“ Sightseeing Type: Tours „
Ok before I begin, I would like you to know that I have never ever been on one of these tours, however - I have read a lot on them, and would love to go on one - so I am going to randomly chat about why these types of tours appeal to me so much.
I actually live in the UK and the 2 main companies that I have heard of do bus tours of the UK (that said this is they type of tour I would be interested in). I think that there are so may different, interesting, educational, beautiful and intriguing places in the UK, I could spend months just traveling from place to place, visiting all of the tourist attracted and finding the hidden gems!
| Places I would like to visit in the UK - My Wish list |
Nothing sounds better than a gentle cruise across Lake Windermere, I love it in the Lakes and can thing of nothing better than to spend a day or two there.
An amazing piece of Architecture and history that I would like to see at some point in my lifetime.
I have always wanted to go on the Lancaster Castle tour - ideally around Halloween when it is suppose to be quite spooky. I have heard that you can be shut in one of the old prison cells - see if you meet the ghosts of any prisoners. sounds great!
Benjamin Franklin's House, Jane Austen's House, William Shakespeare's House, Charlotte Bronte's House.
I love visiting famous historical figures homes across the UK, these 4 are just some of those I would love to see.
Nemisis, Oblivion and Rita - Queen of Speed are just a few of the fantastic rides at Alton towers - A fantastic day out.
Knowsley Safari Park
I would love to drive around Knowsley in my car and see all of the animals.
The Lowry Museum had to be on my wishlist. To see some of his painting first hand, what an experience.
Portobello Road Antique Market
Famous market that everyone probably has to see in a lifetime (I plan to be one of those people).
Again the Lakes, in my opinion walks in the Lake District are like no where else - The scenery is so beautful and if you find the right places -so tranquil. I plan to one day move to the Lakes and grow old there.
Japanese Garden & Meditation, Newark
What can I say The word meditation sold this to me.
Hours of water fun in the water - what more could you want.
To be honest I could go on and on forever with places I would like to visit in the UK - but I'm sure this is enough for you to get the idea.
The company's that I have heard of and think sound pretty great in the UK are:
| http://www.homestaytours.com. |
Homestay Tours offers a trip around Britain, visiting real British people in their own homes. All the hosts who open their homes to visitors have been hand selected by owner Heather. They say that I would talior make a tour to my specifications.
| http://www.englandseducationatours.co.uk |
Englands Educational Tours specialise in providing high quality accommodation in Northampton and Bedford for people who want to experience the British way of life.
They say that they provide accommodation tailor made to suit me. I would be housed with chosen host families who offer full board, including dinner, bed and breakfast and a packed lunch.
| Why does this type of holiday appeal to me? |
I just love the idea of staying in a home rather than a hotel, hostal or B&B. I also would love to travel around different cities within my home town and have someone that knows all of the history and secret of the town to be alongside me, teaching me, explaining and showing me all the little piece of information I would never normally experience on just a trip to the town alone.
If anyone has been on these tours or similar ones, in the UK or other Countries please do leave a comment on here or in my guest book - As I really am interested in this type of holiday!
