Smart Travels - Europe With Rudy Maxa Previous Broadcasts

Alpine Christmas (Episode #408)

KQED Life: Wed, Oct 19, 2016 -- 11:30 PM

Hot-spiced cider and strains of "O Tannenbaum" warm our hearts as we head to Europe for Christmas. Switzerland has a special glow this time of year and we find plenty of good cheer in the bright Christmas markets and toasty ski lodges. We begin in the magical atmosphere of Zurich, with its glittering trees and festive music. Then we veer off the beaten path to the medieval town of Bremgarten for a visit with St. Nicholas. Finally, we discover a winter paradise in glamorous St. Moritz, the famous ski resort with the "dry, sparkling champagne climate". Tips on Christmas ornaments and winter sports.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Oct 20, 2016 -- 5:30 AM

Switzerland and the Alps (Episode #407)

KQED Life: Tue, Oct 18, 2016 -- 11:30 PM

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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Oct 19, 2016 -- 5:30 AM

Bordeaux and the Dordogne (Episode #406)

KQED Life: Thu, Oct 13, 2016 -- 11:30 PM

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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Fri, Oct 14, 2016 -- 5:30 AM

Carcassonne and the Pyrenees (Episode #405)

KQED Life: Wed, Oct 12, 2016 -- 11:30 PM

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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Oct 13, 2016 -- 5:30 AM

Madrid (Episode #404)

KQED Life: Tue, Oct 11, 2016 -- 11:30 PM

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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Oct 12, 2016 -- 5:30 AM

Milan and Lake Como (Episode #209)

KQED Life: Sat, Oct 8, 2016 -- 4:00 PM

Milan symbolizes the powerhouse Italy of the 21st century-a European center for finance and fashion. We explore Italy's most extravagantly decorated Gothic cathedral, look at Leonardo da Vinci's famous Last Supper and shop, shop, shop. A visit to the Milan Design Museum shows how, for the Milanese, everyday life is art. We take a train north to serene Lake Como, where we ferry-hop among lakeside villages, explore elegant villas and stop over at the historic Villa D'Este Hotel. A side trip to the ancient city of Bergamo and an alpine festival in the Valtellina complete our journey. Tips include train travel and boat itineraries.

Barcelona and Costa Brava (Episode #403)

KQED Life: Thu, Oct 6, 2016 -- 11:30 PM

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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Fri, Oct 7, 2016 -- 5:30 AM

Seattle (Episode #504H)

KQED Life: Thu, Oct 6, 2016 -- 9:30 AM

A hip, happening urban center surrounded by natural beauty, Seattle combines city life with the great outdoors. Rudy explores the vibrant downtown, samples microbrews and lattes, noses around Seattle's neighborhoods and hops aboard a ferry. Excursions take us hiking at magnificent Mount Rainier and boating through the San Juan Islands in search of whales. Tips on great seafood and getting outfitted for the outdoors.

Edinburgh and Scotland (Episode #402)

KQED Life: Wed, Oct 5, 2016 -- 11:30 PM

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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Oct 6, 2016 -- 5:30 AM

San Francisco (Episode #503H)

KQED Life: Wed, Oct 5, 2016 -- 9:30 AM

The port city of San Francisco revels in art, diversity and food. Chinatown is a feast for the senses, and the city's new Asian Art Museum a must-see. We get savvy on sourdough and tour notorious Alcatraz Island. A stroll through the Haight neighborhood harkens back to the "Summer of Love", and the Italian cafes of North Beach serve up a dollop of hospitality with their espresso. Crossing the Golden Gate, Rudy heads to Napa Valley wine country for a relaxing mud bath and some off-beat garden art. Tips on vegetarian food and wine-tasting.

Bath and South Wales (Episode #401)

KQED Life: Tue, Oct 4, 2016 -- 11:30 PM

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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Oct 5, 2016 -- 5:30 AM

Oahu and Kauai (Episode #502H)

KQED Life: Tue, Oct 4, 2016 -- 9:30 AM

Sunning, swimming, surfing and boating at Waikiki Beach are just the start in Honolulu. Rudy explores Hawaii's Polynesian roots at the venerable Bishop Museum, remembers WWII history at Pearl Harbor, and pays homage to King Kamehameha. From Oahu we head north to Kauai, "The Garden Island" whose sheer beauty screams "tropical paradise." Rudy hikes the Waimea Canyon and kayaks past traditional Hawaiian villages. The Allerton Gardens show off rare tropical plants, and restored homes of planters recall days when sugar was king.

Maui and Hawaii's Big Island (Episode #501)

KQED Life: Mon, Oct 3, 2016 -- 9:30 AM

The cultures of the Pacific converge on the breathtaking islands of Hawaii. This trip Rudy begins on Maui, where he braves the twisting road to Hana with its cascading waterfalls and tropical splendor. Fire-knife dancers light up the night sky, and we sway to the rhythms of hula and slack-key guitar. Later, Rudy hops over to Hawaii's Big Island for ancient petroglyphs and a helicopter tour of the world's most active volcano. Tips on snorkeling and golfing.

Vienna and the Danube (Episode #208)

KQED Life: Sat, Oct 1, 2016 -- 4:00 PM

Hapsburg palaces, coffee houses, Strauss waltzes...all are symbolic of Vienna. Visiting elegant Schoenbrunn Palace, riding in carriages, sampling luscious apple strudel and listening to Mozart concerts, we see that Austria's capital still lives its elegant, proud past. We get a behind-the-scenes peek at how exquisite china is made at Augarten, Europe's second oldest porcelain manufacturer. For a change from urban to countryside, we cruise down the Danube past vineyards and castles, stop at the dazzling Melk Abbey, and sample " new" wines-unique young varieties special to this part of the world. Tip: Where to experience Vienna's hot new art scene.

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