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Rundown for the week of January 30, 1999

St. Martin
Picture turquoise waters under an azure sky with the sun gleaming off pristine white sand. And picture this scene far, far away from the insanity of your life...or my life if yours is pretty tame. Just imagine...nothing to do but read that book you've been meaning to get to, while lying on the beach sipping a tropical- looking drink. Oh, maybe you'll meander into your cabana to take a refreshing nap, but that's about all the energy you're going to expend for the day. Sound appealing? Wesley Weissberg thought so too and was prepared for the perfect trip. Unfortunately, she was in for a few unexpected surprises.

Q&A I:
Rudy talks to listeners about their best skiing or snowboarding experience

The BeachInterview
It's around this time of the year that many of us fantasize about getting back to the beach. But did you know there was a time that the beach wasn't considered a place to hang out and relax. The ancient Greeks saw the sea as potentially dangerous with sea monsters waiting at the bottom. And in the 18th century British physicians mainly found the sea useful in the wintertime...it was good, they thought, for one's constitution.

"The Brits were very fashionably suffering from melancholy then and somehow this experience of being thrust into the November waters of the North Sea seemed to offer an instant cure"

That's Lena Lenck, a self-proclaimed beach aficionado. She and her partner Gideon Bosker have written a book called, The Beach: A History of Paradise on Earth. The two of them joined me recently to talk about one of the world's favorite leisure activities...hanging out at the beach.

Picabo Street Interview
We're heading back to the mountains and talking to a professional skier, Picabo Street. You might remember; she won a gold medal in the Nagano Olympics last year and a silver back in '94. She shared some of her memorable skiing experiences.

Down south it's football that's been getting all the attention. 140- thousand people, three- thousand reporters, and ninety football players converged in Miami this week for Superbowl XXIII between the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons. And not everyone went to watch the game. Pippin Ross was there to observe the perennial madness.

Deal of the Week
This one's for full-time students or anyone under 26. It's a great price for a British Airways package to England, Scotland, and Wales beginning this spring.

The deal includes not only airfare, but also lodging at hostels or budget hotels. Plus you get a Britrail pass so you can take a train anywhere you want to go. Think about it: roaming around Britain on your own schedule. There are several variations on the deal depending on when you travel and how long you want to stay. For example, you can depart from the New York and spend seven nights in the U.K. Packages start at only $769 in the spring and fall, $100 more in the summer. All you have to pay for is your food and the occasional pint of bitters.

There are airfare surcharges from some cities--leaving from Denver will cost another $120, for example. $190 more from the West Coast.

Q&A II: General Questions
Rudy takes listeners' general questions about travel. He mentions:

Traveling to Dijon and Lyon, France

  • In Dijon, the Hotel Wilson offers double rooms starting under $100. Call +33-03-80-67-74-64.

  • The Rhone Valley, where Lyon is located, offers both the Burgundy and Beaujolais regions to sample.

  • Chambres Gilles Barge is a comfortable family hotel hidden above a tasting cellar . Breakfast is included, but be sure to ask far in advance to get one of the four rooms. The rooms run for less than $50. Call +33-74-56-13-90.

  • Or try the Hotel Globe et Cecil near the Bellecour. Centrally located and comfortable, the added bonus is the extremely attentive staff. Rooms are about $110 for a double. Phone +33-4-78-42-58-95.

Covering Scrabble Championship in Australia

  • Contact information for Quantas corporate offices:
    Attention: Howard Goldberg
    841 Apollo Street
    Suite 400
    El Segundo, CA 90245

Revisiting Displaced Persons Camp in Italy and Shtetl in Poland

  • Call the Polish National Tourist Office in New York for a list of travel agencies that offer Jewish genealogical trips to Poland and Europe. Phone 212-338-9412.

  • Orbis offers and eight-day Jewish Heritage Program with four nights in Warsaw and two in Krakow, with optional side trips to various Jewish historical sites. Prices range from $1000 and $1400 (including airfare), but tours can be arranged individually. Call 800-876-7247.

  • Isram World of Travel offers a 16-day, 14-night tour which includes Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Prices range from $2950 to $3199 per person. They also have shorter tours and can arrange different itineraries for you. Phone: 800-223-7460.

  • To find out more about researching Jewish genealogy in general, call the Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives in Washington, D.C. at 202-488-0400.

  • If you have web access, finding your family's shtetl in Poland has become much easier. Start out at www.JewishGen.org and you'll find maps and information as well as contacts for study groups and tours to Eastern Europe. On this website there's a section called ShtetlSeeker that will help you plot where the town is.

The Open Road: Cowboy Poetry Postcard
If you're a Cowboy with a hankerin' for poetry, then that might be what you're feeling as you prepare for the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Eight-thousand people are descending on the small town for the festival this year, and as it does every time, the event draws a stampede of cowboy poets, musicians and tourists from all over the U.S. and abroad.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
For something really exotic, how `bout a trip to the African wilderness? And we're not just talkin' your average safari. We'll hear of one man's adventure on foot! No jeep, no hut...just the great outdoors...and a few creatures milling around.

"There's no way I can outrun this elephant. It's closing fast. Straight at us with an astonishingly silent intent".

Author Rick Ridgeway reads from his book The Shadow of Kilimanjaro...we'll find out how he made it out in one piece. We'll also take a trip to Asia in search of the Hidden treasures of Singapore. And we're hearing your tips for saving a few travel bucks. That and more in next week's journey with 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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