xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Elderhostel Notebook #23 Feb 22, 1998 oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Elderhostel Notebook is a production of The Senior Group, an informal group of older netizens. It provides a place for elderhostelers to share information about Elderhosteling and other learning experiences related to travel. I has a world wide web site at http://discover-net.net/~jimo/eldnote/eldnote.html It is an independent project; appreciative of, but not associated with Elderhostel Inc. To subscribe to the e-mail edition send an e-mail to email@example.com ********************************************** Contents From the Editors Notebook Elderhostel Reviews Personals ######################################## Editor's Notebook ######################################## I am contemplating some changes in the EN web site that will clarify the purpose of including information about many types of travel related educational experiences, formal and informal, for readers of any age but focused mainly on retired readers. This will probably entail a name change of the web site to "Going to Learn," but I will keep the Elderhostel Notebook more or less as is, devoted to elderhosteling and include it on the web site as a sub-section of the larger "Going to Learn" format. The notebook as is will continue to be archived at the Boulder site as well. Just a reminder- I do have two years worth of Elderhostel reports in my Elderhostel file on my hard disk and can do an almost instant search to extract specific ones and forward them to anyone who sends in a query . This list is far from complete and some of the earlier ones are perhaps obsolete now. It is far easier for me to do it this way using an internal Grep search that to try to set up a search or index engine on the web site (which is technically possible but difficult to set up and maintain). The current system takes very little time and the average query takes less than 2-3 minutes to respond to. For those of you who have trouble with e-mail such as the proliferation of junk mail and other e-mail related problems, I have archived the latest issue of each newsletter on the web site, The Boulder site has past issues as well, so you can get the notebook directly from the web and don't have to depend on e-mail for it. ######################################### Elderhostel Reviews ######################################### Stetson University Deland , Florida. TBENSP@aol.com Classes : Evolution of Human Life... Four Famous Films of Alfred Hitchcock Native Americans from Latin America All were excellent. It seems that when classes utilize thir own teaching staff, the presentations and information are so much more professional. Teachers were so enthusiastic and excited about the interaction that usually doesn't occur with their college students. All meals except the first and last were in the College Cafeteria and the choices outnumber your appetite. Accommodations are in the old Stetson Inn a full service facility with private bath. Has recently changed hands, so a much needed refurbishing is underway outside and in. Management were right on top of things. Played cards at night in the lobby that was set up by motel personnel. Classes are 2-3 blocks from motel and cafeteria is one and 1/2 blocks from class. If handicapped you can usually find a parking space near all buildings. This Elderhostel has eliminated the dreaded, sometimes lengthy introductions. We have gotten tired of them, so it was a welcome change. I know some first- timers have been intimidated by them. Not here. The atmosphere is friendly and the Continuing Education Department personnel are very helpful and students nearing graduation work with the group. For further information, contact me at TBENSP@aol.com _____________________ French barge study cruise--'Across the Vosges' Oct. 28-Nov. l2 1997 BAHamm@webtv.net (Billie A. Hamm) After a killer plane trip (8 1/2 hrs) ,we arrived in Paris and were met and transferred to the hotel Ibis at the airport, where we were lodged for the night. We caught a train (which was right next to the hotel) and took off for Paris-a thirty minute ride-and got off at the Halles stop and wandered around down there until around 5 pm. Halles is one of the oldest areas in Paris, cobblestone street, etc. We were to meet our group leader for dinner at the hotel. There ended up being only 14 of us, as some canceled out at last min. Our group leader and resident lecturer for Strasbourg and our barge trip was Guy Verhaeghen. He was with us for the next 12 days. We left early next morn for Strasbourg and the hotel Pax. The hotel was located centrally and we could walk everywhere of interest. We had guest lecturers on Alsace and its history while there and also walking tours. After 3 nites in Strasbourg, we loaded up on the bus and headed for the barge, which was at Bar le Duc some 8 hours away. We stopped at a castle-Haut Koenigsbourg-for a visit and had lunch in Kintzheim at the'Chez Jenny' (good) before going on to barge. Rooms on this barge were large with private baths. Food was good to excellent. The barge's name was 'Libellule' or little fire fly. our captain was Tim, from England. There were several problems on the barge; one couple had to be moved; water was coming in their ceiling from the kitchen above and this affected the hot water in that end of the barge-there was none for 3 days. Temp was running in the mid to high 30s, with lows in the 20s outside). Guy did lectures on the barge each morning and we got on the bus and toured local areas each afternoon. One word of caution, if on a barge trip and riding bicycles, stay on a tow path or with the barge in