xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Elderhostel Notebook #71 Sept.2, 2000 oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Welcome to Elderhostel Notebook, the e-zine where hostelers compare notes on elderhostel programs. EN is an independent project, appreciative of but not associated with Elderhostel Inc. http://www.elderhostel.org EN has a WWW site at http://members.aol.com/EHnotebook To subscribe to the e-mail edition and/or to submit reviews of programs taken send an e-mail to the editor, Jim Olson, at EHnotebook@aol.com Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format. ################################################ From the Editor's Notebook ################################################ I've built up the reserve file of reports again so the next issue will come out in a week or so. I continue to keep the length of each issue ot less than 24k of space as I think (but don't really) know that larger issues would create a problem for some subscribers with limited e-mail space as it did in the past. My own method of transcribing the reports to the interactive archive web spot, http://members.aol.com/EHindex2 also limits me to 10 reports per issue as that is the limit of the template I have set up. I could enlarge that but that is about all I can handle with a few senior moments intruding here and there to complicate the process and further diminish my attention span for the project. ################################################ Program Reviews ################################################ Doane College (Crete, Nebraska) Monastery of the Ascension/Jerome, Idaho Navigating Wall Street - #32114- Seaport Museum Intergenerational EH at Pine Mountain KY Adventures Afloat Lake Michigan London Theatre Program New Zealand Australia "Gaudeamus" Biking in Denmark _________________ Doane College (Crete, Nebraska) CZECH ELDERHOSTEL July 30 - August 5, 2000 SITE: Very pleasant, quiet (pines and lagoon,with white swans) in a gentle, hilly terrain, with small town outside of campus ACCOMMODATIONS: A new (not completely finished) 3 story air-conditioned dormitory with elevators; modified wings (we had 5 separate rooms, sharing the grooming/toilet/shower area)with a separated small common area in the center with sofas and chairs---seems like a new concept in dormitory housing; the distance to the dining area and class (a theater type room) was a comfortable walk (golf carts were available for those who needed them) CLASSES: The Czech Republic: Past Present---very ably presented by native Czech Professor Eve Chybova Bock (in English); she lived through many Czech transition periods The Czech Republic: Politics Current Affairs---a noted Czech scholar and member of the University of Nebraska staff, Dr. Bruce Garver, a publishing author of many works on the Czech Republic BOTH, DESPITE THEIR EXTENSIVE EXPERTISE, WERE VERY DOWN TO EARTH IN THEIR PRESENTATIONS The Czech Republic: Cultural Heritage was a great potpourri including architecture (with an afternoon field trip)presented by Nebraska State Historical Society architect, David Murphy; music (unfortunately only one session with a most enthusiastic associate professor of music, Dr. Jay Gilbert);costumes, folklore, group baking kolacki; slide presentations (postcards, pottery) by a local boy made good viz. Dr. Donald Pisar We attended a special lecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln by the current ambassador from the Czech Republic, Alexandr Vondra FIELD TRIPS: Crete SOKOL HALL, local farmsteads, Bohemian cemetery and nearby Wilber which was having its annual (39th) Czech Festival with food booths, parade, street entertainment FOOD: All buffet style, either in main cafeteria with 300 professional wood-carvers(who attended their annual get together)or in Elderhostel private dining room with white table cloths and white napkins---the chef and his assistants catered to our every whim (and we loved being spoiled); food was great (fresh salads/fruit, meat with great veggies, garlic bread, etc. etc. etc.) but only 1 Bohemian meal, but plenty of KOLACKIS and rich desserts and SECONDS AND THIRDS) ENTERTAINMENT: Strictly Czech viz. Accordians galore, even Accordianist Galen Beck's little 10 year old daughter is an expert accordianist (and quite a hostess); Sing a long with the Elmers, Sue Underwood and friends; the Wilber Czech Dancers in beautifully colored costumes; Norm Blaha's Polka Band, and the Capital City Czech Choraliers directed by Ray Svoboda at our Graduation Party DIRECTORS: JANET JEFFRIES and DIANE BROWN --- they were A+++++++ always around, conscietiously helpful--TOP NOTCH : their family members also helped! Janet also has a hidden talent --with an accordian , of course. She can really squeeze some good polka tunes out of it. For those of us who came by plane, they provided a great, reasonably-priced shuttle service from the Lincoln Airport straight to the dorm door. OVERALL EVALUATION: Even if you are not CZECH (and unfortunately I'm not Czech), you MUST make plans ahead of time to attend this one, since it is offered only once a year. Handicapped elderhostelers are well taken care of despite our using several buildings. ANY QUESTIONS????