September is always the busiest month for Great Rail Journeys Tours – The GRJ client demographic is of a slightly older person, and as a rule, they don’t do heat and they don’t do kids… meaning that July & August are quiet months for Tours.
But then comes September, and the taps are turned fully on! This September I’ve actually got two Tours to operate, having accepted one at short notice on behalf of another Tour Manager who was unable to continue with it. Whilst this is good news (the more I work, the happier I am) the only downside is that I only have 3 days off in the UK between Tours, so I’m having to do the prep for both simultaneously! So what is coming up?
Starting off we have Highlights of Tuscany, 7 days based in Montecatini, travelling out by rail via Chambéry and back by rail via Turin, making 10 days in total.
Although I haven’t done this specific Tour before, I have visited most of the towns and cities independently, and the eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that the Tour has the advantage of being in the same hotel all week. This is a luxury for me – I’m used to more complicated itineraries and daily hotel changes! There’s no doubt that this is a beautiful part of the world, the weather is set to be better than the UK, without being ridiculously hot and we have a cookery course and wine tasting at San Gimignano. Italian trains, not just the Frecciarossa but even the local ones are actually better than you might expect, so getting around should be reasonably straight forward. Fingers crossed!
On my return, I’ve got 3 days to get laundry done (Mrs TimOnTheTrain has Kindly volunteered) and then it’s off to Ireland for The Enchanting Emerald Isle. This is once again 10 days, and this time, we’re on the move throughout.
I have to admit that this part of the world is way out of my comfort zone. I’ve visited Ireland a couple of times, but only to Dublin, and I’ve never taken a Tour that started on a ferry before! The good news is that the Atlantic coast is a wild and beautiful place to see and I’m looking forward to it. I have clients from The USA, Canada, Australia and the UK so I’ll have to keep my wits about me and try not to fall victim to a Jameson/Guinness induced haze (We have visits to both distilleries!). Anyway, my arrival has been planned, and this is what I’m expecting