Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Europe to the Max With Rudy Maxa - London and Beyond|
Genres: Special Interests, Television
Rudy Maxa is public radio?s original Savvy Traveler and host of the American Public Television series, Smart Travels. In Europe to the Max, Rudy captures the vitality and character of Europe?s magnificent cities. Lushly fi... more »
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The usual destinations... but very nicely done
Esther Schindler | Scottsdale, AZ USA | 05/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wish I had a dollar for every hour I wasted watching a poor travel video. Based on the number of them I've watched (and reviewed), it's difficult to do the job well, and way too easy to make a dull, pedantic presentation.
Yet, when you're planning a vacation, even as a fantasy, you want all the help you can get: what is worth seeing, what's it like to eat-and-sleep there, and how do you get around town? It's also less of a commitment to watch a 30-minute travel show with the highlights, compared to buying a book on the subject, not to mention that it's easier to picture what a place looks like.
Rudy Maxa is among the better options I've found. He shows you the standard destinations that you'd find in a general travel guide, but he does so... well, so *nicely*. You learn about the top spots, such as the big name museums (generally with a good overview of its specialty). He lets you indulge in a bit of fantasy travel (Maxa shows a top hotel, the sort that make me drool and make my credit card wince). He demonstrates some of the regional food, such as Belgian mussels with fries. The best stuff is when he shares some of the "experience" of traveling -- such as the reason you should make a point of taking at least one cab ride in London, or how to use the city's public transit.
In contrast, Rick Steves' DVDs are always trying to reassure the viewer that you can do the trip on the cheap; that's okay too, but occasionally I don't *want* to go off the beaten path, or at least I want to know what that path includes before I rush headlong into the woods. I do like the Rick Steves videos, but I like Maxa's one-star better.
This DVD collects a few high-level travel videos. One show is about London, another about "exploring outside London" -- primarily the spots that you'd choose as day trips from London, such as Stonehenge, Oxford, and Blenheim. Another show focuses on Amsterdam and the Netherlands, yet another on Brussels and Belgium. I doubt any of the places he includes in these videos will surprise you, but I'm also sure you'll enjoy watching. If you're planning a trip to any of these destinations, I expect that you will find at least one "Oh, *that's* worth knowing!" item."