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Alumni groups in Egypt are back home safely

Tahir Square, Cairo - Photo by University of Washington

Tahir Square in Cairo, taken from Susan's hotel room. Look closely and you can see a group of protesters.

Dear Alumni,

When protests broke out in Cairo last week, UW Alumni Tours had two groups in Egypt. It’s been an exciting week, and I thought you might like to hear that Susan Cathcart, our assistant director of UW Alumni Tours, and the two alumni groups are now back in Seattle or wherever their homes are. I welcomed Susan’s group back at the airport on Friday, Feb. 4, with a purple UW banner. As you can imagine, they were all relieved to be home. Susan, especially, is exhausted but in good spirits!

Many of the travelers took the time to tell me how much they appreciated Susan’s hard work and advised me that due to her presence and how well the tour operator handled the situation in Egypt, they felt like they were well taken care of. A KIRO 7 news team just happened to be waiting for this same flight because they were planning to interview a  local peace activist returning from Egypt. The reporter couldn’t help notice my purple banner, and as soon as they heard about the groups they wanted to interview some of the travelers. They ended up interviewing two travelers as well as Susan.

On another note, I had sent an email to retired UW Professor Jere Bacharach who lives in Egypt six months out of the year. He accompanied a UW group to Egypt last year and also spoke to Susan’s group while they were in Cairo this past week. Once Internet access in Egypt was back up he was able to respond to my email, along with sending along a longer email he sent out to his family and friends about his experiences during the uprising.

You can read Professor Bacharach’s email here. There is also a blog being written by Political Science Professor Ellis Goldberg, who is in Cairo right now.

Check back next week when we hope to have photos and stories collected from our travelers.

Pauline Ranieri,
Director, UW Alumni Tours

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Turkey travelers delight in trip with UW Alumni Tours

After every one of our UW Alumni Tours, we survey travelers and include a final question asking them “why” they travel with us. On occasion, the perfect quote reaffirms our own answers as to why we think UW alumni and friends choose our program over the multitude of travel options available today. 

I’d like to share with you a quote that came in today from a traveler just returning from our Turkey trip: 

Why Do You Travel with UW Alumni Tours?

It is simple: UW continues to attract us with affordable, interesting tours with extremely competent travel guides.  In fact, we rarely feel like we are “on a tour,” but being shown a country by a friend. We can ask anything, learn while doing, and feel like the guide really likes us too! What a combination! Travel with a personal touch, and all the difficulties of logistics taken care of….it’s a no brainer. 

And, here’s what she had to say about the travel group:

We were blessed with a wonderful diverse group of companions, any of which we would be happy to see on future trips!

This comes in from Connie Kinyon and Steve Torgesen, both graduates of the UW and regulars of our travel program. Connie has been on four trips and Steve three. Happy Halloween!

Best,

Pauline Ranieri
Director, UW Alumni Tours

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Travel: 2011 Tours Catalog is in the mail

From the UW Alumni Tours Blog:

If you’re a UW traveler and haven’t received a copy of our 2011 UW Alumni Tours catalog, please let us know and we’ll pop one in the mail. We’re taking reservations now for Egypt, Vietnam, Costa Rica and many other exciting destinations. Many trips are limited to 24 travelers and sell out quickly, so don’t wait to sign up.

See our site to learn more about that trip of a lifetime!

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Travel: Historic Reflections – Memories of a lifetime

From the UW Alumni Tours Blog:

I love hearing from our travelers about their trip experiences and the moments that made a trip truly special for them. Here’s what John and Sonja Cowan told us when asked what would be their best, long-lasting memory from their recent Mediterranean cruise:

Hard to pick, visits with new people, tours of Ephesus, Turkey, Rome? Or maybe Siena where we magically found the ceramic shop we had been to some 10 plus years ago and bought additional dishes—from the very same shop owner who waited on us way back when…what a day that was!

Now how fabulous is that? These are the very moments that make traveling so heart-warming and leave us just itching to pack our bags for another trip. And thank you to Ellen Kaufmann, who shared a couple of wonderful trip photos with us. This hilltop town in Italy looks like an amazing discovery!

Explore our Travel page for all the latest itineraries.

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Travel: How to get a good airline seat

From the UW Alumni Tours Blog:

Have you ever found yourself uncomfortable, tired and to make matters worse, stuck in the middle seat on an airplane?

Did you think, “How can I avoid this the next time I fly?” There is that magical 24-hour window before your flight departs, where many seats open up if you check in online. With a click of your mouse, you can change your original seat to one that was not available when you booked your trip.

I found a great article in the Seattle Times that gives us ‘coach’ travelers tips to secure the ‘best’ seat. Happy hunting!

Just another helpful tip from UW Alumni Tours. We know how to travel. Check out our full list of upcoming tours.

Photo by Getty Images.

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