DVD Contains: All 19 episodes
DVD Package: 3 DVDs in amaray case
Runtime: Over 9 hours
Produced By: The Art Explorers, Inc.
Starring: Regina and Pat Johnson
As seen on American Public Television
Episode 1: South Africa-A Cultural Mosaic – Join the Grannies as they travel to the new South Africa and explore the cultural mosaic of this extraordinary country. Visit the major cities – Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, and walk through historically important museums and galleries. Meet artists, designers, musicians and everyday people in their homes and visit a Zulu village of doll makers. The Grannies ride rickshaws, taste Indian curry and meet a group of signing church ladies in Soweto.
Episode 2: In South Africa – Travel with the Grannies as they explore exceptional wildlife, including sightings of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. Join them as they witness major conservation efforts for the cheetah and other animals at Kapama Private Game Reserve. At Kagga Kamma, travel to ancient grounds where they view 6,000 year old cave drawings by the san people. At an exceptional five star safari lodge, Camp Jabulani, they ride an elephant on safari. Experience their visit to the Lesedi Cultural Center, a recreated cultural village where the six major tribal groups of South Africa are represented.
Episode 3: Discovering the Wonders of Morocco – One of North Africa’s most exotic countries is Morocco. The Grannies trek through this scenically diverse country bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains. Come aboard as they ride camels in the Sahara and partake in a huge feast at the home of Berbers in their middle-Atlas mountaintop enclave. Experience the magic of its cities – the blue city (Fes), white city (Casablanca) and the pink city (Marrakech). Highlights include the nightly madness of Jamaa El Fina Square in Marrakech, goats in the trees on the road to Casablanca and the beautiful fishing village of Essaouria. Morocco is a country of modern and ancient mosques, including one of the world’s largest in Casablanca.
Episode 4: Istanbul-Ancient Crossroads – The Grannies travel to Istanbul, the confluence of the great Christian, Moslem and Byzantine cultures. Framed by its seas, the Marmara, Black Sea, Mediterranean and the mysterious Bosporus, Istanbul is considered home of one of the wonders of the world: the Hagia Sofia. Straddling both Asia and Europe, the country is a repository of ancient and modern art, ruins and culture. Places like the Blue Mosque take the breath away. The Grannies view ancient Roman underground cistern ruins, travel back in time to the treasures of Topkapi Palace and have a private view of its rare artifacts. One the tour, Pat and Regina meet with three famous Turkish artists and Bedri Baykam, internationally known visual artist, filmmaker and writer.
Episode 5: Japan-The Contemporary and the Ancient – Join the Grannies and they spend colorful nights in two of Japan’s greatest cities, Tokyo and Kyoto, experiencing the sights and sounds of some of their most stimulating and exotic haunts. The itinerary includes great temples, fabulous restaurants and new 21st century structures including the Rappongi Hills District. Retreat to Kusatsu, a mountain village at the base of a volcano, to experience the therapeutic sulfur springs. Pampered like Japanese Royals in a five star elegant Royokan, they enjoy the ultimate spa experience. During their visit, the Grannies toured one of the leading Anime studios and saw previews of upcoming video programs. Of course, they had time for a little Karaoke in Tokyo before they departed.
Episode 6: South Korea-Off the Beaten Path – The Grannies go off the beaten path to explore Korea. With a focus on its largest city, Seoul, this episode highlights its bustling cultural assets including world-class museums and galleries that make the country come alive. Regina and Pat visit the internationally renowned World Ceramics Center, Korean Folk Village where ancient dwellings have been created to show visitors how life was in the 15th through 18th centuries, and have an overnight stay at a Buddhist Temple. They climb thousands of stairs to view the many ancient temples that dot the provinces of the country and a traditional Korean feast and dance performance at Korea House is the highlight of Seoul. The Grannies even dress up as Korean empresses to stroll around a park! While in Busan they visit the Jagalchi Fish Market and view fish never seen in North America.
Episode 7: Ottawa-Canada’s Best Kept Secret – The Grannies explore Ottawa, the beautiful capital of Canada. They visit historic Parliament Hill and marvel at the splendor of the changing of the guard, taste prize-winning barbeque, visit a one-of-its-kind Aboriginal display, tour the sprawling groups of Rideau Hall, home of the Governor General, and take an evening boat ride along the pristine Ottawa River. The grannies discover a prairie atop the architecturally significant Canadian War Museum, eat Beaver Tails, learn to throat-sing from the Inuit, and even cook with a master chef at the world famous Cordon Blue Cooking School. Marvel as the Grannies navigate their way out of a cedar maze – or do they? There are plenty of hands-on experiences in this show including a journey back in time to Upper Canada Village, a 19th century pioneer community.
