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Burt Wolf: Travels & Traditions Previous Broadcasts

The Shrine at Czestochowa, Poland (Episode #507)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 30, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

The destination for pilgrims for over 600 years, this monastery houses a painting of the Virgin and Child thought to have been painted by St. Luke. We tour a 15th century library, discover the three essential elements that connect an image to a miracle and what gives an image its supernatural powers. We also find out what makes places like the Vietnam Memorial, The Alamo, our Civil War Battlefields, and Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace popular locations for a pilgrimage.

The Future of Shopping (Episode #506)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

We discover how shopping kept our original 13 colonies together during the Revolutionary War. How shopping is used not to make each of us different but to let us become part of a community. What the future of shopping might look like on the Internet. We meet a woman who closed her antique business on earth and opened one in cyberspace, a man who designed an Internet business that sells a car a minute and interview Meg Whitman, the President of eBay.

The History and Science of Shopping (Episode #505)

KQED Life: Wed, Nov 28, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

The two questions travelers ask most often are, "Where should I eat?" and "Where should I shop?" In this program, Burt takes a look at the history of shopping from its beginnings in 17th century London and the first department store in Paris, to New York's Fifth Avenue and the auction of a 92-million dollar painting at Sotheby's. We find out how the brains of men and women make them shop differently, who introduced the idea of ready-to-wear clothing and why. We see how the French Revolution changed the way people shopped, how the shopping bag and the price tag were invented, and why the survival of a nation can depend on how it shops.

Mexico City (Episode #504)

KQED Life: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Burt goes to Guadalupe, Mexico to uncover the Story of Juan Diego and the patron Saint of Mexico. We discover how Christian groups separated themselves from Jews during the first century after Christ. We go to Seville, Spain to take part in the Holy Week processions, learn why Baroque churches were built to save Catholicism, and find out that after centuries of tradition, the people of Mexico have come to believe in only two things: Our Lady of Guadalupe and The National Lottery.

Taipei (Episode #503)

KQED Life: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Guided by Taiwan's most famous television cook (the Emeril of the Orient), Burt tours the city's night market. We visit the traditional shops, and an extraordinary weekend jewelry market. We learn how practicing the martial arts can help keep your body young and how the ancient art of Chinese Medicine works. We are introduced to the world's most famous Chinese dance group and a television network devoted to Kung Fu puppets. We also get a riverside seat for the annual dragon boat races.

Eastern Switzerland (Episode #405)

KQED Life: Sat, Nov 24, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

One of the best-kept secrets in European travel, Eastern Switzerland is picturesque and uncrowded. You'll visit the finest Baroque abbey in Switzerland, a textile center that still produces some of the best embroidery, and one of the greatest couture houses in Europe. You meet a group of sculptors who are uncovering the history of a famous Greek statue, discover how dulcimers are made and played, and see the ultimate democracy in action.

The Shrine of Guadalupe (Episode #502)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt goes to Washington, DC to tour our nation's National Shrine, then to Tepeyac, Mexico to join 5 million pilgrims who are taking part in the Feast Day of the patron saint of the Americas. We see how a revered picture - Our Lady of Guadalupe - became a symbol of hope and freedom for native Indians of Mexico as well as the Spanish settlers. We discover the history of Tequila and join Burt as he sits down to a meal of fried ants and grasshoppers. And you thought life is tough on "Survivor".

