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Bob Krist’s Off the Beaten Path

Join experienced travel photographer Bob Krist on a 28-episode journey through the Azores, Mexico, Maine, and Venice, exploring the tapestry of cultures, enduring customs, and stunning landscapes that make each region so unique.
Bob Krist’s Off the Beaten Path is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 15.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Caught my eye I loved the unique locations and points of view. The portions on Mexico and Venice, Italy were especially compelling. Not only did Krist present the topic and his point of view, but also, he brought in experts and local people to engage the viewer.
Date published: 2024-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Trip Around the World With A Friend! What a thoughorly delightful gem of a travel narrative. All of the courses pffered by The Learning Company are excellent but this is a true Pearl of Great Proce in my opinion. Mr. Krist is a perfect companion with his sonorous and mellifluous voice accentuates. the videos. This is one course that I will never tire of watching again and again! Thanl you Learning Company...you did it again!
Date published: 2023-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Like visiting with old friends Forty to fifty years ago, I visited the vast majority of the locales presented in this course. So, I must admit, more than anything, I was curious as to what had change and what remained the same. Well, I got that and much more! I have been a fan of Bob Krist's work for decades in National Geographic Traveler and Smithsonian but not as a cinematographer. Many cannot make the transition between the two but for Mr. Krist, it was flawless. I have put his "The Art of Video Storytelling" on my watchlist. The Azores was the locale that, to my mind, had changed the least. Yes, the cities and towns had expanded but the architectural style remained the same. The islands' flora were mind-boggling when I visited and nothing has changed. The places we visit with Mr. Krist bring out the best the islands have to offer. In Mexico, the video adventures in San Miguel de Allende, Holy Week in the Bajio and the artistry of the Purépecha people of Michoacán brought back vivid memories. But I see a return trip in my future to San Juan de la Vega during Carnival to see Festival of the Exploding Hammers (yes, you read right) and to Xilitla and Las Pozas--by the way, filming this segment in B&W was a stroke of genius! Maine's coastal areas still amaze with their sheer beauty. But Mr. Krist introducing us to the people who live and work there made it come alive in a way I don't remember--thank you for that! But my favorite series was Carnivale in Venice. I have been there twice during that time and marveled at the costumers and mask-makers for the intricacy and beauty of their work, so was very happy that Mr. Krist chose to put the emphasis on them rather than the usual tourist scene. All in all, this fast became one of my favorite TGC/Wondrium travelogues. At first, I was apprehensive of the very short segments but found they fit the subject matter better than the usual extended ones. If you want to get a true feel for these regions rather than merely view them, "Off the Beaten Path" is for you.
Date published: 2023-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating Bob Krist is not only a good photographer, but a good story teller, too. I haven't finished the whole series, but the portion on Maine was so captivating that I'm coming back for more. Bob just makes you want to take a trip with him. The episodes are so simple, but so interesting at the same time. I can't wait to see more of his work.
Date published: 2023-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Live the adventure Thanks to Wondrium and Bob Krist for taking us to Maine and sharing unusual ventures off the beaten track.
Date published: 2022-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Appropriately Titled! This series is appropriately titled as Bob does indeed get off the beaten path. I haven't finished the entire series yet but will very soon. Each episode is short enough in length that it always feels like there's time to view "one more" not unlike reading a great book with short chapters. I had known of Bob's magazine work over the ages but wasn't that familiar with his story telling abilities which are great - think Anthony Bourdain in Parts Unknown. There's also some great drone footage. After watching the Azores series, I immediately started to google "average temperatures in Azores by month" to see when I'd want to go! Looking forward to viewing the rest.
Date published: 2022-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating little snippets A series of captivating little snippets beautifully videographed. Bob had me wanting to take trips to both the Azores and Michoacán, Mexico.
Date published: 2022-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating Series I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The watched the series twice before writing my review. Bob combined a pleasant personality with an artistic eye then put the two together with his technical wizardry. I knew he was an excellent still photographer, but loved his video work. The Azores videos were just quick bites of landscapes, history, culture and people. They gave me a quick view of a place that I now would love to find time to visit and experience myself.
Date published: 2022-09-02
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Overview

