NOAH GREENBERG’S new website on youth hostel and celebrating the 100 year history of Youth Hostels…

The first permanent hostel, Alenta Castle in Germany…

(Left: Noah Greenberg) Noah Greenberg is a senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He has come up with an excellent website for making youth hostel reservations:

Noah is an expert on this famous alternative style of accommodations dating back to 1909.  Following a trip to Australia and Thailand this past summer, he realized how much of a pain booking hostels can be and created his website for easy bookings.

“You never know what comes with the hostel, and it takes forever to find one that meets your needs,” Noah said in promoting his new website. “In an attempt to make the hostel booking process less of a drag, I’ve recently built a hostel comparison, found at – which lets you search through over 14k hostels by features & amenities, price per person, location, and a whole lot more.”

Please take a look at Noah’s website for making reservations and discovering the world of hostels.  They are for all ages.  Noah’s website is a great way for travelers to research hostels.

Click here to compare and find hostels worldwide.

Video of Lake Como Youth Hostel – With low-cost lodging, great food, panoramic views, and private beach, the Menaggio Youth Hostel on the magnificent Lake Como is the place where your Italian dreams come true even if you are not a movie star! You can check it out and make reservations on Noah’s website.

History of the Youth Hostels…

From their humble beginnings in Germany back in 1909, the hosteling movement quickly spread throughout Europe from where the Youth Hostel Federation was formed in 1932. It continued to spread its wings across the Atlantic to North America and onwards to Australia. Hosteling has continued it’s international growth into a huge worldwide association, spanning over 80 countries.

International Hostelling now has over 4000 hostels the world over, with the average number of overnight stays per year now over the 30 million mark. With numbers like these, they even begin to dwarf some of the world’s major hotel chains. Throw in a listed membership base of over 3 million people, and it all adds up to big business. The latest figures estimating that hostellers are pumping more than US$1.4 Billion into world tourism revenues.

Scotland’s Lochranza Youth Hostel is ranked as one of the UK’s top ten greenest businesses. There are hundreds of hostels like this one and can be checked out on Noah’s website.

Originally starting out as a place where German schoolteacher Richard Schirrmann was able to give residence to young students. It’s hard to believe the youth hostel was formed just over 100 years ago.

The centenary of the first permanent hostel, Alenta Castle in Germany, is due in 2012 and the whole movement of hosteling has come along way in the last hundred years.

The hostel now comes in many varieties and over the years thousands of tourists have stayed in lighthouses, ships, sports stadiums and all manner of heritage buildings the world over. The modern hosteling movement has now seen it fracture into a wide variety of independent franchises of backpackers, and boutique hostels, as well as the traditional ‘Hostelling International’ variety.

There’s no doubting that staying in a hostel is an extremely social atmosphere. Tourists have many fond memories of their stays in various parts of the world. There’s only one aspect I don’t miss from my hosteling years.

Anyone who’s spent time in a hostel knows only to well, that the poor chainsaw snorer soon becomes an outcast of society. Not that we discriminate here at DigiDrift, but I have been accused of several midnight toe twisting episodes in order to get some shut eye.

Founder of the Youth Hostel had to fight the Nazis…

“Travel beyond the borders of your country, seek out people of other lands and appreciate those who have different languages and backgrounds. For doing this, neighbors and friends, build hence the youth hostels and open them for all the youth of the world as the home of peace and for the good of humanity.” Richard Schirrman

Richard Schirrmann (May 15, 1874 – December 14, 1961) was a German teacher and founder of the first youth hostel.

Born in Grunenfeld (today Gronówko), Province of Prussia, as the son of a teacher, Schirrmann studied to become a teacher himself. In 1895 he received his qualification, and was sent to Altena, Westphalia, in 1903. In 1907 he first published his idea of an inexpensive accommodation for young people, after he noticed the lack of such places on a school trip when he had to spend the night in barns or village school buildings. Schirrmann received considerable support and donations, and in 1912 he opened the first youth hostel in the recently reconstructed Altena castle.

In December 1915, “When the Christmas bells sounded in the villages of the Vosges behind the lines .. something fantastically unmilitary occurred. German and French troops spontaneously made peace and ceased hostilities; they visited each other through disused trench tunnels, and exchanged wine, cognac and cigarettes for Westphalian black bread, biscuits and ham. This suited them so well that they remained good friends even after Christmas was over.” Schirrmann was in a regiment holding a position on the Bernhardstein, one of the mountains of the Vosges, and separated from the French troops by a narrow no-man’s-land, which his account says was “strewn with shattered trees, the ground ploughed up by shellfire, a wilderness of earth, tree-roots and tattered uniforms.” Military discipline was soon restored, but Schirrmann pondered over the incident, and whether “thoughtful young people of all countries could be provided with suitable meeting places where they could get to know each other.”

In 1919 he founded a nationwide youth hostel association, and in 1922 he retired from teaching to focus entirely on the youth hostel movement. From 1933-1936 he also led the International Youth Hostelling Association (now Hostelling International), but was forced to resign by the Nazi government. After World War II, he worked on the rebuilding of the German association, for which he received the Bundesverdienstkreuz in 1952.

Schirrmann died in Grävenwiesbach (Taunus) in 1961.


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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