Elderhostel Notebook #97 January 1, 2002
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
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
Welcome to the new year. Each new one brings in changes in our
lives and in Elderhostel. There is now a new adminstration in
place in Boston and we will see what changes that may bring to
the organization and its programs.
I think this is the third Elderhostel administration I have
become aware of since starting the notebook going way back to
1995 when I first got permission to use the term in my title just
shortly before a change in leadership.
The notebook continues on with the same administration (but the
At one time some west coast universities were setting up their
own "elderhostels" and the use of the term became a legal
problem, but that all seems to have been settled by the lawyers
now and we continue to use the term in our notebook.
There is such a flood of SPAM on e-mail these days that I am
beginning to wonder if readers might be better off just reading
the notebook on the web site. I'm used to junk e-mail and don't
have a major problem coping with it, but I can see how it might
be disconcerting to have your elderhostel notebooks mixed in with
advice on how to get work online, increase the size of your this
or that, and on and on.
The best advice I can give on spam is just to ignore it.
I have discontinued my interactive archive and index but an index
to the archive kept by my friend Art Rifkin at the Boulder
Community net is maintained by a reader at
Comments and Queries
From: Muriel Klarman
Does anyone know of an elderhostel in Tuscon, Arizona that they
could recommend for January or February?
Hope you can help me. I like to have some information on
Elderhostels in Syney. The cost, the locations etc. I planning to
make a trip to Australia with my son and like to stay in
Elderhostels. Please advise me.
Subj: Active Outdoor Program
If anyone who has been on this program (Hawaii Pacific
University/Three Islands Adventure/Oahu and Maui and
Kauai) and answers my query, will I receive an e-mail?
How do I find someone's comments about this program or
Lyman Museum and Mission House Univ. of Hawaii at
Manoa/Four Islands? I'm sure there must be comments
in the Notebook, but I didn't find them. I did find a
description of an intergenerational Hawaiian program
on the Big Island, but none for the programs that
Thank you very much for your assistance.
From: BAHamm@webtv.net (Billie A. Hamm)
Has any one attended a program sponsered by Geneva Point Center
in NH?? If so how were the accomodations, food etc. or any
general comments. Thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org
Elderhostel 2002 from Penn State University
Penn State University Park Campus
State College, Pennsylvania
Reinvigorate Your Life with Learning! All year long, Penn State
offers a variety of Elderhostels for people age 55 and over.
Whatever your interest, there's a program for you.
For information about these Elderhostel programs, visit our Web
For information about all of Penn State's upcoming programs,
visit our Web site: http://www.outreach.psu.edu
This publication is available in alternative media on request.
Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity,
and the diversity of its workforce.
We are considering taking the Elderhostel Adventures Afloat-
Changing Landscapes of France: Paris to Provence. Have you any
comments on this trip from people who have taken it? Thank You.
Subj: Exploring Hawaii's Beautiful Outdoors from the Mts. to the
Could someone tell me how strenuous this program is? I have never
been to any of the islands. About how many hours do you canoe or
kayak every day? I'd like to learn a little about the history
and culture of Hawaii, too. Is this part of this program?
Judi Anderson, NYC
Subj: French Language Immersion
Also, I am considering one of the 2 French Immersion courses
offered in Canada and would like to know if anyone has experience
with them. One is called "Intensive Studies Program: French for
Non-Francophones", given at the Ecole des Langues Vivantes/Laval
University in Quebec City. The other is called: French
Immersion: A Key to the Francophone World", given at the
Universite du Quebec a Trois Rivieres Any advice on either of
these programs would be appreciated. Also, if anyone has done the
"Baltic Sea Connection" trip, to Lithuania/Latvia/Estonia/Russian
Federation, I would like to hear their comments.
Thanks for your help and advice. email@example.com
Subj: Hiking in England
We have had two great Elderhostel hiking trips in England --- one
in The Lake District and Yorkshire in 1999, and the other in
Cornwall and The Cotswalds in 2000. This year was not a good one
for walking there as many of the trails were closed because of
the hoof and mouth scare.
The accommodations, meals, and leadership were excellent on both
programs. For the life of me, I cannot understand why one would
decide to pay $350 a day (without air fare) or more that is
quoted for the "designer walking trips" in catalogs that reach me
almost every week.
Subj: Human and Natural History (France) Program #40395
My husband and I are registered for this program in September
which takes place in the Rhone-Alps area of
France....specifically Grenoble, Annecy and Chamonix. Has anyone
participated in this program and, if so, can you pass along any
opinions about it. I know a bit about Annecy as I have visited
relatives in the area twice but am curious as to how the program
is seen through "Elderhostel Eyes". Thanks.