Bob Krist’s Off the Beaten Path is a 28-episode series for seasoned travelers and homebodies alike. Begin your world adventure in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago known for its luscious scenery, luxury agricultural goods, and one-of-a-kind calderas. Afterward, jet southwest to explore the many wonders of Central Mexico, from the region’s stunning monarch butterfly sanctuaries to its underexplored surrealistic sculpture parks. Then, travel up and down Maine’s highways, rugged coasts, and ferry routes. And finish in Venice for a behind-the-scenes look at the world-famous Carnival celebration.

About

Bob Krist

As storytellers sharing the visual tales of our travels, we can act as small points of light that help everyone see the beauty and the humanity of this very small world in which we live.

INSTITUTION

National Geographic Photographer

Bob Krist is a freelance photographer and filmmaker whose work has taken him to more than 150 countries and all seven continents. He has worked extensively on assignment for magazines such as National Geographic and Smithsonian. In the prestigious Lowell Thomas competition, his short travel films have won gold and silver awards, and his monograph of portraits and landscapes, Old Souls & Timeless Places, won a gold award in the Travel Book category. He was also named Photographer of the Year by the Society of American Travel Writers three times.

By This Expert

The Fundamentals of Travel Photography
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Bob Krist’s Off the Beaten Path
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The Art of Video Storytelling
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Bob Krist’s Off the Beaten Path

Trailer

Azores: The Calderas of São Miguel

01: Azores: The Calderas of São Miguel

Join Bob Krist and guide Daniel Cabral of Greenzone on a journey through the Azores, an archipelago of small islands between Europe and America. Start with São Miguel, the largest island in the collection, taking in the breathtaking calderas, pristine lakes, luscious plant life, and seaside villages that make the Azores unique.

6 min
Azores: The Tea Plantations of Europe

02: Azores: The Tea Plantations of Europe

There are only two tea plantations in all of Europe; and lucky for you, they're both in São Miguel. Pay a visit to the larger and older plantation, Gorreana, where you will sit down with sixth-generation tea farmer Madelena Mota for a crash course on tea history and production.

5 min
Azores: Lighthouses of the Gulf Stream

03: Azores: Lighthouses of the Gulf Stream

While lighthouses sit empty in the United States, most lighthouses in the Azores—and throughout Portugal—are still manned by naval personnel. Explore lighthouse life and lore with Rui Melo, one of many Farol do Arnel lighthouse keepers still posted at the northeast part of São Miguel.

5 min
Azores: Days of Wine and Amoroso

04: Azores: Days of Wine and Amoroso

Visit a master winemaker before (virtually) sampling some Generosa wine. Then, take a trip to Pico, a long stretch of ancient lava rock vineyards that doubles as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to learn about the storied history of Posada wine and winemaking in the Azores.

9 min
Azores: Whales, Tales, and Sails

05: Azores: Whales, Tales, and Sails

Hop on a ferry for a day trip to Horta, the main city on the Azores island of Failal and a popular stop for sailors due to its protected harbor. Explore the art, history, and geography of the region before stopping for a tour of the impressive Scrimshaw Museum collections.

5 min
Azores: The Bulls of Terceira

06: Azores: The Bulls of Terceira

Visit Terceira, an island of rolling hills, patchwork green fields, long-dormant volcanic cones, and—most important—hordes and hordes of free grazing cattle. Dig into the long history of the Tourada à corda—an old bull run tradition wholly unique to the island—before exploring Terceira’s show-stopping cheese and culinary specialties.

9 min
Azores: Feeling Saudade in the City

07: Azores: Feeling Saudade in the City

Founded in 1478, Angra do Heroísmo is a stunning island city bursting with churches, monasteries, manor houses, and palaces. Tour this designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of its most beautiful attractions—Captain General's Palace. And finish with a walk through the Duke of Terceira Garden to experience the full beauty of the city.

