>       Elderhostel Notebook #73 Sept 27, 2000
>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
> From time to time readers ask me if there is a search feature on
>either of the Notebook's  archive sites.
>There is an index on the interactive site  but no search feature.
>However, I have discovered by accident more or less that
>METAEUREKA, an internet  text based metasearch engine, will find
>links for reviews in the archives if you type in enough of the
>text you are searching for. Don't count on it to work every time
>or to be right up to date. Sometimes it will take you to a review
>stored at the Boulder Community Net Senior Citizen site and
>sometimes to the Notebook interactive archive.
>For example if you type in "copper canyon elderhostel" you will
>find several finds linked to Art Rifkin's notebook archives at
>the Boulder site. If you type in the name "marian leach" (who
>made a report in the notebook you will find a link to the
>interactive site to the report she made).
>The internet address for METAEUEKA is:
>Other web based net search engines may work as well but this one
>seems to be most specific and most accurate in dealing with the
>The interactive archive at http://members.aol.com/EHindex2 has
>been revised to more levels of index clickables including an
>index of states.  This should make browsing reports much easier.
>    Program Reviews
>       Ethnic New York City
>       PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND - Anne of Green Gables
>       Prince Edward Island - Beach House Inn
>       Paradors and Manor Houses: Landmarks of Iberia
>       Put-In-Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio
>       Cambridge University, England
>Ethnic New York City - Sept. 3 - 8, 2000
>My sister and I just returned from a fantastic Elderhostel -
>Ethnic New York -  September 8, in New York City.  This was her
>first and my 7th. I was hoping to get her hooked so that I would
>have a partner for my future trips and I do believe that goal was
>One of the most interesting and  fascinating experiences was
>actually staying at the WestSide YMCA.  It was great - other than
>the shared baths.  Well, maybe that was part of that great
>experience too,  as I would not have wanted to miss out on the
>adventure of sharing stories in that common "bathhouse" as we let
>go of a little of our privacy/modesty. Brushing ones teeth in
>front of strangers is just a little humbling.LOL
>Staying at that beautiful old "Y" with many stories to tell,  as
>well as being located just a short rocks throw from Central Park
>would have been enough to make the trip worthwhile  - even if we
>did nothing else.
>Also, much is to be positively said for the the quality of the
>food served at the Y.  The meals were delicious and as healthy or
>unhealthy as one would want to make them.
>Our two leaders, David and Thomas, were excellent as they lead us
>around the sites of NYC and especially with the use of the bus
>and subway systems which were quite alien to the two of us.
>Now for just a few of the grand things we did-
>Visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
>Toured Little Italy and ChinaTown
>Ate lunch at a "real" Chinese Restaurant after the tour
>Visit and lecture at Chinese Museum
>Visit and lecture at  the Tenement House Museum - a marvelous
>Visit, lecture, lunch, guided tour of Harlem - including the
>Apollo and a hospital with murals painted  by black artists
>during the depression through the WPA program
>Lunch at the Katz Deli and a little later pastry at a bakery as
>we listened to a lecture concerning immigrants from Italy
>Visit and exquisite lecture at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem
>- the oldest house now standing in Manhattan - what a story this
>house has to tell!!
>I would highly recommend this particular program to everyone not
>familiar with NYC
>No Broadway Shows were included in the program.  However, there
>was time each evening that one could take advantage of these type
>events if energy was left over after a very full day.  We did
>lots of walking!!
>September 10-16,2000
>Anne of Green Gables: The Facts Behind the Fiction Lotto 1767
>Island Inspirations
>This program was outstanding! It is well organized,
>intellectually stimulating and very interesting. The Anne of
>Green Gables segment dealt with both the nostalgic aspects of the
>story as well as an excellent and interesting analysis of the
>author L. M. Montgomery.
>The Lotto 1767 topic dealt with the history of the ownership of
>land on Prince Edward Island. The presenter was well qualified,
>spoke without notes, and was humorous and very interesting.
