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.
Queensland, Australia (#509) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Sun-washed beaches, chic beachside towns, cliffs and rainforests and one of the seven natural wonders of the world, The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland is the ultimate outdoor adventure. We begin north of Brisbane along the sunshine coast, exploring sand dune covered islands, coastal towns and parks. Then we fly north to Cairns, the gateway to the coral, multicolored sea life and azure waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Tips on avoiding poisonous creatures and diving.
New Zealand's South Island (#510) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The South Island of New Zealand weaves Kiwi culture with scenic splendor. The vast vineyards of Marlborough helped bring this country's wines to the world stage. At a local artists' colony, Rudy gets a crash course in Maori bone carving. The breathtaking city of Queenstown draws adventure enthusiasts from around the world. We brave white-water rapids on river boards and ride a hot air balloon for soaring views of "Lord of the Rings" country. Tips on Maori crafts and eating mussels.
- KQED Life: Tue, Sep 1, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
New Zealand's North Island (#511) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
With spectacular seismic activity, fascinating plant and animal life, and to-die-for natural beauty, New Zealand is a traveler's dream. In the Bay of Islands, Rudy kayaks along the North's most glorious coastline. A Maori guide shows us where local tribes signed a controversial treaty with European settlers. Known as the country's bread basket, Hawke's Bay offers bike rides through fruit and olive groves, and a town with one of the highest concentrations of art deco buildings in the world. Tips on oyster shucking and olive oil.
- KQED Life: Wed, Sep 2, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
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.
Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta (#512) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Guadalajara is alive with the music of mariachis, flowers, colonial architecture, and passionate artists. Rudy explores the rich history and culture of "The Most Mexican of Cities." Art and artists are an important part of Guadalajara and Rudy takes it all in from the papier-mache pinatas to the dramatic murals of Orozco. Rudy tours a tequila factory, learns about margaritas and samples the best of traditional Mexican cooking. Then it's an easy hop to the coast where Puerto Vallarta's traditional charm still survives next to its new resorts.
Mexico City and Ixtapa (#513) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Mexico City, the world's largest metropolis, is modern, crowded, cosmopolitan, and steeped in tradition. Rudy begins with Mexico's ancient roots just outside the city at pre-Aztec Teotihuacan. The superb National Museum of Anthropology provides more insights into ancient Mexico. For modern day excitement, we hang out at the Zocolo, the world's second largest square and the center of national life since the Aztec era. Finally we head beach-ward to the resorts of Ixtapa- Zihuatanejo on the Mexican Riviera. Tips on getting around and water sports.
- KQED Life: Fri, Sep 4, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
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.
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.
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.
Naples and the Amalfi Coast (#101) Duration: 28:30 STEREO TVG
Naples is an ideal launching point for exploring the ancient city of Pompeii and the devastation of Mount Vesuvius. Trek across a still-active volcano, then to stylish Sorrento, sample luscious gelato and hop a ferry to the isle of Capri. Take in spectacular views along the thrilling Amalfi coast and further south visit Paestum, home to the best Greek ruins outside of Greece.
- KQED Life: Wed, Sep 30, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
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.
Rome (#102) Duration: 28:18 STEREO TVG
Rudy is in the city where all roads lead - Roma. We begin in ancient Rome - the Forum, Palatine Hill, Colosseum, and Baths of Caracalla. Then we explore modern Roman life on the streets and in cafes, pizzerias and gelaterias. We detour to another country, Vatican City, then shop along the Corso and relax at the Piazza di Spagna. Rudy's pick for best city walks are a tour of the historic center and a stroll in shady Trastevere. Tips on getting around and places for tasty snacks.
Venice (#103) Duration: 28:37 STEREO TVG
Join Rudy as he surrenders himself to the charms of magical Venice. We tour the famous sites - Piazza San Marco, the fairy tale Basilica of San Marco and the Rialto Bridge. Rudy also shows us how to escape the crowds by visiting the neighborhoods of Dorsoduro, Cannaregio and San Polo. Along the way, he takes us for a rousing drink at the city's oldest wine bar, on a dreamy gondola ride and to a traditional Venetian mask shop. In search of hand blown glass, lace and the birthplace of Venice, we journey to the lagoon islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Tips on how to navigate your way around this watery city.
- KQED Life: Fri, Oct 2, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
Genoa and the Italian Riviera (#104) Duration: 28:46 STEREO TVG
We're off to the Italian Riviera seeking la dolce vita in one of the world's most romantic places. With death-defying cliffs and beaches that shimmer like jewels, the Riviera is as stunning a coastline as anywhere in Europe. In the port town of Genoa, we tour palaces for a taste of old-world elegance and dine on world-class pesto. Then we head south to the famous resort of Portofino and the sea cliff towns of the Cinqueterre. Finally, we battle vertigo at Pisa's leaning tower. Tips on using train passes and finding addresses.
- KQED Life: Tue, Oct 6, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
Florence (#105) Duration: 28:18 STEREO TVG
In this glorious city, rich in art, Rudy brings the Renaissance to life. We visit the great museums - the Uffizi, Bargello, and Accademia, as well as the landmarks of the Renaissance - the Duomo, Bapistery and Giotto's Tower. Rudy's tip for beating the crowds is peaceful Oltr'arno on the other side of the river. An excursion outside of town leads to a Medici villa, a sleepy Tuscan town and a museum with inventions by Leonardo da Vinci. Tips on shopping and how to buy quality leather products.
