I don’t mind admitting that I was pretty tired after the first half of the season. I needed a few duvet days to recover and also a bit of face time with Mrs TimOnTheTrain whose only contact with me for months had been “How many shirts do you need for this one?“. So I took August off. I also needed to do this since I was in danger of exceeding my allowed 90 days in 180 for tours to the EU.
So what’s coming up for the second half of the season?
On September 01st I’m taking the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, which, unsurprisingly includes just about every scenic train of significance in that country. This time things are slightly different. The Tour is for Vacations By Rail, an American company wholly owned by Great Rail Journeys in the UK. This means that my clients (all 37 of them) are all from the USA & Canada. This is good news since I love working with Americans but this does present its’ own set of problems. USA clients have their own, slightly different, set of expectations and requirements, so I’ll need to be switched on to manage this one. It’s an eleven day tour and we have a lot to get done!
When I get back I will have 6 days off before it’s off to Italy again with Great Rail Journeys, but this time I’ll be doing the entire country… Top To Toe Of Italy. This long Tour (16 Days) runs the full length of the country, including Sicily. Italy has become something of a second home this year, so I’m reasonably relaxed about taking this one. Maybe this time I’ll make it to the top of Moint Etna?
Only two days off when I get back before I work again with my friends at the Railway Touring Company, this time for Autumn in Alsace. There’s going to be eight days with loads of private charter Steam on this one, as well as trams and a river cruise and… wine (quite a lot of that actually – think Dry Riesling and the sweeter Gewurztraminer and Crémant d’Alsace).
That takes us through to mid October. There are rumours of an exciting Tour in November, but I’m keeping quiet about it until I know for sure that it will be operating. Watch this space.