2015 Tour Calendar – Travel With Me

Wow, thanks to those of you that have ALREADY booked me for next year. It is a real honour and pleasure to get tours so early – still a year away and I can’t wait to see you again- you know who you are – now as friends, still as travellers, but no longer as just ‘clients’… So far my list of upcoming countries for 2015 reads; Cuba, England, Scotland, Italy, The Vatican, France, Spain, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and is growing…

January

14-18 Rome Weekend ACIS Educational Travel- VIP Trip (1)

This is an annual trip offered as a reward to teachers who travel with ACIS and bring students on a regular basis to Europe. These weekends are great; we always see and do the most unusual things with fantastic food. The destination changes, but the experience is top notch each year. I think it is the only trip I lead which is not possible to join. However details of my very first agency – ACIS can be found here.

Romans Meet The 20th Century...

Romans Meet The 20th Century…

22-5 Feb Walking off the Beaten Track in Cuba Kudu Travel (2)

Images of Cuba, the largest of the Caribbean islands, readily come to mind – the exuberant musical scene, idyllic white sand beaches backed by palm trees, marvellously preserved Spanish colonial architecture, the unique revolutionary heritage, 1940’s pink Cadillacs cruising the streets of Havana, and a lushly green countryside of sugar cane, tobacco, mountain ranges and waterfalls. I will lead a two week tour exploring these many facets of Cuba, balancing being active – forest walks, swimming, birdwatching, visiting museums, churches and colonial mansions, exploring botanical gardens – with ‘chilling out’ to the sounds of son and salsa with a few mojitos (rum, mint, lime and soda) to hand. Details are here

Trying to 'Paint' Edward Hopper With my Camera...

Trying to ‘Paint’ Edward Hopper With my Camera…

February

13-22 Panorama Italiano ACIS Student Educational Travel (3)

Well this is one of the very first trips I ever guided, now 15 seasons ago! Time does indeed fly when you are having fun. And what could be more fun than Venice, Florence, Sorrento and Rome? I love this tour. Sure it is busy, but any trip that brings me to Sorrento is simply magical – This is now a trip guiding GOOD friends, so ‘a presto – ci vediamo in Italia’. The details of Panorama Italiano are here.

Magical Sorrento

Magical Sorrento

March

5-15 Choir Tour – Tumlare (4)

Don’t know much about this one yet, except I am escorting a choir on a UK tour; Edinburgh through to London. Choir tours are so much fun, long hours sure, but it is great to see the joy on the faces of the performers and it gives another dimension, a purpose if you like, to the trip. No link, but maybe there’ll be a story from it, who knows?

Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings...

Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings…

19-27 Paris, Provence and Barcelona – ACIS Student Education Travel (5)

Well, this is old friends on the road (though I think I’m the oldest). Todd and his crew return for more… what a great teacher-traverller as well as ace chaperones these kids are blessed with. We HAVE to visit his beloved Paris, but this year we then divert through Provence on our way to fabulous Barcelona. It should be a great tour and get warmer and warmer… Can’t wait. Link is here

Beautiful Barcelona...

Beautiful Barcelona…

April

1-14 RESERVED ACIS – Student Educational Travel – no tour assigned yet (6)

Student Travel - Love Teaching The 'Kids'...

Student Travel – Love Teaching The ‘Kids’…

20-27 Venice for the Cognoscenti w Padua and a Palladian Villa Kudu Travel (7)

Padua is a city endowed with an immense heritage of art and architecture which we spend two days exploring before embarking on a day’s journey by boat along the Brenta Canal. We alight to visit three of the splendid 16C Palladian style villas built in the countryside by the wealthy Venetian nobility and eventually sail into the lagoon of Venice to disembark by the Piazza San Marco.The next five days focus on bringing fresh insights into this most famous of cities, transformed each day by tides and wind as well as constantly changing light. On foot, we seek out unusual churches in the quieter parishes and access some exceptional private collections through special appointments. We travel by boat to several less visited islands, attend a chamber music concert in an historic venue and, as a particular highlight, see a performance of Verdi’s opera ‘La Traviata’ in La Fenice, Venice’s celebrated opera house, now fully restored to its 18C splendour. I love this as I get to take people to nooks and crannies of Venice they will NEVER have been… Link here

Venice, Simply my Favourite City Anywhere...

