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.
Italy's Veneto & Dolomites (#306) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Tue, Jul 22, 2014 -- 9:30am
Prague & Budapest (#307) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Jul 23, 2014 -- 9:30am
Stockholm & Sweden (#308) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Thu, Jul 24, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Oslo & Norway (#309) Duration: 26:47 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jul 25, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Bologna & Emilia Romagna (#305) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Sat, Jul 26, 2014 -- 4:00pm email reminder
France's Champagne Region (#310) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Mon, Jul 28, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
France's Normandy (#311) Duration: 26:45 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Tue, Jul 29, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Medieval Europe (#312) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Jul 30, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Four Great Cities of Europe (#313) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Thu, Jul 31, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Bath and South Wales (#401) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Aug 1, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Edinburgh and Scotland (#402) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Mon, Aug 4, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Barcelona and Costa Brava (#403) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Tue, Aug 5, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Madrid (#404) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Aug 6, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Carcassonne and the Pyrenees (#405) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Thu, Aug 7, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Bordeaux and the Dordogne (#406) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Aug 8, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Switzerland and the Alps (#407) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Mon, Aug 11, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Alpine Christmas (#408) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Tue, Aug 12, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Out of Rome (#409) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
We leave the eternal city behind by way of the famous Appian Way to explore the environs of Rome. First it's the majesty of Emperor Hadrian's villa and the wine and lakes of the Alban Hills. Next, it's south to the ancient seaport of Ostia, Rome's Pompeii. Along the way we watch olive oil pressing, stop at the ancient's favorite beach and visit a medieval hilltop town. Tips on tasting olive oil and navigating Rome's ring road.
- KQED Life: Wed, Aug 13, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Croatia's Dalmatian Coast (#410) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Europe's best kept secret, the Croatian coast of Dalmatia dazzles with stunning white stone cities and azure waters. We begin in Dubrovnik, then island hop up the coast, snorkeling, swimming, sunning and reveling in the scenery. In Split we visit a Roman emperor's palace and make excursions to ruins, timeless towns and fortresses. Tips on boating, food and driving.
- KQED Life: Thu, Aug 14, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Four Great Cities II (#411) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
We can jet to Europe in a day and visit four cities in less than a week. It's great to take your time but sometimes you only have a day to visit. How can you be part of the international jet set and still get a taste of "old" Europe? This time Smart Travels takes viewers on a whirlwind tour of four cities that represent a bit of the old and bit of the new in Europe. Rudy shows viewer how to get the most out of one-day visits to Copenhagen, Berlin, Munich, and Rome. Tips on maximizing travel memories from a 24-hour stay in a European big city.
- KQED Life: Fri, Aug 15, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Europe Just for Fun (#412) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
As more travelers return to Europe for multiple visits, many are on the lookout for another dimension in travel. Occasionally they want to skip historical sights and museums in favor of a trip-or a day- just for fun. They're ready for absolute R&R; looking to break up serious sightseeing with hot-air-balloon trips, mountain luge rides, country hikes or days at an amusement park. They're seeking new adventures in Europe-flights of fancy-spiced with great meals and local libations of course. This time, Rudy shares his personal picks of Europe Just for Fun.
- KQED Life: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
A Music Lover's Europe (#413) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
For a totally different view of Europe, Rudy shows smart travelers how to organize a trip around a theme. Rudy discovers surprising and fresh takes on Europe as he sets out on a music lover's tour. Winning, live performances by the Sicilian folk band Diascouri, and by Groupo Emiliano, a zany, classically-trained quartet from Emilia Romagna, are the backbone of this offbeat trip. But performance is just the start. Rudy visits folkdance groups in Greece, Sweden and Norway and delights in the classics in Italy and Austria. And everywhere, the music provides a backdrop for enthralling local scenery and engaging local stories. Tips on organizing a trip around a theme.
- KQED Life: Tue, Aug 19, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Maui and Hawaii's Big Island (#501) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Aug 20, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Oahu and Kauai (#502) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Thu, Aug 21, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
San Francisco (#503) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Seattle (#504) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Vancouver & Victoria, British Columbia (#505) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
As Canada's door to the Pacific Rim, Vancouver is a vibrant mix of European heritage and Asian cultures. In this vital, young and dynamic city Rudy explores the mix of cultures that inspires world-class cuisine, a spirited night life and modern Asian shopping centers. Nature is ever present and Rudy visits a temperate rainforest and rides a gondola to the top of a mountain just minutes from downtown. A spectacular ferry ride to Victoria brings Rudy to a bastion of British Heritage where he enjoys afternoon tea, visits the beautiful Butchart Gardens and dines on seaweed plucked from the seashore.
- KQED Life: Tue, Aug 26, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Shanghai (#506) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
China's new powerhouse, Shanghai dazzles with fantastic skyscrapers, non-stop shopping and delicious dining. From traditional Tai Chi in the parks and teahouses to market madness and tumbling acrobats, Rudy explores tradition and modernity in this burgeoning city. Excursions to the gardens of Suzhou and the canal town Zhouzhuang bring the ancient past alive. Tips on getting around and eating well.
- KQED Life: Wed, Aug 27, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Hong Kong (#507) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
We get a Pacific Rim rush when we visit energetic, ever-changing Hong Kong. On a famous Star Ferry, Rudy savors one of the most majestic skylines on earth. Here, where ancient tradition cozies up to ultramodern, we take in monasteries, Chinese herbs and a city obsessed with shopping. The island of Lantau features one of the world's largest statues of Buddha. And in the fishing village of Sai Kung, Rudy feasts on freshly caught seafood. Tips on markets and feng shui.
- KQED Life: Thu, Aug 28, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder
Sydney (#508) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Australia's stunning metropolis, Sydney seduces with its glorious harbor, carefree attitude and sunny beaches. From the Opera house to the Harbor Bridge to Circular Quay Rudy basks in the sights along the harbor. Then, it's pub hopping in the old Rocks quarter, admiring aboriginal art, and a watery adventure at the aquarium. Excursions take us surfing at Bondi beach and exploring the cliffs and rainforests of the Blue Mountains. Tips on eating well and best beaches.
- KQED Life: Fri, Aug 29, 2014 -- 9:30am email reminder