African Safari
Travel Class

Travel and Adventure

Friday, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Library 1533

Terry Moss, Tom Dole, Jennifer Kerr, Bob Seyfried

The sharing of travel experiences serves as an excellent aid in both the planning and execution of travel plans. Others' experiences, both good and bad, can help take much of the mystery and hassle out of our own travel adventures.

In this seminar, members can meet informally to share such experiences, listen to speakers on travel subjects of interest, and perhaps find companions willing to team up on particular tours.

This is an open, drop-in seminar limited in attendees to the number of chairs available as determined by Fire Department regulations. You cannot sign up in advance. Get there early to get a seat!

PLEASE NOTE: No food and only certain drinks are allowed in the library.


Sept. 5: Welcome and Fire and Ice
Iceland, the one place on the 24,000-mile-long Mid-Oceanic Ridge where vulcanism has produced a real COUNTRY above sea level, had no humans until Irish Monks showed up in the 400s. In the 800s, the Vikings arrived, terrorizing the world from the Caspian Sea to Iceland and even Newfoundland (the very mean-spirited Eric the Red was kicked out of both Norway and Iceland!). In June 2014, Richard Fuller and Linda Alameda visited the Blue Lagoon, the Biggest Glacier in Europe (and other glaciers) and endless waterfalls and picturesque harbors; and drove right past the volcano that blew in 2010 and shut down Europe's airlines. Then there was Heimay, where in 1973 40 percent of a city was buried by lava that we walked all over! We drove 3,000 kilometers in a Ford Escape, stayed in hostels and farmhouses and guesthouses, dined mostly from grocery stores and visited museums about whales and Vikings.
Sept. 12: A Tour of Italy
Richard and JoAnn Peter will recount their travels last year through Italy, ranging from Venice in the north to Sorrento in the south. They'll share their encounters with buzzing apes, singing Saudis, misbehaving toilets and a thieving grandma, among many other noteworthy adventures.
Sept. 19: Subantarctic Islands Voyage
During the height of the austral summer in January 2014, Peggy Kennedy and her husband Bruce traveled for 11 days on a former Russian research vessel in the Southern Ocean, between the Antarctic Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean in what's called the Subtropical Convergence Zone. They visited the New Zealand territories of The Snares, the Auckland Islands, and the Campbell Islands and the Australian territory of Macquarie Island. Some of the rarest flora and fauna thrive in those subantarctic islands, including the Snares Crested Penguin, the Royal Penguin, the Yellow-eyed Penguin, Southern Royal Albatross, the Wandering Albatross, the Campbell Island Teal, Hooker’s Sea Lion, and lots of megaflora. Only 1,000 people per year are granted permits for landing on these islands. Her short slide show features scenes from the trip and some of these species she managed to photograph.
Sept. 26: NOTE: Schedule Change!!! Marco Polo
Our previously scheduled speaker, Jeri Donovan of Well Traveled, had to cancel her presentation because of health issues. Instead, we will watch In the Footsteps of Marco Polo, an engaging 2008 documentary that was first shown on PBS (and shown previously in this seminar). Two ordinary, but determined and charming guys from Queens decide in the early 1990s that they will follow the historic 25,000-mile land-and-sea route of Marco Polo, from Venice all the way to China and back. It took them two years and included incredible adventures and encounters.
Oct. 3: East Africa, A to Z
In November 2012, Bud Getty and Dorene Clement journeyed alphabetically through varied and spectacular East Africa, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's highland capital, through wildlife adventures in Kenya and Tanzania, to the fabled isle of Zanzibar. It was a trip of many wonderful surprises. Ethiopia is most unexpectedly a land of high mountains, grand canyons, lush forests, ancient civilizations and proud, friendly people. And Zanzibar, once the center of the spice and slave trade, bewitches with white sand beaches, red colobus monkeys and the twisting alleyways of historic Stone Town.
Oct. 10: Classical Italy Tour
Join Joe and Connie Greening, awe-struck first-time group travelers, on their Classical Italy tour. Their tour provided more than a few surprises. Visit the towns of the Amalfi coast, Pompeii and Rome. Take a peek at the mystical town of Assisi, home of St. Francis and St. Clare, on to Fattoria San Donato, a tiny medieval village turned into a family winery and B&B, San Gimignano, one of the best preserved Roman cities in Italy. The tour ends where the Renaissance began, Florence.