5 min
Azores: Portugal’s Garden Oasis

08: Azores: Portugal’s Garden Oasis

Visit the eastern part of São Miguel Island, emblematic of the lush flora, bubbling hot springs, spectacular viewpoints, and charming villages the Azores islands are famous for. Experience beautiful scenes and delicious geothermal-cooked dishes as you make your way to Ribeira dos Caldeirões Park, the Terra Nostra Garden, and the wildlife oasis of Ilhéu de Vila Franca.

10 min
Mexico: The Concheros Celebration of Spring

09: Mexico: The Concheros Celebration of Spring

Join Bob and narrator Fabiola Stevenson—a Mexican American actress—on a tour of San Miguel de Allende, a colonial town in the Bahia region of Mexico. Kick-off spring by attending the Concheros, a historic festival complete with intense rhythmic drumming, colorful costumes, and pre-Columbian dance troupes.

8 min
Mexico: Cowboys of the High Desert

10: Mexico: Cowboys of the High Desert

The Mexican cowboy, known as a charro, is an iconic figure. Learn all about the Charrería Mexican rodeo before taking a ride with thousands of cowboys and cowgirls across the dusty Bahia Desert to a high, mountain-top shrine in a pilgrimage called the Cabalgata of Cristo Rey.

13 min
Mexico: Holy Week in the Bajío

11: Mexico: Holy Week in the Bajío

The Christian Holy Week is one of the most important religious observances in Mexico. From Palm Sunday to Easter, the cities and towns in Bajío host a variety of celebrations and ceremonies. Visit several to immerse yourself in their Holy Week traditions, which range from profoundly spiritual to downright explosive.

13 min
Mexico: The Epic Journey of the Monarchs

12: Mexico: The Epic Journey of the Monarchs

Where do all the monarch butterflies go in the winter? Unearth one of nature’s most impressive migration stories by visiting the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve—another UNESCO World Heritage Site—where millions of butterflies visit annually. Then, sit down with Jaime Hernendez to learn about how you can protect the world’s butterflies.

6 min
Mexico: Festival of the Exploding Hammers

13: Mexico: Festival of the Exploding Hammers

The small mining village of San Juan de la Vega celebrates Carnival—also known as Mardi Gras—with a bang. Experience the so-called Festival of the Exploding Hammers without the requisite safety equipment, digging into the fascinating lore and public safety logistics behind an enduring Lent spectacle.

3 min
Mexico: The Master Craftsmen of Michoacán

14: Mexico: The Master Craftsmen of Michoacán

Join Bob on a visit to the Michoacán state in Central Mexico, home to the Indigenous Purépecha people whose ancestors formed one of the great civilizations of Mesoamerica. See for yourself why the villages around Lake Patzcuaro are so famous, from their renowned crafts and artwork to their stunning natural landscapes.

12 min
Mexico: The Jungle Xanadu of Las Pozas

15: Mexico: The Jungle Xanadu of Las Pozas

About 28 miles north of Mexico City lies a spectacular garden tucked away in the mountains of Xilita, willed into existence by an eccentric Englishman named Edward James. Go on a mystery tour of the surrealistic sculpture park Las Pozas, a group of whimsical, concrete structures that covers over 80 acres of subtropical rainforest.

5 min
Maine: The Spectacular Coast

16: Maine: The Spectacular Coast

Travel north to experience the sights and sounds of coastal Maine, home to lobsters, lighthouses, and some of the prettiest villages in the United States. Join Bob—a 5-year Maine resident himself—and photographer Ben Williamson for an introductory look at some of the most charming locales and beautiful scenery the Pine Tree state has to offer.

11 min
Maine: Life on the Islands

17: Maine: Life on the Islands

Ferry captain Gene Willard joins Bob to explore some of Maine’s 4,000 islands—15 of which have full-time residential populations and rely on ferry routes to connect them to the mainland. Catch an insider tour of the history and wildlife of the islands of Maine, from their blue heron populations to their gun batteries.

