|April 19-26||Barcelona and Bilbao|
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NPC Travel Committee
The NPC Travel Committee is dedicated to researching, mounting, and promoting high quality, educational, and economic travel opportunities for its members. Over the past several years our members have taken exotic excursions to Jordan’s Petra and the pyramids of Egypt, travelled the Silk Road in China, sojourned in Instanbul, relived contemporary European history in the three Baltic Republics of Lithuania, Latvia, & Estonia, enjoyed animal safaris in South Africa and Botswana, visited the vast mélange of Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and explored Amsterdam's eclectic architecture and vast art collections with stops in in Bruges, Normandy, and Mont St. Michel. Our traditional Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend Trips to Iceland, Panama, London, and Lisbon have been extremely popular and well-attended.
Barcelona and Bilbao: April 19-26
Optional Madrid Extension: April 26-29
Immerse yourself in the architectural wonder that is Barcelona, winner of the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the first and only time this award was made to a city. Begin with a stroll along the famous Ramblas though the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) viewing World Heritage Sites from medieval and Roman times and continue past some of the best specimens of Catalan modernista architecture (Art Nouveau). Spend the next morning touring the work of Antoni Gaudi culminating in a visit to his best- known work, the Sagrada Familia Church which has been under construction since 1882. That evening you will sample the best of Catalonian fare at a local restaurant. Enjoy your final day by either choosing between two full-day tours or bagging them both in favor of your personally designed walking tour of shops, restaurants, and museums. The first day trip is by coach through picturesque villages to Monserrat, a multi-peaked mountain and the site of the Benedictine Abby, Santa Maria de Monserrat. The second option is a coach trip to Gerona and Figeras, Salvador Dali’s hometown and the location of Teatro Museo Dali displaying the largest and most diverse collection of the artist’s work. On the following day, you will travel across Spain on a high speed train to the Basque capital of Bilbao. In addition to a morning tour of the Guggenheim Museum, you will have ample time to explore the extraordinary Frank Gehry building wrapped in paper-thin titanium sheets that change color with the weather, the “Maman” spider sculpture, and a Jeff Koons plant-covered 43 foot “Puppy” sculpture. Your farewell dinner in Bilbao will feature a selection of Basque specialties. Enjoy Spanish charm, great food, and fine accommodations. For those of you wanting a more complete visit to Spain, please consider extending to visit Madrid.
Sicily: September 8-18
In the midst of the Mediterranean Sea, you will discover an island with a personality all its own: Sicily. From multicultural Palermo to romantic Taormina, each stop reveals unexpected treasures, unique art and architecture, and scenic vistas. Your tour begins in Palermo, Europe's grandest city in the 12th century, where you will explore palaces, castles, and churches with a fusion of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. This will be followed by a half day trip to Cefalu. Cefalu has retained its medieval appearance - narrow streets lined with elaborately decorated buildings and old fisherman's houses clustered along the seafront. You will continue on to Enna via Agrigento with a visit to Temple Valley to see the ancient temples of Juno and Demeter. Enna is a sleepy medieval town that charms and prospers in the old fashioned Sicilian way. There you will visit the 4th/5th century Villa de Casale and view its famous mosaic floors. Next, you will drive via Ragusa to Siracusa stopping in the small towns of Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Modica - both known for their vineyards. Siracusa, or "Syracuse" as it was called when founded in 734 BC by Greek Corinthians, was described by Cicero as the greatest and most beautiful Greek city and rivaled Athens in splendor and power. There you will explore the vast archaeological site built on Ortigia Island... museums, fortress, temple-cathedral of Greek Sicily. Your tour continues on to Taormina where you will visit the spectacular Greek/Roman Theater built in the 3rd century BC. On your last tour day you will have an opportunity to see Mount Etna up close via a cable car, visit Schiavi Castle at Savoca, and lunch at the Vanvitelli bar, a "Godfather" site. This is prime time for visiting Sicily, so reserve your spot today!
Responsibilities and Duties
The Committee is dedicated to researching, mounting, and promoting high quality, educational, and economic domestic and international recreational trips for Club members and guests in accordance with the Club’s Code of Ethics and Committee Guidelines that pertain to travel.
Chair: Fay Iudicello - firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Chair forms a Committee with the approval of the President and submits a list of Committee members and email addresses to the President’s Office.
- The Committee should actively solicit travel suggestions from NPC members through interaction with other NPC committees, membership office, the WIRE, and travel receptions.
- The Committee should arrange for regular publicity in the WIRE, on the Travel Committee webpage, and in other venues as appropriate.
- The Committee may conduct trip promotion receptions and schedule them through the Staff Liaison in the General Offices. All expenditures related to receptions must be negotiated with catering and approved before by the appropriate member of the Executive Director’s staff.
- The Committee should vote to undertake any research related to an NPC sponsored trip. When this research is completed, the Committee will vote again to mount such a trip. In such case where a trip has not generated sufficient interest, the Committee will vote to cancel the trip. A simple majority of those present at a regularly scheduled meeting is sufficient for approving or cancelling a trip.
- The Chair should designate a Trip Leader for each trip. In coordination with the Chair and the trip planner, the Trip Leader should (1) assist in marketing the trip through WIRE stories and other means, (2) coordinate all logistics and deal with any issues that may arise during the trip, (3) prepare a WIRE story on the trip afterwards, and (4) submit a brief trip report to the Chair, including lessons learned and recommendations for future trips.
- The Chair should write a year-end summary report assessing the travel program and making recommendations for the future.
This part of the web site contains information for and about the Club's committees. Any committee chair may post information to these web pages by contacting Ryan Howell (tel: 202.662.7596).