EH Notebook #106     July 27, 2002

Welcome to EH Notebook, the e-zine where e-friends who have 
attended Elderhostel programs can compare notes. 

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     From the Editor's Notebook

Summer is an active time for Elderhostelers, so I have received a 
good group of reviews within a few weeks of the last issue.  Also, 
I am going to be away again much of August.  To an Elderhostel in 
California and then on to another family gathering in Seattle, so 
I will be gone about three weeks.

By late August my mailbox should have collected enough goodies for 
another issue.


I have received a communication from a person who wants to discuss 
the rising costs of Elderhostel programs and the role of single 
women in Elderhostels.

I feel that the proper forum for these discussions is 
www.SeniorNet.org.  That website hosts a wide variety of 
discussion groups that are of interest to seniors.  If you select 
the discussion tab on the home page and then scroll down to find 
the Education group and click on it, you will see the Elderhostel 
discussion.  Click on it and you are in.  You can browse through 
these discussion groups without registering or joining SeniorNet.  
However, if you want to post a message, you must register with the 
website.  That still does not require you to join SeniorNet, 
though you might be interested in doing so.  If you register with 
SeniorNet, you will receive an occasional email from them, but 
they will not distribute your email address elsewhere.

These subjects have certainly been discussed before, but they are 
still important subjects and should be discussed just as long as 
anyone wants to bring them up.

Bob McAllester

    Comments and Queries

Georgia Honeyfield

We have a brand new problem and wonder if there are any 
Elderhostels which would accomodate dialysis.  Our traveling has 
been sharply curtailed and we are trying to get back into the 
swing of things.

We are taking a cruise next April, but these have to be arranged 
so far ahead because there is limited space available.


Marian Bellama

I would like to know about people's reactions to Elderhostels in 
Turkey, Greenland and Iceland. Am considering all three for 
sometime in the not too distant future. Thanks, Marian Bellama

    Program Reviews

   Hagerstown Community College, Maryland
   Peru:  History, Culture and Archaeology
   Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russian Federation
   Central College, Pella, Iowa
   Beach House -- Prince Edward Island 
   Elderhostel East/Mt. Snow - Vermont
   Alaska: Wilderness, Glaciers   Native Culture 


Hagerstown Community College, Maryland
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park
Active Outdoor (hiking)
June 2, 2002

I recently attended an active hostel at Shepherd's Spring Outdoor 
Ministries Center, which was sponsored by Hagerstown Community 
College.  Sid Kessler wrote a splendid review of this hostel in 
year 2000 (#67), and all I can say is that all the praise he 
heaped on this hostel was richly deserved.  

The wooded setting was lovely, and coordinator Anne Meyers and 
guide John Frye were friendly, organized, and very knowledgeable.  
The food was wonderful, being both healthy and very tasty.  
Picnics provided hot dishes like soup and baked chicken, and the 
evening meals were delicious. 

Special events in the evening included a wonderful singer of songs 
from the 1800s who was dressed in period dress and had appeared at 
the White House.  Another evening featured a retired photographer 
from National Geographic who provided nature pictures that were 
really special.

I highly recommend hostels held at this site.  

Jean Sterling


Peru:  History, Culture and Archaeology
InkaNatura Travel
October 2001

This is a response written to an Elderhosteler who requested 
information about a program in Peru.

GO FOR IT!   I took an Elderhostel to Peru last October with a 
different name but it included the same places so I'm sure it 
would be very similar.  It was the best of all the 16 Elderhostels 
I have been on.

The trip was VERY well planned.  Going into the higher elevations 
was done gradually and one got accustomed to a higher elevation 
before going on to the next. None of our group of 22 suffered any 
ill effects from it but that doesn't mean that it couldn't happen. 
Suggestions for coping with the changes in elevation were 
constantly given by our Group Leader and Guides and coca tea, 
which helped to ameliorate effects was always available.  Two of 
our group did get mild cases of "tourista" but again our Group 
Leader was on the spot with suggestions, medications and requests 
to the hotel kitchens for a special diet for those afflicted.

The schedule was also well planned to avoid the heat of the day 
and crowds where they would be a problem. There were several very 
early "wake up" calls due to airline schedules and security 
measures at the airports but they were also balanced by free 
periods to rest and relax if you chose to.