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Taiwan (Episode #501)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

The island of Taiwan just off the coast of mainland China has held on to most of the ancient principles of Chinese culture while incorporating the most modern aspects of western society. We visit the most important temples, find out how the gods direct your future behavior, and discover the secrets of getting the best flavor when you make a cup of tea. We also find out what's cooking.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Jungfrau Region, Switzerland (Episode #406)

KQED Life: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

In the heart of Switzerland, the Jungfrau region is considered to be one of the most remarkable spots for lovers of nature. You'll take a steamer to the ancient villages on Lake Thun, visit the site of Clint Eastwood's film The Eiger Sanction, ride the highest railroad in Europe to a research station that is studying the earth atmosphere, and climb inside a million year old waterfall.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Eastern Switzerland (Episode #405)

KQED Life: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

One of the best-kept secrets in European travel, Eastern Switzerland is picturesque and uncrowded. You'll visit the finest Baroque abbey in Switzerland, a textile center that still produces some of the best embroidery, and one of the greatest couture houses in Europe. You meet a group of sculptors who are uncovering the history of a famous Greek statue, discover how dulcimers are made and played, and see the ultimate democracy in action.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Yucatan, Mexico (Episode #404)

KQED Life: Mon, Nov 19, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

The Yucatan peninsula, on the east coast of Mexico, juts out into the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf. It is home to the most impressive concentration of Mayan ruins. Burt takes us to Uxmal, the intellectual and cultural center of the Maya, tells us the best places to shop for hammocks and panama hats, explores the capital which at one time had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world, and explains what makes flamingoes pink.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Mon, Nov 19, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Luzern, Switzerland (Episode #1101)

KQED Plus: Sun, Nov 18, 2012 -- 2:30 PM

Burt takes a lake steamer to the foot of Mount Pilatus and rides the steepest cogwheel railway in the world to the top of a 7,000 foot peak for some of the most impressive views of Switzerland. The he visits the Lion Monument that honors the Swiss Guards who died defending the King of France in 1792. Mark Twain described the monument as the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world. He walks across the Chapel Bridge that was constructed in the first half of the 14th century as a part of the city's fortifications. Burt also tours the Old Town with its fountain squares and painted buildings and the Jesuit Church - the first large scale Baroque church in Switzerland which was constructed in 1666.

The Matterhorn Region, Switzerland (Episode #314)

KQED Life: Sun, Nov 18, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt takes us on a helicopter tour of Switzerland's most beautiful Alpine peaks, discovers why glaciers form and why the earth will get warmer during the next four decades, no matter what. We ride the highest cogwheel railroad in Europe, go to the top of the Matterhorn and find out why people started climbing mountains in the first place, meet the dogs of St. Bernard, watch the championship battle of the fighting cows and hear the oldest playable organ in the world. We also get an introduction to the traditional foods and wines of the area.

Graubuenden, Switzerland (Episode #315)

KQED Life: Sat, Nov 17, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt finds out how avalanches are predicted, and takes us for a safe ride on the Bernina Express -one of the world's 10 best train trips. We learn the secrets of yodeling, cross the most dangerous mountain pass in the Alps, walk through the untouched forests of the Swiss National Park and tour St. Moritz-the original Alpine winter resort. Burt also visits one of the area's finest restaurants and gets the recipes for their most famous dishes.

Winter In Valais, Switzerland (Episode #403)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 16, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

The most mountainous region in Switzerland, the Valais has some of the highest peaks in Europe including the Matterhorn. Since the middle of the 1800s, the snow, the blue skies and Swiss hospitality have attracted tourists to this area. You'll see 24 of the world's best snowboarders drop down 10,000 feet of uncharted mountain, travel along with the Glacier Patrol as they race across the top of the Swiss Alps, learn the art of curling, discover the secrets of dog-sledding, tend the Dalai Lama's vineyard and take a train ride through some of the world's most beautiful country.