Venice, Simply my Favourite City Anywhere…

28-7 May Adventures Afloat: Champagne Canal Voyage: The Spirit of France by Barge Road Scholar (8)

The province of Champagne is known around the world for the sparkling wine whose popping signifies a celebration. On this trip I’ll try to show that there’s much more to Champagne during this voyage aboard a “hotel barge”. We begin with two nights in Paris, then board our private chartered barge to visit important World War I battlefields, learn about the coronations of the French kings at the Reims Cathedral and learn how champagne is produced at picturesque vineyards. GREAT trip and I am back to my roots as a guide on a barge – love it. Read more about it here.

Through Champagne on a Barge...

Through Champagne on a Barge…

May

8-17 Brittany and Normandy: Distinctive Beauty, Proud Ways of Life – Road Scholar (9)

Ok how many ‘favourite trips’ am I allowed to have? IF truly only ONE, then I might pick this… We experience Brittany and Normandy, two distinct regions of France that boast larger-than-life personalities, legacies of conquests and conquerors, and stunning land-and seascapes. In Brittany, discover prehistoric megalithic sites and Celtic origins, as well as a culture influenced by the sea. In Normandy, explore Mont Saint Michel, Norman and Gothic architecture and landscapes captured by the Impressionists, as well as Normandy’s connections to the liberation of Europe in World War II. There is SO much to see and learn and try to teach people and it is just fascinating – such a wonderful blend of history from prehistoric to modern. A guide’s dream. Read more here.

Mind-Blowing; Carnac Alignments...

Mind-Blowing; Carnac Alignments…

20-28 Adventures Afloat: Burgundy Canal Voyage: The Heart of France by Barge – Road Scholar (10)

Back on a barge again – yay! This time I board a “hotel barge” exclusively chartered for a small Road Scholar group to experience the storied French region of Burgundy. Burgundy is famously home to some of the world’s most renowned vineyards but it has much more to offer: charming villages, artistic masterpieces and wonderful rural and forest landscapes. The canals the barge travels are like quiet back roads that give an up-close perspective on the land. I’ll start with two nights in Paris. More details here.

Just THE Nicest Way to Holiday...

Just THE Nicest Way to Holiday…

30-6 June Norway ~ Walking in the Fjords, with the Bergen Festival and Opera in Oslo Kudu Travel (11)

This is the second year of the trip I designed. This year was (thankfully) a success and I loved leading a group through this most stunning of countries. The weather was good and it included a stay in maybe the nicest hotel I have EVER stayed in. This year I’ve cut out Stavanger in favour of more time in the city I lived in for a year, Bergen. This means we can do a hike on the mountain above and have only three different hotels. Slower, better. I think I got my best photos of 2014 on this trip -stunning. Links here

My Favourite Hotel Meets Carl Larsson - to Discover Where, Come Along...

My Favourite Hotel Meets Carl Larsson – to Discover Where, Come Along…

8-15 The Baltic Capitals – Exploring Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius Kudu Travel (12)

This will be my third year of leading this trip to, forgive me, a less well-known corner of Europe. That’s what makes it so great. Those of adventurous spirit sign up, often with little idea of what awaits and are generally blows away by the food, the art nouveau, the people and the great hotels. There is so much history here too, especially the fascinating tale of the shedding of the Soviet blanket in the late 80s… come along and see for yourself. Link here

The Baltics - You Might be Surprised...

The Baltics – You Might be Surprised…

18-1 July The Pyrenees and Catalonia, An Adventure Into Cathar Country – Road Scholar (13)

Be inspired by the gorgeous mountain landscapes of the Pyrenees and delve into the distinct but equally fascinating cultures that evolved on either side of these peaks on a discovery of southern France and Catalonia. Time stands still in the medieval villages and Romanesque castles of this sun-streaked land where the crags and peaks of the Pyrenees hold treasures of history and culture awaiting your discovery. Walk in the footsteps of Moliere at Pezenas, touch medieval castle walls defended by the Cathars in Carcassone, and taste the wines of Languedoc and the cheeses of Catalonia while local experts cast light on one of Europe’s most intriguing regions. Link here.

In The Footsteps of The Cathars

In The Footsteps of The Cathars

July

8-17 Adventures Afloat: The Magic of Italy: A Grandparent Adventure by Riverboat – Road Scholar (14)

Benvenuti in Italia! Let the River Po lead you and your grandchild on an unforgettable journey among the canals and castles of enchanting northern Italy. Get your first taste of Italy in beautiful Verona, then step aboard a river barge for a five-night voyage back through the centuries, floating past tiny villages and lush landscapes and tasting the many flavors they produce. Come ashore again in Venice to learn about the canals, bridges, lagoon and medieval streets of one of Europe’s most magical cities. More info here.

Docked in Venice - Quite Special

Docked in Venice – Quite Special

18-27 Adventures Afloat: The Magic of Italy: A Grandparent Adventure by Riverboat – Road Scholar (15)

For details see above and link here.

