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Rotary Club of Grandville-Jenison   2019-20 Travelogue Series

Oct 22, 2019    Karin Muller/Sandy Mortimer hosting “The Royal Inca Road”  

The 3,200 mile Inca Road was built over 500 years ago to link the outposts of the Inca Empire.  Join renown adventurer Karin Muller a she travels this route, spinning it into a modern tapestry of faces memories, while intertwining a chronicle of the Inca and how they lived, worshipped, and warred.  In this expedition she searches for remnants of the ancient road, while offering a rare glimpse into the descendants of the Inca. The ancient Inca lived in a region of exquisite natural beauty – from steamy Amazon jungle to the second-highest mountain range in the world to barren coastal desert – filled with a wealth of culture and history.  The conquest of the Inca Empire is one of the most compelling tales in all of history: an obscure tribe that swept the Andes to become the greatest civilization in South America in less than a hundred years.  An empire – ten million strong – defeated by a band of 160 desperate Spaniards.  A ransom the likes of which the world has never seen.  Betrayal. Death. Rebellion.

Nov 26, 2019    Marlin Darrah         EGYPT TO GIBRALTAR

Join Marlin Darrah on a dazzling voyage throughout the great Mediterranean Sea.  Bordered by 23 countries, for more than 2000 years, it has held a spell over artists, writers, history-lovers, food and wine aficionados and all those seeking “the good life” of the great “Middle Sea” of the world.

This travel feature explores the diverse natural geography as well as some of the unique towns and major cities peppered around the Mediterranean.  This epicurean journey moves east to west, beginning at the point where the Suez Canal merges with the Mediterranean; then to exotic Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt.

We then sail north to such alluring locations as Antalya along the Turquoise Coast, and to Kusadasi and the spectacular Greco-Roman marble buildings at Ephesus, Turkey.  Curling north and west around the Aegean coast of Turkey, we spend time in one of the greatest cities of the world, Istanbul.

Then to the romantic Greek Isles of Mykonos and Santorini.  We then sail on to intriguing Kotor, Montenegro and take some time to explore the greatest walled city by the sea, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The journey continues to incomparable Venice – a grand and unique city that slowly sinks as tourists from around the world crowd in to savor the grand plazas, canals, bridges and religious sites.

Then we continue west to savor the French Riviera and the great film festival city of Cannes.  And just inland is the incomparable walled city of Carcassonne.  From France to Spain’s wild Costa Brava shoreline – where ocean-carved pillars of rocks begin to look like fanciful human and animal forms.  Nearby, the supremely picturesque port town of Cadaques.  It was here that the master surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, lived and worked with his wife Gala, for 50 years.

We then travel down the Costa Brava, Spain to cosmopolitan Barcelona, home of the 1992 Olympic Games.  Then into the lovely Portuguese capital city of Lisbon, certainly one of Europe’s most charming and unique cities.  Built around seven hills, Lisbon’s magnificent baroque architecture was built with the riches garnered from the SE Asian spice trade in the 1700s.  The program closes with a tour of Gibraltar, that small piece of England – also known in Classical Times as the Pillars of Hercules.  The very western edge of the glorious and chimerical Mediterranean.  A grand journey from the SE corner of the Mediterranean all the way to its most western point where the great middle sea flows into the Atlantic.

Jan 7, 2020    Michael Wigge     “How to Trade Up Around the World – From An Apple To A House In Hawaii”

Join award-winning reporter Michael Wigge on a wild ride as he trades up an apple to a house in Hawaii in forty-two steps!  In How to Barter for Paradise, Wigge travels through fourteen countries and across six continents exchanging goods for more valuable ones to turn a bitten apple into a Hawaiian dream home—and he meets an array of good-humored people who take his deals. Putting on his Barterman persona, he trades a partially-eaten apple for sixteen cigarettes in Germany; a couple of trades later in India, he fixes up a motorized rickshaw and trades it for silk; in Australia, a millionaire amuses himself by offering him an art piece for the silk if Wigge feeds a wild crocodile.  Finally, he arrives in Hawaii armed with two bicycles, a surfboard, Portuguese porcelain, three solid-gold coins, a Porsche wristwatch, a record by musician Coati Mundi with a contract for 25 percent of the proceeds from his next single, a voucher for a two-night stay in a mansion in L.A., and a piece of original artwork by painter Alex Stenzel—now he just has to find someone to give him a house in exchange.  On the 200-day journey around the world, Wigge makes forty-two trades and meets strange, kind, funny, friendly, eccentric, and good-natured people who help him in his quest. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss!