From: "Fred Boher"
Would anyone who has taken the Canyonlands Field Institute/San
Juan River/Lower Canyon trip please contact us about your
experience? We are considering the intergenerational program in
We certainly agree with all the wonderful experiences previously
reported by Helen Grabowski Teddy on the 2000 Big Island of
Hawaii - Earth, Sky and Sea program. Our reports on the equally
wonderful 2001 Schooner Zodiac and the 1999 Mustang Island
program have previously been published in the EH Notebook.
We would be happy to share our negative thoughts, via e-mail,
on the intergenerational 2001 Space Center Houston program and
the 2000 There's More Than Gold in Them Thar Black Hills
sponsored by Rockpile Museum.
Fred Mary Ann Boher
Subj: The Ice Age World of Greenland
Has anyone done "The Ice Age World of Greenland"? We're
interested in doing this one, but I'm concerned about the amount
of walking involved. If anyone has information on this program,
please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
From: Doug Lois Rosenthal
Has anyone taken #18860 at Lafayette, Louisiana re: Cajun
country? or Amelia Island Museum of History on Amelia Is. Florida
#09015? Thank you for any information regarding either of these.
In a message dated 12/10/01 8:54:47 PM Eastern Standard Time,
Seeking information on Texas Elderhostels.
The locations that I would be interested in are: Dallas area -
Tyler , Houston, and Austin Tx. In that order.
Thank you in advance
Joann I were on three EH's this year and would be glad to
comment on any or all if anyone has questions -- Galapagos
Islands; Branson, MO; and Worcester, MA (which got us into TIME
Cerveny Conference Center, White Oak, Florida
Maritime Heritage of Portland Maine
Patagonia: Land of Magnificent Contrasts
Provence Art of Living
Birding at White Oak, Florida
We attended a birding program Elderhostel December 2-7 sponsored
by the Episcopal Diocese of Florida at the Cerveny Conference
Center near White Oak, Florida.
There were 44 enrolled in the program, and unfortunately for
everyone, there was only one instructor for the entire program.
His name was Jerry Krummrich, a State biologist, and one of the
most knowledgeable birders we have ever met. However, the size of
the group for a single instructor to conduct field trips was
overwhelming. This problem was compounded aby the fact that the
Center had only one l4 passenger van for field trips. This meant
car pooling was necessary resulting in a caravan of l5 vehicles.
The program coordinator blamed Boston for the size of the group
saying she had no control over enrollment policies. Most of the
long-time birders were not happy with these arrangements and
prepared a petition of complaint that was sent to Boston. As yet
there appears to have been no response. Having outlined the
negative side of the program in all fairness, other aspects were
The rooms were exceptionally comfortable, the food was far above
usual Elderhostel standards, and the lake-side 520-acre grounds
were lovely. Evening programs were very entertaining and enjoyed
by everyone. The program coordinator promised that in the future
birding programs at the Center would have additional instructors
and that efforts would be made to have smaller groups. If that
happens, we would not hesitate to recommend the program to avid
birders. Ken and Carol Senstad (KENSEN@nut-n-but.net)
Maritime Heritage of Portland Maine
October 14-19, 2001 (Five Nights) 19540-1014-01
We just attended the above program which was housed at the Peter
McKernan Center of Southern Maine Technical College. The center
has 8 lovely rooms with a maximum capacity for 16 elderhostlers.
Breakfast and dinner were held at the school's cafeteria, with
cooked to order breakfasts and a good selection at dinner.
Lunches were prepared and served at the McKernan Center by
students in the hospitality program at the college. Those meals
were excellent, and the cafeteria food was very good.
Every morning from 8am till noon we attended lectures with some
walking tours and museum tours at the Portland Heritage Museum.
The museum is housed on the waterfront a short walk or drive from
the McKernan center. Classes were held at the center one day when
the museum was being used for a meeting. The program covered all
aspects of Portland and South Portland's maritime history. The
lectures and slide shows were given by volunteers from the
Portland Marine Society, the museum staff and other local
experts. We learned all about Casco Bay, the ferries, the early
wooden boats, the Liberty Boat building during WWII and
lighthouses in the area. Each of the lecturers was well prepared
and very enthusiastic.
We had an included bus tour of the Portland area on Monday
afternoon. The other three afternoons we were free to explore on
our own, and the coordinator and the staff at the McKernan center
made many suggestions of things to do.
We also had three very interesting and delightful evening
programs. Monday, we learned all about the lobster and lobster
fishing, Tuesday, Anne Longfellow Pierce returned from the grave
to talk about her brother Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and growing
up in Portland. On Wednesday we had a musical program by Nancy 3
This was the first time this particular program was given and we
all had a really good time.