---contact me Leonard Rogus by e mail firstname.lastname@example.org ___________________ Monastery of the Ascension/Jerome, Idaho Aug 7-13, 2000 RMcAllester@earthlink.net This site is located in the midst of potato and sugar beet fields of southern Idaho. It is separated from those fields by rows of trees and is beautifully landscaped to add a sense of serenity. It overlooks the lights of Twin Falls. It seems as if they had Elderhostels in mind when they designed the buildings. There is a large entry/reception area, which has a large classroom partitioned within it. There are two residential pods connected directly from the reception area. Each pod has a huge lounge with eight double occupancy rooms surrounding the lounge, each room with its private bath. A pleasant dining room is also attached. So, it is all on one level, all connected in air-conditioned comfort. What are the shortcomings? There are very limited accommodations for single Elderhostelers. There are a couple of single rooms in a trailer type annex, not far from the building. There is also space for a couple of single males in the monks quarters of the original monastery, where there are shared baths. The classroom is very nice, a high ceiling with elaborate skylights at least twenty-five up. Very nice that is, until the instructor wants to use slides or a video, then there are no shades to block the light from the skylights. We frequently found ourselves dragging our chairs out into a portion of the reception area that could be darkened enough for a slide presentation. The food was excellent. Everyone agreed on that. The courses: 1) The Japanese American experience during World War II. This was a study of the Japanese Internment Camps: How US citizens were uprooted with very little notice and moved to camps that fit the definition of "concentration camps". How many of these loyal young Americans joined the 442nd Division, which was an infantry division consisting entirely of Japanese Americans. We had Japanese Americans attending the course. Some had experienced the Internment Camps. Others, who had not been living on the West Coast (Hawaii and Colorado), were spared this experience. A veteran of the 442nd also spoke to us. We visited the nearby site where the Minidoka Camp had been. 2) Native Americans, Trappers and Emigrants in Idaho. Some very entertaining tales of the Indians and their interaction with traders, and then the settlers. A large part of the course was about the Oregon Trail Experiences. We saw some remnants of the trail. On the last day, we attended a reenactment of a Snake River crossing at Glenns Ferry. The train that we saw cross the river consisted of five wagons, two pulled by horses, two by oxen and one by mules. One of these wagons tipped over in the river. That added to the realism. The biggest difference was that these wagons were empty. They were not carrying all of the emigrant's world possessions. 3) Hagerman Fossil Beds. We visited the National Monument. Observed some of the fossils as they appear at the site of the digs. We were shown the meticulous processing that is involved to recover and reassemble skeletons of animals like the Hagerman Horse. Bob Grace McAllester Rmcallester@earthlink.net _________________ Navigating Wall Street - #32114- Jun 22-27, 2000 American Institute of Banking/South Street Seaport Museum New York City New York PassHunt@aol.com For planning be aware this elderhostel is from Thursday to Tuesday. Ratings (10 = highest, 5 = average) Food 5, Housing 10, Program 7, Extra value 10 Imagine a line across lower Manhattan from the World Trade Center on the west side to the South Street Seaport on the east side. Your hotel is on the west side one block from the World Trade Center, one classroom is close to Wall Street in the middle of the line and the 2nd classroom and cafeteria is on the east end of the line. It is about a 15 minute walk from the hotel to the cafeteria, an easy walk if it is not too hot or cold. Food: Good meals in a pleasant cafeteria located in an elder housing high-rise. Very relaxed with an extra benefit of 2 menus at noon: one American and one Chinese because of the great number of Chinese residents. Hotel: Marriott World Financial Center Hotel. Not the deluxe Marriott at the World trade center but first class with swimming pool, pleasant staff and excellent rooms Program: Two programs. One conducted by AIB (American Institute of Banking) and one by South Seaport. Program was split about 2/3 AIB and 1/3 Seaport. AIB had a variety of speakers and tour guides while the Seaport had one speaker/guide but he was outstanding. Extra value: Location next to bus and subway so that in 20 minutes you can be in Midtown. Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday afternoon were free. Many took in one or more matinees and evening plays on Broadway. Don't think that lower Manhattan is dead on weekends and evenings. There is lots to do and fewer tourists than midtown. You will never forget an evening stroll one block from your hotel along the Hudson River Esplanade (a narrow park along the Hudson). Highpoints: Tour of Brooklyn and a walk across the Brooklyn bridge, guided visits to the New York Stock exchange, NASD exchange, Mercantile exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank to see piles of gold bars. a walking tour of Wall Street, a Ferry ride to and from Staten Island, a 6 AM tour of the Fulton fish market, lectures who have worked the Wall Street and a speaker/historian/Melvile authority who has spent his life working around boats and in the Fulton market area. All in all an excellent program in a fascinating part of New York City. Bring you walking shoes. For another review with good details about the hotel and the local scene see the following review in the Jul 1999 edition of EHnotebook "South Street Seaport Museum, the Immigrant Experience" by email@example.com Hunter Passmore _______________________ Intergenerational EH at Pine Mountain KY firstname.lastname@example.org Twenty grandparents and grandkids came from all over the U. S. to enjoy the week of July 30-Aug. 5, 2000,in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. This intergenerational EH was located at Pine Mountain Settlement School, once a boarding school and now an environmental and conference center. It gave us a feel for life yesterday and today in this coal mining area. Although accessible by the highways winding through the hills, it is nevertheless in a pretty secluded area. This EH was well managed by the coordinators who were also capable instructors, trail guides, entertainers, and great with the kids. We learned about the history of this rural settlement school (dulcimer musician Jean Ritchie was a boarding school student) where the children learned practical skills as well as book learning. Lessons for our EH participants were about the geology of coal formation, stream ecology, wool spinning and dyeing, settler and Indian life, medicinal plants, plus enjoying folk music/stories. One day our groups spent time orienteering. We were involved each day in handicrafts such as weaving, woodcarving, pottery, corn shuck dolls. The children and some grandparents took a challenging summit hike one day. Field trips were taken by vans to a strip mine, to a company coal town and museum, and to several caves. Working to finish the handicraft projects every day didn't leave much free time. But the youngsters got to swim each day and the nine of them became the best of pals for the week. Accomodations in this conference-like setting were adequate...bunk beds in a dorm setting. Luckily, we didn't really need the fans we brought because the rooms were cooled down by rains. Food prepared by the school staff was more than adequate. Glad to recommend this adventure with grandchildren. Bill Lee Longman email@example.com ________________ Adventures Afloat Lake Michigan: A Nautical Adventure (the first trip) August 5-12, 2000 JCRufus@mail.netastic.net After a gloomy morning trip to Chicago we arrived at Navy Pier in sunshine about noon. After leaving our bags aboard the ACCL ship Niagara Prince we went off seeking the Monroe Street Garage as suggested by the Elderhostel coordinators. For one unfamiliar with the city, finding the entrance to this underground garage is a challenge. By the time we parked and made our way to the exit it was pouring rain. Many parents had intended taking their kids out for a fun day in the sun. The entrance lobby of Monroe Street Garage soon became a multicultural shelter and playroom beneath the park. After waiting a while we caught a cab back to Navy Pier and surged with the damp crowd among the many vendor booths inside until the skies finally cleared. About three the rain