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Rundown for the week of February 6, 1999

Vanishing Singapore
Sitting just one degree north of the equator, a short trip from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, lies the tiny and very prosperous city state of Singapore. But along the route to economic success, small neighborhoods were bulldozed, English became the main language of instruction and many traditions of the three main cultures, Chinese, Indian and Malay, disappeared. But if you look carefully you can find traces of the original Singapore slipped into the crevices between the skyscrapers. The Savvy Traveler's Judith Ritter sought out the chaotic...the slightly unsanitized Singapore... and found it in vibrant Malaysian, Indian and Chinese neighborhoods that stand out as low colorful strips agains the backdrop of soaring office towers and hotels.

Q&A I: Cheapskate Tips
Rudy talks to listeners about ways they've saved money while traveling.

Rick Ridgeway Interview
Rick is one of the world's foremost mountaineers. In 1978 he became the first American to reach the summit of K2 in Nepal without the aid of bottled oxygen. His latest adventure, a safari across Africa, may seem tame by comparison until you consider how he did it. Rick walked side-by-side with lions, elephants and buffalo across the African wilderness. With a guide, Rick began by climbing Kilimanjaro, then headed down the East face across the Savo region of Kenya to the Indian Ocean. The walk took about 30 days. I asked Rick to describe some of what he saw along the way.

The Open Road: Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Each year, during the last week of January, Elko fills up with tourists and cowboys. They come from all over the world to ground themselves in the old ways of the West at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The Open Road's Hal Cannon is the father of this event and this year, he and his wife Teresa Jordan, take us on an insider's tour.

Deal of the Week
American in Paris could take on a new meaning this coming Valentine's Day. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: There's nothing more romantic than surprising a lover with a travel adventure. And this month, American Airlines is putting one of the world's most romantic places in the world on sale: where else but Paris!

Fly out of cities along the East Coast--from Miami up to Boston--and you'll pay only $219 round trip per person. Heck, I've had bad Valentine dinners that cost more than that. Leaving from the midwest? Only 239 round trip from cities like Chicago and Minneapolis. Even if you're on the West Coast, a ticket is only 299 from, say San Diego or LA. Now, you have to fly over on a Wednesday or a Thursday and return on a Monday or Tuesday before March the second. You can't stay longer than a week, and you have to book your reservations on American's web site by next Friday, the 12th. Click on aa.com, and say "Bonjour" to Paris!

North Dakota Interview
Usually around this time in the show Rudy answers listener's travel questions, but this week he thought he'd ask some questions so that we could find out a little more about North Dakota and why it's worth visiting. We talked to the state's governor, Governor Edward Schafer about things to do in North Dakota.

Governor Schafer recommends:

  • International Peace Garden on the North Dakota-Manitoba border
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park, near Medora
  • Medora Musical, nightly in the park's Burning Hills Amphitheatre from mid-June through Labor Day
  • Rough Riders Gallery, in Bismarck
  • World's Largest Buffalo, a three-story, 60-ton concrete structure overlooking I-94 in Jamestown
  • National Buffalo Museum, also in Jamestown 701-252-8648
  • And don't forget the state is gearing up for the 2004 bicentennial celebration of Lewis and Clark.

More North Dakota information:

  • Visit the website for tourism information or call 800-HELLO-ND.
  • North Dakota Heritage Center 701-328-2666
  • Scandinavian Heritage Center 701-852-9161
  • Lewis and Clark Trail Museum 701-828-3595
  • Lewis and Clark State Park 701-859-3071

Icelandic Air: Last Flight to Luxembourg
Baby boomers who came of age in the `60s and `70s have fond memories of Icelandic Airlines. It was the original low-cost carrier to Europe, except it only flew into the tiny country of Luxembourg, after a middle-of-the-night stop in Iceland. Today, the airline still stops in Iceland en route to the continent. But now it serves six cities in the U.S. and nine cities in Europe. Last month, it closed down its Luxembourg route, marking the end of an era. The Savvy Traveler's Richard Basch was aboard the last flight out of the grand duchy.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
We'll find out just how an airline chooses its films. And according to the airline powers-that-be, it has nothing to do with cold, hard cash.

"It's strickly an entertainment decision. There's not the profit incentive here."

Yeah...whatever. Well, we'll let them convince us next week. And you may have dreamed of the wineries of France and Napa Valley, but how about South Africa? Next week we explore that country's vineyards, and even learn how to make a toast like a local.

"(Clink of glasses) Gesundheit. To your health. Do you say gesundheit when you sneeze? Yes, absolutely. Does that lead to any confusion between drinking and sneezing?"

And as the wine gets us into the Valentine's Day spirit, we'll tell stories of unexpected trysts on the road. All 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.

The Savvy Traveler Newsletter
The Savvy Traveler newsletter is now available. For more information, call toll-free, 888-SAV-TRAV (888-728-8728), extension 3, or e-mail mail@savvytraveler.org.

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