sight, as four of us got lost because we were on a road instead of tow path. We went one way and the barge went another and we ended up with a mountain range between us and in a little village that spoke virtually no English. We finally caught up with the barge, buts thats a long story--alls well that ends well. After a week, we got on the bus and headed for Paris. We left Guy here and gained Marie Dumart, who was with us for our time in Paris. (her group was doing the reverse of ours and we changed buses and guides at lunch). Our hotel in Paris was the Trianon--located on the left bank and close to a metro. The restaurant was the Metzalunna, and as we had been with EH to Paris before, we chose not to eat there. We did eat out as a group a couple of times, once at the Orsay museum (very good) and at 'Procope' for our farewell dinner. (excellent) Paris was conducted as usual, walking tours, museums, etc. all of interest. Weather was not the best. as soon as it warmed up, it started raining. not windy, so able to keep dry with an umbrella. but, hey, you have to go when you can get accepted on a barge trip, as they are very popular. all in all, great trip, usual interesting and diverse EH crowd. Editor's note- Photos of the EH are in the photo page at the Elderhostel Notebook web site. _______________ ìGaudeamusî Program in Australia and New Zealand January 11-February 13, 1998 Dee Barstow (DEEBAR@aol.com) My husband and I just returned from a wonderful, month long Elderhostel program in Australia and New Zealand. ìGaudeamusî means ìlet us rejoiceî and that is exactly what we and thirty-nine other Elderhostelers did as we experienced and learned about the two nations downunder. We learned to appreciate the individuality and diversity of the two countries as we visited sites which have become famous throughout the world. Our lecturers were outstanding and covered a variety of subjects. We learned about the political, economic and social histories of Australia and New Zealand, their distinctive art and music, their flora and fauna, and the geological features for which each is famous. We visited botanical gardens and art museums, major cities and the outback. We hiked in the desert around Ayers Rock and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef. We fed kangaroos and some of us rode camels. Each day was different and each new experience was exciting. Our accommodations were very good. The hotels were well located and several offered lovely views. The rooms were sometimes rather small, but all were comfortable and had private baths. (The one time we werenít in a hotel was in Ayers Rock, where we spent one night in apartments with two couples sharing a two bedroom, one bath apartment.) The meals served in the hotels were buffet, with many enticing dishes to tempt us. We also went to several nice restaurants, ate with Maoris at their headquarters in Rotarua, NZ, picnicked in a dry riverbed with Aboriginals near Alice Springs, Australia, attended a barbecue on a cattle ranch, and dined in style at the Opera House in Sydney (where we also attended a performance of Tosca.) We were very fortunate to have Paul Lyth, a young policeman from New South Wales as our Group Leader. He had a keen sense of humor, which he maintained even through the inevitable minor crises, and kept things moving smoothly from beginning to end. He became a friend to each one of us. The Site Coordinators were also very capable and interesting people who contributed immensely to our enjoyment of the trip. There are other Elderhostel programs offered in New Zealand and Australia. I'm sure they're all good, but I think it would be hard to find one with more diversification and breadth than "Gaudeamus". ______ University of Texas, Marine Science Institute Port Aransas on Mustang Island Betsycas@aol.com I attended two, back-to-back, and both were superb. They used top-notch instructors, different for each of the classes and the housing was in a very nice condo overlooking the beach. Food was so outstanding, it deserves special mention. Breakfasts at the condo had the standard fruit and cereal, but each day a catered "treat" was delivered to enhance the meal. Except for the field trips, for which we had nice bag lunches, we ate wonderful catered lunches at the condo. 4 evening meals were at excellent restaurants (we could make a choice from a wide variety on the menus), and the 5th was a shrimp-boil, delivered to the condo. The Elderhostel meeting room was large and comfortable. Port Aransas is all of 3 miles long, and has a little trolley that runs around free of charge. The beach is wide and beautiful, but for the cars, pickups, and travel trailers Texas allows on all of their beaches (too bad). We just turned our backs on them and enjoyed the sea. 1st Week: "In Touch with Coastal Ecology" and "The Magnificent Whooping Cranes." Monday: A morning lecture, with slides, about the local birds, followed by a bus trip to the Boardwalk at the Birding Center; after lunch we visited the Marine Science Institute, a large and beautiful facility on the island. That evening we saw a video in which they tracked "The Flight of the Whooping Cranes." We became more aware of the plight of those beautiful birds. Tuesday: A wonderful lecture regarding the Cranes, followed by an all-day boat trip to Aransas Wildlife Refuge where we saw the Cranes and many other birds. Our leader, Ray Little, knows that flock intimately and lent great warmth to their story. In the evening we had a hands-on lecture about the Flora of the area. Wednesday: We bussed into Corpus Christi where we visited the Museum of Science and History and the Aquarium, both quite new facilities and excellent. That evening we saw pictures and learned about the Albatross project on Midway Atoll in the Pacific from a gal who'd been there, I believe with an Elderhostel Service program. Thursday: A cruise aboard the school's research vessel, during which we trolled at various sea levels and took a "mud bite," bringing up a big variety of ocean creatures. Fascinating, up-close, and hands-on (if you wanted). 