Rollins World Travelers

By Elizabeth Francetic

Gardens of Claude Monet's home, Giverny, and inspiration for the artist's Water Lilies

Rollins travelers on the steps leading to Basilique du Sacre-Coeur

River Life Along the Seine

For centuries, ideas, trade, and armies have traveled the length of the Seine River, the principal cultural and commercial artery of northern France. In October 2008, Rollins alumni and friends had an opportunity to experience the same adventure on an excursion aboard the deluxe river ship MV Cézanne. The seven-night cruise—complete with savory Continental cuisine, nightly entertainment, a sun deck, and first-class service—featured views of picturesque and historic villages from Paris to Rouen, with port calls at Vernon, Les Andelys, Caudebec, and Le Havre. Travelers were immersed in everyday life along the Seine with visits to Chateau-Gaillard (built by Richard the Lionheart), Maison Van Gogh, St.-Wandrille Abbey, Victor Hugo Museum, the Normandy Beaches, Notre Dame Cathedral, Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen, and Monet’s house, workshop, and gardens in Giverny. Other highlights included taking in the historic monuments and sights of Paris, visiting a local organic outdoor market, and experiencing the ambiance of Montmartre.

“I was most fortunate to be invited to join the Rollins Alumni Travel group on the ‘Village Life along the Seine River.’ This was one of the most enjoyable European adventures I’ve had. Each day was filled with new cultural experiences from looking out over the fields that were the subject of Van Gogh’s last paintings in Auvers-sur-Oise to experiencing authentic Normandy cooking surrounded by the rustic charm of a working cider distillery.  As an art historian and curator, I found it particularly fulfilling to be afforded the opportunity to lecture on French modernism while visiting the very locations of its birth. The pace of the week-long program was perfect for truly getting to know one’s traveling companions; in fac, during that week I made several life-long friends. From the initial planning process through the final boarding onto the jet taking us back to the States, the Office of Alumni Relations took care of every detail making the entire experience effortless and stress-free. I think often of that week in France and am most grateful that I will always have these memories.”
-Matthew McLendon, former curator of academic initiatives for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Rollins travelers in the garden of Les Invalides
  Rollins travelers in a cider factory in Normandy
(l-r) Former Cornell Fine Arts Museum curator of academic initiatives and tour lecturer Matthew McLendon, Saundra Sands Hester ’59, and Bob Pittman in the garden of Les Invalides
  (l-r) Doreen Godsey, Ruth Garriques, Martha Gold, Libby Drosdick, Andrea Scudder Evans ’68, and Matthew McLendon at a cider factory in Normandy
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Blue Mosque

The Rollins travelers' gulets at rest in a peaceful cove

The Blue Voyage: Legendary Turkey & the Turquoise Coast

In October 2009, Rollins alumni, family, and friends immersed themselves in the exotic sights, scents, and sounds that reign in the fascinating land where Europe and Asia meet to form “the cradle of civilization.” Travelers built warm friendships while viewing splendid ancient ruins, breathtaking mosques and churches, stunning landscapes, and the dramatic Turquoise Coast. Highlights of the journey across Turkey included visits to the magnificent “Empress of the World,” Istanbul, with its Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Spice Market, and famed Hagia Sophia; the modern Mediterranean resort of Antalya; and the ruins of Ephesus, Pergamum, Troy, Perge, Aspendos, and Myra. The Rollins adventurers also set sail along the Turquoise Coast for five days in privately chartered gulets, replicas of traditional Turkish fishing boats, which offered sleeping under the stars, gourmet cuisine, swimming in the sea, and relaxation. A few lucky travelers continued on to Cappadocia, known for its extraordinary landscape of bizarre rock formations, and the Turkish capital, Ankara.

“An incredible trip! Our best ever! Kudos to the tour organizer Odysseys Unlimited, our irrepressible guide Cemil, and fellow Rollins alumni and new friends. The indelible presence of Istanbul’s and Turkey’s place in world history followed us with every step. And sleeping under the stars at night along Turkey’s southern coast…how can you top that?”
-Nancy Abelt Randolph ’66 and Middleton Elliott Randolph ’65

 “This was my first experience with a Rollins trip, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  It was very well run and organized, and Odysseys Unlimited put together a wonderful itinerary. We couldn’t have been luckier with Cemil as our guide. It was such a pleasure traveling with everyone on this trip and I think we all had a fun and educational time. I can’t wait for the Egypt trip!”
-Diane “Didi” Michelson Kirtley ’70

Rollins travelers with professor and tour guide Cemil Bezman outside Perge
  Rollins travelers enjoy a bite to eat.
Director of Alumni Relations Elizabeth Francetic, William “Bill” Clark ’82, Susan Curran ’76, Gloria Bates, JoAnn McDonald DiBiase ’63, Diane “Didi” Michelson Kirtley ’70, Libby Drosdick, Jean Cumming, Frieda Pilson, Nancy Abelt Randolph ’66, and Elliott Randolph ’65 with professor and tour guide Cemil Bezmen outside Perge
  Libby Drosdick, Diane “Didi” Michelson Kirtley ’70, Elizabeth Van Ella, JoAnn McDonald DiBiase ’63, Jean Cumming, and Gloria Bates
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