Photos from this Elderhostel and earlier trips we have taken can
be viewed at: http://k12s.phast.umass.edu/~mort/photo.html
Helen Sternheim (email@example.com)
Patagonia: Land of Magnificent Contrasts -
Nov. 11-28, 2001
A friend and I joined a group of 24 Elderhostelers for a
spectacular trip to Argentina. There were last minute changes to
the itinerary because of financial problems of the local airline.
There were two days in Buenos Aires at the beginning and one day
at the end. Otherwise the trip was spent in Patagonia. From BA
we flew to Bariloche for one night where we toured areas in the
Andes foothills. We went by bus to Esquel where we spent a night
after a long day of travel. We saw the Old Patagonian Express
station and train but could not ride it because we were not there
on the day they do short runs for tourists. We went over long,
unpaved roads the next day to see the cabin where Butch Cassidy
hid out after his last bank robbery in the States. Then we drove
across the desert to the Atlantic Coast. The trip thus far was
interesting but very tiring. But then it really picked up.
We spent two nights in Puerto Madryn from which we toured the
Valdes Peninsula. We went whale watching by boat and by bus to
see sea lions and penguins. We were remarkably close to all
these animals and it deserves its designation as a World Heritage
From there we flew to Ushuaia to spend five nights in an
extremely interesting area both for history and scenery. The
city overlooks the Beagle Channel where Darwin studied nature.
By bus and boat we saw mountains, peat bogs, penguins, seals, sea
lions, and a tremendous beaver dam. The weather is very
changeable and the wind chill factor must be taken into
consideration. It is always very windy in the lower part of
Patagonia. The last location was three nights at El Calafate
which is the gateway to the glacier national park. The glaciers
are very large and quite accessible by bus and especially by
Our tour leader, Marcelo Beccaceci, is the author of several
books and a field guide on Patagonia. He was a pleasure to
travel with and gave excellent lectures both in classrooms and in
the field. Each of the three local guides was of the highest
caliber as well as being personally charming. The hotels and
meals were very good and we had some of the best beef I have ever
eaten. There were limited menu selections and special diets are
usually not available. It is not too strenuous but you should be
steady on your feet and able to walk some distances over rough
ground. Most of the roads are unpaved so bus rides are not too
smooth even though the equipment is in excellent condition and
drivers are very good. I can highly recommend this trip if you
want to go to the end of the world and I will be happy to answer
Joyce Cohrs firstname.lastname@example.org
Provence Art of Living Program #40301-1026
October 26 --November 10 2001
My husband and I enjoyed this program very much. It was well
organized and our group leader, Jean-Louis, was very caring and
available at all times if we should need help. The accommodations
in Arles were in a well-maintained old hotel in the center of
town and were very comfortable. The view out of the window in our
room was magnificent. The accommodations in Aix en Provence were
also well situated, and although they did not have the ambience
of the Arles hotel, we did have a kitchenette in our room, which
we put to good use.
The best part of the program were the excellent lectures about
the history of both cities, the customs and culture of the
people, and the life and paintings of both Vincent Van Gogh and
Cezanne. We also had excellent guided tours through both cities
and some of the smaller villages that we visited. I felt that the
lectures at the hotels, followed by the trips in a first class
tour bus were well spaced and we were provided beforehand with
the information with which to fully understand and enjoy what we
saw on our trips. The wine-tasting lecture was a highlight of the
Except for an adequate breakfast of juice, dry cereal, croissant,
baguette, jelly, and if you wanted it, yogurt, cheese, etc. at
the hotels, the meals were taken at restaurants. Most of the
restaurants provided very good and varied meals and we were
introduced to the regional foods. We visited two farms and the
meals provided there were exceptional. At one restaurant, in Aix
en Provence, however, there were a few meals that were virtually
I would like to mention a few drawbacks to the program, for
myself and my husband, that were no problem at all for most of
the other Elderhostelers. When we registered for the program
there was no indication that there would be EXTENSIVE walking
required. Only after we had paid in full, and received our final
packet of information was this mentioned. We can easily walk, but
very long walks are painful. Particularly in Aix en Provence we
had to walk long distances to the restaurant to eat, and at night
to the American Center where we had excellent movies as evening
entertainment, and our final buffet dinner. Also, after having
attended 15 Elderhostels in the United States and Canada we
expected that all food and drinks ( except alcoholic beverages )
would be included in the cost. Except at breakfast, we had to pay
about $4 for the two of us to have coffee at our meals. There
were also 9 free choice meals, when we were on our own to select
a restaurant and pay for the meal. We were given French money to
pay for these meals but it was not nearly enough. We did decide
to buy some groceries and have light meals in our room in Aix en
Provence, but I think we spent well over $100 for food and
We really enjoyed the Elderhostel and recommend it to anyone for
whom long walks are no problem. I have pictures and more details
of our trip on my website at:
you can visit my main page at: http://www.spiderruth.com and
click on the link to the Provence page email@example.com