Lots of things I do seem to other people to be very bad ideas. Fortunately I live a bizarre existance where due to my extraordinary skills as a machinist and builder combined with the fact that I am the scion of a famous rich German Industrialist family I can pretty much at least attempt any idea that I conceive. This bus trip this Autumn is a prime example of an idea, horrible unpractical being brought to fruition by virtue of my having limitless powers to fufil my imagination. Many students come to my hometown of Sandusky Ohio from all over the world (at least all over the world where the citizens would reduce themselves to being Fast Food workers living 9 people in a one room flat and riding bicycles to work) during the summer. They come here on what is called a J-Visa, which is better known as a work travel visa. It is a program whereby students may come here to work 3 months and travel for one month. At the end of summer when the Amusement park that most of them work at shuts down and the business as the hotels and restuarants diminishes they start thinking about a grand trip across America. Most of them are all into these stoopid National Parks. They like the idea of seeing hot water blowing up in the air, a great big colorful ditch, or dumb trees that got turned into rocks. I think most of these are a waste of time but I have this thing about fit foreign babes and end up doing whatever they want me to do. Back a long time ago after Plessy versus Fergunson or something about Little Rock Arkansas the law made the schools bus kids all over the place to make sure that there would be lots of colored kids at most of the schools. As a result a million gazillion school buses are made each year in America. The schools use them for a while and then buy new ones and then they go begging us for new taxes to pay for them. The old school buses get sold to churches and citizens who turn them into campers and caravans or use them to grow marijuana
in them. To fast forward I ended up buying one for $1500. Then in our best imitation of Orange County Choppers we went to work on it. A beauty if there ever was. 1984 BlueBird, 72 passenger. 12 benches per side. Old vinyl seats fit for heavy use and childrens accidents. We kept the front 6 benches on each side but tore them out and pushed them togetehr so the aisle went down the right side of the bus rather than the center. We tore out the last six rows of benches to make some creative space. And like some drunk buccaneers who watch toio much trading spaces and West Coast Choppers we went nuts. We put in a little kitchen, a small bathroom that simply drops the "dunnage" onto the road, and a two sets of triple bunks. We made a little shower stall too. We simply stacked three 55 gallon drums on the roof and rand side exhaust pipes around them. We got a telly and VCR and a bunch of coolers. Truthfully about 4 people can sleep comfortabley in it, if they are on valium. But we can sleep about 14, and in a pinch 25 or thirty people. We rounded up every person who wanted to go on a road trip. We get about 7 miles per gallon fuel economy so the fuel cost of an 8,000 mile trip per person is about $40. Imagine that. No hotel costs, cook onboard and transportation. Not the greatest comfort but this was about economy. We decided only Earl, Popeye, Hollywood, Kwik Karl and me would go, and lots of hot babes. We told them all sorts of lies about great malls, cheap food and exciting discos and loaded them up. Our final head count of 5 American men, and 23 hot Czech, Slovak and Bulgarian women. Technically we should have had commercial drivers licences to operate a school bus. Technically there was a lot of stuff people should and should not do in life. Liek for instance there should not be mass alcohol consumption going on in a bus. We decided that we would try not to draw attention to ourselves. By the time we got to Chi
cago 5 hours later we decided to try a new approach to law eforcement evasion and actually draw attention to ourselves in hoping that being open, upfront and sublimely brazen we would make the authorities think that we were not partaking in illegal or suspicous activity. So we went to Odd Lots and bought a mess of 99 cent spray paint and painted the bus with all sorts of crazy puppets and declared ourselves the Czech National Puppeteers. We found a toy sture that had a whole bunch of puppets, not marionettes buy hand puppets. We had a folding table in the bus and when we would stop we would drag out the table, drape a black bedsheet over it and do puppet shows. The puppet shows weren't exactly for children, or adults for that matter. The puppet shows were just displays of wanton violence and sex. People seem to think that there has to be a point or punch line to a puppet show. Ours were mostly about motorcycle gangs, violence in Bosnia and sexuality of sailors. By the time we hit Iowa, with many stops at fabric shops we had a crew of depraved pirate puppets. We suddenly evolved into a top notch puppet team. We ended up stopping at several parks to put on impromptu puppet shows for the people. It is surprisingly like an emperor's new clothing type thing. People assume because some of us were Czech, that we came from far away and had accents that we were somehow legitimate. I would wander the crowd, look gas is expensive and people absorbed in a puppet show are easy to pick-pocket, and people often would say, "maybe it loses something in translation" while watching a vulgar display of domestic violence or profane sex. These people wanted to overappraise themselves by pretending they knew art when they saw it. It became a huge joke to us all about how over the top and obnoxious we could be with our puppet shows. We got bored with the puppets by the time we hit Colorado and several of our puppets had caught on fire and a couple jumped out of
