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Appalachian Studies program announces May 7-18, 2019, tour of Spain and France

ISSUED: 29 August 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities announces a May 7-18, 2019, Celtic Roots and Global Appalachia study tour to Spain and France which will give participants the opportunity to explore the places associated with the writers and ideas in the Celtic Roots course, including the ancient Spanish cities of Segovia, Toledo, and Madrid. The tour is open to students and community members.

Group members will travel to Pamplona, setting for Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” after which they will travel through the Bordeaux countryside in France to enjoy a vineyard tour at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Saint-Émilion. The five nights spent in Paris will allow the group to explore places associated with James Joyce, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, and other writers of the Lost Generation.

Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, professor of English and Appalachian Studies program coordinator, said one of the highlights of the trip will be a day trip to Bayeux, France, the setting for writer Karen Spears Zacharias’s book “Burdy.” Zacharias is Shepherd’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence and will be on campus September 21-28. “Burdy” takes readers to the World War II D-Day Landing and the ancient town of Bayeux, which hosts the famous tapestry telling the story of another great war that changed the course of human events in England in 1066.

The ground cost of the tour is $2,811. Round-trip air fare will range from $600 to $1,000. Single travel supplements are available through World Strides, which will handle the tour for Shepherd. The cost includes all ground travel and gratuities; breakfasts and two group dinners; three- and four-star hotels in Madrid, Pamplona, Poitiers, and Paris; entrance fees to Segovia Cathedral, Toledo Alcázar, Monasterio of San Juan de los Reyes, Saint-Émilion winery, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Conciergerie, a river cruise on the Seine, Bayeux Tapestry Museum, and an Omaha Beach/D-Day tour. Guided tours of Toledo, Segovia, and half-day orientation tours of Madrid and Paris with several local guides are provided, but travelers are generally free to follow their own inclinations as they explore their Celtic roots.

The deadline for registration and to make the $500 deposit is December 1, with partial payment of $1,285 due February 1, 2019, and the balance due March 8, 2019. Shepherd students can sign up for the Celtic Roots and Global Appalachia or Travel Practicum course to receive credit for the trip. Community members who want to participate must go through the Lifelong Learning program.

For more information, students should contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt at or visit and click on the Celtic Roots and Global Appalachia link. Community members should contact Karen Rice, director of lifelong learning, 304-876-5135 or

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