Winter In Lake Geneva Region, Switzerland (Episode #402)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

One of Europe's finest locations for a family winter holiday. You'll join Burt for a balloon trip over the snow covered Alps, meet a team of amazing skiers who specialize in making sports available to the handicapped, paraglide from the top of one of Switzerland's most famous mountains, and visit an ancient castle that's been turned into a museum for wine lovers and a restaurant for food lovers.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Boston, Massachusetts (Episode #401)

KQED Life: Wed, Nov 14, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

The first residents of Boston arrived in 1630 which gave the city an early start in our nation's history. Burt retraces some of the city's historic sites and tells us what really happened during the midnight ride of Paul Revere. You'll visit the first Dunkin Donut shop and see what their donuts once looked like, tour the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat, learn about the most complex highway construction project ever undertaken in the United States and find out who's cooking the best lobster and how.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Nov 14, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Graubuenden, Switzerland (Episode #315)

KQED Life: Tue, Nov 13, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt finds out how avalanches are predicted, and takes us for a safe ride on the Bernina Express -one of the world's 10 best train trips. We learn the secrets of yodeling, cross the most dangerous mountain pass in the Alps, walk through the untouched forests of the Swiss National Park and tour St. Moritz-the original Alpine winter resort. Burt also visits one of the area's finest restaurants and gets the recipes for their most famous dishes.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Tue, Nov 13, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

The Matterhorn Region, Switzerland (Episode #314)

KQED Life: Mon, Nov 12, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt takes us on a helicopter tour of Switzerland's most beautiful Alpine peaks, discovers why glaciers form and why the earth will get warmer during the next four decades, no matter what. We ride the highest cogwheel railroad in Europe, go to the top of the Matterhorn and find out why people started climbing mountains in the first place, meet the dogs of St. Bernard, watch the championship battle of the fighting cows and hear the oldest playable organ in the world. We also get an introduction to the traditional foods and wines of the area.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Mon, Nov 12, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Springfield, Illinois (Episode #1010)

KQED Plus: Sun, Nov 11, 2012 -- 2:30 PM

Burt takes us for a ride on America's great mother road, Route 66, and tells us how it transformed the way the world eats. We'll also discover the true origin of the corn dog, the filled dough nut, the horseshoe sandwich, root beer and Abraham Lincoln's favorite cake. We'll visit Abraham Lincoln's hometown and see what his personal life was really like.

The Lake Geneva Region, Switzerland (Episode #309)

KQED Life: Sun, Nov 11, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

As Burt guides us through the Lake Geneva Region of Switzerland we visit the top of one of Europe's highest glaciers, tour the Castle of Chillon - home of the Dukes of Savoy, and meet the only town crier still working in Switzerland. We also stop into a shop that reproduces Charlie Chaplin's shoes in chocolate, and discover the village that saved the music box.

Santa Fe, New Mexico (Episode #701)

KQED Life: Sat, Nov 10, 2012 -- 3:30 PM

For over 12,000 years, Native Americans have been living in the area around Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Spanish arrived in the 1600s and eventually the two cultures blended together to form one of the most interesting societies in America. In this program, we take a helicopter tour of some of the most beautiful parts of the Southwest, visit the oldest church in the United States, and discover how the native tribes used modern ledger paper to preserve their heroic legends and personal stories. We visit the Loretto Chapel and inspect its magic staircase, which appears to be totally unsupported. We travel through the Bandelier National Monument and see the remains of an ancient Pueblo community and take a look at a simple and inexpensive construction technique that will keep a house in good shape for hundreds of years.

Geneva, Switzerland (Episode #310)

KQED Life: Sat, Nov 10, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt takes us through Geneva, Switzerland, explaining the key role that the city played in the protestant reformation, how it became the watch-making center of the world and why it is the home of the United Nations. We discover how the International Red Cross got started, take a paddle wheel boat along the lakeside to look at the homes of some of the wealthiest people in the world and discover the rules for fondue eating.

The Swiss Mittelland (Episode #313)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 9, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Burt shows us where, how and why Sherlock Homes died at the height of his fame, takes a look at the most representative government in the world, visits the home of the wool-covered pigs, and discovers why some Swiss farmers painted fake windows on their homes. Burt also stops into a restaurant that has been in the same family for over 600 years and has over 600 corkscrews to open your wine.

