At Blenheim Palace, SU travelers met Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill (front row, second from right), who was their host for an exclusive tour of the estate filled with tapestries and priceless antiques.
If you've only visited London and think you've "done England," guess again. SU travelers visiting the quaint villages of England's Cotswolds region last summer discovered a whole new country.
      "The Cotswolds are what people have in mind when they think of 'olde' England—rolling hills, stone walls, and thatched roofs," says English professor Patricia Moody, who hosted the trip. "This is where you see the countryside and how people really live."
      It was familiar ground for Moody, who taught in SU's London program and traveled in the Cotswolds many times; however, this was the first time she explored the area in depth.
      The group's home base was the four-star Cheltenham Park Hotel, a classical Georgian structure in the village of Cheltenham set amid rolling parkland and beside a picturesque lake. From there the group took day trips to ancient villages like Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold and journeyed to Ross-on-Wye with its spectacular view of the Wye Valley.
Enjoying their visit to Tintern Abbey are, from left, Margaret Ridall Davis '59, her sister Eleanor Slocum, and Paul '57 and Eileen Eberenz Bell '57.
      "Visiting Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley was special for me because of its literary associations," says Moody. "It was where William Wordsworth wrote his famous poem Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey."
      A private tour of Blenheim Palace, Winston Churchill's ancestral home, was particularly meaningful for Eric and Janet Clarke Thresh '53 of Syracuse. "Lord Charles Spencer- Churchill was our host and couldn't have been more charming," she says. "He talked about his life there and what it meant to be Churchill's second son. He happily posed for a picture with anyone who wanted one. It was an exceptional experience."
      Cyndy and Stanton "Tony" Hall '61 of Shelburne, Vermont, had a different perspective. "We went specifically to hike and climb in the Cotswolds," he says. "We were the group's star hikers, completing 20-odd miles over one afternoon and some shorter trips on other days."
      Hall speaks enthusiastically about the tour guides. "It was a pleasure to ask questions and get detailed, erudite answers," he says.
      Liz and William H. Steckel '48 of Syracuse agree. "The guides were extremely knowledgeable," William says. "They picked the most interesting places to go and knew everything about them."
      Joining SU travelers were alumni groups from Notre Dame and UCLA. During the weeklong tour, they also explored Glouchestershire with its magnificent cathedral, Oxford, the village of Broadway, and Sudeley Castle and its lush gardens. In Chipping Camden they explored what some historians call "the most beautiful village left in England."
      The trip provided a special moment for Ruth and Olney G. Smith '42 of Santa Clara, California. "Olney's ancestors come from England and we showed the guide a book about a monk named Olney who lived on an island in the middle of the Severn River," Ruth says. "Later when we crossed the river, the guide loudly proclaimed that we were passing by Olney Island."
      Moody says that for her the high point of the trip was being with SU alumni. "People took care of one another."
      For information on future alumni travel opportunities, contact Tina Casella in the Office of Alumni Relations.

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