>Island Inspirations included a variety of arts, crafts, fishing
>and farming practices on Prince Edward Island. It included field
>trips to a number of interesting sites with well qualified
>Of the nearly dozen presenters many have advanced academic
>degrees in the area of their presentation and they use their
>teaching experience to present the topics in interesting and
>entertaining ways. All of the presenters are outstanding!
>A restaurant adjoining the motel provided the meals. The meals
>were served restaurant style with several choices for breakfast,
>often a single salad-soup and sandwich choice for lunch, and the
>evening meal would include two or three choices with seafood
>being one of the choices. Prince Edward Island has an abundance
>of good fresh seafood. The quantity of food was generous, quality
>good, with healthy choices served with prompt and friendly
>The accommodations where typical for a comfortable privately
>owned motel. Daily maid service included straightening the room
>and fresh towels.
>Two Thumbs Up!
>Given my three criteria for judging the quality of an Elderhostel
>experience, 1) program, 2) meals and 3) accommodations this was
>one of the best of nearly two dozen that I have attended. It gets
>very high marks on the program, good meals and OK accommodations.
>I would be happy to correspond with anyone about the Elderhostels
>on Prince Edward Island. I have attended them all. Richard C.
>Youngs (September 18,2000)e mail me at: rcyoungs@ilstu.edu
>Prince Edward Island
>Beach House Inn
>September 3-9,2000
>#67410 - 0903-01
>Catch and Cook
>Program - Meals
>In this Elderhostel the meals and the program were one in the
>same. We would spend part of the day deep-sea fishing, clam
>digging, visiting lobster boats, a blue mussel site,smokehouse or
>a cheese factory. The remainder of the day would be spent
>preparing gourmet meals with freshly acquired local seafood. The
>huge cod that we caught on one day would appear as "OVEN BAKED
>COD IN CREAMY CHEESE/MUSTARD SAUCE" the next evening. The clams
>we dug would shortly become delicious clam chowder. As we visited
>the various seafood sites our leader would be make arrangements
>for a supply of blue mussels, smoked herring, and fresh lobster
>The leader was extremely well organized! Each day she would
>provide a demonstration about the preparation of several of the
>nearly 20 gourmet recipes that we prepared. We were divided into
>teams and over the week we set about preparing SPICY THAI
>much more!
>Entertaining evening programs of music, theater and art were
>provided. These were well done and very good.
>The Elderhostel leaders operate very comfortable B  near the
>water with good beach walking nearby. The rooms are very
>comfortable and nicely decorated.
>Two Thumbs Up!
>Given my three criteria for judging the quality of an Elderhostel
>experience, 1) program, 2) meals and 3) accommodations this was
>one of the best of nearly two dozen that I have attended. It gets
>very high marks on the program coupled with the truly gourmet
>meals and excellent accommodations.
>I would be happy to correspond with anyone about the Elderhostels
>on Prince Edward Island. I have attended them all. Richard C.
>Youngs (September 18,2000) e mail me at: rcyoungs@ilstu.edu
>Paradors and Manor Houses: Landmarks of Iberia
>Study Journeys, Ltd., of London.
>Joe McMahon, adnyel@yahoo.com
>My wife and I enjoyed this program, but it is a pricey bus tour
>of more than 1,200 miles from Madrid west to Portugal, then north
>to Santiago de Compostela. The fifteen nights were in one hotel,
>three paradores, and three pousadas.  On thirteen mornings, the
>group boarded the bus shortly after breakfast, often for an
>hour's ride to a parking lot at the base of hill, whence our
>climb to the site of interest began.  Many Spanish and Portuguese
>towns were constructed atop steep, fortified hills.
>Our group leader, Marcelo de Gorri, excelled: considerate,
>spirited, helpful, hard-working.  Most lecturers and guides knew
>their field well, presented topics expertly, and answered
>questions.  I commend especially Juan Pedro Rodriguez (Caceres,
>Trujillo, Guadalupe, Merida) and Elena (Coimbra, Conimbriga,
>Porto, Douro Valley, Barcelos).
