ShowsBefore You GoBulletin BoardContactAboutSearch
Show and Features |
Culture Watch | Question of the Week | Letters of the Week |
Traveler's Aid | Library | Host's View

Rundown for the week of May 1, 1999

In Northern Ireland the fragile peace seems to be holding, so is it now safe to pack your bags and go exploring a place that for decades has been known as the land of troubles? And if you do go, what's there to see? The Savvy Traveler's Martin Stott ventured to Belfast to investigate.

Q&A I: Road Music
Rudy talks to listeners about their favorite songs to listen to while traveling. Here are some suggestions from listeners:

  • Erik Winter of Hampstead, Maryland: Themes from "Jurassic Park" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
  • Joan Turner of Bensalem, Pennsylvania: Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring
  • Laura Frankforter: Indigo Girls and Dixie Chicks
  • Steve Van Der Meer of Fort Collins, Colorado: Theme song from "The Magnificent Seven."
  • Stewart Reed: "Radar Love" by Golden Earring. Also, Don Henley's "Building the Perfect Beast."

  • Buzz Aldrin Interview
    When Buzz Aldrin and Neil Amstrong took a stroll on the moon in July of 1969, we could scarcely believe that human beings were blasting off into the stars. Their bravery ignited our hopes and dreams for worlds beyond the boundries of planet earth. Today, we're a little jaded...no longer surprised by a rocket launch. But what if anyone...you, your neighbor, mother, best friend, could take a trip to the moon? Buzz Aldrin thinks it could happen. Matter of fact, he's got his own organization, Starcraft Enterprises, through which he lectures and travels throughout the world to share ideas about the future of civilian space travel. He's also chairs both the National Space Society and the ShareSpace Foundation, which is a private program.

    Millennium Watch
    From the once-in-a-lifetime department, I give you: the year 2000 and this week's Millenium Watch. The computer world may be calling it Y-2-K, but for travelers, it's more like "Why NOT 2K?" Why not pay 2K, that is -- if not more -- for a flight, a cruise, a nightly hotel room rate...I mean, when are you going to get another chance to ring in the year 2000? This once-in-a-lifetime- thing seems to be a ticket to splurge, so travel planners are thinking big--HUGE, actually with prices to match. So if you've got a few thousand extra to spend on the triple-zeros, maybe one of these trips is for you.

    Silversea is offering Millennium Cruises that let passengers count-down in Fiji, then sail across the International Date Line, then back to celebrate all over again. You're looking at a starting price of $30,000 per person. If you prefer to celebrate in the skies, you can fly around the world on a chartered Concorde flight. There's a three-week millennium safari, through Africa, for $40,000, or an 18-day Around- the-World trip which includes Sydney, Hong Kong, and Cairo, for $75,000 ... about twice as much as the usual around-the-world package.

    Heck, you can break the bank just by staying on the ground. There are luxury manors and even castles available for rent in England, Scotland, and Wales for $23,000 a week. As for hotels, the Ritz-Carlton offers what it oh-so-humbly calls the "Ultimate Experience," reserved for just one couple at each of its properties. Get a load of this: you get the hotel's premier suite, private dining room, 18 karat gold watches, a Jaguar to drive for the weekend, a private 24-hour butler ... the list goes on. How much? How does 100 grand hit you?

    And if you want to be the biggest spender, you can just head to that traditional favorite, New York City's Times Square, where you'll find the conveniently named Millennium Broadway Hotel. Take up their offer of renting out the entire place to ring in 2000: three nights, three million bucks.

    Travel with Kids
    Here, the future and the past come together. When The Savvy Traveler's Pippin Ross was a young girl, her parents took her and her best friend on a trip to Washington D.C. Her memories of the nation's capitol have always provided a graceful backdrop to her most cynical feelings about government. She recently took her son and his best friend to Washington D.C. and saw that all the grandeur and history still have a profound effect.

