Dutch, Holland, Netherlands…Seniors Enjoy

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The Netherlands is bounded by the North Sea, Germany  and Belgium. With over 16 million people in an area roughly twice the size of New Jersey, it’s a densely populated country. Its gorgeous capital Amsterdam is just one of many interesting cities.

The name “Netherlands” means low-lying country; one-quarter of the country at or below sea level. Many areas are protected from flooding by dykes and sea walls; much land has been reclaimed from the sea. A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments known as dikes. The process of careful water management dates  back to medieval times.

The people, language, and culture of the Netherlands is referred to as “Dutch” and as our senior friends would tell us all the time “If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.” Then there is the English saying: “God created the world but the Dutch created Holland.”

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So why is it also called Holland? Holland is actually the name for two of its 12 provinces, Holland and South Holland. Holland was the largest and most powerful province in the Dutch Republic; the name Holland comes from Houtland, or “Wooded Land.” Netherlands is the correct name for the entire country.

Cheese, Art and Orange Define the Netherlands, Seniors Learn

The Netherlands has a rich history. This is the land of Hans Brinker, Edam and Gouda; the Dutch are cheese-heads. Archeological digs have proven that cheese was already being made on Dutch soil thousands of years ago. Then there are the Windmills, The Hague and Heineken Beer.

Orange is the national color of the Dutch Royal Family. The lineage of the current dynasty, the House of Oranje-Nassau, dates back to Willem van Oranje, William of Orange. But while the color has royal roots in the Netherlands, today it symbolizes a broader pride in the country and in being Dutch.

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Art is king and the Rijksmuseum is the premier art museum of the Netherlands. No self-respecting senior visitor to Amsterdam can afford to miss it. There is an excellent collection of around 200 masterpieces from the Netherlands rich history of great painters.

The 17th century was the age of the Dutch Masters, such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Jan Steen. The 19th and 20th centuries were no less remarkable for high-calibre artists like Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondriaan.

This remarkable country’s fertile, pancake-flat landscape is gridded with drainage ditches and canals, beneath huge open skies, while the country’s towns and villages are often pristine and unchanged places of gabled townhouses, pretty canals and church spires.

In spring and summer the bulb fields provide bold splashes of color, and in the west and north the long coastline is marked by mile upon mile of protective dune, backing onto wide stretches of perfect sandy beach.

Veel plezier in Nederland - Have fun.  jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe


Seniors Go South To The End Of The Earth

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Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, in the deep south of Argentina, commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. Opposite the bay that named the city and with a view of Navarino and Hoste (Chile) Islands, Ushuaia, the capital city of Tierra del Fuego, houses 45,000 people, it’s not small.

The visit implies a route around several places such as the Old Town Center, the port and the steep streets that climb the mountain. In this way it is possible to get a lot of varied colorful panoramic views. One  can truthfully say, Ushuaia is one cool site where senior visitors will discover why it  is called Fin Del Mundo (End of the World). It’s in Tierra del Fuego that the Andes Mountains meet the southern ocean in a sharp skid.

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Historically, the city was founded in 1884 by an Argentinean expedition with a help of 300 Anglican missionaries who participated in promoting the city. The natives called it Yamana. During the 20th century, a prison was built in Ushuaia and the prisoners had an important role in building the city.

Ushuaia lies on the shores of the Beagle Channel and is surrounded by the Martial Mounts. Tierra del Fuego is one of the most mystical, fascinating places on the planet. Explore forests, rivers, mountains and wilderness at the end of the world. Ushuaia is the port of call nearest Antarctica, and a unique destination for kayaking, sailing or just exploring nature.

The Laguna Esmeralda is #1 with visitors followed by Beagle Channel. Birders love it with the numerous bird and marine animal species that live in the Beagle Bay.

 Sea, Forests, Lakes and Mountains: Seniors See It All

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Within the impressive frame made up by the sea, the forests, the lakes and the mountains, Ushuaia is a picturesque city. In its surroundings, Ushuaia offers unexplored, untouched territories that invite senior visitors to discovery and adventure.

The main activities in this privileged nook are mostly related with nature and wildlife that are in abundance. Mount Castor Ski Resort is the the option offered by Ushuaia to the lovers of snow during the winter months.

Ushuaia is a young city and today a tourist city with international airport and all necessary services. Lured by the particular mysticism of its geography and its natural environment, tourists from all round the world visit Ushuaia every year, thus making it one of the most preferred destinations for unique vacations.

