Program 340: Joanna Lumley's Nile; Open Phones: Fantastic Travels

Release Date: 10-05-2013

On Air Description

It was the trip of a lifetime.  On this week's Travel with Rick Steves, actress Joanna Lumley details her four-thousand mile trek up the mighty Nile River, all the way to its recently-discovered source, a mere trickle in the swampy highlands of Rwanda.  We'll hear how the personality of the river changes from Cairo to Luxor, Sudan to Lake Victoria, and the remarkable sites and people she met along the way.

Plus, listeners share surprises they encountered on their own memorable adventures, on the next Travel with Rick Steves.   


Actor Joanna Lumley, host of "Joanna Lumley's Nile," and co-star of the BBC-TV series "Absolutely Fabulous"

Related Links

  • Joanna Lumley's bio is on Wikipedia and her TV special "Joanna Lumley's Nile" is on imDb.
  • A short video preview of "Joanna Lumley's Nile" is on YouTube.
  • DVDs of "Joanna Lumley's Nile" are distributed in the US by Athena, whose catalog includes a number of other documentary series seen on public TV.
  • Wikipedia has historical information and images of the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that Joanna mentions called Ankh, representing eternal life.
  • A report on "The Three Macs" in the New Zealand Herald mentions their discovery of the furthest source of the Nile River in 2006.
  • Caller Eric documents what's he's found vagabonding around the world in his travel blog called Your World Your Home. He uses the Couch Surfing website to find free accommodations around the world.  Wikipedia explains the details behind the concept of "couch surfing."


  • Describes vagabonding around the world on little more than US$2,000 a year.  (Eric from Murphy, North Carolina, in Shanwei, China)
  • Caller describes getting swept up in helping at a bike race while vacationing in Volterra, Italy, in Tuscany.  (Sally in LaVelle, Pennsylvania)
  • Listener responds to a recent segment about Sweden.  “In Alabama, close friends greet each other with the word, "Hey!"  When we visited Europe, we found that in Sweden, when we met complete strangers, such as sales people greeting when we entered a store, they used a word that sounded exactly like our familiar greeting, "Hey!"  I hadn't even realized that we Alabamans had such a distinct and familiar form of greeting until I heard these friendly Swedes greeting us with a word that sounded as if they were our good friends.”  (e-mail from Caroline in Opelika, Alabama)   
  • Tells story of a 1972 visit to Prague, when caller offended Czech citizens by asking for help in German.  (Joe in Santa Rosa, California)
  • Describes independent travel by renting a car with her husband in Israel and Jordan, instead of going on an organized tour there.  (Denisa in Weatherford, Oklahoma)

Incidental Music

  • Mark Isham, "Raffles in Rio," Vapor Drawings / Windham Hill
  • Solilman Gamil (playing the Egyptian kanoun), "Sufi Dialogue," Global Meditation, disc 2:  Harmony and Interplay (collection) / Ellipses Arts
  • Du'Oud, "Le Retour d'Ulysse," Wild Serenade / Label Bleu (France)
  • Hisham Abbas, "Intil Waheeda," Arabic Groove (collection) / Putumayo
  • * Amir Diab, "Khalleeny Ganbak (instrumental version)," Allem Alby / Mondo Melodia
  • Fazil Say with Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, "'Allegro' from violin concerto '1001 Nights in the Harem,'" 1001 Nights in the Harem / Naïve
  • Solilman Gamil, "The New Nubia," Global Meditation, disc 4: Music from the Heart (collection) / Ellipses Arts
  • Intuit, "Wewa," Impala Lounge II (collection) / Wagram
  • Natacha Atlas, “Kidda (‘This Way’),” Arabic Groove (collection) / Putumayo
  • * Michel Bismut, "Princesse," Les musiques du Sud (compilation) / Al Sur (France)
  • Simon Jeffes, "Chinese Canon," Bliss (collection) / RealWorld - Caroline Records
  • Allan Sherman, "Hungarian Goulash," My Son, The Nut / Rhino-WB
  • Novalima, "Malato," Afro / Quango
  • Deep and Wide, "Easy Rider," Café del Mar, vol. 7 (collection) / Musicrama-Koch

Dated References

  • In today's billboard, Rick notes it's been "about 150 years now" since Dr. Livingstone failed to locate the source of the Nile River. 
  • In the segment A open at 6:46, and in a reset at 13:18, Rick refers to Egypt's "latest round of political strife," which he adds in the billboard has brought Egypt's tourism industry "to a halt."
  • In his introduction of Joanna Lumley at 7:45, he notes she appears in Martin Scorcese's "upcoming film, The Wolf of Wall Street."

Program Extras

Program 340 Extra - Caller Eric, at his latest post in Shanwei, China, describes some of the local snack foods he's sampled while vagabonding around the world. (runs 1:16)