Victor Colunga, the group leader, was an exceptional guide and 
caretaker -- the best group leader by far of any of the  
Elderhostel programs I had previously attended.  His clear 
instructions throughout the trip, the loving care to the needs and 
safety of the group, his handling of difficult situations and his 
sense of humor gave the group a sense of security and "family".  
He is to be commended for doing an outstanding job. Unfortunately, 
I understand this was to be his last Elderhostel.  What a pity!

Very complete pre trip information packets prepared us for the 
experience. All the site leaders and lecturers were first rate.  
The lectures tied in nicely with the site visits and made the 
areas come alive so much more than visiting them by yourself or 
with a guide who "just took you there".

The accommodations all were top notch, especially, the Pardo Hotel 
in Lima, the Hotel Libertador in Trujillo, and the delightful 
cabins tucked in the forest and gardens at Hotel Machu Pichu 
Pueblo.  I would give them a 5 star rating.  Four of the hotels 
had swimming pools.

The meals, mostly taken in the hotels where we stayed were 
exceptional also. Dinners were usually a more than generous buffet 
of Peruano specialties beautifully presented, especially in the 
case of the Pardo Hotel.

Land travel between sites was by comfortable vans or buses.

Little unexpected surprises were planned by the Group and Site 
Leaders.  A rickshaw "taxi" ride and race in Monserat:  a private 
horse show (of  a breed of horses found only in Peru ) and lunch 
at the estate of the horse owner; a serenade by a group during 
lunch at the Machu Pichu Pueblo: a visit to a small village "home 
brewery" and pub which made corn beer.  We were not allowed to 
taste because of health concerns but were welcomed by the group of 
villagers partaking. Complimentary pisco sours now and then and a 
chance for those who wished  to sample roast guinea pig on our 
last night was thoughtfully arranged by Victor after being told we 
were not allowed to have it during the program.  All helped to 
make this a special experience. By the way the roast guinea pig  
was delicious.!

All this, and the awesome Andean archeological sites and 
breathtaking vistas!!!  I would highly recommend it.

The only "down" part of the program was the participation of three 
of the Elderhostelers who just were not physically capable of the 
rigors and demands of the trip which really were not that great.   
One of them realized this and stayed back in situations she knew 
she would have difficulty in handling.  The other two insisted on 
remaining and participating with the group in all situations. As a 
result the group was constantly chomping at the bit, waiting or 
making accommodations for them, and creating worrisome situations 
for the Group Leader and Site Guides.  I am not sure what 
Elderhostel can do about this, beyond what they already do by 
carefully outlining the physical demands of their trips in the 
catalog and pre-trip information packets but I feel it is unfair 
to other group members to allow people to continue when it is very 
obvious they have not paid attention to the warnings in the 

Barbara Fay
Fairbanks, AK


Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russian Federation
Program 72085      May 16 - June 8, 2002

The Baltic countries, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, welcome 
visitors as they push forward to complete independence and 
prosperity.  "Presentation" of good food with a lot of variety 
made meals an adventure.  Lectures (three in each Baltic country) 
were generally good--although there were some language barriers.  
The Lithuanian hotel was not near the city center, but this may 
change in 2003.  Latvian and Estonian hotels were within walking 
distance of Old Town. Considerable walking should be expected in 
each city.  Full but not tiring days (three by bus) between each 
of five cities offered views of country life.  A very new express 
train took us from St. Petersburg to Moscow.

I was pleasantly surprised by subtle changes during the 13 years 
between my Russian visits.  Many of St. Petersburg's buildings and 
monuments are covered with scaffolding in preparation for the 
city's 300th anniversary in 2003.  A visit there during its White 
Nights provides 18 hours of sunlight.  A visit to Moscow's Kremlin 
and Red Square is priceless.  Three lectures in the Russian cities 
were in two palaces and the university.

Russian meals were more often french fries and sometimes a mystery 
meat, and the Russians have room for improvement in personal 
contacts with tourists.

The St. Petersburg Hotel (1200 rooms) was huge and busy with 
buffet breakfasts being a real challenge.  Moscow's hotel was one 
of the buildings known as "seven sisters".

Although very chilly in Lithuania, overall we had pleasant sunny 
days about 70 degrees and a few cloudy and drizzling days.

The program starts slowly in Lithuania, progresses to more modern 
Latvia and to even more modern Estonia before the very busy last 
eight days of the program in Russia with several evening programs.  
Having the same guide throughout each location helped avoid 
duplication of sites and descriptions.

I was impressed with the quality of the hotels and the food on 
this, my first International Elderhostel.