Oct. 17: Cruising Europe's Rivers
Ken Kinyon and Sue Schneckloth enjoyed an April-May 2014 trip on a Viking Longship. The trip started in Budapest, featured a 15-day riverboat cruise and ended with a three-day extension in Amsterdam to see Keukenhof Tulip Gardens. It was a leisurely tour along the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers. Viking tours are expensive, but definitely worth the money. The tour included guided tours every day, three meals a day on the ship and complimentary local wine and beer at lunch and dinner. The subject matter for the tour could be ABC (Another Beautiful Castle or Church)! Join them for some highlights of the trip.
Oct. 24: Seven Weeks Through South America
Join Tom Miner on his seven-week journey through Ecuador, Columbia and Peru, where he climbed Mount Chimborazo (the highest point on the earth’s surface when measured from its center), visited the fairytale Caribbean paradise, Cartagena de Indias, and enjoyed a mud bath inside a volcano. Then his wife Elisabeth joined him deep in the Amazon rainforest where they saw anacondas, poisonous frogs, and the world’s only pink freshwater dolphins. Together they cruised the Galapagos Islands, snorkeling with penguins, hammerhead sharks, sea turtles and eagle rays, and on land came face-to-face with marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies. Finally, they dodged llamas in the mystical lost citadel of the Incas, Machu Picchu, and dined on roasted guinea pig in Cuzco. Come learn about the original Indiana Jones, what zombie ants do when they die and how Darwin stumbled upon what is perhaps the greatest idea in human history.
Oct. 31: Orangutans and Long Houses
Terry and Joann Moss travelled to Borneo last May. Part of that large island is now a part of Malaysia. The weather was hot and humid with the threat of rain daily. Some highlights were photographing orangutans, hiking to the Nira Caves where man settled 40,000 years ago and visiting the Iban people who abide in Long Houses. The friendliness of the Malay people was a bonus.
Nov. 7: Japan and its Cultural Treasures
In November of 2013, Mark and Mary Jo Verke traveled to Japan to experience the beauty and culture of this most unique country. Their trip included the outstanding beauty of the fall colors in addition to the history of the country. They experienced firsthand the local craftsmanship in addition to a lesson in micro-agricultural farming.
Nov. 14: The Swiss Bernese Oberland
Bob and Jennifer Martin will describe the 20-mile radius from Interlaken, which includes some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, as well as eight general regions to hike or walk and villages to explore. The topography is awe-inspiring with one area alone having a sheer gain of 11,000 feet from the base of the Jungfrau in the Lauterbrunnen Valley to the mountaintop. They will explore Ballenberg as well as the cities of Luzerne and Bern. Join them for a trip through this breathtaking part of the Alps. Toning down their exuberance for this area is not what they intend to do.
Nov. 21: In Search of Shangri-la
Shangri-la, famous from James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon, is based on a Tibetan myth of a lost paradise in the Himalayas. For three weeks Linda Hite and Darshan Sonik explored Ladakh, the northern tip of India, and the western side of Tibet, where Shangri-la could be said to exist. On their adventure they climbed a 20,100-foot mountain called Stok Kangri and circumambulated the most sacred mountain to the Hindu and Buddhist religions, Mount Kailash. Other highlights of their trip include the major town in Ladakh-Leh, the highest motorable pass in the world at over 18,000 feet, Kardung La, palaces and monasteries, and the beautiful Lake Mansarovar, set at 15,000 feet. Decide for yourself if this is not a paradise for your discovery.
Nov. 28:
Thanksgiving Break; No seminar.
Dec. 5: Grand Canyon by Dory
We are now ready to start our way down the Great Unknown. With some eagerness and some anxiety and some misgiving we enter the canyon below and are carried away by the swift water.—John Wesley Powell, Explorations of the Colorado River, Aug. 13, 1869.
One hundred forty-four years later, the Colorado River is no longer unknown yet it still inspires the same eagerness and some anxiety as Powell felt in 1869. In September 2013, Kitty Williamson took a Grand Canyon dory (a drift boat especially designed for the Grand Canyon) 279 river miles through the Grand Canyon, from Lee's Ferry to the upper reaches of Lake Mead. The trip revealed alluring side canyons, waterfalls, caves, colorful rock formations and ancient Native American ruins that are all completely hidden from those who view the Canyon only from the rim. Kitty will share stories and photos taken along the way.