An Italian Adventure

It's been only six days since I got back from China, but I'm off and running again! Like much of the Travel & Tourism Industry, the work of a Tour Manager is highly seasonal. Apart from an occasional flurry around Christmas, the Winter months from November to April are usually pretty quiet - there may …

China, Italy, China, Germany

That's the line up for the next few weeks. July and August have been quiet, with little work for TimOnTheTrain. That's actually quite normal. My clients tend to be a tiny bit older, and they don't do heat and they don't do kids - both of which are everywhere during the Summer months. This Thursday …

Complex Scandinavia

The Blog has been a bit quiet recently, but it's not because I haven't been busy. I have been prepping up for my next Tour, the Grand Artic Circle Explorer... 21 Days, 5 Countries, 15 Hotels, 18 Trains & 3 Ferries - There's also a few coach transits, but I haven't got around to counting …

Fraternising with the enemy

Today we visited the Jersey War Tunnels, housed is an underground tunnel complex (yup - even more German concrete) built largely by Forced & Slave Labour and about 4 miles inland from St. Helier. The entry Gate Guardian is a German Sturmgeschütz III Assault Gun, shown in the header image (I tell you this because …

Jersey Tour

I imagine by now you’re all getting a bit sick of beach photos... sorry but it’s hard not too. We’re on Jersey now and had a coastal tour today The island is only 9 miles by 5 miles, but progress is slowed by the tiny winding roads in the North. Perhaps even more than Guernsey, …

Herm

Today, an excursion to Herm Island, about 20 mins on the little Ferry from Guernsey. It's tiny - You can walk around the coastal path in about 2 hours. I took this photo in St. Peter Port harbour at Guernsey at about mid tide because it shows well the depth. Guernsey has the highest tidal …

One of our engines is being a bit naughty

We've arrived, but very little thanks to Condor Ferries who, short of not actually drowning us, haven't done much to make us love them. We received a call last night advising that the Ferry had a broken engine, one of the three fitted, meaning that the crossing would take longer (slower speed due 2 engines …

Bournemouth

So, we are in Bournemouth for the night. We came here by train from London Waterloo station, and arrived just-in-time for afternoon tea and a stroll along the front. The weather was a perfect English spring day: the Sun was out, no rain and just a slightly chilly breeze. I stopped for an ice cream …

A Gentle Tour?

I've just about got over the jet lag from China. My Fitbit is telling me that I've been doing a great deal of "Deep Sleep" which is what tends to be missing when on Tour, so I should be just about ready for the next one! I leave on Friday 10th May. I've taken on …

Day 4 – Warsaw to Moscow

A guided tour of Warsaw in the morning before boarding the night sleeper train for Brest, Minsk, Smolensk and Moscow (the same route that was followed in 1941). Opposite our hotel stands the People's Palace, a generous fraternal gift from Stalin to the people of Warsaw (although they didn't have too much say in it …

Day 3 – Berlin to Warsaw

Suddenly... we've become Polish or, as they say here "Nagle ... zostaliśmy Polakami". I'm immensely fond of Polish people in general and they have been good friends to Britain in the past and still are today - however I do wish they'd sort their language out into something more like ours! Too many words sound …

Day 2 – Berlin Sightseeing

We started today with a visit to the longest remaining remnant of the Berlin Wall. It's been converted into a graffiti art gallery where artists from around the world have contributed various murals, of varying quality. Perhaps the most famous is this one recreating the famous embrace between Leonid Brezhnev and the head of the …

My ‘Other’ Job

People often ask about my 'other' job - the one that I do when I'm not being a Tour Manager i.e. mostly during the winter season. I'm a certified teacher of aviation english, at the moment working with some of the wonderful pilots at Air France. Many people wonder why pilots need to learn English, …

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 27th of January, is Holocaust Memorial Day, and the date is chosen because it marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. Having visited Auschwitz many times, today has particular resonance for me. I feel very passionately that we need to remember and reflect and I worry …

Busy September

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 …

Cruising the Douro

We had a lovely, peaceful day cruising down the Douro river from Barca d'Alva on the Spanish border to Peso da Régua. It took all day, but the weather was perfect and the river was almost completely empty of other traffic. https://vimeo.com/234671125

Thunderstruck

Spain often surprises in extraordinary ways, particularly when it comes to the sheer variety and enthusiasm for displays of local heritage. Provinces throughout the country take fierce pride in their regional traditions as demonstrated here by a Galician band 'A Rondalla Santa Eulalia de Mos' playing (unexpectedly well) a cover of the AC/DC song 'Thunderstruck'. Bagpipes are …

Selfies

There isn't a place that I haven't visited where the experience hasn't been been at least slightly marred by some idiot taking a selfie. In days gone by I used to take groups around Auschwitz/Birkenau; the day I realised that it might be time to slow up was the day that I watched a man make a …