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Everywhere, Spectacular Alaska

October 09, 1994|BETTY MARTIN

THE COMPLETE ALASKA ( Finlay-Holiday Film Corp., 60 minutes, 1993 ).

Photographers in Alaska can point their cameras in almost any direction and be confident of capturing spectacular scenery.

This tour takes viewers up the Inside Passage by ferry with stops at Ketchikan with its totem pole centers and remote Misty Fiords National Park. The next stops are at the islands of Wrangell and Petersburg; Sitka, once the capital of Russian Alaska, and Juneau, today's capital, where a tour includes the Mendenhall Glacier and a helicopter ride over the ice fields.

From Juneau the ferry follows the Lynn Canal to Skagway with a stop at Haines for scenes of Tlingit Indian craftsmen.

Heading northwest, viewers cross the scenic Wrangell and St. Elias mountains on the way to Valdez, terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. A tour includes the scenery of Mineral Creek Canyon and the Columbia Glacier before reaching Anchorage.

On the visit to Denali National Park, the video captures mighty Mt. McKinley, whose 20,320-foot peak is often fog shrouded.

A visit to Fairbanks includes scenes of the university and a stern-wheeler cruise on the Chena River. Continuing north the video crosses the Arctic Circle and the Brooks Range to the polar desolation of the north slope tundra. This is Inuit land, the home of caribou, polar bears, and dog sleds. Reaching at Barrow there are scenes of whale hunting and other native festivities. Final scenes compare the stark winter beauty of Alaska with the glory of spring's rushing streams and wild flowers.

Tapes are available from Finley-Holiday Film Corp., P.O. Box 619, Whittier, Calif. 90608, (800) 345-6707. Price: $24.95 (plus tax and postage).

RIO DE JANEIRO ( Kodak Video Trip, 35 minutes, 1993 ).

Viewers get a colorful tour of Rio, as well as side trips.

Aerial and ground views show some of the incredibly crowded beaches at Ipanema and Copacabana, and spectacular vistas of the city from the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain and from the imposing statue of Christ on Corcovado Peak. Natural beauty is featured on a drive through the city's botanical gardens and lush Tijuca Forest.

A different perspective of this onetime capital of Brazil is gained from a schooner cruise of the island-studded harbor. Side trips take in the town of Petropolis with the summer palace of Dom Pedro II; Teresopolis, a beautiful area of mountains, lakes and waterfalls; the lovely Nova Friburgo Park, and the north shore resorts of Cabo Frio and Buzios.

Tapes are available from Wood Knapp Video, 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2700, Los Angeles, Calif. 90036; tel. (800) 456-0079. Price: $19.98 (plus tax and postage).

RIVERS OF FRANCE ( Clay Francisco Films, 80 minutes, 1993 ).

The introduction on this video tour of northwestern France begins with cruising on the Seine in Paris. As the boat passes landmarks, Clay Francisco provides informative narration of Normandy, Brittany, Loire Valley chateaux and Burgundy's canals. The first views of the Loire Valley, its river and chateaux, are from a hot-air balloon. Also visited are the Angers fortress and the town of Blois. Land tours of chateaux include Chambord, Cheverney, Chaumont and Chenceaux.

Travel through Burgundy is by barge and includes stops to tour Dijon and Beaune, where there is a visit to the Hotel-Dieu, founded as a hospital in 1443.

On the return to Paris from this leg of the tour, viewers are shown some of the night life of the city and make a side trip to Giverny, Claude Monet's home and lovely gardens.

Touring Brittany, the video visits the walled port city of St.-Malo; the medieval town of Dinan; the mysterious ruins of Carnac; the coastal town of Quimper noted for its pottery; the island-hotel Mont Saint-Michel, and the World War II landing sites of Normandy.

In Paris, viewers visit the Chateau of Versailles and watch the colorful celebration of France's independence day, July 14.

Tapes are available from Wish You Were Here, 1455 Royal Blvd., Glendale, Calif. 91207; (818) 243-7043. Price: $29.95 (plus tax and postage).

Videos appears monthly.

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