the bus so we repainted the bus as the school bus for the "Academy of the sexually gifted". We had a lot of fun with that. I bought a kilogram summer sausage to keep strategically in my trousers to impress the people who saw us five blokes with all these women. Finally we got to the Rockies mountains and did not need all these fiddles and pranks to amuse ourselves and the majestic beauty of the great outdoors took over. We went to aspen and went skiing. We had stopped at Kinkos and I made my self a "Tour Leader" badge. That was fun. I served as a tour guide and acted like I knew what I was talking about everywhere we went. I sometimes would street preach instead of giving a proper tour though. I like street preaching, it is lots of fun. We drove over to the Grand Canyon, and I got drunk, actually I only got drunk once on this trip of 15 days, it was 2 hours out of Sandusky and I kept myself drunk for the next two weeks, I would wake up drunk. It was wonderful. We got a group topless shot of our girls. We then went to Vegas and we got rooms at the StarDust and had lots of fun. One girl won $2700 playing slots. We then went to Hollywood and Las Angeles and we got drunk and tried Thai food. Then we got drunk and went to the beach. Earl got arrested for shoving a hot dog cart off a pier. It was cool how many fish went into a feeding frenzy over the hot dogs. We saw the guy that played Skippy on Family Ties and we got Bruce Willis' friends autograph. Then we got drunk and ate apples. This trip was a lot of fun. It was until we caught a baby wolf at Yellowstone park and it turned mean on us. I can't wait for our next trip. I am letting a homeless family stay in the camper until may when I am taking a group to Washington DC. Maybe you can come.
Harlem Spirituals are a New York Organisations who organise Trips to the areas of New York which less tourists see. Now they do varying trips of various durations and costs, but they vary from a Soul Food extravaganza to tours of the Bronx by the way of gospel choir days. Generally I tend to travel alone and see things without the aid of a tour bus, but the carrot of a gospel service was too much to resist so I forked out my $40 for a ticket. The office is at 690 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10036(between 43rd St. and 44th St.) and you generally have to pop in before to pay for and pick up your ticket. It's not a main shop, but up a flight of stairs so you have to look out for it, it doesn't jump out at you. The tours are well organised catering for most European Languages, the coaches are well equiped and the route designed so that you see lots of things on the route up to Harlem. Now Harlem gets bad press, and it really isn't a bad area, there are some beautiful areas such as Sugar Hill where a lot of gentrification is going on, prices for similar houses are maybe half of Manhattan, so a lot of people are moving back. Like everywhere else there are bad areas, but hopefully things will improve for the folks there too. There isn't anything on the tour that you couldn't get to independantly, but you don't need an hour to see Duke Ellington's house or any other the other things you whizz by. You could easily walk into the gospel service uninvited, but as the company give donations to the various churches and choirs your payment does have some bearing on the 'wealth of the choir' The choir I saw were an 'addicts recovery choir' and were very moving, they were all ex heroin addicts so certainly had something to sing about! The quality of the music was excellent and the whole service was enjoyable- it wasn't packed full of only tourists though, lot of 'normal' people at the service
too. Remember to dress appropriately, it is a church service regardless of anyone's personal beliefs. You also get a look at the Apollo and time for a wander round Harlem,perfectly safe -and you are actually encouraged to take the subway back one day and come on your own. A worthwhile and interesting experience. More info is at www.harlemspirituals.com
Don't worry this is not an advert! I was in New York for the year 2000 celebrations, although it wasn't a bus tour it was tour and this seems the most approriate section to place my discovery. This tour was done by a local New Yorker called Jerry. Jerry is a volenteer at the Youth Hostel international on 103rd street and Amsterdam Avenue. Jerry arranges to take hostel backpackers and sightseekers around Manhattan, its all done on foot and takes all day but YOU WILL NOT BE DISSAPOINTED! I cant stress this enough. If I hadn't of done this tour I would have not enjoyed a unforgettable experience. Jerry is a real nice bloke and is eager to tell you the history of the place and will happily answer any questions you might have. Jerry's tour takes place each Saturday, so if you are on a visit to New York check it out! I'm going again!