>The inns were elegant, with outstanding multi-course meals at
>1:30 and 8:30 p.m.  The pousada at Vila Vicosa provided flawless
>luxury.  Solar da Rede, in a stunning location overlooking the
>Douro River at Mesao Frio, drew complaints about cramped lodging
>and steep treks.
>About six months ago, I requested on EN Dialog comments from any
>previous participant in this program.  No reply came, for good
>reason: our trip was the first, although it had not been flagged
>"New" in the catalog.  Fortunately, Study Journeys and Marcelo
>had visited and prepared almost every step of the program, so it
>For me, the highlights were enjoying new friendships, singing
>with pilgrims at Compostela, listening to a reading from Os
>Lusiadas in Quinta das Lagrimas, visiting Coimbra's magnificent
>library, and seeing the beach at Figueria da Foz.
>Lake Erie Islands Historical Society
>Put-In-Bay, Ohio
>Sept. 17-22, 2000
>Our arrival at the Ferry to South Bass Island followed a very
>blustery night and morning.  The crossing could be better
>described as a wallow than a cruise but we landed safely on the
>other side.  There was only one other vehicle and a handful of
>pedestrians going to the island at noon that Sunday morning.  As
>we drove the short distance down the island to the town of
>Put-In-Bay the line of cars waiting to leave the island stretched
>for a half mile because that weekend had been, "New Years at the
>Bay".  The town's way to extend the summer season past Labor Day.
>With several hours to wander the island before official check in
>time, we explored a portion of Put-In-Bay and observed that most
>stores on the main street were either T-shirt stores or bars.
>Put-In-Bay has a reputation as a party town.  A few revelers were
>continuing the party of the night before but not many.  Most were
>probably in the line waiting for the ferry.  Through the week
>Put-In-Bay becomes a typical quiet small town.
>Monday morning found us on the Ohio State University's research
>vessel, BIO-LAB, cruising out to Rattlesnake Island.  There we
>performed various tests on the Lake Erie Water and found the
>visibility to be only two feet because of the recent high winds.
>The western basin averages only 24 feet deep so wave action lifts
>the bottom quite easily.  The water appeared muddy but the
>apparent mud proved to be a vast quantity of plankton stirred up
>off the bottom.  We dragged a purse seine for half a mile and
>came up with a pretty good catch of perch, a few small walleyes
>and gobies and one fairly sizable sheep's head.
>We returned to Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island where we
>performed microscopic examination of the plankton we had dipped
>out of the lake and learned much more about the water and all its
>inhabitants.  The lab not only checks the quality of the Lake
>Erie water but provides excellent short biology courses for
>school groups, including Elderhostel, though our course was quite
>All meals were at the Erie Isle Restaurant, which has a fabulous
>menu. We didn't see much of their expensive food but were
>provided with excellent meals.  We learned many details of the
>Battle of Lake Erie and Commodore Perry ,  then went to Perry's
>Victory and International Peace Memorial.  By now we had some
>idea of what we were looking at from the top of the three hundred
>foot column which made it much more interesting.
>The Put-In-Bay Historical Museum, coordinators of the
>Elderhostel, provided very interesting evening programs at the
>museum including Harold Hauck, former Ford Tri-Motor pilot who
>had logged more hours in the Tri-Motor than anyone else in the
>world simply flying people and cargo in and out of Put-In-Bay.
>He had many tales of flying in the less regulated era of air
>The next couple of days found us exploring caves, learning all
>about growing grapes, the making of wine and being shown
>interesting houses.  One fellow has a house which is the entire
>fore end of a scrapped lake freighter jammed into the limestone
>cliff at the water's edge.  He had bought the bow of the
>freighter but had no place to put it.  He asked a friend if he
>could buy the property on which it now sits but they had not
>concluded a deal.  The freighter had to be put somewhere so he
>put it on the land even though he didn't own it.  No permits, no
>nothing, just a huge bill from the movers.  I guess he finally
>lost ownership of the ship's bow but it still sits there and the
>present owner has made it into a very attractive house.
