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TRAVEL AND TOURISM - 2017 Activities

Travel Group Meeting Monday 16th January 2017

After enjoying our Christmas lunch the previous month we were looking forward to the Italy and Liverpool trips this year and Ann Sear looked back on the group’s previous trips. Down Memory Lane was split into 2 talks and slideshow as part 1 covered the years 2001 to 2007. Visits to Budapest, Vienna, Sorrento, Krakow and Tallinn along with a Nile River cruise were remembered in the early years along with visits to Marrakesh and Barcelona. In 2007 the group took its 1st UK tour to Northumbria. Everyone was interested to recognise old faces and also the sort of tours undertaken then. Part 2 next month!


Travel Group Meeting Monday 13th February 2017

As we have changed our financial year to fit in with the U3A’s year we had our AGM this month. After the usual reports which showed the group to be doing well and financially sound, the committee was elected and Mike Bergdahl was elected as chairman for one more year.  Ann Sear continued with her presentation of Down Memory Lane since 2007. This covered wine tasting in France as well as cruises in Holland and in Portugal, visits to Dubrovnik and Montenegro, Jersey, The Dordogne, Bristol and Bath and Austria. More river cruises including The Rhone, the Rhine, The Seine and a tour around the Thames by boat and coach. Ireland, Yorkshire, the Scottish Highlands and Shropshire have also seen the group recently. A really fascinating slideshow which everyone enjoyed whether they were a long time member or not.


  Travel Group Meeting Monday 13th March 2017

We had an outside speaker for this meeting, Patricia Mackie, who gave an interesting talk accompanied with photos of a trip to the Aeolian Islands. These islands are not so well known and are situated just off the Sicilian coast. She went with Travel Editions for a 7 day tour and visited Salina first. This is the only island with its own underground water supply. Lots of different ferries connect the islands as they rely on tourism and sailing for their economy. Very colourful houses and lots of little churches but also a roman amphitheatre as lots of history from different invaders. The other islands visited were Lipari (the largest of the islands), Filicundi and Alicudi (good for fishing, snorkelling), Panarea (Jet set), Stromboli ( only 4 hotels there and continually puffs and erupts) and Vulcano ( strong smell of sulphur but the mud baths are supposed to be very good for you). A really interesting talk and gave many ideas for future holidays.


  Travel Group Meeting Monday 10th April 2017

The meeting was much concerned with the upcoming trip to Italy and the last minute instructions for it. After refreshments we all gave a memory or fact about Italy which put all the travellers in the right frame of mind for the trip.

There would be no meeting in May because most of the group would be away on this trip.


At the recent June meeting of the travel and tourism group Brenda Last gave a very interesting talk with slides about her holiday in Sicily with her husband. They visited museums, temples including the Temple of Concordia, a Roman Villa, a Greek Theatre in Taormina and a public garden created by an Englishwoman and given to the town on her death. Brenda also visited Mount Etna, the live volcano with her husband Harry walking to the top of one of the craters. The next meeting in July will be a review of the trip to Shropshire earlier this year and in August the Summer Party will be a Hog Roast.


Travel Group Meeting Monday 10th July 2017

Jim Cotton and Mike Bergdahl reminded those of us who went to Shropshire with the group last autumn what a good time we had with some great photos and commentary. We started with RAF Cosford which made an interesting lunch break with old planes, new ones as well as rockets and missiles. Next onto the Wroxeter Vineyard where no one could forget the difficulty of getting a large coach down a narrow driveway but any difficulties were made up by a warm welcome and an enjoyable tasting. Into Ironbridge where our charming hotel overlooked the river and their attractive grounds led through the public gardens down to the river and towards the town centre. Then reminders of Shrewsbury and a river trip, a visit to Attingham Hall, Stokesay Castle, Ludlow and a railway trip between Kidderminister and Bridnorth on the Severn Valley Railway, followed by a visit across the border to Llangollan and the Pontcysllte aqueduct. The last full day was around Ironbridge at the Coalport China museum and the Blists Hill Victorian village museum.  On the way home we fitted in a lunch break at Burford and a short stop at Daylesford Organic farm so continued the theme of managing lots of interesting visits in a short space of time.


Travel Group Meeting Monday 14th August 2017

The hog roast lunch went extremely well especially with the desserts made by some of the members. We had the usual game to help everyone get to know one another plus the raffle to raise funds for the group. The only sadness was saying goodbye to John and Jan Docherty who after many years with the group had decided to leave as they no longer felt up to travel, but I am sure we will see something of them in future.  


Travel Group Meeting Monday 11th September 2017

 Fresh from the trip to Liverpool and Manchester John Sutton reminded everyone of the successful River cruise on the River Seine in June 2016. Despite heavy rain which raised the river levels and put the cruise in jeopardy at one point and clashing with the Euro football matches, a very enjoyable time was had by everyone. Starting at Honfleur at the mouth of the river we enjoyed time to wander around this lovely time and also manged a quick look at Deauville before setting off up river. With pictures of the ruined Abbey at Jumiges, Rouen, Monet’s garden at Giverny and a very crowded Versailles to remind us we finally came to Paris. A full day in Paris gave us time for a coach tour of the sights and a free afternoon and pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night not far from our mooring. Pictures of everyone enjoying both the food and drink and “entertainment” on the boat showed what a great time was had by all.


Travel Group Meeting Monday 9th October 2017

John Sutton bravely spoke again this month of their enjoyable trip to Colorado last year. They had done a self-drive holiday from Colorado through South Dakota to Wyoming organised through travel company American Sky. John enjoyed driving a Mustang Convertible starting in Denver the state capital. Like many state capital buildings this had an impressive gold dome and were able to view the city from the top of the dome. He and Dominque also tried the oldest restaurant in Denver, the Buckthorn Exchange, with interior and menu to match its hunting theme. Leaving Denver behind they drove 450 miles the first day along the Oregon trail to Fort Laramie. They fitted in lots of visits such as to Mount Rushmore and Deadwood but without driving for too long. We look forward to seeing and hearing part 2 of their tour next year.

The meeting was reminded about the arrangements for our Christmas lunch and that balances for the Spanish river cruise next year are due before the end of November.


Travel Group Meeting Monday 13th November 2017

Tickets for the Christmas lunch were on sale and menu choice circulated. Members were told that unfortunately 2 more people had to drop out of the Spanish river cruise but hopefully someone will be found to take their places. There was a discussion of our UK trip for next year and it was agreed to go forward with a 5 day trip to Paignton in Devon if final details were agreeable.

Chris Ives then gave a talk and slideshow of a trip to Canada three years ago that he did with Carol and the Suttons. This was a 16 day self-drive followed by a one week Alaska cruise. After flying to Calgary they drove to Vancouver some 1600 miles. Driving from Calgary to Banff with lots of lakes on the way and then up towards Jasper seeing Lake Minnewanka, Bow Valley Falls, Moraine Lake and reaching the Athabasca glacier where they rode onto the glacier in a massive ice explorer. From Jasper it was onto the wilderness for a few days relaxation after a particularly difficult road. Then onto Whistler and Vancouver Island with much to see. Finally onto the ship The Volendam and up to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchican and an interesting trip on a float plane just to go somewhere for lunch. A really interesting trip and some great photos.

In December we will be enjoying our usual Christmas lunch, this year at the Bury Golf Club, with a pre-lunch drink and a quiz to keep everyone’s mind active over lunch. A fitting end to a good year for the group.