stopped so we wandered the outside of Navy Pier for a couple more hours. One of the ships permanently moored at Navy Pier is the dinner vessel, Odyssey. A pricey dinner I'm sure, but that evening the ship had been chartered for a wedding. It was great fun to sit there and watch the bride; wedding party and guests arrive at the ship in their fancy formals and expensive hairdo's while being blown around by Chicago's notorious winds. We boarded the Niagara Prince about five, had dinner and introductory information and shoved off into windy Lake Michigan. A strong wind was blowing from the Southeast so the Captain aimed the boat into the wind until we were somewhat sheltered by the land on the Michigan side of the lake then North through the night toward Holland, Michigan. By now the wind had shifted to the South and we made excellent time up the coast with the waves on our stern. The captain takes the size and shallow draft of the vessel into consideration for the comfort of his passengers though this small ship does rock one to sleep. A foggy morning found us entering Lake Macatawa and cruising up to the Holland City Pier where a brass band awaited us. Our city tour guide was the son of one of our passengers. He arrived in full Dutch regalia. We toured the Dutch tourist attractions plus an impromptu tour of the "Parade of Pigs" along Main Street. The plastic pigs were all decorated with humorous designs and were given even better humorous names. There were about 150 pigs hidden everywhere around town. I especially liked "Albert Einswine". Our next stop was Manistee where we cruised right into the downtown area. The Captain somehow managed to turn our 174-foot boat around in a 175-foot wide river. This was only the first extraordinary feat of seamanship he exhibited. After a day of touring historic buildings in Manistee we proceeded North to Petosky where we tied up at the Bay Harbor Marina amidst million dollar yachts and surrounded by houses you couldn't afford even if you won the lottery. Our Elderhostel schedule promised a "million dollar sunset" and by golly they were right!! We spent the night in the opulence of Bay Harbor and sailed early in the morning for Beaver Island. Beaver Island was once a kingdom within the United States. At least that's what their "King" believed. We got a van tour of the island but the rattle of the wheel chair lift on the van made hearing the driver very difficult on the island's gravel roads. Then off to Mackinaw Island. Crawling with tourists, called Fudgies by the locals because of the amounts of Mackinaw Island fudge they buy. The longest leg of our voyage was the 16 hours from Mackinaw Island to Sturgeon Bay, WI. Sturgeon Bay has a marvelous marine museum within easy walking distance of the city dock. It was great fun watching sailboats and tugs moving barges around the bay as we awaited dinner. Evening lectures aboard the Niagara Prince could not begin until the crew had cleaned up the dining room. This tended to produce a sea of nodding heads if the lecture were of a dry nature. Next stop was Milwaukee. No brewery tours because all the breweries have moved away with the exception of "Old Milwaukee". We toured this very attractive city on a bus and viewed lovely old city buildings ending with the truly spectacular St. Josephat Basilica. How a working class Polish neighborhood could build such a magnificent edifice is amazing. And so, back to Chicago's Navy Pier where we had started the week before. There was just too much packed into that short week. The coordinators had organized this first time Elderhostel quite well and were seeking out even more interesting places to visit at each port. ____________ London Theatre Program MacRuth@aol.com I've just returned from the London Theatre Program, and for all of you who love the theatre as I do, this is a great Elderhostel. This was the second time I'd done this program and find that there are many repeaters. Elderhostel stays in a lovely old Edwardian hotel not far from the British museum and close to a tube station. Most of the day is spent at the National Theatre on the South Bank, and almost all the meals are taken there in one of three restaurants in the theatre complex. The group returns to the hotel for a break in the afternoon and then go to performances in the evening. The speakers are all from the National Theatre and address many aspects of producing three plays in repertory. It's all very interesting. The group size is limited to 26. We attended one candlight concert at St. Martin in the Fields and there is time to go to other plays. I'd recommend that you not go in August as I did, as London