Inclined Plane and we’re nearly done

The WiFi and internet signals are a little hit and miss on this Tour - perhaps unsurprisingly since we’re on a moving barge in the middle of mountains and the remote French countryside. Today is our last full day on the Barge, so this post will be for both yesterday and today, and so slightly …

Saverne and a surprise BBQ

Having moored overnight at Saverne we started the day with a guided walking tour of this pretty little French provincial town. As we walked around Saverne the Church Bells started ringing - I always think this is such a pretty sound, and I was impressed that our Guide had arranged for them to be rung …

Tarte Flambée (NOT Pizza)

My cabin window is very close to the waterline, which doesn’t matter much when you’re travelling really slowly on a silky smooth canal. I woke this morning to see the canal surface steaming gently as the morning sun hit the water (that’s my poetic/romantic moment for the Tour all done in one paragraph). It was …

First day cruising in Alsace

We woke to bright sunshine - there’s not been much of that this year in the UK so it took a moment to recognise the big shining yellow orb in the sky. We took a leisurely breakfast inside and finished our coffees outside because… why not? Our cruise takes us along the Canal de la …

On our way to Alsace

So, for the first time in a very long time, TimOnTheTrain is off on an International adventure. An early start at St. Pancras meant that we had it almost to ourselves, and it never looked lovelier! In recognition of this return to the status quo, Great Rail Journeys had organised a glass of champagne in …

Waterways

Bonjour Everybody. Unexpectedly, I've picked up another Tour after my Italy was cancelled. It's very different to my usual kind of thing, but I'm looking forward to it immensely. I'm going to be French, or actually, to be specific, I'm going to become an Alsatian. Fortunately, this doesn't mean that I'll be entered into Crufts …

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 …

Well… That didn’t last long!

I guess that'll teach me to try and be happy during lockdown. Shortly after my last post, the UK Government decided to put France on the Naughty Step, and as a result I've just been told that my Italian Tour to Sirmione & Lake Garda has been cancelled. For a couple of days there was …

Back On The Rails (Maybe…)

It has been a long, and frankly, lousy Summer. All of my Tours were ultimately cancelled with the cancellations being drip-fed month by month as the situation changed, or rather, didn't. I was lucky enough to receive some financial help from the government, but this was rather soured by their laissez-faire attitude to support for …

Steam and Christmas Markets in the Harz Mountains and Saxony

So... A few days rest and then I'm off again on the 30th November. I've been busy being Chinese and Christmas has kind of snuck up on me all of a sudden. It's going to do so even more suddenly when I pitch up in Germany to do this little beauty of a Tour. As …

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 …