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Tours & Cruises

The Way to Spain Is Mostly on the Plane

May 26, 1996|KARIN DOMINELLO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hike the ancient Spanish route of Camino de Santiago to the city of Santiago de Compostela with Just Walk, an adventure walking company based in Aspen, Colo.

Two 11-day treks, scheduled for Sept. 9 and Sept. 30, offer history, dramatic sightseeing and a daily hiking pace of nine to 12 miles. This hike is suited for both the novice and the seasoned hiker.

The Camino de Santiago winds through culturally rich villages, vineyards, and scenic terrain from the Pyrenees to the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula.

Cost: $1,695 per person, double occupancy, including guides, lodging, meals and ground transportation. Contact: Judy Colaneri, P.O. Box 8653, Aspen, CO 86612; telephone (970) 923-6859.

Falling for Ireland

Visit Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on a fall tour, Oct. 18-29. Guests stay in five country hotels that offer breathtaking scenery, and they visit W.B. Yeats' country in Sligo and Connemara. Guests will also enjoy an oyster dinner in Galway, and sightseeing in Dublin and Killarney.

Cost: $2,924 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, ground transportation, full Irish breakfasts, daily and six dinners. Contact: Lee Hansen Travel Service, 712 Foothill Blvd., La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011; tel. (818) 790-5589.

To Go or Not

A one-week theater study tour to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland will be conducted by Ed-Ventures July 6-12. Participants will see four Shakespearean plays and three modern plays. The tour features daily meetings for play discussion to help participants increase their understanding of the theater.

The group will meet the actors, directors, dancers and musicians who make up Ashland's Tony-award-winning festival. Shakespearean plays this year include "Romeo and Juliet," "The Winter's Tale," "Love's Labor's Lost" and the seldom-performed "Coriolanus." The group will also see Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia," Nigel Jackson's "Moliere Plays Paris" and Clifford Odet's "Awake and Sing."

Cost: $470 per person, including seven tickets, lodging at the residence halls of Southern Oregon State College and a souvenir T-shirt. Not included: meals and transportation to Oregon. Contact: Judith Michaels, 59 Sandburg Drive, Sacramento, CA 95819; tel. (916) 731-5709.

Singing Santa Fe

The Music Center Unified Fund is hosting its eighth annual trip to Santa Fe for the 40th season of opera and 75th annual Indian Market. Guests will also travel to Aspen, Colo. The weeklong trip is Aug. 10 to 18, and includes tours, museum and art gallery visits and a behind-the-scenes peek at the Santa Fe Opera House and Aspen Tent and Music School grounds. In Aspen, tickets will be provided to performances of the Festival Orchestra, a jazz ensemble, and Mozart's opera, "The Magic Flute."

In Santa Fe, members will have a choice of the best seats, at any or all of the following operas:

"The Rake's Progress"--Igor Stravinsky (a new production, sung in English).

"Daphne"--Richard Strauss (new production, sung in German).

"Madama Butterfly"--Giacomo Puccini (new production, sung in Italian).

"Don Giovanni"--Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (sung in Italian).

Cost: $3,250 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations at the Ritz Carlton in Aspen and Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe, round-trip air fare, ground transportation, gratuities, lunches and dinners, private homes and artists' studios. Part to the cost, 20%, supports the Music Center Unified fund. Contact: tel. (213) 202-2241.

Asian Odyssey

An escorted 14-day tour of Indonesia and Singapore departs July 21 and includes two special events in Yogyakarta, Java: a private dinner and a classical Javanese dance performance at the home of Queen Ratu Antom, and a performance of the Ramayana ballet held outdoors under a full moon with the Hindu Temple of Prambanan floodlighted as a backdrop. The group will be invited backstage to see the dancers don their costumes and apply makeup.

Other stops include a drive to Dieng Plateau in central Java along a scenic mountain road, passing terraced slopes of vegetable and tobacco crops. At the plateau are Java's oldest Hindu temples. Guests also visit the huge walled Sultan's Palace, with its museum and palace guards in traditional court dress.

The tour escort, an expert in Indonesian crafts and folk art, takes the group to villages to see arts and crafts designed by local residents. Visitors see the making of fine batik, watch master puppet makers, visit villages where gold and silver jewelry, paintings, stone and wood carvings are produced.

Other tour highlights include Borobudur, a massive Buddhist temple with ornate relief panels depicting the Buddha's life; Bali's Mengwi Hindu temple surrounded by a sacred moat; and the village of Tenganan, known for its prized double ikat weavings. Singapore stops include a drive along Orchard Road, Chinatown, Arab Street, with its large mosque, Little India, Raffles Palace and Mt. Faber, with its panoramic view of the city.

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