You can enjoy reading some personal experiences by someone who has been there. There are several interesting tours and sightseeing opportunities by bus or by the End of the World Train.

Add Ushuaia to your world travel bucket list and enjoy your time there. jeb


Seniors Visit Page, Frontier of Adventure

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Page is a city in Coconino County, near the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell approximately five hours north of Phoenix and five hours east of Las Vegas. The population runs right at 7,500.

It is said that Page is one of the youngest communities in the United States, beginning in 1957 as a housing camp for workers building the Glen Canyon Dam.

In 1958, some 24 square miles of Navajo land was exchanged for a larger tract in Utah, and “Government Camp.”  Named for John C. Page, a 1930′s Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Page is high up, perched atop Manson Mesa at an elevation of 4,300 feet.

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Seniors Find Themselves In The Center Of Canyon Country

Page is adjacent to the Navajo Nation, the United States’ largest Native American tribe and the largest segment of the population in the Glen Canyon area. Their reservation, adjacent to Page, contains more than 16 million acres (27,000 square miles) and extends into both Utah and New Mexico. For many centuries the canyon-lands and sandstone cliffs surrounding present-day Page were home to ancient Pueblo people.

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Located in the center of “Canyon Country,” Page is just a short drive from the North or South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks, Monument Valley and Canyon De Chelley that attract over 3 million visitors per year. Major events attract senior visitors all year long.

Senior travelers will find plenty to keep you busy both in and around Page. The Lake Powell Museum, a great place to start, is an Official Arizona State Visitor Center with brochures and a staff ready to give advice and answer all your questions.

Lake Powell is named for John Wesley Powell, a colorful, one-armed explorer and Civil War veteran. Located in the high desert country, Page offers scenic vistas, outdoor activities both on land and water, with a plethora of historic attractions, museums and surrounding parks.

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Antelope Canyon Draws Senior Hikers

By all means, do not bypass Horseshoe Bend, a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. The bend is locally known as “King Bend” and is one of the most photographed areas on the Colorado River.

Visit Lake Powell for your water sports and water activities. Visit Antelope Canyon for hiking and amazing scenic  opportunities.The Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew.

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For senior bikers, take a 14-mile biking/hiking trail around the city to Lake Powell National Golf Course, which offers 18 holes of scenic beauty and golf for every experience level. Page is the base of choice for those who want to enjoy some time in one of the most beautiful parts of the southwest. jeb


Seniors Enjoy Hingham on the Water

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Hingham is a town in metropolitan Greater Boston on the south shore of Massachusetts. The Town, approximately 15 miles south of Boston, has a population of 25,000. Boston is the undisputed epicenter of American history.

Hingham was named after Hingham, Norfolk and was first settled by English colonists in 1633. The town was dubbed “Bare Cove” by the first colonizing English, but two years later was incorporated as a town under the name “Hingham.”

Hingham’s history is reflected in its many immaculately kept houses, including the “Old Ordinary” on Lincoln Street, which now houses the Hingham Historical Society Museum. Derby Academy, founded in 1784, is the oldest co-educational school in the country and Hingham’s first parish, Old Ship Church, is the oldest wooden structure in the country in continuous use as a place of worship.

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Hingham,  full of history, has created six historic districts which will help the town maintain its unique character. Old Ship Church is the only remaining 17th-century Puritan meeting house in New England.

 Beautiful Harbor, Old Downtown Interest Senior Visitors

Hingham is proud of its location on the water, including 21 miles of shoreline. Construction of a new harbor park further expands the public use of Hingham Harbor. Senior visitors will find several sites worth a visit that include World’s End, Loring Hall and Whitney and Thayer Woods.

World’s End is along a rocky shoreline to elevated meadows on a point of land barely connected to the mainland. Bare Cove Park is another major draw consisting of 484 acres located along the banks of the Weymouth Back River in Hingham. Set aside as a wildlife sanctuary and a place for public recreation, the park is an exceptional area of river shoreline, wetland, open fields, dense woods, and diverse animal and plant life.

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Hingham Beer Works is popular to senior visitors. It opened its doors last year in Hingham and overlooks the beautiful harbor. It has become one of the most successful locations of the privately owned chain. The hot spot, located at the site of a former historic shipyard, is the regional chain’s fifth full-service restaurant.