6 min
Maine: The World’s Largest Rotating Globe

18: Maine: The World’s Largest Rotating Globe

Take a road trip with Bob up Route 1, the mother road of Maine. Kick off your journey by visiting one of the state’s most engaging and eccentric roadside marvels: Eartha, a whopping four-story rotating globe. Join Eartha’s keeper Scott Dyer to explore the history and mechanics behind this otherworldly roadside wonder.

7 min
Maine: Collecting Americana

19: Maine: Collecting Americana

Link up with retired art professor and museum curator John Fawcett on Route 1 for a tour of Fawcett Museum’s extensive collection of 20th-century toys and Disney memorabilia. Take a look at some of John’s rarest items and discover where he finds his pieces and what inspired him to create this impressive roadside wonder.

7 min
Maine: The Indigenous Wild Blueberry

20: Maine: The Indigenous Wild Blueberry

The last roadside attraction stop on your winding Route 1 road trip is quite the treat. Sit down with farmers Dell and Marie Emerson to examine the history of fruit farming in Maine, before taking stock of all the wonderful surprises and scrumptious goodies at this delightfully eccentric blueberry emporium.

9 min
Maine: Riding the Revived Railroads

21: Maine: Riding the Revived Railroads

Maine’s train system was unusual compared to the rest of the United States in the 19th century. Bob takes you back in time to see how the train industry changed Maine and how Maine changed the train industry. Then, you’ll meet some folks who are trying to restore Maine’s history, track by painstaking track.

10 min
Maine: How Oysters Came Back from the Brink

22: Maine: How Oysters Came Back from the Brink

When most people think of Maine, they think lobsters—boiled, baked, or chopped up, and stuffed into rolls. But not so fast! Join Bob and a crew aboard an oyster dragger to learn about the tenacity and toughness of oyster harvesters, before joining Andy Rogers for a private oyster shucking demonstration on the river.

12 min
Maine: The Artists of Monhegan Island

23: Maine: The Artists of Monhegan Island

Hop on the ferry to explore Monhegan Island, a sparsely populated artist’s paradise located 12 miles off the coast of Maine. Tour the island’s stunning coastlines. Explore the local museum. And talk to some innkeepers and painters to get a sense of what life is like on an island so few call home.

12 min
Venice: Carnivale over the Centuries

24: Venice: Carnivale over the Centuries

As they say in Venice, “A carnevale ogni scherzo vale” or rather: “During carnival, anything goes.” It's a saying that perfectly sums up the energy and excitement as Venetians and visitors alike celebrate one of the city’s most cherished traditions. Join Bob for a behind-the-scenes look at the Carnevale di Venezia.

3 min
Venice: Making the Masks of Carnivale

25: Venice: Making the Masks of Carnivale

An authentic Venetian mask is made of paper-mache. The entire process—from the initial molding to all those last-minute details—is done by hand, usually by a master craftsman. Sit down with one such craftsman to learn about the history and art behind Venice’s iconic Carnevale masks.

8 min
Venice: The Costumes of Carnivale

26: Venice: The Costumes of Carnivale

With masks come costumes, too—feathered hats, embroidered shirts, satin gloves, even animal tusks. Meet Cindy Peterson, a 28-year veteran of Carnivale, along with a swath of other festival legends to tear into the history and nature of dress at one of the most fabulous Lent celebrations in the world.

16 min
Venice: Capturing the Spirit of Carnivale

27: Venice: Capturing the Spirit of Carnivale

What is the best way to capture the magic, mystery, and exuberance of Venetian Carnival? Work with two world-class photographers—incredibly well-respected among veteran costumers in Venice—to hone basic but extremely important photography skills. Play with light, setting, and even props to see how you can do celebrations like the Carnevale di Venezia justice on film.

9 min
Venice: The Future of the City of Canals

28: Venice: The Future of the City of Canals

Although the Carnevale di Venezia has been around for over 1,000 years, past performance is no guarantee of future results. The twin juggernauts of sea level rise and mass tourism continue to threaten Venice. Wrap up your travel journey by seeing how Venetians are mobilizing to protect the city they know and love.

7 min