Going Places | KNKX

Going Places

Ed Ronco / KNKX

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part report.

Mid-morning at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: All throughout the entrance hall, passengers are figuring out how to check in and drop off their bags. Pilots and flight crew are moving with purpose toward security checkpoints, and the public address system repeats its message not to leave any of your belongings unattended, thank you very much.

In Cape Town, locals fill containers at a source for natural spring water, on Feb. 2. The drought-hit city introduced new water restrictions.
Bram Janssen / AP

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley calls Cape Town, South Africa, his favorite place on the planet. He’s led many trips there over his years of guiding group tours.

But right now the city faces a serious water crisis. Some news reports say Cape Town could run out of fresh water as early as mid-April, though that date – Day Zero, as it’s being called – seems to be moving later in the year as locals heed warnings to conserve.

Brumley called his friend and fellow guide Brian Nel, in Cape Town, for the view from the ground.

Travel Changes Us, And That's Usually A Good Thing

Feb 1, 2018
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Travelers often bring back souvenirs – maybe a T-shirt or a piece of art from an open-air marketplace.

But KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says the best souvenirs are things you can’t necessarily stick on a shelf. Travel exposes us to new music, new food, new people and new ideas. And it often changes us.

People ride bikes in Amsterdam.
Matthew Peoples / Flickr

Editor's note: This segment originally aired on Jan. 30, 2014. It's one of the very earliest "Going Places" segments we did. But the advice is timeless.

So you go on vacation and your guide says he knows the best place to get leather jackets in Madrid. Or the best restaurant in all of London. Or maybe he’s getting a kickback from the business in exchange for shepherding tourists through the front door, says KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley.

What’s Wrong With That?

Corbin Keech / Flickr/Creative Commons

The National Art Schools in Havana have been at the center of Cuba’s changing history. Established as part of the utopia Fidel Castro and Che Guevara wanted to create, it was later nationalized in the mid-1960s, when art was seen as an extravagance Cuba could not afford.

Deanna Keahey / Flickr

Editor’s note: This is an encore presentation of a Going Places episode that originally aired on Dec. 10, 2015.

Winter in the Northwest is famously gray and drizzly. And that causes many of us to look for a temporary reprieve. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says how far you travel to find it depends entirely on what you’re looking for.

 

Cold Sunshine

Sometimes, all we need is a little sunshine. If that’s the case, you’re in luck, Brumley says. Here are some nearby recommendations.

Bathing With A Couple Hundred People In Budapest

Jan 4, 2018
A peek inside one of the pools at the Rudas Baths in Budapest.
Romuald Le Peru / Flickr/Creative Commons

This time of year, the Danube River is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit as it flows through Hungary. But right next to the Danube, in Budapest, are some much warmer waters that get well above 100 degrees.

Missed Your Flight Connection? Here's A Silver Lining

Dec 28, 2017
Chris Ford / Flickr

Editor's note: This is an encore presentation of a "Going Places" episode. It originally aired on March 31, 2016, but we thought it might be particularly timely given the holiday travel season. 

“I hope I miss my flight sometimes.”

Not words you expect to hear from a flyer as frequent as KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley. But he's a huge fan of layovers, including those that begin when the pilot comes on and announces a flight delay before takeoff.

Mauritius offers a diversity of cultures, languages, cuisines and activities.
Ludovic Lubelgt / Flickr

If you go to Africa, and venture out to Madagascar, then keep going east, you’ll find a small island nation called Mauritius. About 1.3 million people live here, and it’s often held up as an example of a peaceful, diverse paradise.

This week on “Going Places,” KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley speaks with Avi Erish. They met recently while they both were working aboard a river cruise in Europe. Erish grew up in Mauritius and is part of the country’s Hindu majority.

Piazza Armerina, on Sicily, is famous for its ancient mosaics.
John McLinden / Flickr/Creative Commons

If there’s one rule KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley adheres to, wherever he goes, it’s this: Always talk to the locals.

Now's The Time To Book Post-Holiday Travel

Nov 30, 2017
Leavenworth's holiday lights are a big draw for visitors. But the town retains its winter charm well past the holidays.
Craig Jager / Flickr/Creative Commons

There can be a lot of things to remember this time of year: Gift buying, holiday travel plans, school schedules, and more.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says it's also important to remember to book any post-holiday travel you plan on taking.  

Some Thanks For The People Who Help Us Travel

Nov 23, 2017
Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The most important parts of travel are often the parts you don't see.

Without ticket agents, baggage handlers, ramp workers, hotel housekeeping, museum staff, dock workers, ship crews and more, we'd all be flailing.

This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, we observe what is becoming a Going Places tradition. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley and host Ed Ronco say thanks to the people who make it all work.

Paul Schliebs / Flickr

If you’re going to Austria, forget about Vienna.

Just kidding. Vienna’s pretty amazing, as we’ve discussed in a previous episode of “Going Places.”

But this week, we hear from three tour guides who hail from different parts of Austria (none of them the capital city), and each with its own charm.

Matthew Brumley / KNKX

In the center of Prague is a soaring building with arched windows, a towering dome, and lavish artwork. It was all put in place in the early 20th Century, making it relatively young for Europe.

But the building itself speaks to a much longer history, involving national identity in what is now the Czech Republic. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley takes us inside the Prague Municipal House.