Northwestern Switzerland (Episode #312)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 8, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt takes us to a 500-year-old divorce court, a 2000-year-old Roman kitchen, and a ferry that offers travelers a short course in philosophy as they cross the Rhine River. We take a look at Basil's carnival, learn why cookies are sold in tins, see how paper was first made and discover why calligraphy survived the invention of the printing press and the computer.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Nov 8, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Ticino, Switzerland (Episode #311)

KQED Life: Wed, Nov 7, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

The Italian speaking Ticino is the most southerly part of Switzerland and one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. Burt takes viewers on a helicopter tour of the ancient castles, visits a 1000 year old mystic church, rides the Centrovalli railroad into mountain villages that have become national treasures, presents the traditional foods of the region, tours the open markets, and guides us through the towns of Gandria, Locarno, Lugano, and Ascona.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Nov 7, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Geneva, Switzerland (Episode #310)

KQED Life: Tue, Nov 6, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt takes us through Geneva, Switzerland, explaining the key role that the city played in the protestant reformation, how it became the watch-making center of the world and why it is the home of the United Nations. We discover how the International Red Cross got started, take a paddle wheel boat along the lakeside to look at the homes of some of the wealthiest people in the world and discover the rules for fondue eating.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Tue, Nov 6, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

The Lake Geneva Region, Switzerland (Episode #309)

KQED Life: Mon, Nov 5, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

As Burt guides us through the Lake Geneva Region of Switzerland we visit the top of one of Europe's highest glaciers, tour the Castle of Chillon - home of the Dukes of Savoy, and meet the only town crier still working in Switzerland. We also stop into a shop that reproduces Charlie Chaplin's shoes in chocolate, and discover the village that saved the music box.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Mon, Nov 5, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

San Francisco, California (Episode #1009)

KQED Plus: Sun, Nov 4, 2012 -- 2:30 PM

San Francisco is a city whose present day gleam began with the discovery of glittering gold. The people who settled San Francisco came from all over the world and as they mixed together they established the traditions that make San Francisco what it is today. We'll look at the city's unique history, love of opulence and appreciation of good food.

Sonoma County (Episode #303)

KQED Life: Sat, Nov 3, 2012 -- 3:30 PM

Sonoma, California was the most northerly mission in the Spanish Mission system and the place where the United States took control of California from Mexico. Burt tours the county, explains its history and takes viewers to some of the area's most interesting sights, including the home of the garden wizard of North America, the redwood forest, the Russian River kayaking course, and the Jim Russell NASCAR drivers school. We get an overview of the area from a 1940 vintage biplane.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Sun, Nov 4, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

California's Gold Country (Episode #304)

KQED Life: Sat, Nov 3, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Within 5 years of the initial strike, over 50 billion dollars worth of gold was taken out of the hills near Sacramento, California. Burt takes us to the exact spot where the gold was found and explains how that gold funded The War Between the States, built the transcontinental railroad, and brought California into the Union. We tour Old Sacramento, visit the only remaining rural Chinese village in the United States, and find out why The Pony Express only lasted 18 months.

U.S. Virgin Islands (Episode #308)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 2, 2012 -- 8:30 AM

Columbus visited these islands during his second voyage and thought they were so beautiful that he named them after the 11,000 virgins of Saint Ursula. Burt tours the three major islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, explains why they are the freest free ports in the Caribbean, what to buy, what to eat, why Bluebeard's beard was blue, what are the advantages of a yacht charter vacation, what it's like to take a guided tour of a coral reef in a diver's helmet, and how to have a virtual wedding on the Internet.

Celebrating Christmas at Biltmore Estate (Episode #307)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 1, 2012 -- 12:30 AM

Burt returns to The Biltmore Estate for the second part of his investigation into our Christmas traditions. Why do we have Christmas Trees and why are they covered with electric lights? Who introduced the glass tree ornament and why? How did we get into the habit of wrapping our presents and what do they really symbolize? These and dozens of other Christmas customs are explained in this fascinating and surprising program.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Nov 1, 2012 -- 8:30 AM
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