Rundown for the week of July 11th, 1998
"Naked" by David Sedaris
It's National Nude Week, and
playwright and author David Sedaris has hopped on board to help ease
our foray into Nude Recreation. Throughout today's journey Sedaris
reads from his essay "Naked" which is published in his anthology of
essays by the same name. So let's just jump right in and listen to
those terrifying few moments when David first drummed up the courage
to dive into a clothing optional vacation, and hear what insight he
gained from his nude perspective on everyday activities. "Naked" and
other Sedaris essays can be found in his book Naked, published
by Little Brown.
Iceland Swimming Pools
Before you join David by trading your
bathing suit for your birthday suit, see if you can answer this
question: In what country does Speedo sell the most swimsuits per
capita? You might be surprised at how far north you'd have to go to
find out. Would you believe Iceland? Yep, this tiny island nation,
home to around a quarter of a million people, sits in the warmth of
the Gulf Stream. With so much ocean around, swimming lessons are a
compulsory part of the school curriculum and more than half the
population regularly visits a swimming pool -- indoor and out, all
year 'round. And if you're a tourist in Iceland, as The Savvy
Traveler's Ellen Bikales recently was, you'll probably find the
swimming pool culture worth checking out.
Some Icelandic pools are in sports complexes any upscale U.S. suburb
would envy; others feature the natural elements of the countryside, a
dramatic volcanic landscape. In the desert of black sand around
Thorsadalur, workers building the geothermic power plants made a pool
out of leftover concrete. In Seljavellir, you have to hike to the
pool -- it wraps around base of a mountain, with a glacier above.
A booklet available at the tourist center in Reykjavik gives the
locations and generous hours of 120 pools; you can get a list by
region at http://www.travelnet.is/activities/swimming.shtml
most places, it costs 200 Icelandic kronur - about $3 - to swim, and
you can rent a swimsuit, buy goggles or borrow shampoo at the front
desk of most pools. They insist that you take a shower and scrub well
- sans suit - before entering the pool. But if you want to leave the
suit in the dressing room altogether, that's okay. This is Scandinavia
Q & A I -- Best Beaches
Rudy hears listeners' nominations for
the best beach in the world from Copacabana to Key West.
All right, you may be a bit squeamish about
all this naked talk today, but think about this...nude recreation goes
all the way back to the first Olympic Games in Greece. Those athletes
didn't think anything of competing in the buff . And it's never been
a big deal for European women go topless on the beach. Nudism in the
U.S. actually dates all the way back to the '20s, but its popularity
has really taken off -- no pun intended -- in the 90s. Matter of
fact, it was only a couple of years ago that Forbes Magazine
released statistics saying that nude recreation was one of the fastest
growing segments of the travel industry. So what's the big appeal? We
went straight to the source for an answer: Susan Weaver is the
secretary and spokesperson for the American Association of Nude
Recreation, the oldest of its kind in the country with about 50,000
members. Susan dropped by to tell us why less ... is better. The
organization's web site: www.aanr.com
Deal of the Week
Korean Air: Los Angeles to Seoul round trip
Plus, bargains on new routes: ATA's (American Trans-Air)
service from LaGuardia to Chicago Midway and Spain's Iberia announces
new flights from Chicago to Madrid.
Q & A II -- General Questions
Rudy takes listeners' general
questions about travel. He mentions:
Relaxing, hiking, biking, and swimming in a
warm place...this used to be the Dole pineapple island. The original
place to stay was the Hotel Lanai'i: 808-565-7211.
Spas in the Midwest
Grand Geneva on Lake Geneva,
International Spa and Hotel in Cleveland:
Montreal Comedy Festival
If you haven't had enough laughs
today then you should think about heading to Montreal's International
Comedy Festival. The 12-day humor bash, called "Just for Laughs"
begins July 15 and is considered to be the Cannes of Comedy. Festival
alumni include some of the greats: Lily Tomlin, Drew Carey, Jay Leno,
Bob Newhart, Jerry Seinfeld. This year's line-up offers 110 comics
from 11 countries including South Africa, South Korea, Australia and
New Zealand. The Savvy Traveler's Judith Ritter is in Montreal's Latin
Quarter, the site of this year's gathering.
Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
We'll hear from one woman who hitchhiked her way through Vietnam, and
she actually got started on a dare. Despite the fact that she was
arrested many times, and endured a lot of physical discomfort, Karin
Muller's eyes were opened to a world she would never have fathomed:
"The intriguing thing about Vietnam is that almost everything is
illegal, but virtually everything is possible."
An uninhibited trek through an elusive land, in Muller's story of
Hitchhiking Vietnam. And closer to home, we'll visit a real
castle in...Connecticut. It was built by the eccentric actor, William
Gillette, who pioneered the role of Sherlock Holmes on the stage:
"When Gillette took on the role, he created what we know today. He
brought in the deerstalker cap, the Inverness cape, uh, he actually
wrote the line, 'Elementary, my dear Watson.' You won't find that in
any of the Doyle books."
A trip to Gillette Castle, plus a city in Mexico that's been
designated an International Cultural Treasure. Plus, as always, Rudy's
Deal of the Week, and we're hearing your stories about the worst seat
mate you've had on the road....
That and more in next week's voyage with the Savvy Traveler. I hope
you'll join us.
For tapes of the show...
If you want your very own copy of
The Savvy Traveler, order an audio cassette. It's easy. Just call
303-823-8000. The price is $15. As Rudy says, it's a steal.