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Amish School Catches Fire

A quick-thinking non-Amish neighbor swung into action and kept a school-house fire from becoming a bigger disaster in Central Pennsylvania yesterday.  This illustrates the wonderful neighbor-helping-neighbor mentality that permeates much of "Amish country", whether one is a member of the faith or not.  The ethos of self-sufficiency allows people to live very independently.  In this case, lives were probably saved.

Also, I was struck by a recent survey from the online website Yahoo which lists Lancaster County, PA as one of the top tourist destinations in the USA.  I will return to Lancaster County someday soon to see what all the fuss is about. I know last time I was there it just seemed to kitchsy, too touristy.  I was spellbound by the area's beauty when I went biking on some rural backroads there, but otherwise I just wasn't blown away.  Apparently, though, many I may have well missed some of the area's more authentic Amish offerings.




Could not access this article.   CS

Lancaster County

As long as one stays in a small motel on a side street, & spends most of the time shunpiking & nosing around places on back roads, it is still wonderful, even after one has gained some knowledge of Amish culture.  You just have to be judicious about when you hit the B-i-H Farmers Market-----neither too early, when the bus tours are zipping through, nor  too late in the am----& if it's too crowded, you just return another time.  As for Kaufmans Fruit Market on the main drag,  well, it's good, no matter what----for many reasons. 

As in any tourist area, you just avoid the times/places tourists congregate, or at least, adjust your own times/schedule & you can still find much to savor.  Actually, replace that rigid schedule that came along on the trip, & adjust to the rhythms of the place.  That is one benefit from travel, if you just try to have a few good experiences [like your bike ride, Kevin], rather than gritting your teeth & trying to 'cover' everything in just a few days.  That way, one comes away refreshed, enriched, & ready for more-----another time.  CS

Lancaster Co

I live in Lancaster Co and I find it amusing that people come here for "peace and quiet" or to see the "simple life"!!! Lancaster Co is all about the tourism. We like to complain about the tourists, yet we realize that without the tourists we wouldnt have as many jobs available!
Beleive me I WILL not travel on any main roads on a Sat afternoon in the summer, the traffic is incredible!!
I find it incredible that people travel from all over the world to come to this "peaceful, country place to see the quaint amish" :)I know alot of people are disappointed by what they find!


The travel article has a pretty ambiguous title, “County Tops Yahoo Travel List” which seems to say one thing but means something else (my local paper does this all the time and drives me nuts).  In this case, it is neither the list of top places people visit nor even the list of the most requested locations.  It is a list of places that most increased the number of people seeking information on them from Yahoo.  It is the ones that had the largest increase of viewers not the largest number of viewers. So like the school child that is happy that he got 30 more points on this test than the last (with the net result of moving from an F to a D, not from average to top of the class…), Lancaster probably will not increase its tourists by the millions or even hundreds of thousands in the near future. It also doesn’t indicate where on the list of 17,000 locations any of these places are now or were before.  It’s just the most upwardly changed.  Seeing the top four changers gives a better picture:  Lancaster, PA up 153 spots on the list, Ocean City, N.J., 115 spots; South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 83; Wildwood, N.J. and Helen, Ga., both 82.  I apologize to them, but I’ve never heard of Helen, GA. 

Kevin, I’m not sure that you would find much difference on your next trip to Lancaster.  One place I worked talked about new visitors having a “low wow factor” meaning that they were impressed by almost everything; visitors with a lot of knowledge and experience had a “high wow factor”.  It was difficult to impress them.

 I’m sure the same would apply to Lancaster.  Those who have never seen, except in pictures and movies, a horse and buggy, barns with outbuildings, a quilt – or even a clothesline to hang it from, aren’t viewing things as you would.  How many of those visitors know very much about the Amish or even that there are other Amish communities?  Of course, that is certainly to the privacy benefit of those communities!

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