Senior visitors find downtown Hingham the quintessential New England town center with the joys of unusual shops, excellent dining, casual entertainment and a warm welcome. Located on scenic Hingham Harbor, the Downtown is easy to get to by car, train or boat.

I think that you will love Hingham. Senior tourists find it a highlight of their visit to Massachussets. jeb


Seniors Seek “Francophonie” in Terre-de-Haut

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Terre-de-Haut Island is an island in the Îles des Saintes archipelago, in the Lesser Antilles. The island in the tiny Les Saintes archipelago just south of Guadeloupe is a little slice of Francophone heaven in the midst of the Caribbean.

You seniors who island hop in the Caribbean may already know of this area. It is the most populous island of the archipelago of les Saintes. Looks to me a like a great place to “get away from it all and unwind”. Travel ads note that “visitors are free to explore without modern-day intrusion.”

The island lives on fishing and tourism. The fishermen are recognized through the Caribbean islands as being among the best. The Bay of Les Saintes is said to be one of the most beautiful bays of the world. Like its island neighbor Terre-de-Bas, it holds its name from the maritime vocabulary which called the islands exposed to the wind, highland and those protected from the wind, lowlands.

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Small villages are seen spread out in the rolling hills in the interior. Fond-du-Curé, the most important village of the island is located in a natural harbor. Yachts and huge cruise ships are a common sight in the harbor. Read what Huffington Post has to say about Terre-de-Haut.

 Seniors Enjoy French Ambiance

The beaches on Terre-de-Haut are beautiful. There’s Pain de Sucre, a miniature version of Rio’s Sugar Loaf, a perfect arc of a beach best in the early morning and late afternoon when the day-trippers from Guadeloupe aren’t around and the water is stunningly clear. The island’s most popular beach, Plage de Pompierre, is studded with coconut trees, but be aware that it is typically full of people (and goats!).

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Here’s Fodor’s take on the island: “Part of Iles des Saintes, a group of eight tiny islands off the coast of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, Terre-de-Haut is blissfully low-key. Home to Les Saintes’ only accommodations and a population of 1,500, this hilly and photogenic five-square-mile island has a distinctly French ambience—think a less-flashier St. Barths—and is ideal for a simple yet sensuous romantic escape where the raison d’etre is relaxation by day and delicious food and fine wine at night.

There’s just one tiny town, bistro-lined Bourg, an historic fort with panoramic views, and plenty of colorful cottages and grazing goats ready for their close-up. Frommer’s joins in with their take on the island.

The Euro is coin of the realm and credit cards are widely accepted. A small airport built in 1973 welcomes private planes from Guadeloupe and other Caribbean islands. Experienced guests note that Terre-de-Haut marries its Frenchness and its Caribbeanness in a hybrid that can only imperfectly be described as idyllic.

So yank up your anchor and head out for Terre-de-Haut. Senior visitors will discover Terre-de-Haut to be unspoiled with wonderful French and Creole dishes. Enjoy.  jeb


Seniors Stop In “Folksie Berea”

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Berea, Kentucky is unique. I know, I’ve been there. This senior conducted a computer workshop at Berea College, which is part of what is so unique about the town. Its most prominent institution is the college which owns a substantial percentage of the city’s land.

The College, founded by ardent abolitionists and radical reformers, continues today as an educational institution still firmly rooted in its historic purpose “to promote the cause of Christ.” Students, faculty, and staff at Berea are engaged in a continuous learning environment.

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This environment encourages all workers to be active learners, workers, and servers, in a place where the Christian values of human compassion, dignity, and equality are expressed and lived. At Berea College everybody works.  I found that amazing.

 Senior Visitors Enjoy Folk Arts & Crafts Capital

Berea lives up to its calling as the “Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky.”  More than 50 professional artisans call it home.

Today the area in Bluegrass country boasts over 30 studios, galleries and shops dedicated to crafts. Berea is home to a thriving population of weavers, instrument makers, furniture artisans, jewelry designers, glass workers, potters, painters, sculptors, and musicians.

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Start your visit in Old Town, where you’ll have a good chance of seeing artists actively at work in their shops. Senior visitors will find superbly crafted glass, pottery, metal and forged steel, sculpture, note cards, works from wood, fine furniture, and jewelry, as well as fiber and paper, specialty foods, music and books.

