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Journeys to Arizona, Yosemite and Greece

ARIZONA (International Video Network Video Visits, 55 minutes, 1993).

Arizona is a land of contrasts--vast open deserts, canyons and buttes to snow-capped mountains and forests. This video provides dramatic samplings of the state’s natural wonders and its major cities.

The film tour begins in Phoenix with a stop at its Heard Museum, noted for exhibits of Native American relics and art, including kachina dolls.

Tucson reflects Mexican heritage in its architecture and Old West traditions. Stops are made at San Xavier del Bac Mission, Tucson Mountain Park, Saguaro National Monument and the Sonoran Desert with its wildflowers, cacti and spectacular sunsets.

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In central Arizona, viewers see Prescott and Flagstaff; the ruins of Montezuma Castle National Monument; beautiful Oak Creek Canyon and Jerome, a ghost town turned artists’ colony; Tonto National Monument, and the tribal dances of the White Mountain Apaches.

The camera then follows the Colorado River from Lake Powell and Glen Canyon, Utah, to the Grand Canyon, then down Arizona’s western border through Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, Lake Mohave, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu and Yuma.

In the northeastern part of the state are the 25,000-square-mile Navajo and Hopi lands, where viewers see ruins and watch craft demonstrations of rug weaving and sand painting. Then it’s on to the spectacular monoliths of Monument Valley, the cliff dwellings at Canyon de Chelly National Monument, the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest.

Tapes are available from International Video Network, 2242 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, Calif. 94583; telephone (800) 669-4486, Ext. 301. Price: $29.95 (plus tax and postage).

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FOUR SEASONS OF YOSEMITE (Finlay-Holiday Films, 45 minutes, 1993).

The grandeur of Yosemite National Park is beautifully filmed in this four-seasons visit to the valley and Sierra high country.

The film opens on an ethereal, mist-filled valley; as the mist disperses, the sun reveals a dazzling display of spring wildflowers--poppies, lupine and dogwood.

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Up in the high country, the snow lingers, slowly melting and filling the streams and rivers that feed the valley’s famous waterfalls.

Surrounding the valley are granite cliffs such as Half Dome, El Capitan and Cathedral Rock, where hardy rock climbers seek adventure.

An early morning excursion captures scenes of wildlife and a hiking trip takes viewers to two waterfalls not seen from the valley floor, Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. Brilliant scarlet snow plants contrast with grand sequoias in the Mariposa Grove.

There are stunning summertime views from Glacier Point, 3,200 feet above the valley floor, and film of hikers, bikers and river rafters. Scenes compare waterfalls in spring and summer. High-country scenery includes lakes, the Tioga Pass, Tuolumne Meadows, Soda Springs and hiking trails.

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Tapes are available from Finlay-Holiday Film Corp., P.O. Box 610, Whittier, Calif. 90608; tel. (800) 345-6707. Price: $29.95 (plus tax and postage).

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GREECE (Fodor’s Video Guide, 92 minutes, 1993).

This is one of Fodor’s compact travel packages for the travel planner. Included are a 65-minute travelogue covering major tourist sights; a narration filled with history, mythology, the arts and archeology, and a 27-minute segment devoted to travel tips.

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A traveler’s handbook provides maps and information on restaurants, hotels, currency, night life, culture and customs, and language phrases. Interviews with citizens give a personal touch.

The tour of Athens covers many of the traditional tourist sites-- such as the Acropolis and the Temple of Athena Nike--plus street scenes, shops and cafes that reflect the historic relationship between Greece and Turkey.

A tour of the Greek islands first visits Crete, where viewers see the immense architectural remains of the Palace at Knosos and hear the legend of King Minos.

Other islands include Santorini, which some say is the site of the lost city of Atlantis; excavations at Akrotiri, dating back 5,000 years; Corfu, a tranquil island resort, and Rhodes, where the ancient and modern combine.

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Tapes available from International Video Network, 2242 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, Calif. 94583; tel. (800) 669-4486, Ext. 301. Price: $29.95 (plus tax and postage).

Videos appears monthly .


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