Episode 8: Poland: Warsaw and Krakow-Sophisticated Cities – While the Grannies didn’t need an excuse to go to Poland, they were invited to a wedding, and provided with an excellent chance to do some exploration of two important cities in Europe: Warsaw, restored and thriving; and Krakow, exquisite, teeming and full of charm. Join the Grannies as they seek hidden treasures and historical makers in the heart of Warsaw. Many of the buildings that were destroyed during WWII have been carefully restored. A park and garden that displays the beautiful bronze statue of Chopin is a must see. The Grannies walk through these grounds and explore three of the restored palaces that represent one of Poland’s most powerful kings. This is an old culture and country, and there are many examples of its past and current glories. Krakow – the city of the dragon, was not destroyed during the war and maintains its original old town square (one of the largest in all of Europe), and most of its original buildings, significant and beautiful churches, and old castles.
Episode 9: Cruising the Caribbean – The Grannies decide to do something different – take a cruise – and cruise in a big way, on a really big ship to the Caribbean. The chance to hop around to several glamorous islands, Barbados, Antigua and St. Lucia, to see what the locals were up to sounded like great fun. Granny Regina had never been on a big ship, so join her as she explores all there is to do on board and off. Join the Grannies for movies under the stars and encounters with local artists and craftsmen from each Island as they create beautiful and unique items, all with a backdrop of breathtaking beaches and vistas. They visit a sugar plantation, see the monkey’s on Barbados and walk the same path as pirates. The Grannies discovered more than they expected and made people connections that confirmed that the Caribbean is still one of the most energizing and inspiring places to visit.
Episode 10: Buenos Aires-European Charm – The Grannies fly to one of South America’s most charismatic cities, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here is where the charm of European culture is well mixed with the soul and beat of Latin America. “BA,’ as the locals call their city, is sizzling with energy-new architectural landscapes framed by cranes are everywhere, wide boulevards (some say the widest in the world), and gorgeous municipal parks still flourish around the city. This is where the president’s house is called Casa Rosada (Pink House) and where on its balcony Evita charmed millions. The country is the home of the famed Gaucho, the sultry and seductive Tango and one of the best places to eat beef in the world. You can bet the Grannies experienced it all-a visit with a noted silversmith who makes authentic Gaucho artifacts, a stroll in the famous rose gardens in one of the most beautiful parks in the city, and forays into local markets where they encounter fans of the Grannies’ series from the United States who are visiting Argentina!
Episode 11: Uruguay-Montevideo, City of Drums – Montevideo is Uruguay’s capital city, home of one of the oldest opera houses in Latin America, this city and its people proved to be a big surprise. The country has more than three million people and half live in Montevideo! A colonial city, Montevideo is making a concerted effort to restore and renovate thousands of structures that date back over 10 years. The Old Town is lively and the pulsating rhythms of drums and chatter can be heard during the evenings and well into the night. The Grannies meet with the active Afro-Uruguayan community and learn how their art of drum making and culture had shaped the country’s dedication to this art form and adopted it as its own. The Grannies also visit the home of an influential Uruguayan art curator and writer who acts as their host while they are in the country and visit the Carnival Museum and premier winery.
Episode 12: Toronto-A Cultural and Ethnic Mix – The Grannies visit Toronto, a city renowned for its architecture, museums and colorful ethnic neighborhoods – Chinatown, Cabbage Town and Caribbean Town, to name just a few. It’s a city with lots of energy. Cruise with the Grannies along Lake Ontario and catch a glimpse of the magnificent CN Tower and the shore line that many compare to the City of Chicago. Water as they try their hand at throwing pots in the well-regarded Gardiner Museum. Examine chopines at the world-class, one-of-kind Bata Shoe Museum, where a collection of more than 12,000 shoes from every era and from around the world are housed. Watch as they share their sewing skills on Caribana costume making, explore an Inuit Art gallery, search for a ghost at sprawling Casa Loma and learn how a 30-foot floating dragon lantern is constructed by Chinese artisans.
