Best-Selling Travel Writer Patricia Schultz To Host ‘Imperial Ethiopia’ Adventure

The land of Ethiopia, rich in natural, cultural and religious treasures and centered on the crossroads between North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa is consistently hailed as a must-see destination. Its 2,500 years of documented history (and 1500 years of Christian observance) has been ruled by a dramatic progression of warlords, emperors, and kings. Ethiopia’s 80 distinct ethnic groups each contributes to the rich cultural stew of life today which abounds with colorful ceremonies, traditional and sacred music, dance and theater.

The best way to see it? In the company of Patricia Schultz, author of NYTimes #1 Bestseller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

ET African Journeys is offering one 10-day trip – April 25 – May 4, 2013 – with an itinerary featuring three UNESCO World Heritage Sites which includes seven churches and six castles built in the mid-1600s in the fortress-city of Gondar. Plus: the art treasury of the Debre Birhan Selassie Church and the Falasha (Ethiopian Jewish) Village and Synagogue. It is in Gondar that castles built in the 7thcentury overlook Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile.

“It is surprising to me that with its mix of rich history, gorgeous scenery and beautiful people Ethiopia isn’t positively overrun by tourists,” Schultz has stated. “Africa’s best kept secret is hiding in plain sight! Stunning UNESCO sites in the north, and the remote and inaccessibleOmo Valley to the south, a whole other world of ancient tribes and fragile cultures visited by very few.”

The trip will also take participants to see 1,700-year old stelae (obelisks), St. Mary Zion Church and the Sanctuary Chapel, the reputed resting place of the biblical Ark of the Covenant in Axum near the Eritrean border. In Lalibela, built as a “New Jerusalem” by Emperor Lalibela in response to the Muslim capture of Jerusalem in 1187, the trip will visit some of the twelve UNESCO-designated subterranean churches cut from red volcanic rock – still places of active worship and pilgrimage destination.


Meet Filmmaker Ken Burns In Baseball Heaven: Cooperstown, NY

Academy Award-winner and famed documentarian, Ken Burns, creator of The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks and most recently, The Central Park Five, is partnering withTauck this June to offer baseball’s ultimate insider’s event in the village of Cooperstown, New York.

Burns’ PBS documentaries, “Baseball” and its sequel, “The Tenth Inning” are the foundation for the four-day immersion from June 27-30, 2012 — a unique trip to celebrate America’s most beloved sport.  The highlight is a private evening touring the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Guests will meet Ken Burns, a gracious, charming and brilliant personality, at a cocktail reception and after his talk.

“So many of the things that have shaped America are also reflected in baseball, from race relations to women’s rights to multiculturalism,” Burns has stated. “And baseball reveals the best and the worst in us while ultimately celebrating the human spirit. Baseball is about greed and scandal, but it’s also about teamwork and poise under pressure. It’s about sorrow and disappointment, but it’s also about perennial optimism and hard-won triumph. Baseball is truly a mirror in which we can all see pieces of ourselves and our own experiences reflected.”

Baseball Celebs

Perks of the event include: meeting former Major League players and enjoying talks by baseball experts such as historian and author Daniel Okrent, creator of “fantasy baseball” (prominently featured in both of Burns’ baseball films.) Another perk? Getting to meet baseball Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, nicknamed “Knucksie” for his killer knuckleball. Meet outfielder Doug Glanville, Tom Heitz former Hall of Fame Librarian; and a former member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

An authentic 19th century “Town Ball” game will be played on the grounds of the Fenimore Art Museum and of course there will be a visit to Cooperstown’s elegantly manicured Doubleday Field with a chance to take a few swings in the batting cages.

Tauck CEO Dan Mahar says, “Ken’s broader perspectives on America, gained through all of his films, allow him to view the sport within the larger context of American culture and history.”