is so crowded with tourists. Spring or Fall would be better. We did have good weather, however. Ruth McCormick _____________ New Zealand Australia "Gaudeamus" Jan 9 through Feb 11, 2000 KMCarpente@aol.com Just finished completing a Photo Album of the above trip. There were 41 people in this group and they were all great and I enjoyed our time spent together. I was a single lady traveling by myself and everyone made me welcome and included. Our Leader was Susan Coggan from Newcastle, Australia and she spent the full 4 weeks time in New Zealand and Australia with us. She saw that we enjoyed our time in each location and made our change to the next location and got us on the planes with ease. She was a pleasure to know. We spent 2 weeks in New Zealand. and two weeks in Australia. All meals were served buffet style and the food was plentiful. Lots of very good fresh fruit, cheeses and breads. Most of the breakfast and dinners were served in the motel restaurants with lots of lunches out in local restaurants. Our motel in Auckland was across the street from a Rose Garden, lots of walking trails and a great view of the beach and within easy access to transportation and shopping and sight seeing. Next was Rotorua where we learned about the Maori Culture and viewed the wonders of Rotorua (much like Yellowstone). Stayed in a motel within walking distance to the beach and town. Also a Boat ride and lunch on Lake Rotomahana. Flew to Queenstown and the condominium which is one of the best I have seen. Lovely view of the river and mountains. Walking distance to town and harbor Parks. Boat ride on Lake Wakatipu to view a sheep ranch and have lunch at the ranch. Visited several small towns and viewed the Southern Alps of the South Island. Next was a coach drive to "Te Anau" an a short walk through the rain forest. Again the motel was very nice and the food was good with good assess to town and parks. Next we boarding large ship for our cruise in Melford Sound to the Tasman Sea. Lunch was onboard with live music and great views of the Sound. Next it was Christchurch for free time at the Arts Center, Museum and Botanic Gardens. Again hotel and food were good and right across from a college campus. Flew out of Christchurch to Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is lovely, we took a tour of the city and bay side. Visited a Shrine of Remembrance to veterans of WW2, Melbourne Botanic Gardens. Hotel was very good, food good and location right in town. Walking distance to everything. Learned about Opal and were given information on what and how to buy. I bought a ring for myself and e/rings your my daughters. Coach trip to Phillips Island in the evening to see the Penguin Parade (what an experience). I could go on forever with all the things we saw and did. Australia is totally different from New Zealand. Even the animals are totally different, like the Kangaroo, the Kuala, Wombats. We flew to Alice Springs and stayed at a resort with swimming pool and located within four blocks of downtown Alice Springs. Visited Ayers Rock (daytime and sunset) and the Olgas, learned about the Aboriginals and their culture, Walks in the desert and short walk through Simpsons Gap. We had outdoor BBQ and Picnics on a river. Saw the Southern Cross and stars of the southern hemisphere. Next was on to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkeling and swimming at the reef. Motel in the center of town with access to everything. Then on to Sydney with motel on Darling Harbor. We were given a tram pass and had access to any were we wanted to go. To many things to see and talk about in Sydney. It was a great ending to an even greater trip down-under. I would wish that everyone could visit these great islands. It is an experience you will remember forever. Kayda Carpenter firstname.lastname@example.org ____________ Biking in Denmark Evelynhk@aol.com I've just returned home from Biking in Denmark. We did some fairly serious biking, lots of it on the edge of the Baltic Sea. Upon arrival in Copenhagen, we bussed to a rather small town, hotel, then following day began our biking from there. It was not unusual to bike along sea for a while then put bikes and all on a ferry and bike on a different island for a while. Our studies were of the famous Vikings, Danish royalty, Danish economy, etc. We ended up in Copenhagen for the last 2 days and were treated to walking tours of the city, a world war 2 museum, etc. All in all, we stayed in 8 different hotels. The hotels and meals were perfect for me. It was a wonderful time. I've given only a tiny taste here, but would be happy to tell more to anyone who is interested.