Rundown for the week of December 26, 1998
Kitchen's large and small across the country are smoking from all the
holiday feasts. And the kitchen at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite
National Park could definitely use a break, as it's just finished
preparing the annual Bracebridge Dinner. It's an elaborate affair
that's been held almost every Christmas for the last 70 years. Famed
photographer Ansel Adams was one of the fouders of the lavish event,
that's complete with carolers, costumed characters and several
courses. I decided to find out how they prepare feasts in the forest.
Q & A I: Unique holiday customs
Rudy talks to listeners about unusual holiday traditions they've
observed in other countries.
Pico Iyer Interview
Pico Iyer is one of the most revered travel writers of our time. He's
journeyed the world covering distant places most of us have only read
about--Cuba, Vietnam, Ethiopa...Tibet-- he's even had an audience
with the Dalai Lama. But after having so many exotic experiences,
what corner of the globe does he find most inspiring? How does Pico
Iyer choose a place to call home? He joined us to answer those
questions and to talk about his latest book Tropical Classical, a
collection of essays about the places and people he's met on his
travels. But first I wanted to know...what moved him to start
traveling so intently, in the first place?
American Orient Express
I bet if we played word association with the phrase "Orient Express,"
you'd come up with "luxury," "mystery," "romance," "elegance." And
you'd probably think Europe. But the truth is you don't have to travel
to another continent. You can find luxury rail travel right here at
home on the American Orient Express. Judie Fein takes us along for the
Deal of the Week: Give the Gift of Travel
Q & A II -- General Questions
Rudy takes listeners' general questions about travel. He mentions:
Becoming a Travel Agent
- Airlines have changed their commission structure. Caps have been
placed on international as well as domestic commissions. Cruises and
tour packages aren't capped yet.
- Ther professional travel agent Rudy talked with is Susie Fisch from
McCord Travel in New York
Sailing Across the Atlantic
The general consensus was that sailing across the Atlantic is a rare
and unpleasant experience. Waters can be extremely rough. If still determined, it can be done.
Him Araiza at SailAway Yach
Charter Consultants in Miami had the following suggestions:
- Buy a sailing magazine and look in the classified section for
private boat owners looking for a crew and join them on their journey
- Only consider doing this if you've got a Jacques Cousteau
personality or if you're "one hell of a good, experienced yachtsman."
- Be extremely flexible in terms of when you can go and for how long.
A good resource is Steve Colgate of Offshore Sailing School Ltd.
Although the school itself doesn't organize trips, he's completed the
trip several times and might have some tips. His phone number is
Sights to See in Beijing
- The Forbidden City, so called because it was off-limits to commoners
for 500 years.
- The Old Summer Palace.
- Tiantan Park is the best example of Ming Architecture. The Hall of
Prayer for Good Harvests dominates the park, and its wooden pillars
support the ceiling without nails or cement, as if by magic (or really
- Chinese acrobats. The best place to catch a show is the Chaoyang
Theatre in Dongsanhuan Beilu.
- Chinese opera. Special performances for foreigners are put out
nightly in the Liyuan Theatre, which is part of the Qianmen Hotel. You
can also try the Chang'an Grand Theatre.
Christmas in England
For this holiday season, The Savvy Traveler's Karen Brown decided to
flee the hectic life of Philadelphia for a Christmas in the English
countryside. Searching for a rustic getaway, she and her husband
headed north to the country of Yorkshire, just a few hours from
Scotland. As we hear in this postcard, she stumbled on a scene from
the last century and learned that some old world traditions are alive
Next Week on The Savvy Traveler...
Maybe you'll resolve to be a better tipper when you hear, next week,
about what your concierge has to go through on a daily basis.
"Tickets to the theater, no problem. Ship a turtle to Germany, a snap
sir. You need somebody in a gorilla suit to sing happy birthday to
your spouse? Coming right up."
We'll find out what travel trends to expect in the new year, and we
take a journey to an unusual gathering place in Morroco.
"You might stroll past a fortune-teller with a weather-beaten set of
tarot cards or a dentist who's table is laden with previously
The exotic sounds of Marrakesh and the continued battle between
man...and carry-on luggage. That and more so please come along for
the ride in next week's edition of The Savvy Traveler.
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.
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