Photo courtesy of Daniel Schwartz
By Daniel A. Schwartz, Executive Producer
I traveled to Germany to join Josh Gates and the Expedition Unknown team to hunt for the missing eighth Wonder of the World — the legendary amber panels. These were from a room made of gold and jewels and presented to the Russians in the 18th century as a gift. But the Nazis stole it during the war and brought it back to Germany, and after that, it vanished in the chaos of World War II. New evidence has surfaced that it may be hidden in southeastern Germany, so that’s where we went! READ MORE
Photo courtesy of Sean McKnight
Travel Channel executive producer Sean McKnight (not pictured) traveled to Istanbul for the filming of the upcoming series Booze Traveler. With the crew and host Jack Maxwell by his side, Sean shares his insights into the City of the World’s Desire.
Open letter to the CIA:
Seriously. If you want to really shake things up at a grassroots level, teach more kids how to play baseball — or at least how to throw a decent split-finger.
Our man on the ground in Istanbul (pictured above with Jack — whose name is withheld here, just in case President Erdogan and his pals are doing a bit of light reading in their spare time) got mixed up in last year’s rioting but couldn’t quite go the distance.
After throwing many stones, a high percentage of which were high and/or outside, our guy would retire to the bar for a beer or 6, so he might live to throw another day.
Fortunately for us, things got (a little) better, and our guy stuck around to help us navigate Turkey.
What brought you to Turkey?
The crew of Booze Traveler traveled there in April 2014 to shoot our premiere episode (coming Nov. 24 at 10|9c on Travel Channel), and with some expert local knowledge, we found our way through a country that exceeded our expectations. READ MORE
Brian Unger at the Griffith Observatory
On Oct. 13 and 14, I traveled to Los Angeles to field produce 3 web series — Meet Brian Unger, My Hometown and A Day in the Life — with new Travel Channel host Brian Unger of Time Traveling With Brian Unger, which will premiere in 2015. By the time we were done filming, I’d discovered a new side of LA’s valley.
It’s always a challenge filming in Los Angeles because it’s been done so many times, but lucky for us, our task was to showcase Los Angeles’ “other side,” its valley (the San Fernando Valley), which consists of a few cities, including Glendale, Burbank, Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys — all of which we covered, and then some, for Brian’s My Hometown web series. What we uncovered were some amazing places to eat, work out and play. READ MORE
Photography by Maria Bukhonina
Recently back from filming an episode of the upcoming series Booze Traveler in South Africa, cocktail connoisseur, adventurer and host Jack Maxwell shares some of his favorite memories from the Rainbow nation.
What brought you to South Africa?
When you think of a place like South Africa, different kinds of drinks are probably not the first thing that pops into your head. I thought that would really be worth exploring and figured it would be a great surprise, which it was, and of course, that’s what the show is all about.
Photography by Maria Bukhonina
Coney Island (Courtesy of Anna Garwood)
By Anna Garwood, Director of Programming & Talent Relations
What brought you to Coney Island?
I’m overseeing a general casting search for Travel Channel to find unique personalities who are passionate about travel and we can potentially develop shows around. After reviewing an initial round of Skype interviews of potential candidates, I narrowed it down to a short list and brought them to Coney Island in New York City to shoot in-field casting reels. Arthur Hsu and Will McKinley from Travel Channel were there as well to help me produce and shoot the reels. READ MORE
Feeling on top of the world at the summit of Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town and the surrounding mountains. A 5 a.m. wake-up call is tough (especially when it’s really midnight your time) but worth it to see the sunrise at 3,500 feet.
Look who we found in South Africa! Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown was recently in Cape Town. We thought it was the perfect time to catch up with Sam and get the “skinny” on her trip: unforgettable moments, things to do and, of course, what to eat in Cape Town.
What were your expectations of Cape Town, and did it live up to them?