The group leader, Tanya Shepard, was superb in handling all the 
details of the program including illness of several participants 
from an undetermined food source.  Her information, reminders, and 
genuine concern for all participants made this a very pleasant 

I welcome any questions as I will be working on a trip story and 
slide presentation for many more weeks, and I realize a general 
review of the program cannot not focus on specific issues.

Diane Tanner


Central College, Pella, IA

Art, Music and Folkways of The Netherlands: A Week in Holland, 
a Touch of Iowa

Program 15105
July 7 - July 13.

If you aren't Dutch before attending this six-night Central 
College-based program, you'll wish you were at its conclusion.

Milly and her committee (Elaine, Lisa, and Marcie) add personal 
touches to the program which includes three sessions each of organ 
music and great Dutch artists. Dutch immigrants tell their own 
stories.  Dutch architecture, antiques, costumes, history, 
language, and crafts are explored in detail.  Visits to the home 
of the city's founder, the Pella Historical Village's buildings 
and windmill, the Opera House, and Central Park for a band concert 
add variety as we were welcomed by the entire community.

Most meals are cafeteria-style in the college dining hall; one 
evening the committee prepared a Dutch sampling of homemade 
specialties.  Every "coffee time" provided new taste temptations 
from Elaine's husband's bakery.

Lodging is in air-conditioned rooms in townhouses on the campus, 
with each two rooms sharing a bathroom.  College buildings are 
less than two blocks from the townhouses, and golf-cart 
transportation was available.

A description of the week in the Elderhostel catalog cannot 
express the personal touches to all aspects of the activities.

Don't miss out of this Elderhostel, scheduled only once a year in 

Diane Tanner


Beach House -- Prince Edward Island 

Catch   Cook - #67410-0630-01
June 30, 2002
Hosts/Instructors: Brenda   Barry Philip

This program was reviewed in #73 Elderhostel Notebook, September, 
2000 by Richard C. Youngs. The program had been on our wish list 
since then.  The program/recipes appear unchanged.  There is 
always a waiting list for this popular program.   We rank it as 
one of the best of the 16 we have attended.

7 couples and 3 singles from New York, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, 
Texas, Nevada and Arizona came together at the Beach House Inn on 
PEI and bonded almost immediately.  

We had several blocks of free time.  Exploring this lovely island 
and fishing were popular. So much green you would think you were 
in Ireland.  The main land crop is potatoes. (Remember this when 
you read the list of recipes.)  The sod is bright red.  The rocks 
are soft red sandstone which can be crumbled with your hands.  It 
is possible to climb to the very top of a historic light house on 
the West point of the island.

A talented fisherman in the group had never fished for flounder.  
Since this could be done at the nearby beach, he caught his limit 
every day.  He also enjoyed teaching others to shore fish and his 
group caught enough flounder for all of us to enjoy at two meals. 
The two high points of their story telling were when the fisherman 
reached down and picked a flounder up out of the surf plus when 
two flounder bit on the same clam so that he caught them both.  
True stories....witnessed!

The island people are delightful and gracious to those of us "from 
away".  They provided the various evening entertainments. A local 
actor presented "A Rowboat in the Attic".  An 80 year old 
fisherman, Tommy Gallant, charmed us with his stories and on a 
field trip helped us dig for clams.  Tommy's son and a talented 
young lady provided a musical evening. We visited a seafood 
processing plant run by Tommy's daughter and her husband, followed 
by a scallop lunch in their restaurant. 

Other field trips included deep sea fishing for the cod we 
prepared, a very educational visit with a lobster man who also 
raises blue mussels; the organic garden of a chef who cooked 
mussels and bruschetta for us to sample; a talk by a man who 
smokes fish; and visits to a cheese plant and a jam factory.

At the start of the program Brenda divided us into teams and  gave 
us the menus and recipes.  All classes began with Brenda's 
demonstration of various skills such as shucking oysters or 
filleting/skinning salmon then  she set us loose with our recipes.   
When more than one team prepared the same recipe, friendly 
competition usually developed over the skills of the teams 
involved.  Brenda seemed to be everywhere instructing and 

During the 4 hands-on classes, the group very successfully 
  Spicy Thai Mussels 
  Spinach/strawberry salad
  Maple baked Salmon on nutty greens
  Chocolate potato cake
  Boiled lobster 
  Potato salad with roasted red pepper 
  Home made vanilla ice cream
  Home made fresh strawberry ice cream
  Tunisian Orange Cake
  Butter Tarts
  24 hour Coleslaw
  Potato herb soup
  Clam Chowder  
  Oysters on the Half Shell Pan Fried Oysters
  Potato Crusted Oysters
  Smoked trout pate 
  Baked Cod  
  Boiled potatoes

Barry was the expert breakfast cook......a different menu each 
day.  Lunches were a different menu every day.   Lunch and dinner 
entrees included chicken salad sandwiches, a dinner with barbecued 
chicken, and 2 pork dinners.

