Elderhostel Notebook #23       Feb 22, 1998

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.

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It is an independent project; appreciative of, but not associated
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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel Reviews


    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.

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

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

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

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


University of Texas, Marine Science Institute
Port Aransas on Mustang Island

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

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


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.

                         (1996 -1997)

AL  University of South Alabama (USA), Beckwith Center near

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

Excellent facilities, food and classes all in one building (The
Terrace). A long history of outstanding programs.


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.


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:  barb01@fgi.net (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: ebhale@maui.net (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


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" (105411.2512@compuserve.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.