1/2 day off gave us time to explore the beach, and that evening was the host-party at the condo. Friday: Marine-biologist and artist Dinah Bowman led us in nature printing - we all felt like artists with our little accomplishments! 2nd Week: "From the Whooping Cranes to Piping Plovers" and "The Captivating Culture and History of the Texas Gulf Coast." Monday: A repeat of last week's Monday activities, but I saw a different variety of things at the Boardwalk, including a couple of alligators and a muskrat. Tuesday: Same as last week's Tuesday, and I enjoyed seeing the Whooping Cranes just as much the 2nd time around. Wednesday: Bus trip to Rockport where we saw the Fulton Mansion, a beautifully restored Victorian mansion. Only Elderhostlers receive a wonderful introduction by the architect who directed the restoration. In the afternoon we visited the Texas Maritime Museum (which I thought was quite mediocre) and had time to wander around the shops nearby. Evening free. Thursday: We visited the Marine Science Institute, a repeat of last week, so I hiked the jetties during the repeat part of the program. The afternoon was free, and we drove into Hans Suter Park in Corpus Christi. It's a nice birding center with another boardwalk, and we saw quite a different set of water birds here. That evening was the host-party. Friday: A repeat of last week's art program (I needed more practice!). I recommend these programs to anyone interested in nature study. This facility is highly geared to Elderhostel programs, even has a special office devoted to us. The bulletin states "for the active Elderhostler," but it isn't particularly demanding. The condo requires walking up and down steps, however. Doing the two together worked out beautifully for me; most of the duplicated lectures were in the 1st hour of the morning, so I just hit the beach for a while, then joined the group. ______________________ Marine Resources Research Center/ Key Largo LEE1W@aol.com In January, we spend a week at the Marine Resources Research Center in Key Largo Florida. The Center usually has fourth and seventh graders as students who come to learn marine environmental conservation. We elders too spent the week in classes in marine biology of the coral reef and the mangrove swamps. Most days, we had a field trip that allowed us to practice new found skills in snorkeling, and see what we had learned in class. There was a field trip to the Everglades that helped to understand the pressures of all of the stakeholders on this river of grass including the produce growers, the vacationers, and the fisherman. While the program can accommodate nonswimers, you feel more secure in the water if you can swim. Some found that flight of stairs up to the second floor dorms and downstairs to the bathrooms a bit challenging. The menu was one that the kids feel at home with, and we did too. The instructors were very knowlegable and careful about water safety. Like so many others, the lure of a warm climate, being out of doors, and the salt water of Florida Bay in this semi-tropical climate in Winter was a joy for us. editor's note- for more information about this elderhostel go to http://www.mrdf.org/mlelder.htm ######################################### Personals ######################################### Editor's note- The following list comes from a reader whose name and e-mail I have lost in transferring material from one computer to another. My apologies to the author. RECOMMENDED ELDERHOSTELS IN THE SOUTHEAST U. S. (1996 -1997) AL University of South Alabama (USA), Beckwith Center near Fairhope A nice facility with interesting programs. USA is a super-site and generally runs 60 or more Elderhostels a year at six different locations. Fabulous programs. AL University of South Alabama at Gulf State Park A very nice facility, large buffet, and very fine programs. Golf program at beautiful near by golf course. Alabama author C. Terry Cline is very entertaining. AR Ozark Folk Center This is an Arkansas State Park with Ozark crafts, country music, evening musical entertainment every night and beautiful Ozark Mountain country. GA Brenau University and Dalton College have programs at Amicalola Falls Lodge This is a beautiful location at the top of a mountain overlooking the rolling foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Food,classes and hotel rooms all in one attractive building. GA Epworth by the Sea on St. Simons Island Several institutions provide Elderhostels at this location. We have found that those sponsored by ^ÓEpworth by the Sea^Ô (itself) to be the best. GA Georgia Baptist Assembly (in the North Georgia mountains near Taccoa.) Nice facility, good food and interesting programs. GA Kennesaw State University at Red Top Mountain This is a state park near Atlanta. Interesting programs. GA Simpsonwood Conference Center (near Atlanta) A very nice new lodge for housing; some programs include resources in Atlanta. LA The People Program. (Part I and Part II) Great way to see and understand New Orleans. (lodging and classrooms are adequate.) The overall programs are outstanding. NC Appalachian State College- Broyhill Center. A beautiful hotel on the top of a mountain at about 4,000 ft. altitude. Excellent programs. NC Lake Junaluska Assembly (Methodist, Intentional Growth Center). Excellent