TRAVELS WITH SU|
Professor Gerd Schneider was, frankly, suspicious of organized tours. But that was before he went on one.
"I thought I'd be sitting on a bus, with people pointing out something on the right and something on the left as we sped past," says Schneider, who teaches German literature and language at SU. "I was afraid we'd cover a whole country every 24 hours, but it wasn't like that at all. Now I feel this kind of touring is the best way to travel."
Last summer Schneider and his wife, Georgia, joined University alumni on a trip called Legendary Passage: A Cruise on the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Because of his knowledge of Germany, Schneider served as lecturer as well as traveler.
The group flew to Lucerne, Switzerland, which Schneider describes as absolutely gorgeous. They spent three days at a luxurious hotel on the lake, taking excursions into the countryside and recovering from lingering traces of jet lag.
The group traveled by bus to Strasbourg, where Schneider taught travelers German phrases to help them shop and place orders in the city's charming pastry markets. "Later people told me they ate too much cake because they just kept on ordering," Schneider says with a laugh.
The group of SU alumni on this cruise soon began to feel like a family, an experience shared by most of those who take SU tours. Many keep in touch after the trip.
At Worms, Professor Gerd Schneider told the story behind the statue of Hagen throwing treasure into the Rhine.
They boarded their 101-passenger deluxe cruiser in Strasbourg and headed up the Rhine River, stopping to admire castles and visit historic sites. "Many people made purchases when we stopped at Speyer and Russelsheim, known for their wine and chocolate with brandy," Schneider says.
The trip continued to Mainz, Wiesbaden, and Cologne before branching off onto the Moselle River. Schneider pointed out the differences between the wines of Moselle and the sweeter Rhine wines.
After rejoining the Rhine, the group disembarked in Dčsseldorf, where buses took them to Amsterdam. From there excursions took them to Edam, where they saw cheese being made, and other points of interest before leaving for home.
"The beauty of the trip was that while the excursions were interesting, we had plenty of free time to do other things. In Amsterdam, for instance, many of us visited the Van Gogh Museum," Schneider says.
The professor lectured several times, sometimes on the sights they were about to see, but also on the differences between American and German culture in everyday life. "I told our friends that in German restaurants, people often share tables; if they see someone sitting alone, they may approach them and ask if seats are available. Several did just that and enjoyed the conversations they had."
It's not surprising Schneider refers to his fellow travelers as friends. "Besides our group of Syracuse alumni, there were groups from universities in California, Montana, and Oregon," he says. "People didn't stay just with others from their own institutions, however. We mixed and exchanged information, danced, and talked. By the second day, a wonderful sense of group camaraderie was established. These were intelligent, interested people, and I still exchange letters and e-mail with them."|
Would he travel on a similar organized tour again? "The trip exceeded all my expectations," Schneider proclaims. "I'm not sure I'd go any other way now."
For further information on SU travel offerings, ranging from cruises to wildlife safaris, contact Tina Casella in the Office of Alumni Relations, 1-800-SUALUMS (782-5867),
Minnowbrook offers restful vistas to conferees.
SAVE THE DATES!
Here's your chance to stay at SU's famed Minnowbrook Conference Center on beautiful Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondack Mountains, one of the great resorts of the region. From July 23 to 25 you can attend a fascinating weekend sponsored by the SU Alumni Club of Central New York, the SU Alumnae Club, and the Office of Alumni Relations. Details will be given in our spring issue, but you can count on a stimulating experience in one of the loveliest settings in New York State.