First Interracial College in the South

The story of Berea’s artisan community is interwoven with the historic Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. Berea has a longstanding tradition of diversity, social justice, environmental responsibility, and community service.

Both college and town are committed to the practice of sustainability and conservation. Berea is situated in southern Madison County near the edge of central Kentucky’s Blue Grass Region. Boasting a small town atmosphere and rich cultural and historic roots, Berea is an ideal place to live, work and play with a population of 14,000.

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Whether your interest is writing for children, playing the dulcimer, or blacksmithing, the Berea Festival of Learnshops (July 11-27 2014) has something for senior visitors.

Select among workshops that last from two hours to five days to pursue your interest in sustainable living, culinary arts, collage, painting, Appalachian crafts, fiber arts, jewelry, glass, storytelling, literary arts, theatre, music, dance, Native American folk arts, bonsai, woodworking, or professional development for educators.

The Festival is family friendly, so bring your kids and grandkids, enroll them in the children’s activities or join an intergenerational class and create together. Southern Living Magazine labeled Berea as the “Best Small Town In Kentucky.

When you are in Kentucky, don’t miss Berea where ‘Art’s Alive’.  jeb



Seniors Tour Tourtour



This senior has been to France over two dozen trips and many of those to Provence. However I have never heard of Tourtour, a member of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The most beautiful villages of France).

The village, population 500, is a commune in southeast France. I just read about it in my Condé Nast Traveler (May 2014, p. 62). Now I want to go there.  I have told my wife many times…”If ever you can’t find me…look for me in Provence.”

I totally adore Paris, but I’ll always be in love with Provence.  That started as a college graduate, 21 years old when I spent three weeks in Aix-en-Provence.  There is no place in the world that can compare to Provence.

I’ve always admired Peter Mayle who wrote A Year in Provence. Incidentally, I met Mayle in a bakery in Cavaillon. He was gathering information for his new book, Our Daily Bread.

 Seniors Find Another Very Old ‘Old Town’


Tourtour is called “Le village dans le ciel de Provence” (the village in the sky of Provence“). It is just to the east of Le Mont Sainte-Victoire, a favorite subject of Cézanne. The town is north of the famed Côtes de Provence, a wine growing region that stretches south-east to the coast.

As with so many tiny French villages in Provence, the old town dates from the middle ages and it is the most interesting part of a visit to Tourtour. Tiny narrow streets are lined with picturesque Provencal houses. Nearby is the old oil mill (still in operation), the clock tower and the remains of two old castles.

The most pleasure for senior visitors comes from simply strolling along the streets. I recall meeting three ladies who were spending a full day in a different village in Provence for one week. What fun.

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There are two parts to the old town, the earlier dating from the 11th century, and the latter, around the square, from the 14th century. The beautiful old olive trees in the central square were imported from Italy to replace the elms that long stood there but died.

The town hall, the post office (housed in an old chateau) and the Chapel of Saint Trinity are later additions, dating from the 17th century.

Lavender Fields, Vineyards and Medieval Castle Draw Seniors

View for yourself the stone houses topped with round tiles, Place des Ormeaux and its fountain, the arched passageways and narrow streets bathed in sunlight amid a countryside of vineyards, lavender and pine trees! The walls of the medieval castle tell tales of the village’s past.

A dominant feature on the outskirts of Tourtour is the 11th century Romanesque church of Saint Denis. On a clear day, you can enjoy breathtaking views from up high down to Fréjus on the coast.

Enjoy one of the most beautiful villages of France.  jeb


Seniors Find Harmony in Elkhorn

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Welcome to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, picked one of the Best Small Towns in America, and called “The Christmas Card Town.” Elkhorn’s motto, “Living in Harmony” reflects its traditional “hometown” values, the community’s background from band instrument manufacturers and repair and the historical significance of composer Joseph Philbrick Webster of Civil War days.

The city’s name was given by Colonel Samuel Phoenix, who declared “Elk Horn” when he spotted a rack of elk antlers caught in a tree. Located in southeast Wisconsin, senior travelers will find Elkhorn where Interstate 43 and Hwy 12 intersect.

Elkhorn is a fast-growing community with a population of just over 9,000. It is a city rich in history and tradition with the warmth and friendliness of a small town.

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Attractions in and around Elkhorn include Watson’s Wild West in an atmosphere of an 1880′s General Store. Senior visitors find hundreds of advertising containers, toys, hardware, tobacco and confections along with Watson’s Wild West Dinner Theater and Western Museum.

