maro Lip Schtick: My 15-day tourp

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My 15-day tour

So, this was my first trip off the north American continent (I've only been to Cancun twice before this).

And how amazing it was.

First, forget what you hear about tours. It was awesome. There is no other way to see all of the countries in the amount of time I did without touring.

Yes, your are herded like cattle. But that's what's so cool. You have no responsibilities. The only thing you have to do is make sure you get to the bus on time (by the way - the bus was immaculate).

And yes, there are a lot of retired older folks on your tour.

But who the hell cares? I enjoyed these people so much. Granted, I was the second youngest on the tour (at age 35). But I would not trade these people for the world. I truly believe that because most of the group was older, they truly appreciated everything they were seeing and experiencing. Plus, it was VERY cool to see an 81-year-old man make his way to the top of the Swiss Alps (OK, OK - this is misleading. We didn't climb from the bottom, obviously. We took a train, then a cable car ... then we walked the rest of the way). But this man was one of the coolest people I have ever met. And yes, he was 81. I miss him like crazy.

The greatest thing about taking a tour rather than trying to wing it for 15 days through seven different countries is that your tour guide can make the trip so memorable ... our guide was awesome. I cried on the last day when we had to leave.

Lydia - our guide - spoke about a billion different languages. She was with us at all times (except during the daily free time when you could explore the city on your own). Not only did she know the historical elements of Europe, but she was also interested in us.

One day when I was at a market in France, I asked her if it was appropriate to barter.

"Not here," she replied.

You see, when we were in Italy, we were expected to barter.

The last thing I wanted to do was make an ass out of myself (in France, especially).

That's enough for now.

More tomorrow.


Anonymous Kerry said...

It sounds so exciting! I'd love to be able to take off and do a 15 day tour...
Did you book thru a travel agent? or set the trip up yourself? Richard and I have talked about taking a trip to Europe. Neither one of us have been and we'd both love to visit there!!!

11:09 AM  

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