English, history departments team up for overseas tour

PLAINVIEW – If the sights of the Emerald Isle are intriguing, the next travel study tour offered through Wayland Baptist University might be for you.

Titled “The Celtic Dragon,” the tour features visits to Scotland, England, Wales and the Isle of Man, with extended time in Ireland as the highlight of the trip. Slated for June 28 through July 11, 2005, the 14-day excursion is a joint effort of the Division of Languages and Literature and the Division of Social Sciences at Wayland, specifically the departments of history and English.

Dr. Niler Pyeatt, professor of history, and Dr. Arch Mayfield, professor of English, are the primary sponsors of the trip and designed the itinerary for the tour, arranged through EF Educational Tours. Like previous travel study tours the group has taken, participants can receive up to six hours of credit at Wayland, three for a history course and three for an English literature class. Students may also opt to earn three hours in an upper-level English course instead. Credit options involve extra costs to students, of course, since summer tuition and fees apply.

According to Mayfield, the bulk of the work for college credit involves completing reading assignments before the trip, keeping a journal during the tour and completing a term paper afterward. The tour is designed to weave history and literature together, which Mayfield said is not hard to do in the region they’ll be visiting.

“We’ll spend one night in England in the Lake District, which is a very heavy literary area featuring William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge,” Mayfield said. He also noted there will be literary emphasis in Edinburgh, Scotland, home to poet Robert Burns, and in Dublin, Ireland, featuring study about James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and William Butler Yeats.

The tour begins with airline travel from Lubbock International Airport to Edinburgh, Scotland, featuring sightseeing of the rolling hills and seascapes, and a walking tour of the city that once provided the setting for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A visit to St. Andrew’s is next, featuring a tour of a 13th-century cathedral and castle, Scotland’s oldest university and the famed St. Andrew’s Links golf course.

From there, participants will visit England’s Lake District, with 16 lakes in a 30-mile area and stunning scenery. The tour continues to North Wales and the Snowdonia National Park, then to the Conwy Castle, a medieval fortress built by Edward I, and Beaumaris Castle, Edward I’s final and largest construction. A short time in Liverpool follows, then a ferry to the Isle of Man, a self-governing kingdom and scenic venue.

Participants will then ferry to Dublin, with its literary emphasis, and enjoy a guided tour of the Irish capital, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the presidential home, Trinity College and the Book of Kells. The tour continues with a visit to Blarney Castle and the ruins of the Rock of Cashel, then a journey in the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile trip around the Iveragh Peninsula with views of the Atlantic and the lakes of Killarney. From there, you’ll visit the Cliffs of Moher and Burren en route to the Galway region, then visit Connemara and Kylemore Abbey.

“The grand finale will be a visit to the Aran Islands off the northwest coast, said to be some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said another highlight of the tour will be the guide Mansel David, a Welsh actor who has visited the Wayland campus and has served as a tour guide for previous WBU trips. He said having a trained guide like David on board is just one of many plusses for participants.

“The benefit of group travel is not having to worry about making any arrangements,” he said. “You already have tickets for admission and everything is arranged. Also, you have the benefit of a tour guide and his expertise the whole time.”

Mayfield explained that the tour fees cover round-trip airfare from Lubbock, all transfers and hotel stays during the trip, transportation and admission to all tour sights, breakfast and dinner each day. Participants are only responsible for lunches and snacks, gratuities, souvenirs and any transportation needed during free times.

Cost for the trip is $3,459 per person for adults, based on double occupancy, with $95 due at the time of enrollment and another $400 due 30 days later. Full payment is due by the end of March 2005. Students pay $3,054, based on quadruple occupancy in rooms.

The tour is open to any interested persons. For more information, contact Mayfield at (806) 291-1100 or Pyeatt at (806) 291-1175.