The Evergreen Golf Course is a great place for a round of golf. For those who enjoy water sports and fishing, Lauderdale Lakes is close by and is very popular during the summer months.

Dine at one of 36 restaurants in town. Then go shopping at the Elkhorn Flea Market with over 500 dealers that can match any market you have seen elsewhere in the country. I guessed right that TripAdvisor would beat me to Elkhorn to suggest two great B&Bs and seven great things to see and do in town.

Seniors Pick Strawberries, Apples and Pumpkins

Image 22And by the way, for you seniors who enjoy a good bike trail, the White River Trail is a beautiful, flat, easy, 12-mile trail. A former SOO rail line passes by numerous bridges, scenic vistas, quaint towns, farmlands, and wetlands through Wisconsin’s Southeast Glacial Plains landscape.

If you enjoy music, the Alpine Valley Music Theatre has shows going on all year long. Many of the locals as well as visitors find the Apple Barn Orchard and Winery a great stop that features an open orchard and a farm where you can pick your own strawberries, apples, and pumpkins in season. The farm is situated on land that has been in the Jacobson family since 1848.

Image 19Not to scare you off, but be aware of a strange beast that since the mid-1930s has been reported around Elkhorn. Named for the location where it was most sighted, The Beast of Bray Road still gets the attention of local residents.

Seniors will discover a community in the truest sense of the word. The warm personality of the town is exhibited  in  its friendly residents, quaint shops, and its historic structures. At the recently restored bandshell in picturesque Sunset Park, you are invited to come and lay under the stars on a soft summer’s eve listening to the Elkhorn Community Band play traditional favorites. We’ve been there and we loved it. jeb


Seniors Discover “La Ciudad Perdida”

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How does one go about finding a “Lost City?” A good guide will help! Researchers say that La Ciudad Perdida dates before Machu Picchu. Seniors, are you ready for a good hike into the jungle? Are you ready for a true adventure? Then grab your coffee and let’s head out for La Cuidad Perdida in Columbia, believed to be one of the largest known archaeological sites in South America.

The first stones were placed approximately 500 AD and remained unknown until 1972 when the city was discovered by treasure hunters. The Indians who live nearby say the city has always been known, but they have kept it a secret.

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The Ciudad Perdida can only be visited via a jungle trek that may take up to six days. Be forewarned: This trek is not for the timid, the walk is tough but hikers are rewarded with stunning flora and fauna and nature that not many outsiders will ever see.

Senior Trekers Discover More

The Tayrona people built La Ciudad Perdida and called it Teyuna. The Spanish invasion pushed the natives high into the Sierra Nevada until they were so dispersed that their numbers dwindled and their cities were abandoned. The jungle reclaimed the Lost City…until tomb raiders found gold.

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And on your way there’s more than a Lost City to discover in this part of Colombia. From the Guajira desert down to Cartagena you’ll find historical buildings, waterfalls, smooth, sandy beaches in Tayrona national park or coffee farms in Minca.

The trek is a classic Indiana Jones style 6 day/5 night, 20km trek through the rainforest to some of the most magical of South America’s ruins. Many tourists that do visit Ciudad Perdida rank it as one of their most memorable travel experiences ever.

La Ciudad Perdida AKA Green Hell

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That  group of local treasure looters found a series of stone steps rising up the mountainside, through dense jungle and followed them to an abandoned city which they named “Green Hell”. Members of local tribes the Arhuaco, the Kogui and the Assario have stated that they visited the site regularly before it was widely discovered, but had kept quiet about it.

La Ciudad Perdida was probably the region’s political and manufacturing center on the Buritaca River and may have housed from 2000 up to 8000 people. It was apparently abandoned during the Spanish conquest.

The vegetation is still not completely removed. Therefore, the ruins really feel like a forgotten and lost city. In the area, trekkers will discover more than 200 stone structures, roads, canals, houses, storage areas, plazas and ceremonial buildings. The city has 169 terraces that are carved into the mountainside offering stunning scenery of the Sierra Nevada mountains and valleys.

Those who have made the climb found an amazing ever-changing scenery to walk through. From wet rainforest, red clay hills, rocky paths through rivers, grassy cleared land and local indigenous Kogui villages.

So, think you might be ready for this jaunt into the “Green Hell?” Suerte!  jeb

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