>Thursday we were to go to Kelley's Island to examine glacial
>grooves but the weather turned against us.  The lake was roiled
>up again on Wednesday night and much of the water was blown out
>of the western basin toward Buffalo.  Our boat, the Victory, was
>trapped in a bay on Middle Bass Island because it couldn't get
>over the bar at the bay's mouth.  The Elderhostel coordinators
>quickly juggled the schedule and took us to a place called Alaska
>Wildlife Museum.  We had seen the place in our wanderings and
>thought it was a real tourist trap but were pleasantly surprised.
>  The gentleman who runs the place taught biology in Alaska for
>many years and the museum houses his personal collection of
>superbly mounted specimens of all kinds.  They are not the usual
>taxidermy poses that look like dead animals but are all in
>perfectly natural, sometimes very active poses.  There is a wolf
>mounted at eye level that looks like he's considering how to
>begin eating you.  It's hypnotic if you look at him too long.
>Finally on Friday morning the wind had settled, the water had
>come back and we cruised over to Kelley's Island to see the
>glacial grooves.    The example of the grooves remaining after
>extensive quarrying is now in a State Park.  The preserved
>example is 400 feet long with grooves up to 18 feet deep.  Rather
>impressive glacial skid mark.
>Overall a busy and fun week.
>Cambridge University, England
>Being part of Cambridge
>I was just one of the lucky people to attend the September
>Elderhostel 2-week program at Cambridge University, England. The
>program is based on Town and Gown and their interactions through
>the ages, and our being able to take a small part in it.
>The Cambridge EH was a very special experience ... one to be
>treasured ... and quite exhausting! It's a very active trip with
>lectures almost every morning and really lengthy walking most
>afternoons. Don't take it if you can't walk at least 1 1/2 or 2
>miles either slowly or fast, comfortably and almost every day.
>There are two groups -- fast and slow -- both with excellent,
>pleasant, knowledgeable guides, but they both walk about the same
>distance daily. And as usual on walking tours, there's often a
>good deal of standing to hear field trip lectures, and when not
>on official walks, many in the group tended to go off on their
>own to see still more.
>The EH group was even more interesting than usual, including all
>levels of retired teachers from grade school through university,
>lots of varied librarians, one doctor, a few artists or artistic
>people, etc, etc. No one looked bored or slept through the daily
>morning and evening lectures; everyone one paid attention to the
>information, discussed it afterwards and took a very active roll
>in what was happening. Someone even trekked by local and
>intercity busses from Cambridge to spend a free day at Oxford,
>not an easy feat! Cambridge refers to Oxford as "the other
>Cambridge really is the expected ivory tower world of its own. We
>leaned that the University is completely tradition bound while
>many of the colleges try to modernize. Being part of it and
>staying at the very comfortable, small Lucy Cavendish college for
>"mature women", 21 to 65 years which is allowed by a unique EU
>charter! is a lovely experience -- big rooms, food very well
>cooked and wholesome, a bit dull but often tasty, with plenty of
>salads and lovely "puddings" (that's Oxbridge for desserts) and
>very nice table service at dinner.
>Lucy has pretty, well-kept gardens backing the whole college
>where I spent much of my non-organized time reading (and
>occasionally snoozing) on my favorite wooden benches. Lucy isn't
>on the river; its Victorian and modern buildings are about 3/4
>mile from the center of town and the better known ancient
>colleges. They are much larger and richer, some with truly
>important land holdings. Those are the famous colleges of
>fabulous Medieval, Tudor, Stuart and Georgian architecture --
>Kings, St. Johns, Trinity, Clare, Queens -- with their "backs" to
>the pretty Cam River where the punts go polling past under the
>old bridges and with large, elaborate gardens.
