Castletown

Our first full day on the Isle of Man and we experienced a biblical deluge for most of the day. I was surprised that we hadn’t mutated into webbed feet creatures by the evening. Fortunately, my clients are British (including some from Yorkshire!) and they are made of sterner stuff than others, and so took …

Back On The Rails

I'm off on Tour again. At Last! I'm back with Great Rail Journeys again, this time on a Tour named Vintage Railways of the Isle of Man. It leaves on Wednesday, returns home next Monday, and you can follow me round the Tour on this Blog. Surprisingly (for some of you) the Isle of Man …

On our way Home

Yesterday we visited Fort George, near Inverness. It’s the home base of 3rd Battalion ‘Black Watch’ who have just arrived back from a Tour in Afghanistan. We thank them for their service. The morning was spent with the Strathspey railway, and our last steam of the Tour. The Aviemore scenery looked beautiful. I’m writing this …

Boats & Trains

Travel Day today. We started with a short ride to Stromness to pick up the Ferry to Scrabster (population: approx 6) Goodbye Orkney On the Ferry we passed close to the Old Man of Hoy, captured here by one of our clients (Thanks to John Williams). Copyright: John Williams Next, John O’ Groats for the …

Far North & Orkney Tour – Days 4 & 5

The Orkneys are the site of the finest Neolithic archeological diggings in Western Europe, and they can be found at The Ness of Brodgar, a thin strip of land, in the West Mainland of Orkney, that separates the lochs of Harray and Stenness. We explored the Standing Stones of Stennes, the Ring of Brodgar and …

Far North & Orkney Tour – Day 3

Excitingly, I’m writing this on a boat. Or should it be ship. Or maybe just, Ferry. I’m not too strong on things nautical. Boats make me slightly nervous. They sink. Also, the ones in Aberdeen harbour, which service the oil industry look a bit odd and have some very strange names… That said, this is …

Far North & Orkney Tour – Day 2

A busy day, and a good one. We started this morning with a visit to Crathes Castle. It’s surrounded by beautiful formal gardens. Today is our 31st wedding anniversary, so I thought I’d Facetime Mrs TimOnTheTrain (Hi sweetie) from somewhere with an attractive background. You couldn’t ask for much better than this… (and she seemed …

Far North & Orkney Tour – Day 1

So. The thing about the far North is that it’s quite… you know… far? It’s a seven hour journey from London Kings Cross up to Aberdeen even on the latest AZUMA trains. The post-COVID on board catering is improving gradually from the dog days of a bag of potato chips and a bottle of water. …

Thank You Sainsburys!

The life of a Tour Manager during lockdown is not a pleasant one. Working in the Travel Industry at a time when there is no travel is depressing, and financially ruinous. After many months depleting my savings in the recurrent expectation that travel would return, only to have my hopes dashed time after time, I …

‘Narrow-Gauge’ or ‘Standard Gauge’?

On many Tours we find ourselves travelling on Narrow Gauge railways and clients are used to referring to them as such. People often understand what it means (or think they do) but for many, the phrase is almost meaningless. Let's take a look at what is going on. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad …

Remembrance Day

This morning, Bailey & I went for a walk. We stopped at the Village War Memorial, as we always do on this day, and observed a two minute silence. I was pleased to see that despite attempts by the government to prevent it happening, nearly 40 people had gathered together for an act of remembrance …

Gallipoli (no, not that one, the Italian one)

Our final full day in Italy, before we fly home tomorrow. We visited the Italian town of Gallipoli, A walled island city at the end of a peninsular that sticks out into the Ionian Sea. We were back on the train today, and this time in air-conditioned comfort. Nardò Centrale station is a busy hub …

Ouch!

Like a fool, and despite training, I lifted and twisted something today and now my back hurts. I’ve decided to have an early night with my new best friends, Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. Tonight’s post will be light on prose. Today we visited lovely Otranto, the most Easterly point in Italy. You can just see Albania …

Trulli Scrumptious (I know… Sorry)

Yesterday was a Free Day for my clients - so no Tour Manager chasing them around on and off trains and busses. They made good use of the time, walking, cycling, exploring and even going out on the ocean in a boat. They’re not supposed to have that much fun without me! Today we made …

TimOnTheTrain is now BackOnTheTrain

Yesterday was a full day excursion to the large town of Lecce and or first opportunity to travel by Italian train. Our faithful bus driver, Mimino, picked us up and transported us to the station (tiny building, unmanned and closed) where we picked up the regional train to Lecce. Lecce’s more famous residents include Gerard …

Nardò

It’s not NARdo. There’s an accent on the last ‘o’ so that’s where you put the stress. It’s narDO. And the ‘o’ isn’t rounded like at the end of Tomato - it’s flat, as in ‘Block’. You’d know that if you were an Italian, like me 😁😁 While I’m here, I’ve decided to improve my …

I’m an Italian. Buongiorno

Well, we made it, and as I write I have now become an Italian. My hotel last night was the Premier Inn at terminal five. I’m usually rather fond of Premier Inns but they seem to be struggling a bit at the moment (who isn’t?). I went down to the bar in the hotel to …

Things Change Fast… Last Minute Puglia

Got a phone call today from Great Rail Journeys. A Tour Manager has become unwell and can’t operate his scheduled Tour, Puglia & The Salento Coast - All Inclusive. They asked if I would be happy to pick up the Tour at short notice; it leaves very early on on Saturday morning so I’ve got …

Travel With TimOnTheTrain To… Poland

The second Tour that I have pencilled in for 2021, departs on 06th March 2021 and couldn't be more different to Sri Lanka. It combines history with rail travel. I'm something of a nerd when it comes to the Second World War; office shelves sag under the weight of military history reference books. Railways and …

Travel With TimOnTheTrain To… Sri Lanka

The good news is that Tour Allocations are starting to come through for 2021, holding out the promise of returning to work, and travel, at last. I decided to do a series of posts about the Tours that I have pencilled in. The aim is to inspire you to join me on Tour, and in …

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