I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about Cape Town for close to 10 years. It’s where my husband and I wanted to go on our honeymoon but couldn’t, due to lack of time. When I arrived early Saturday morning, I was mesmerized by Table Mountain; I mean, the location of Cape Town is just overwhelmingly beautiful. However, when I went out for a long walk, I was a bit underwhelmed. I headed downtown, which was a ghost town. All the shops were closed, and I wanted to go to a coffee shop I had read about that is run by a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. When I got there, it, too, was closed. I finally made it to a cute, hip neighborhood that ran along Kloof Street and had a great pot of tea and a nice conversation with the owner, who told me that if it’s a nice day (and it was gorgeous, especially for their winter), everyone closes up shop and heads to the beach. That’s when I realized Cape Town is really a city that’s a beach town at heart. It was also the last time during the trip that I was underwhelmed by Cape Town.
Recently back from filming an episode of Expedition Unknown in Peru, global explorer and host Josh Gates shares his tips for traveling to a country best known for its iconic ruins.
What brought you to Peru?
We’re here filming an upcoming episode of Expedition Unknown for Travel Channel. The series deals with historic mysteries around the world, and in this case, we’re diving into the grand culture of the Inca and the legend of one of their lost cities. It’s a thrilling story, and documenting the rugged beauty (and rugged challenges) of traveling into the jungles of Peru is going to make for an awesome episode!
What were your expectations while filming/visiting Peru?
Due to Peru’s largely “vertical geography” (a whole lot of mountains), each part of the country is wildly distinct from the next. One day you’re enjoying the warm ocean air in Lima, the next you’re shivering and trying to catch your breath in the high-altitude city of Cusco. Tomorrow, you might be kicking snow off your shoes in the Andes or sweating bullets in the verdant jungles of the Amazon. In other words, you never know what to expect here!
A great example is Lima, which, on the surface, is an easy place to dislike. After all, it’s essentially a desert — a city teetering on dusty cliffs with gridlocked traffic and a perennially gray sky. After centuries of earthquakes, Lima is also a maze of tumbledown buildings that seem to be in a constant state of disrepair. But then, you round a corner and get stopped in your tracks by a stunning colonial cathedral or a spirited local festival. A little exploration will take you into charming neighborhoods such as Miraflores. Great restaurants, live music and a pulsing nightlife are just waiting to be found. Like all of Peru, Lima is full of amazing surprises. READ MORE
Host Ryan Van Duzer at Avery Brewing Co in Boulder
Travel Channel’s digital video producer Arthur Hsu traveled to Colorado to film one of our newest original series, Microbrew Madness, launching next week on travelchannel.com. The new web series will take viewers on a journey to discover the best craft breweries in America. Having traveled many times before to Colorado for his passion sport of bouldering, and now to film Microbrew Madness, it was the perfect time to catch up with Arthur to get an “insider’s” look at the city fondly called “the city nestled between the mountains and reality.”
What brought you to Colorado?
I was producing the last webisode for Microbrew Madness, at 2 great craft breweries, Avery Brewing Co in Boulder and Verboten Brewing in Loveland, with host Ryan Van Duzer and producer Andrew Robertson. We have been working on this project for nearly a year, starting off at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL, so it’s bittersweet to see this wrapped up. The craft breweries we’ve filmed are in destinations that offer much more than just tasty craft beers, and based on the crowds during the 2 weekdays we filmed, the locals agree. READ MORE
Japanese Torii Gate
by: Brian Leonard, Executive Producer
In July, I was lucky enough to travel to Hiroshima, Japan, from the Washington, DC, area for a shoot. I was working on an exciting new pilot for Travel Channel that looks at places where something big once occurred — either manmade or natural — that changed the place forever, and we find out what makes it different today. It’s a very inspiring project, and I wanted to feature cities that are not the “normal” vacation and tourist destinations. So Hiroshima was a great place to start. READ MORE
Standing among the crypts at St Michan’s Church
Recently back from filming the Ghost Adventures 2-hour Halloween special in Ireland, Zak Bagans shares his tips for traveling to the country so known for its folklore, haunted castles and mythical creatures. Zak offers his advice on where to go and what to eat when searching for ghosts among the rolling green hills of Ireland. Tune in Friday, October 31 at 9|8c to watch Zak investigate Dublin and beyond.
What brought you to Ireland?
Ireland is steeped with so many mystical legends and so much dark history, it is literally a land of fantasy for the Ghost Adventures Crew. We wanted to investigate tales of the devil himself by visiting 2 locations and exploring other places said to be inhabited by ancient Celtic demons and spirits.