Feb. 4 , 2020     Tom Sterling  The World of The Bear (Two 40 minute films –   The World of The Bear & Autumn in Denali)

Bears hold a great fascination for many people as evidenced by the popularity of the Teddy Bear, Yogi Bear, Gentle Ben, and others. North America has three species of bear – The Black, The Polar, and The Grizzly. The Polar Bear is strictly a carnivore, whereas the Black and the Grizzly are primarily vegetarians; but they are opportunists and will, if the occasion presents itself, take live prey – mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fish. Those that live near salmon streams feast heavily on this rich bounty from the sea. This film begins with Ontario’s Black Bears which aren’t always black. In British Columbia we find the white (Ghost) Black Bear – The Kermodie, the blackest of Black Bears, and a grizzly enjoying a late summer salmon run. Further north, in Alaska, we conclude our journey with a delightful sojourn at the world’s most popular bear and salmon watching location – McNeil Falls and the giant Coastal Grizzlies known as “Brown Bears”.

Autumn in Denali-  In 1897, an Alaskan prospector, by the name of William Dickey, decided to name North America’s tallest mountain after the then current president – William McKinley. In 1917, the U.S. Congress designated the area encompassing the mountain as Mount McKinley National Park. Native Athabascans had long referred to the mountain as Denali – “The High One”. In 1980, more land was added to the park and it was renamed Denali National Park and Preserve. Its more than six million acres of mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, tundra and forest are home to grizzly, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, ptarmigan, red fox, arctic ground squirrel, beaver, pika, and many others. All are at their resplendent best during that most glorious of seasons.

Mar 10, 2020      Marlin Darrah         SOUTHERN EUROPE:

This journey through Southern Europe gives the viewer a taste of some of the great natural wonders, architectural treasures, and cultural and artistic highlights of several cities and countries. A delicious sampler package from Paris, Cannes, Barcelona, Granada, Seville, Croatia, Greece and Istanbul. From the Seine and art galleries of Paris to the Moorish palaces and market streets of Spain; from the greatest coastal walled city in the world, Dubrovnik, to the most fascinating city of the E. Mediterranean, Istanbul. A program filled with rich HD cinematography and music.

Apr 28, 2020    Tom Sterling          Albinos & Aliens  (Two 40 minute films –  The Gift of The White Moose & Florida’s Alien Wildlife)

This is a 45 minute film that depicts the time and effort expended by Tom Sterling in his quest to capture, on film, members of a small population of white moose, that inhabit an area around a lake called Groundhog, in northern Ontario.  It covers a time period of five years, beginning in 1991, when he received a phone call from a friend who owned a lodge and fly-in service in the area.His question was brief and to the point, “How would you like to film a white moose?”The film depicts the lake and its attendant wildlife.  The viewer will experience close-up sojourns with four white moose, black bears, mink, loons, osprey, beaver, common mergansers, common goldeneyes, cliff swallows, and many others.  The program is an intimate look at the magnificent solitude of the Boreal forest and many of those (including the white moose) that call it home.

Florida’s Alien Wildlife-

This is a 45 minute film about the state that harbors the greatest number (351) of introduced or alien animals – Florida!  In addition, there are also over 25,000 species of alien (mostly ornamental) plants in the state.

In 1989 Tom Sterling produced a one hour television documentary for the Discovery and PBS channels titled, “Animal Aliens.”  During the course of that project he was amazed at the number of aliens to be found in Florida: so he decided to make a film on just that state alone.  The viewer will be astounded to discover that there are two species of ape – The Rhesus Macaque and the Vervet Monkey – living wild in the state.

Further exploration will bring the viewer into contact with flocks of Budgerigars (Dime Store parakeets), nutria, parrots, Purple Swamp Hens, Nile Monitor Lizards, Sambar Deer, and the infamous Burmese Python that has invaded the Everglades.  Efforts to control some of the more harmful invaders are also included in the story.