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Rundown for the Week of April 4, 2003

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Five-star resort travel is hardly a priority these days. But a new property in Taos, New Mexico, caught our eye because it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. The El Monte Sagrado Taos will open early June. The man behind it, Tom Worrell, is a maverick eco-minded developer, and he’s inviting you to vacation without abusing the environment. Tom gave Savvy Traveler host Diana Nyad a tour of the El Monte, starting with the spectacular “Casitas,” the little houses that become your home for a few days.

Related Media:
Web site for the El Monte Sagrado:
Want to learn more about eco-tourism?
Web Resource: Ecotourism 101, from the Savvy Traveler archive, December 6, 2002. Program is a primer on eco-tourism with links to online resources.

Harlem Gospel Tour by Martin Stott

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If music supposedly brings disparate people together, this is our chance to prove it. One of our contributors from England, Martin Stott, traveled across “the pond” to Harlem to try his hand at gospel singing. And, even though it seemed totally anti-intuitive to send a stiff-upper-lip British fellow who can't even sing “God Save the Queen” on key to join in the wild, free gospel music of Harlem, we knew it was the perfect experiment. So, Martin went to see if he could get into the gospel groove -- but a little personal history was holding him back.

Web Resource: Harlem Gospel Tour was produced on August 24, 2001. Listen to the original audio, read the script, explore Web links.

Music with Bob Duskis: Desert Blues

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Our guide to world music on the show is Bob Duskis, co-founder of Six Degrees Records, a label in San Francisco. In keeping with the desert footage we’re seeing from the war coverage, we get into some “desert blues.”

Click here for more info.

Do you like this music:
PRMS.org: Purchase this CD at the Public Radio Music Source. A portion of the proceeds help support this program.

Travel Updates from New York and Las Vegas

We’re checking the pulse of travel as the war continues. Last week, we heard from some travelers in the big cities of Western Europe (link to them please). This week, we asked two reporters to get a “read” of two tourist hot spots: New York and Las Vegas.

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Rachel Dornhelm reports in from New York. Rachael is a little reluctant to be returning home after a trip out West to see family. Right now, she says, it’s hard to have any kind of routine in NYC, as concerns about security and terrorism arise daily. But visiting tourists see things differently: “Tourists don't see the same giant bull’s-eye over the city that residents seem to -- whether we admit it freely, or only after a few drinks,” she says.

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David Bert of Nevada Public Radio is on the street in Las Vegas. He finds that people come to “Sin City” for the weather, shows and gambling. That's what they say, David admits, but they’re really in Vegas...to escape. People say Las Vegas is the perfect diversion from war coverage. In Vegas, war seems like a distant reality.

Planning your own escape to New York or Las Vegas:

SARS Update

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Jittery travelers are packing an unusual item in their carry-ons these days: surgical masks. They’re concerned about SARS, the mystery disease that has killed at least 80 people worldwide. Symptoms include a high fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath -- which Mark and Christy Van Camp of Wichita, Kansas, know all too well. The Van Camps went to Guangzhou, China, recently to adopt a baby, and Mark came back with a suspected case of SARS. Mark is now recovering, but Christy is headed back to help another couple with adoption. Savvy Traveler host Diana Nyad talks with Christy about whether she had second thoughts about going to China when she heard about SARS.

And, Diana talks with Dr. Alan Spira of the Travel Medicine Center in Beverly Hills, Calif., about whether the surgical-mask strategy that many travelers have adopted will eliminate the risk of SARS.

Online SARS Resources:
www.cdc.gov: SARS info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.who.int: SARS info from the World Health Organization
www.healthytravel.com: The Travel Medicine Center

Sound Travels: Call to Prayer, Istanbul, Turkey

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"Sound travels" is the part of the show where we travel with our ears as our guide. This week, Jim Metzner recorded sounds of prayer and sounds of the city in Istanbul. At sunset, the city comes alive with the “Call to Prayer.” Everywhere, the lights come on, and children play in the streets. A solitary voice from a nearby minaret echoes off the streets, the walls, the houses -- just as it has for centuries…

Inspired to visit Istanbul?

Traveler's Aid: Business Travelers Now

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While a couple of the big airline carriers breathed slightly easier this week with temporary reprieves, this certainly doesn’t change the overall grim picture of the airline industry. And, no one knows this better than business travelers. Joe Sharkey, business travel columnist for The New York Times, is back to bring us an insider's insight into what's happening in the travel world this week.

To report from the perspective of a hardcore business traveler, Joe embarked on a voluntary endurance trip, flying from Newark to Chicago to Cleveland to Atlanta -- and back to Newark.

Click here for more info.

Curious about the travel industry?
Web Resources: Travel news Web links

Deal of the Week: Sweetheart Escapes in St. Augustine

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Our Travel-Expert-in-Residence, Rudy Maxa, is back with his Deal of the Week: a real steal on a romantic getaway to America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Fla.

During the month of June, from Sunday through Thursday, 26 of St. Augustine’s historic B&Bs and inns are offering specials on two- and three-night stays: stay two nights and your second night is half price; stay three, and the first two nights are regular mid-week price, the third night is free. They’re calling this their “Senior Sweetheart promotion.” Click here to read all the details.

Another great deal...www.amtrak.com for the 1, 2, Free companion fares... Until the end of April, if you book a full fare ticket to anywhere on Amtrak, your second traveler's ticket is half price, and your third is free.

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