Episode 13: San Juan-Bienvenidos, Paradise! – The Grannies ventured into San Juan, Puerto Rico, a US protectorate, after their Caribbean cruise, to explore the happenings on this delightful island with its rich cultural heritage. The locals call themselves Boriquens, a Taino Indian word meaning “strong men,” and take pride in their Spanish, Native and African heritage. Not only is the island beautiful everywhere – from the mountains of El Yunque to both of the oceans that lap warmly along its shores, but its food and people are something to experience too. Come with the Grannies as they visit small hamlets and villages tucked alongside the winding roads that crisscross the island. Visit El Morro, the large Spanish fort that guards the entry to the islands port, and walk through Old Town with flower draped balconies that overlook old streets and corners. Join them as they explore markets and other gathering places. The Grannies experience the integration of the many cultures found on this island through its salsa music.
Episode 14: India-The Golden Triangle – The Grannies venture into this fascinating subcontinent to visit one of the world’s most interesting countries, India. They explore part of what is called the Golden Triangle, beginning in the city of New Delhi and then on to Agra, home of the iconic Taj Mahal and Jaipur, a cultural hub and glistening outpost of Indian arts, architecture and culture.
Episode 15: Peru-It’s Coastal Heritage – Watch the Grannies as they move about Peru’s Atlantic coast and explore cosmopolitan Lima – its culture and history. Experience the Afro-Peruvian community in El Carmen and visit with well-known musical, visual and performance artists. Regina reconnects with an old friend who creates marionettes that tell stories of old. Join them as they experience world cuisine – fused from Chinese, African and Incan traditions.
Episode 16: Western Cape-South Africa and Botswana – They begin their adventure in glorious Cape Town with excursions to the Cape of Good Hope and the wine lands. The Grannies board The Pride of Africa on Rovos Rail – accommodated in restored vintage car – for a two-day trip to Pretoria that includes a stop at the famous Kimberly Gold Mines. While in Botswana, the ladies visit the set of the popular television series The Ladies #1 Detective Agency and meet with the Oodi Weavers. They are accompanied by the cosmetic icon Marilyn Miglin, who is on her first trip to South Africa seeking flowers for a new perfume.
Episode 17: Varanasi: The Spiritual Capital, and Bangalore-A Commercial Star – The Grannies make a pilgrimage on bicycle rickshaws to the “Ganga Ma” or Mother Ganges, a place of life and death revered in the Hindu religion. They observe day and evening celebrations, rituals and even participate. They visit a factory famous for Varanasi silk and of course, shop! A quick flight to Southern India and to the city of Bangalore, a known major tech metropolis, brought new experiences. The Grannies explore glamorous shopping centers and look for bargains at quaint neighborhood craft fairs. They try their hand at Indian cooking and select elegant saris and have them fitted by master Sari makers. The ladies are welcomed by distinguished citizens who invite them to a traditional Indian wedding bachelorette party and dine at a country club that looks straight out of an Ivory Merchant film.
Episode 18: Cusco and Machu Picchu – Travel with the Grannies to Cusco, a world heritage site, and the former capital of the Inca civilization. At 11,900 feet high, this ancient city was not only considered sacred by the Incas, but was a jewel of the Spanish colonial world. They city is considered the arts and crafts capital of Peru. Machu Picchu, at 9,600 feet, was a marvel and the trek to see this ancient city was a challenge when the Grannies climbed it. They city is located in the Andes in an area called the “cloud forest”. Surrounded by steep mountains, entire neighborhoods were created. One of the new Seven Wonders of the World – the exploration of this hidden city in the Andes Mountains was an unforgettable and magical experience.
Episode 19: Exotic Zanzibar and Tanzania – The Grannies travel to this truly exotic island that is known for its spice trade, trade winds, historic Arab architecture and romantic resorts. Stone Town, the capital, is a captivating rustic city filled with veiled women, thriving markets and aromatic neighborhoods. The ladies experience an exotic dance performance on the beach, ruins and a meal fit for kings. A highlight of the trip was a stay at the world-famous Baraza Resort – individual cabanas, private beaches and buildings shaped like a sultan’s palace. Accompanied by Marilyn Miglin, their special travel partner, they explore the mangrove swamps, hidden plantations and all the while looking for herbs and spices for her fragrances.