Matthew Brumley / KNKX

Editor’s Note: This segment originally aired on April 7, 2016.

South Africa’s history includes apartheid, civil unrest, and political scandals. Last year, President Jacob Zuma survived an impeachment vote on charges he used public money to upgrade his private home.

But the country is also a favorite among travelers, including KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley, who visited Cape Town in 2016.

Collin Key / Flickr/Creative Commons

On maps, and officially, Transylvania is a region in central and northwestern Romania. But for nearly a thousand years, it was part of Hungary.

This week on “Going Places,” KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley introduces us to two brothers who are working as merchants in the Grand Market of Budapest.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley spends a lot of time on the road, leading group travel in Europe, Africa, South America, and other places.

As a result, he spends a lot of money in foreign countries. And he’s noticed something lately, when he goes to the cash machine to make a withdrawal.

Berlin is not a "classically beautiful" city, says tour guide Shlomit Lasky. She says you need the city's story to really appreciate a visit there.
Matthias Leibing / Flickr

We’re heading to Berlin this week on “Going Places.” KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley visits with Shlomit Lasky. She’s a journalist and tour guide who was born in Israel. They met at a bar to talk about her experience in Germany, which is steeped in a very particular history and culture.  

Interview Highlights

Manu Fernandez / AP

Matthew Brumley has long urged travelers to avoid the crowds.

Among other things, the KNKX travel expert encourages people to take off-season trips and find lodging  away from the hot spots in big foreign cities.

Matthew Stinson / Flickr

Editor's note: This is an encore presentation of a "Going Places" episode that originally aired on Oct. 15, 2015.

Hainan Province, an island in the South China Sea, is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s also where former KNKX Production Assistant Shunying Wang grew up.

Gary Davis / KNKX file photo

For a lot of people, fall means a return to routine. The kids are back in school, for example, and organizations start having meetings again.

The official start of autumn this week has KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley thinking about breaking up that routine through quick getaways.


Michael and Debbie Campbell, the "Senior Nomads," near Almaty, Kazakhstan this summer.
Senior Nomads

About four years ago, Michael and Debbie Campbell sold their home in Seattle, put their things in storage, and began living full-time in Airbnbs. Since then, the self-described “Senior Nomads” have stayed in 68 countries and 168 different homes.

They told us about their adventures on a previous edition of “Going Places.” But now they're on to new things.  

Getting out of your usual surrounds -- even if you're just hopping a water taxi to a different neighborhood -- can be a nice change of pace for not a lot of money.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Sometimes we all need a change of pace. Vacations are good for that, but they can cost money and time. This week on “Going Places,”  KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley talks about quick, local, affordable getaways.


brando.n / Flickr

Students in Seattle, Tacoma and elsewhere in western Washington head back to school next week. Chances are at least some of them will spend time talking to friends about what they did over their summer vacations.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley took his family to the United Kingdom and Taormina, Sicily. Over the summer, he was also nice enough to send us updates from both England and Italy.

Going Places: Seeing Foreign Cities On Two Wheels

Aug 24, 2017
People ride bikes in Amsterdam.
Matthew Peoples / Flickr

If you live in Seattle, you’ve seen a lot of infrastructure pop up to accommodate bikes: Bike racks, then bike lanes, then bike traffic signals. Now there are bike sharing programs in the city.

Getting around on two wheels is often more common outside the United States. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says it can give people a new perspective when they’re visiting foreign cities.

Leaving Seattle's waterfront aboard KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley's boat on a sunny -- and slightly smoky -- Thursday evening in August.
David Dodman

Editor's note: An earlier version of the audio on this segment misstated the size of the state ferry system. Washington State Ferries is the largest ferry system in the country.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley was on a ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island when he heard something from a couple visiting from Kansas.

"Sure is pretty around here," Brumley remembers one of them saying, "but wouldn't want to live here with all of this water."

Emily Clott leads an architecture tour on the Chicago River, for the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

The art museum in Chicago is often hailed as one of the nation’s best. But many of the city’s biggest works of art are along the river.

The buildings of Chicago tell a story that spans the city’s history – from squat warehouses that once held goods for mail-order catalogs, to gleaming skyscrapers made of glass.

Earthbound Expeditions

We’ve all seen the books: An author picks up and moves to Europe, simple as that, rediscovers himself or herself, and then, after the book is out … so are they.

Maria Cannavo, on the other hand, moved to Sicily about a dozen years ago and is still there. She spoke with Earthbound Expeditions co-founder Danna Brumley about why she stayed:

“It was always in my mind and it was certainly always in my heart,” Cannavo said.

In 2000, her family rented a villa in Tuscany. A good visit, she said, though not her first. But Italy really grabbed her.

Onofrio, with Earthbound Expeditions co-founder Danna Brumley, at his shop La Pignolata Guinness, in Taormina, Sicily.
Matthew Brumley / KNKX

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley loves visiting Italy.

In Taormina, Sicily, he was walking down a narrow street when he found himself drawn into a bakery full of cannoli.


The water off Cornwall isn't much warmer than Puget Sound, but it's good for wading or a bracing swim, and the scenery is stunning.
Matthew Brumley / KNKX

In the heat of the British summer, many families escape their busy city lives for a calmer, cooler time near the sea.

This week on Going Places, we find KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley doing as the British do, in Cornwall.


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