Friday, November 12, 2004

The Fairmont State campus and the local community have an opportunity to learn about the "Roads to Appalachia," through a study tour experience sponsored by the West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University.

The July 4-18, 2005, trip to Scotland, Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland will explore the roots of Appalachian culture. The trip is arranged by National Travel of Morgantown and Portland, Ore., in collaboration with Globus Special Tours, as a custom tour created by the W.Va. Folklife Center at FSU.

"Travel is the ultimate equalizer and educator," said Dr. Judy P. Byers, Director of the W.Va. Folklife Center. "The trip brings together people of many interests, ages and opportunities."

The tour will begin in Scotland, exploring both Lowland and Highland Scottish culture through visits to castles and museums, as well as traditional ceremonies, such as the "Presentation of the Haggis" and the historic "œget together" of the"caelie," celebrated in both Scotland and Ireland.
"We will follow the route of the Scotch-Irish (Lowland Scots) as they moved across to Northern Ireland," Byers said.
"In Belfast/Omagh, Northern Ireland, we will visit the Ulster American Folk Park for a close look at the folk and travel patterns of the Scotch-Irish in both British Isles and early Appalachian history, as well as visit famous geological and historical sites. Moving down to the Republic of Ireland, we will review the tragedy of the potato famine of the 1840 that drove so many to America, including central West Virginia. Various stops in Ireland will illustrate the Irish background to Appalachian song, dance, legend and folklore."
Features of the tour include the following:
* Grand cities and capitals: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Belfast, Dublin.

* Castles and palaces: Edinburgh Castle; Holyrood Palace; Glamis Castle, site of "Macbeth"; St. Andrews Castle; Inverness Castle; Dunlace Castle; Armadale Castle Grounds on the Isle of Skye.

* Cathedrals, shrines and monasteries: St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh; St. Andrews Cathedral ruins; St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin; St. Mary's Cathedral, Limerick.

* Festivals and traditions with music, dance, song, storytelling, food and spirits: Scottish Evening with Presentation of Haggis; Irish Festival (Caelie) in Belfast; Irish pubs; Knappogue Castle Banquet.

* Museums: National Gallery of Scotland; Angus Folk Museum; Colloden Visitors Center; Ulster/American Folk Park; Irish Famine Museum; National Heritage Park of Wexford; Museum of the Isles at Skye with the Clan Donald Visitor Center.

* Natural and historic wonders: Highlands and Lowlands; Lochs; Fairy Rings and Glens; The Giant's Causeway; The Burren; Cliffs of Moher; Ring of Kerry; Rock of Cashel; Crossing the Irish Sea; Poulnabrone Dolmen.

* Unique vistas: Adare, called "the prettiest village in Ireland," fishing villages (Clifden), seaside and lochside towns and mountainside abodes.

* Universities: University of Edinburgh; Trinity College, Dublin; Queen's University, Belfast.

* Shopping/souvenirs: Woolen Mills -- tartans of Scotland; Belleek -- china; Waterford "crystal; Connemara “ marble.

In collaboration with the FS GEAR-UP Partnership, FSU Schools of Education and Liberal Arts, English Department and the Center for Teaching Excellence, FS students can receive three hours of credit by participating in the folklore course offered on the tour (FOLK 3399) to be offered in the spring 2005 semester. Pre-tour meetings and programs and reserved readings at the Ruth Ann Musick Library will offer an introduction to the countries to be visited. Other possibilities include teacher continuing education credit and graduate credit. Optional educational reflections and discussions will be available throughout the Tour.

The Roads to Appalachia Study Tour will cost $3,500 per person/double occupancy based on 42 participants.
The price includes the following:
* Roundtrip economy class air tickets.
* Nonsmoking air conditioned motorcoach transportation on land.
* Professional Tour Director.
* All first class hotels. Nonsmoking rooms with twin beds, bath or shower. All hotel taxes, service fees and international airline taxes.
* Tips to hotel porters (one overseas bag only).
* Meals covered: All full English breakfasts and dinners, special shows, festivals and banquets scheduled.
* Scheduled sightseeing with inside visits (including admission charges).
Applications for the study tour are available by calling Dr. Judy P. Byers at (304) 367-4286 or (304) 367-4403 or e-mail her at jbyers@fairmontstate.edu. A nonrefundable initial deposit of $350 per person must be included with the application. Applications are accepted on a first come/first served basis to tour limit of 42, so those interested should apply by Dec. 6. Later applications will be put on a waiting list. Any applicant younger than 18 years of age must have a designated chaperone. Itinerary features may be changed slightly as the trip develops.