>Each afternoon when we went for our daily field trips we would
>walk down from Lucy and then start exploring 3 or 4 colleges of
>different eras and traditions, hear about the founders,
>architects and famous members, see the inner courtyards and
>gardens. We visited the truly beautiful Wren library of Trinity,
>(the Samuel Pepys Library was closed this month), sneaked a peak
>at beautiful medieval dining Halls which are generally closed to
>the public, entered the chapels (and maybe even had a chance to
>sit down for a few moments), saw the outside of the combined
>university science buildings where some wonderful discoveries
>have been made, did whatever else was on our agenda, and then had
>the long walk back either through town to do errands and have
>time on our own, or along the Backs (a path near the Cam) with
>guides Anna or Joan to tell us college stories and taking us
>occasionally into an area closed to the general public, "being
>Guide Anna is a vivacious Italian-born darling, a member of Lucy
>College working on her PhD in Art History, and completely
>tireless! She rides her bicycle 5 miles in and out of the city
>each day before studying and guiding. Our "slow walker guide"
>Joan is a woman who has lived in Cambridge and been part of it
>all her life. She knows everything happening.
>The Elderhostel leader was wonderful Caroline Wallace who always
>defered to the Cambridge people but did a quiet job of always
>being there, trouble-shooting and taking truly tender care of a
>seriously sick EH member. Anne MacGowen was the Lucy College/ EH
>representative, a bright, fun woman taking her oral exams towards
>her PhD during our EH program! We all worried with her and
>cheered her on. She now has 3 master degrees in history "up to
>1750", was in complete charge of planning our curriculum as to
>information, field trips and entertainment, gave us several fine
>lectures herself and is a lovely person with two darling
>daughters who turned up in various guises. We learned from Anne
>about the colleges, the university and the city, and her 16 year
>old daughter Charlotte gave us an excellent lecture about the
>confusing English school system.
>Most of the lecturers were very good, one of the best being a
>Lucy founder and enthusiast who told us about the acceptance of
>women at Cambridge, a recent phenomenon. A delightful woman told
>us about her specific field of study, the Fen (marshy) country NW
>of Cambridge and near Ely (straight out of Dorothy Sayers "Nine
>Taylors") and why it's the way it is. Everyone enjoyed a
>journalist-historian-radioman-writer extraordinaire who gave a
>really fine, funny lecture on local lore complete with local
>folksy speech and accents. We loved him!
>A couple of the other speakers read their lectures on (1)leaded
>glass windows and (2)on a mystery about Hadrian and his lover to
>us -- the reading absolutely expected and acceptable at Cambridge
>(we weren't wild about it)
>We had several very pleasant field trips -- to the wonderful
>Fitzwilliam Museum, to the lovely old cathedral city of Ely, and
>to the nearby village of Grantchester to have Sunday tea in an
>orchard where Rupert Brookes and his (largely) Bloomsbury Group
>buddies lay around outside to unwind, as so do most
>Cambridge-ites still each pretty weekend -- on dozens of old
>green canvas lawn chairs scattered under the apple trees, eating
>delicious cakes and crumbles with tea and absorbing sun to get
>them through another scholarly week.
>We also visited the Duxford Imperial Air Museum of old British
>military aircraft which includes the American Air Museum, with an
>American military cemetery nearby, refreshing after so much
>rarified scholarship. Besides the field trips, we had a very
>pleasant chamber concert one night right in college - a piano
>trio who played a good variety of music, and attended a theatre
>in town which would have been much better if the "senior"
>discounted tickets hadn't been in the very back rows under the
>balcony where sound was terrible.
>The Cambridge EH is very well-planned and organized and you are
>made extremely welcome and comfortable at Lucy College. The
>entire staff knew us in a very personal way and were always
>helpful and fun to talk with. Accommodations vary; a few are
>single rooms with private baths; but most are in the newest
>building -- pleasant very private suites with 2 large, bright
>single bedrooms, a good bath and tiny kitchen. Married couples
>had that sort of suite to share, each with their own room.
>I found this EH one of the finest of the excellent British
>programs, but I repeat, don't enroll unless you are comfortable
>with a good deal of walking on rough old streets or you will miss
>too much of the flavor of Cambridge.
>Carol Doctor, Wilmette, IL