly beautiful old town and tour the labyrinthine castle that haunted writer Franz Kafka. Bohemian glass dazzles us as we browse the flourishing shops in this former Communist country, and we witness the scene of the "Velvet Revolution." Then it's off to Budapest, where we surrender ourselves to steamy mineral spas, are serenaded by Gypsy music in one of the city's most traditional restaurants, and sway to the rhythms of Hungarian dancers. We round out our trip with Budapest's regal Opera House, and monuments of a bygone era in the Communist Statue Park. Tips on luxury hotels.
Italy's Veneto & Dolomites (Episode #306)
KQED Life: Mon, Jun 6, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
Graced with charming cities, countryside villas and precious art, this corner of Northern Italy also features a playground of Alpine peaks and meadows. After a spectacular night at the opera in fair Verona's Roman arena, we set out in search of Giotto's colorful frescoes in Padua and architect Palladio's palatial villas in Vicenza and the surrounding countryside. Then we head for the hills and the dramatic peaks and meadows of the Dolomite mountains. Tips on touring the Veneto countryside, shopping for gold and staying in a mountain inn.
Bologna & Emilia Romagna (Episode #305)
KQED Life: Fri, Jun 3, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
Known the world over for its wheels of golden cheese, its sweet prosciutto and divine vinegar, this slice of Northern Italy is a feast. From our base in Bologna, we eat our way across the region, taking in the glorious art and culture along the way: cheese and mosaics in Parma; balsamic vinegar and racecars in Modena; ham, pasta and university life in Bologna. An excursion to the mountainous Apennines, a trip to Ravenna's brilliant 6th-century mosaics and a beach resort at Rimini round out the adventure. Tips on sampling the region's delicacies and agri-tourism hotels.
Germany's Rhine and Mosel Rivers (Episode #304)
KQED Life: Thu, Jun 2, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
For centuries, the Rhine has been a natural border and the main route for trade, people and ideas. We start in the ancient Roman city of Trier and travel up the Mosel River visiting vineyards and ancient castles. We'll take a scenic cruise down the Rhine for a sailor's-eye view of famous Rhine castles and the lovely but dangerous Lorelei. In Koblenz, we'll see where Julius Caesar destroyed two Germanic tribes but was never able to conquer Germany, and just down stream we'll see where American troops first crossed the Rhine during World War II at the bridge at Remagen. Our trip concludes in the city of Cologne, where we'll visit the modern art museum and sample Kolsch, the local beer. Tip: Taking a cruise down the Rhine.
Belgium (Episode #111)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 1, 2016 -- 11:30 PM
For centuries, Belgium has been a sophisticated hub for gourmets and connoisseurs. In true Belgian style, we treat ourselves to superb chocolate and sample first-rate beer. We indulge our senses with folk music and Bruegel paintings, and investigate the people's passion for comic strips. Then we drive to breathtaking Bruges, a medieval city suspended in time. There, we cruise the canals, admire intricate handmade lace and pay homage to a Michelangelo masterpiece. Tips on hearty Belgian cuisine and lace making.
- KQED Life: Thu, Jun 2, 2016 -- 5:30 AM
Germany's Romantic Road (Episode #303)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 1, 2016 -- 9:30 AM
The Romantic Road winds through some of Germany's most picturesque countryside, complete with medieval villages and Baroque palaces. We start our journey in Wurzburg, where we visit the spectacular Baroque Bishop's Palace or Residenz and taste wine at one of Wurzburg's many wine festivals. Next, we visit the castle of the Teutonic Knights in Bad Mergentheim and a short distance away the Deutsches Auto Museum in the Renaissance Castle of Prince Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Every July, the medieval town of Dinkelsbuhl celebrates the day the children saved the town during the Thirty Years War. We get a front row seat complete with dancing, music and an historical reenactment. We finish our trip in Rothenburg, the best-preserved medieval walled city in Germany. Tip: Travel options along the Romantic Road.
Out of London (Episode #110)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 1, 2016 -- 5:30 AM
The countryside outside of London echoes with storybook images. Around every hedgerow are mythic castles, ruined abbeys and prehistoric monuments. This time, we leave London and stop at Hampton Court, where Henry VIII wooed Anne Boleyn. We gaze on Oxford's dreamy spires and browse in the real Alice in Wonderland's candy store. Next, we pay a visit to Jane Austen's house, puzzle over the mysterious megaliths of Stonehenge, and pursue tales of Camelot in the royal city of Winchester. Tips on driving in England and visiting country pubs.