The couple who run the B  Inn are both artists, so everything is 
very tastefully appointed.  There are 5 rooms/baths in the main 
house and 6 cabins around the yard, most with refrigerators.  A 
refrigerator in the main house is available for those with no 
refrigerators.  Current photos of rooms may be seen at their web 
site: www.beachhouseinn.ca  Bath toiletries and hair dryers are 
furnished.  New towels are provided on Wednesday.  

Apparently they sometimes get one channel on the TV so have an 
extensive video collection in their cozy book filled library. They 
do not get a newspaper. Everyone survived quite well.

Nearby town has a laundromat, bank, grocery, liquor store, etc.

Some drove from their homes.  The balance flew to various points 
in Maine and Canada before renting a car. Arranging flights can be 
a challenge.   It is possible to fly to Charlottetown and be 
picked up for an extra fee.  A car is recommended for this rural 
setting with no public transportation. 

Fred and Mary Ann Boher


Elderhostel East/Mt. Snow - Vermont

The American Revolution: A Quest for Independence
July 14-19, 2002

This Elderhostel was held at the Ironstone Lodge in West Dover VT, 
at the foot of the Mt. Snow Ski area. The rooms were very 
comfortable, but they had ceiling fans and no air conditioning.  
Each room had a sliding glass door and we found that the fan we 
brought from home was able to bring in cool air to keep us 
comfortable while sleeping. All meals were served in the Inn's 
dining room and were very good.

Our main Instructor was Jim Dissatti from the Vermont Living 
History Society.  He came to class wearing various Continental 
Army costumes. These were for the various roles he plays during 
American Revolution reenactments held in the Northeast.  He was an 
excellent instructor and we learned all about the battles held in 
Vermont and nearby NY.  We had two field trips, in very 
comfortable coach buses. The first was on Tuesday to the 
Bennington Museum, the Bennington Monument and the Bennington 
Battlefield.  The second was on Thursday to the Saratoga 
Battlefield and to Saratoga Springs. We had box lunches on the 
field trips.  Each of the trips complimented the material we had 
covered during our class sessions.  We also got to see relevant 
videos on the bus trips.  On Friday we met Leo Tucker who was 
wearing a continental marine officer's costume.  He told us about 
naval and marine battles during the American Revolution.

Every evening we had a program. On Monday we met Lynn Manwring 
from the Potomtoc Indian Museum in Deerfield MA.  She wore a 
typical woman's outfit and told us how a farmers wife lived.  The 
other 3 evenings we had some very good light entertainment by 
different local people.

I especially recommend this program to people interested in the 
history of the American Revolution.  All 38 attendees learned a 
lot of history in great detail.

Helen Sternheim


Alaska: Wilderness, Glaciers   Native Culture
Adventures Afloat catalog

Just returned from an absolutely wonderful EH cruise on the 
Universe Explorer to the inside passage in Alaska.

The ports visited:
  Ketchikan (all day ashore)
  Sitka (7:00 to 4:00),
  Skagway (7:30AM to 9:00PM)
  Cruised Glacier Bay (wonderful)
  Cruised all day at Hubbard Glacier
  Seward (9:00AM to 10PM)
  Kodiak (9:00AM to 6PM)
  Juneau (8:00 to 3:00PM)
  Metlakatla (8:00 to 1:00PM)
  Cruised Misty Fiords from about 2:00PM til dark
  Victoria (11:00am til midnight)
  Docked in Vancouver the next morning at 9:00AM.

The ship (Universe Explorer) holds 700 of which 120 were 
Elderhostelers, divided into 4 groups of 30, each with an 
excellent leader.  The main dining room had a wonderful restaurant 
with a varied menu and very attentive waiters.  EH offered extra 
perks for the onshore times (for instance; a great train ride in 

I can't recommend it highly enough.

Frances Harden