    Deal of the Week
    There's never been a better time to visit Asia. It's nearly summer, so the weather is just right. And the continent's stubborn economic difficulties mean drastically reduced hotels and airfare.

    Just take a look at this new package deal from United Airlines. Travel from the West Coast to Hong Kong, round-trip, spend five nights in one of the Mandarin Oriental group's luxury hotels--and I mean luxury--for only $999. You can depart from other U.S. cities for about $50 more.

    This is one amazing offer. Once, nine-ninety nine was considered a steal in airfare. And you couldn't stay five nights in a Mandarin hotel for half that. Now you get the airfare AND the hotel room. Plus 5,000 bonus miles. Combined with the regular miles you'll earn for flying across the Pacific, you'll almost have enough for a free round-trip ticket domestically on United. Even airport transfer is provided. All you have to do is have fun in one of the world's great cities. The small print: Travel Monday through Thursday. Offer good from May first 'til December 31st. Call United for details.

    Hong Kong at an incredible price--that's my Deal of the Week!

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

    Summer Travel to Costa Rica
    • The Costa Rica Handbook by Moon Publications has a full list of tour agencies that serve Costa Rica.
    • The Monte Verde Cloud Forest Reserve includes both slopes of Tilaran Mountain and protects many species.
    • Poas Volcano is one of the deepest active volcanoes in the world and its second crater, now a lake, is also well worth the hike.
    • Pleasure Break Vacation has been offering airfare to either Guanacaste region or Quepos Beach from $39 per person from Chicago.
    Home Exchanges
    • Many organizations provide this service for a fee, usually up to $75. You can then advertise your place and peruse their listings in their directories.
    • The Invented City has properties in the Southwest and can help arrange a home exchange. Call 800-788-2489 or take a look at their website at http://www.invented-city.com.
    • Try the International Home Exchange Network as an alternative.
    Judaism in Portugal before the Inquisition
    • Try these titles: Spanish and Portuguese Jewry or Spanish and Portuguese Jewry Before and After 1492 available from Amazon.com.
    • Remnants of Jewish culture dating as far back as the 15th and 16th century can be found in Lisbon, Santarem, Tomar, Belmonte, Castelo de Vide and Evora.
    • Though they may not date back to the Inquisition, there are notable synagogues to visit all over the country. Visit the Synagogue of Lisbon, erected in 1813. Kosher establishments can be found in Lisbon and Belmonte.
    • For more information about Jewish life in Portugal, contact the Comunidade Isrelita de Lisboa, phone +351-1-385-8604, fax +351-1-388-4304.
    • If you decide you want an organized tour, "Jewish Heritage in Portugal" could meet your needs. The eight-day independent tour, which includes lodging, costs aroudn $2000 per person, based on two people traveling together. Air is extra. Call Nob Hill Travel Services at 800-777-8630.

    Postcard from an Expatriate
    Carmen Delzell, the Savvy Traveler's ex-patriate in Mexico, chose to get far away from the U-S and find a new life outside America's borders. "I was running away from it all. Talk shows, truck stops, boyfriend...oh, and English. I forgot to mention that I knew only enough Spanish in those days to say beer and how much." A letter from an ex-patriate in Mexico.

    Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
    We join one traveler who doesn't go as far as to move to another country. But by the time she's finished her trip, she's almost one of the locals...or almost one of the local meals:

    "You're not palatable...you're too skinny and frail ...too salty..not enough iron."

    We get an insider's tour of New Zealand's indigenous, formerly cannibalistic, Maori culture. And remember the old steam locomotives? We head to Promontory Point, Utah, where the Transcontinental Railroad was completed...130 years ago:

    "The steam loco was the only machine that man ever invented that sort of had a heart. They throb, they're almost alive. There's a vitality to a steam locomotive that's lacking in a diesel."

    Be there as they re-enact the driving of the spike that linked our nation 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.

    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.

    American Public Media
    American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen
    ©2004 American Public Media |
    Terms of Use | Privacy Policy