facilities, food and classes all in one building (The Terrace). A long history of outstanding programs. INTERGENERATIONAL Program KY Otter Creek Park (near Louisville). Excellent program for you and your grandchildren together. Note age range for children. Lodge on bluff overlooks the Ohio River. ________________ The Elderhostel featuring the American Foreign Service presented its first programs in the spring of 1996. At that time we were "sponsored" by Mary Washington College in Virginia in order to help us, the professional and career Foreign Service Officers both active and retired, learn how our program could be presented. We are very thankful for the college's help and instruction and we are consequently now able to carry out all the necessary administrative work. In the future catalogue, therefore, the Foreign Service Elderhostel program will be found under the Sponsorship of the Institute for Diplomatic Studies which is a non-profit educational organization which has among its goals the recording of our diplomatic history and making it available to educational institutions. The Institute is located in Virginia and the future programs will therefore to listed under that state. We also present a program in San Diego in the spring (April this year) which is "sponsored" by the San Diego State University and found in the catalog under California. The three courses are "The United States Foreign Service--Representing America Abroad," "The United States and Mexico" and "Controlling U.S. Borders". I hope this information will be helpful to those interested in our program. Thank you. Coordinator and Consul General (ret) L.P. Mullin _________ From: Desertbil@aol.com Just returned from a delightful week in Carmel Valley -- Hidden Valley Performing Arts Center. The two major topics were Scott Joplin-The man and his music, and Mozart, the man and his music. Also Natural History of Monterey Peninsula. Unfortunately, the Scott Joplin expert fell ill. Peter Meckel, the Coordinator, found some substitutes who were good, but not of the same caliber as the other staff. The other two courses were outstanding. An added attraction was a dance/exercise class which was very expertly handled. Accomodations were comfortable but not luxurious. Food was good and plentiful. _______ from: firstname.lastname@example.org (barbara madsen) We just returned from an Elderhostel at Gulf Shores State Park, AL which was held Feb. 1-6. Topics included the Civil War from the viewpoint of several of the personalities involved; Fort Morgan; and several speakers re: features of the Gulf Coast such as gas wells in the gulf, wildlife in the Park, fishing industry, tourism, etc. Rooms were in the Gulf Shores State Park Resort Hotel - sort of typical beachfront motel rooms but very nice and roomy. Meals and classes were in the lodge. Meals a little boring - served buffet style and always the same, maybe changing one entree and a vegetable and salad or two each day, with the rest of it the same. But tasty. There was always sweet potato pie, which fortunately was very good! We enjoyed the classes and the people, and most of the instructors were excellent, especially Bob Thomas on the Civil War. He's a gentleman of around 80 years and really knows his stuff. Our on-site coordinator, Chuck Davis, was so good at his job - and so funny with his jokes and original poems and stories. He kept everything right on schedule. We had to survive El Nino which swept across the Gulf last week - two days of rain and high winds, another of sun and high winds, and then two days of cold! But nothing at all like Calif. has been suffering. All in all, a nice week. ________ From: email@example.com (Emily Bott) Several summers ago I did the Elderhostel at the Edinburgh Festival of Arts (Scotland.) Briefly, I have two caveats: pack at least one pair of shorts/tee shirt (the temperature was in the '90s and we had rainy weather gear.) Showers in the U. of Edinburgh dorms aren't made for elders. No grab bars, etc. Have a pair of non-slip shower shoes. Don't miss Evensong in any cathedral you can find. Enjoy. Aloha, Emily Bott (firstname.lastname@example.org) _______ From: Nick
Subject: Re: International Elderhostel We are currently considering an EH in Spain. Any information on "Pathways...", "Contrasts...", or "Introduction to Spain and Portugal", or similar would be appreciated. Recommendations on best time of year for weather would be also apppreciated. Nick __________ From: "Aleatha M. Scholer" (email@example.com) My husband, Swede, and I returned from a 2 week Elderhostel to Finland over the holidays. We decided to mark our 70 and 75th birthdays this way. Everything about this program was above and beyond our expectations. Our first week was at a Folk College at Tornio at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia and the second was about a half hour from Turku the old capital in southwest Finland. Temp was around 0 Centigrade much of the time and the coldest -3. Little difference between day and night in temperature. We had spent a winter in Norway almost 30 years ago so were prepared for the darkness which did not seem as complete as we had remembered. In fact - when starting a list of words about this experience the first one that came to mind was "light" - The wonderful use of candles everywhere as well as the inverted V shaped 7 electric lights in almost every window. We had a wonderful group of 38 people from all parts of the U.S. Most of them had someone say before their departure, "You're going WHERE - in the middle of WINTER?" We are thinking about our next adventure. Would enjoy hearing about any Elderhostel that any of you have been on recently and would recommend.