Docked in Venice - Quite Special

Docked in Venice – Quite Special

August

7-10 Stockholm with Opera at Drottningholm – Kudu Travel (16)

Stockholm in the summer (forget winter) is one of the most beautiful places I know. This is a lovely long weekend where I get to share some of the highlights of the city; the outdoor Skansen museum, my favourite museum anywhere perhaps; The Vasa Ship Museum and the wonderful city hall. However truly the highlight is the performance we attend in the chocolate box Royal Theatre of Drottningholm, where you feel transported right back to Mozart’s time. This year even more so as the performance is The Marriage of Figaro. Awaiting link…

Opera as it Was Intended...

Opera as it Was Intended…

September

3-16 The Pyrenees and Catalonia, An Adventure Into Cathar Country – Road Scholar (17)

See June for details or use the link here.

In The Footsteps of The Cathars

In The Footsteps of The Cathars

17-28 The Pyrenees and Catalonia, An Adventure Into Cathar Country – Road Scholar (18)

See June for details or use the link here.

In The Footsteps of The Cathars

In The Footsteps of The Cathars

October

3-11 The Route of the Caliphate – Cordoba to Granada – Kudu Travel (19) Once again marvellous Kudu have let me (with a little help) create a tour, the kind of tour that I like. The details are being worked out at the moment. This is a trip that will take in the wonders of Cordoba, simply breathtaking Granada (one of my favourite cities on earth) as well as wondrous plains and hills of Andalusia through which the Moorish Caliphate used to march their courts in between.

More Than You Might Think...

More Than You Might Think…

I’ll be showing you exactly what the ‘Moors ever did for us’ through lectures, walks in the countryside and guided visits of their splendid cities and whitewashed villages. As soon as the itinerary is finalised I’ll place the usual link here…

23-30 The Best of Northern France: Paris and Normandy – Road Scholar (20) A trip I’ve guided a few times now and really like… Experience two faces of France on this journey that combines field trips with plenty of time for independent discoveries. Begin by discovering Paris’ grand boulevards, Gothic architecture and world-class museums. Then venture to Normandy to explore its Celtic-influenced culture, medieval history, natural beauty and tantalizing cuisine. Details here

Incredible...

Incredible…

30-6 The Best of Northern France: Paris and Normandy – Road Scholar (21) See above for details.

Incredible...

Incredible…

November

8-15 Independent Paris – Road Scholar (22) Shouldn’t really be called ‘independent’ as you are looked after by no less than TWO guides, but truly a great way to see and discover Paris. From a table at a street-side café near the Sorbonne, you watch students excitedly discoursing, mothers shepherding children along the sidewalk, the life of a Parisian neighborhood unfolding before you. It’s just one moment in your independent exploration of the Paris behind the postcards. Stroll the grand boulevards, meet local experts who illuminate the city’s most marvelous treasures, compare the city’s diverse quarters and savor every new experience that crosses your path.Details here.

Paris Oh La La

Paris Oh La La

December


6 Responses to “2015 Tour Calendar – Travel With Me”

  1. Always fun to see where you are going and many tours sound amazing. In 2016 (late summer/fall), I’d like to know what you are doing and maybe we can join a tour with you.

    • Hey you two how are you? How was Luton? Great to hear from you. The dates should be coming through soon – as they do I’ll create a 2016 page – and email you also. It would be great to travel together again. Many hugs from Estonia 😉

  2. Hey Thomas, Charlie and I are still reminiscing about our Marne trip aboard the Raymonde. Want to keep up with your plans, maybe another trip.
    Sissy and Charlie Ashby
    Raleigh, NC, USA

    • Hello there you two. I really enjoyed that trip. You know how much I lover barges and it was such a nice group to travel with. I’d love to repeat it somewhere sometime… I’ll post all my 2016 trips and beyond here once I have them. Watch this spot and hope to see you both on the road (or river) Hugs 😉

  3. Hey stranger – hope you’re well – looks that way from the cyber stalking I’ve been doing….

    Jen and I are in the Picos de Europa (Sta Maria de Valdeon) and Spanish side of the Pyrenees (Villanova) for a couple of weeks 5th-20th September.

    Looks like you might be in the area (sort of) – wondered if we might get a chance to catch up??

    Jez

    • Hey there! I would love to catch up and meet Jen too after so many years. Not sure how much that is where I am? I will be in the Pyrenees in that period though… email me thomas@2ndcupoftea.com – don’t think I have one for you and we can try to fix something. I would love to see you again. Many hugs T 😉

Leave a Reply

 
%d bloggers like this: