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Day-by-day Tour Accounts

Winter Wonderland Tour

A poetic account of the experiences of the guide and members on this European rail tour.

Stan is our shepherd we shall not want
He leads us through countries unknown
With his beanie and man bag and soft words of care -
Come hither, gather round and history lesson 101.

Our journey began in Paris
We gathered for the very first time.
The memory is starting to fade
But who, for the record,
did have the last crème brulee
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Swiss Mountain Train Tour

A poetic account of the experiences of the guide and members of the Swiss Mountain Train Tour.

It is a Swiss Mountain Trains Tour but we experienced two of the world's great high speed trains en route to Switzerland. All train tours of Europe should start in or end in London so that the Eurostar - one of the great rail journeys of the world - can be enjoyed.

…The Eurostar travels at 300kph on the English side, slows down through the tunnel (this takes 20 minutes) and speeds up again to deliver us into the heart of Paris, Gare du Nord Station, in under two and a half hours… Continue reading ›

Springtime Gardens Tour

A poetic account of the experiences of the guide and members of the Springtime Gardens Train Tour.

I was out at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport bright and early this morning… We could have begun our rail tour of Europe by taking the train from the airport into the city, but it is only 12 minutes and, with our luggage, it was a better idea to chart a bus…

… Our hotel is in the very heart of Amsterdam. Behind the hotel is the main drag of Amsterdam, the Damrak. It runs from the Railway Station to the Royal Palace at Dam Square. Fanning out around the Damrak is a series of concentric (oblong) with beautiful canal houses which look unchanged since the 17th century when the Dutch ruled the greatest maritime empire the world had ever seen.

Dirk Hartog and Abel Tasman were Dutchmen who got to the Great Southland - New Holland - well before the Brits… Continue reading ›

Winter Wonderland Tour

A day by day account of the experiences of the guide and members on this European rail tour.

December 21st to 27th

Ten members of the Winter Wonderland Tour have this year opted for the White Christmas pre-tour Add-on…

It was deep end first in Interlaken, straight on to a little Swiss mountain train, a highlight of all the best rail tours of Europe. Up the valley we cruised and in twenty minutes arrived at the picturesque village of Grindelwald, with the North Face of the Eiger towering above.

Gabriella our hostess for the White Christmas Week met us at the station and drove us through the village to her beautiful traditional chalet style hotel. The hotel has been in Gabriella's family for 120 years.

Its setting and views, and the zero degree temperature literally took our breath away. There had been a fresh snowfall overnight. “Winter Wonderland” may be a cliché, but here it was real… Continue reading ›

European Christian Heritage tour

A recounting of the Christian Heritage Tour in the form of a song written by members of the tour.

1. This group began out as two times eleven,
With Elaine and Brenda and Jackie and Helen
Stan and his flag-waving, Max and his rings
These were a few of our favourite things…
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“Off the Beaten Path” European tour

A day by day account of the experiences of the guide and members on this European rail tour.

We joined our flight at Brisbane International Airport today, with 6 tour members from Brisbane. While Pauline was on her fourth tour with us, for two others it was their first trip overseas: they were excited finally to be setting off on their holiday of a lifetime, enjoying the train tours of Europe.

They have been looking forward to this for so long, they said, because travelling around Europe by train on the 1970s baby boomer special - backpacking, youth hostelling and the trusty Eurailpass - is something they had missed out on as students.

They have promised to make up for it now! They are doing a Europe river cruise after our train tour of Europe… Continue reading ›

“Eastern European Capitals” European tour

A day-by-day recounting of the 2009 Eastern European Capitals Tour visiting Moscow, St Petersburg, Krakow, Warsaw, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Berlin in 5 star luxury hotels.

Thank goodness that all tour members’ flights arrived at the same Moscow Airport - Domodedovo. Moscow is served by no fewer than four airports [New York has only 3, but London has 5]. Domodedovo is the most modern of Moscow’s four. I don’t care to transit the others. We smiled nicely, refusing to give in to frustration with bureaucracy, and soon we were reunited with our luggage.

No rail journey is possible from the airport so we took a transfer coach to our 5 star luxury hotel, the historic National Hotel, now in the Meridien stable. The grand nineteenth century hotels of Eastern Europe fell into disrepair in the early years of the Communist regimes. Then the party officials discovered the good life and took them over… Continue reading ›

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