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Shepherd offers Celtic France travel adventure

By Staff | Oct 17, 2014

Shepherd University’s Appalachian studies program Celtic roots course and travel practicum is offering students and the public an opportunity to learn more about Celtic France during a trip Mar. 11-14, 2015. The final enrollment deadline is Nov. 15.

A deposit of $495 must be received by Nov. 15, and the balance is due January 2, 2015. The total price for students taking the trip is $3,389. The price for community members will vary depending on accomodations and activities selected. Travel arrangements have been made by Passports Travel Company. All breakfasts and some dinners are included, as well as all land, air transportation, and Paris metro passes. Students and community members interested in the trip, and the courses, should contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, at sshurbut@shepherd.edu or at 304-876-3119, or visit www.shepherd.edu/appalachian/.

The tour will take students and community members to Normandy and Brittany, concluding with four nights and five days in Paris. Highlights include the ancient city of Bayeux with its famed Bayeux Tapestry, the Beaches of Normandy and Muse du Debarquement, the Mont St. Michel, and medieval towns of St. Malo, Renne, the Champ-Libres Cultural Center, and the Museum of Brittany.

Special features of the tour are exploration of the Paimpont Forest and Trehorenteuc Church with its literary connection to Chertien de Troyes and Arthurian legend, the magical medieval city of Vannes with its half-timbered houses, and Cathedrale Saint-Pierre. A special guided tour of ancient site of Carnac will be included as well, with its mysterious pre-Celtic standing stones. Travelers will also explore Nantes Castle, the glorious city of Chartres with its famed cathedral, and Paris, where a tour of Notre Dame Cathedral begins an exploration of the City of Lights and conclusion of the tour.

The tour includes three and four star hotels in central locations for easy exploration and free time to become personally familiar with Paris and all the places on the tour. Local guides will offer special insights with tours of the Paimpont Forest, Trhorenteuc Church, and Carnac’s Standing Stones.

The Celtic France course is part of the Celtic Roots travel study program in the Appalachian Studies Program at Shepherd University. The course includes study of the work by writers inspired by Celtic France, including Chretien de Troyes (“Yvain: The Knight of the Lion”), Marion Zimmer Bradley (“The Mists of Avalon”), Henry James (“Gabrielle de Bergerac”), and such modernist Paris devotees as James Joyce, Zelda (“Save Me the Waltz”) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (flapper stories and “Babylon Revisited”), Samuel Beckett (“Waiting for Godot”), Ernest Hemingway (“The Sun Also Rises” and “A Moveable Feast”), Gertrude Stein (“Paris France”), and the poetry of William Butler Yeats.

Appalachian writer Bobbie Ann Mason’s “The Girl in the Blue Beret,” with its French World War II setting, will be one of the course highlights associated with Normandy.