Hill Towns of Tuscany and Umbria (#106) Duration: 28:18 STEREO TVG
Castles, vineyards, walled cities and a fierce medieval rivalry that lingers today - we're out for an adventure in the Italian hill towns. Our base is dramatic Siena, home of the intensely competitive Palio horse race. From Siena we explore the multi-towered town of San Gimignano, watch grapes being harvested at a winery and drop in on the cheese festival in Pienza. Then south to Rudy's secret pick - the haunting hill towns of Pitigliano and Sovana. In Umbria we discover Etruscan tombs, visit the home of St. Francis of Assisi and pick up some pottery in quaint Gubbio. Tips on driving through the maze-like streets of a hill town and finding a place to stay.
Provence (#107) Duration: 28:18 STEREO TVG
Sun, olive trees and cicadas - we're in the heart of France. With our base in the sleepy town of St. Remy, we make forays into the villages, countryside and cities of Provence. Driving tours of the Alpilles and Luberon regions take us to the red rock village of Rousillion, the lavender ensconced Abbey of Senanque, and the picture perfect village of Eygalieres. We also take in the delights of Provence's cities, Arles, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. We end our adventures with a dip in the Mediterranean at the seaside village of Cassis. Tips on how to rent a vacation home in France and enjoying the many summer festivals.
- KQED Life: Fri, Oct 9, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
Paris (#108) Duration: 28:39 STEREO TVG
Rudy escorts us through Paris, the city of style, art and pastries. We experience extraordinary art - the Impressionist collection at the Musee D'Orsay and the garden sculpture at the Rodin Museum. Then we hit the sites from Notre Dame to the Pompidou Center to the Eiffel Tower. We stroll through the parks, markets and cafes in this city where everyday life is art. Rudy leads us to intimate neighborhoods such as the Marais and its lovely Place des Vosges, the bohemian Latin Quarter and artistic Montmartre. Tips on riding the Metro and shopping for the essentials - bread, cheese, ham and pastries.
London (#109) Duration: 28:19 STEREO TVG
London is a city that has come close to ruling the world. With a legacy that includes Shakespeare and the Beatles, London seems to have an endless capacity to reinvent itself. Here, we sip tea and savor traditional sights such as Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard. We pop in to see where Charles Dickens penned Oliver Twist, and get a bird's-eye view of contemporary London from the new London Eye observation wheel. Finally, we check out cutting edge artwork at the newly opened Tate Modern Art Museum. Tips on using cell phones and cash machines.
Out of London (#110) Duration: 28:18 STEREO TVG
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.
Belgium (#111) Duration: 28:31 STEREO TVG
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: Fri, Oct 16, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
Amsterdam and the Netherlands (#112) Duration: 28:18 STEREO TVG
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.
Copenhagen and Denmark (#113) Duration: 27:37 STEREO TVG
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.
Athens and Delphi (#201) Duration: 27:47 STEREO TVG
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: Thu, Oct 22, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
Greek Islands (#202) Duration: 27:47 STEREO TVG
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: Fri, Oct 23, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
French Riviera (#203) Duration: 27:47 STEREO TVG
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: Tue, Oct 27, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
Ireland's West Coast (#301) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
We're blessed with a bit of Irish luck as we take on Ireland's ruggedly beautiful west coast. We start in Galway, Europe's fastest-growing city, shopping for Irish crystal and Celtic jewelry. Then it's a salt-sprayed boat trip to the fabled Aran Islands, where we reach breathless heights at a Stone Age fort and ferret out traditional hand-knit sweaters. Heading south, we pass through the eerie landscape of the Burren, sample the best of Irish folk music, and binge on a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle. In the lush forests of Killarney, we visit the country manor of Muckross before touring the stunning Dingle Peninsula. Tips on renting bicycles.
France's Burgundy and Loire Regions (#204) Duration: 27:48 STEREO TVG
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: Wed, Oct 28, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
Dublin and Beyond (#302) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Irish eyes are smiling when we explore Dublin, Ireland's urban core. There's history around every corner, and Dublin delights with Trinity College, the Book of Kells, the famous Guinness Brewery, and the infamous Kilmainham jail where Irish rebels spent their last days. We liberally sample pub life while tapping our toes to traditional music, and follow in the footsteps of famous Irish writers on a literary pub-crawl. Beyond Dublin, we find inspiration in the hillsides of Glendalough, site of Ireland's revered monastery, and the Hill of Tara, home of the ancient Irish kings. A side trip to Northern Ireland's best folk park brings the Eire of yesteryear to life. Tips on visiting Dublin's literary sites.
Berlin (#205) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
With world-class cultural sites, dynamic new architecture and unstoppable energy, Berlin is a city on the move. We visit the museums - the ancient treasures of the Pergamon and the Egyptian museum, German Expressionism at the Neue Nationalgalerie and the newly designed Jewish Museum. From dynamic Potzdamer Platz to the stark reminders at Checkpoint Charlie, we feel the past and see the future in Berlin. Our base is the luxurious and historical Hotel Adlon. Even shopping in Berlin brings history with it-we shop and snack at the fabulous KaDeWe department store. An outing to Potsdam takes in the Prussian past. Tips on touring this historic city, and best beers.
- KQED Life: Thu, Oct 29, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me
Germany's Romantic Road (#303) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
Munich and Bavaria (#206) Duration: 27:48 STEREO TVG
Munich's lively Marienplatz pulses with outdoor cafes, shoppers, street musicians and happy tourists. At the famous Hofbrauhaus, we sample Bavarian beer and kick up our heels with Schuhplattler dancers clad in lederhosen. Next stop is the Residenz, the family palace built by the Wittlesbachs, who ruled Bavaria for more than 700 years. Just outside of town, a sobering visit to Dachau concentration camp reminds us of the dark side of Germany's past. Then, we move on to lighter vistas-a trip into the mountains takes us to "Mad" King Ludwig's fairytale castle Neuschwanstein and on an exhilarating luge ride. Tip: Finding Bavaria's best beer gardens.
- KQED Life: Fri, Oct 30, 2015 -- 9:30am Remind me