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Celtic France study tour scheduled March 11-24, 2015

ISSUED: 28 January 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Appalachian Studies program at Shepherd University, in cooperation with the University Global Studies program, is offering a Celtic France study tour March 11-24, 2015. A deposit discount deadline is March 15.

The tour will take students and community travelers to Normandy and Brittany and conclude with four nights in Paris. Tour highlights include the ancient city of Bayeux with its famed Bayeux Tapestry, Normandy beaches, and Musee du Debarquement, Mont St. Michel, Saint-Malo, Rennes, the Champ Libres cultural center, the Museum of Brittany, the Paimpont forest, the Trehorenteuc Church with its connection to Chertien de Troyes and Arthurian legend, the medieval city of Vannes with its half-timbered houses and Cathedrale Saint-Pierre, the ancient Celtic sight of Carnac with its standing stones, Nantes and its Castle Museum, and Chartres Cathedral. Paris highlights include exploration of the city of lights and a tour of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The trip is arranged in collaboration with Passport Tours. All hotels are three and four star with central locations for easy exploration in travelers’ free time. Local guides will offer special insights on tours of the Paimpont forest, Trehorenteuc church, and Carnac’s standing stones. All land and air transportation is included in the tour, as well as Paris metro passes for easy transportation throughout the city.

The Celtic France course is part of the Celtic Roots travel program in the Appalachian Studies Program. Students and community members will study the work of writers inspired by Celtic France, including Chretien de Troyes who wrote “Yvain: The Knight of the Lion,” Marion Zimmer Bradley, Henry James whose “Gabrielle de Bergerac” is inspired by the French connection, and such Modernist Paris devotees as James Joyce, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, William Butler Yeats, and Dylan Thomas. 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.

Those interested in the travel adventure and courses may register in the fall for the spring 2015 APST 431 Travel Practicum or APST 430 Celtic Roots courses. Registration through audit or through the Continuing Education Program is possible for community members. The deadline for the $495 travel deposit is March 15 in order to take advantage of the discounted price of $3,189. Besides transportation and three and four-star hotels and accommodations, all breakfasts and four group dinners, the university guide, two local French guides, and museums and venues mentioned above and articulated in the travel itinerary, including the Mont St. Michel, are included in the trip.

For more information, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, coordinator of Appalachian Studies, at or go to


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