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On the Bus

I have been on bus tours before usually with choirs or other students that I know and we have fundraised for hours to get the tour on the road; lots of history before we even begin.

It was most interesting to be on a bus for 10 days with 34 people I did not know. Our commonness was our language – English. We discovered that a number of the folks had been on other tours that were not full and so had been offered this tour instead. We were a second offering for most of the folks.

9 were from the United States, 11 from Canada – Hello to Brian and Lindsay, who I promised a shout out! – and the remaining group were from Australia. The youngest a sturdy lad of about 8 and I could not even offer a guess at the oldest.

We were not without teenage angst and exuberance, which both annoyed some and infused others. 5 passengers were between the ages of 14 and 19.

It was not raining at Anne Hathaway’s cottage and the tour had arranged a “Group Shot” – you may now play “Where’s Waldo?” with a Where’s Patricia? picture!


We caught a few pictures of the garden, but did not stay long enough for a tour. We also got a picture near Shakespeare’s house of the Jester and of course a few shots of the house itself.

Anne Hathaways House

I do not think we got a picture of STOW, which was one of my favorite tea breaks and I loved the post mark so mailed my postcards in this delightful village. I bought a lovely heart evening bag before Camilla could snatch it up! I was so happy the village square was not anywhere near the large chain store – staggeringly huge outside of the perimeter.

Magic vibrations were promised as part of the Abbey at Glastonbury for our Tea Break; I did not pay for the tour or visit the gift shop although a number of our riders did. I was ecstatic to find Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s book NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATIONS in the bookstore window and Lucy Leu’s Compassionate Communications workbook beside – right next door to the Sorcerer’s Magic Shoppe. I did eavesdrop on the preparations for the Goddess Conference and looked at their beautiful velvet robes for sale, I just know a new Librarian who would have loved a set.

glastonbury cathedral

I am hoping my daughter’s pictures of Stonehenge were better than my impressions. This was one of the first stops on our tour. Although majestic and stunning, I felt like I had walked into a massive tourist trap. So many tour buses and cars, so little time. Gift shops in tents. We walked away from the venue and towards the mounds up on a farmer’s field and enjoyed the flowers blooming beside the rutted dirt road; we jumped the puddles and stretched our legs.


I asked the Scotch Expert on the bus, a fine man from Australia named Robert to let me know where and when to have my one drink. At Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands, he said “now”, to an 18 year old Scotch which was smooth as silk and then shared a taste of a 12 year old shot with a kick. Robert and his wife went back to Edinburgh for the Gathering 2009 after the tour.

We had lunch often with Fay and Chuck from Canada. Fay was on her own personal SOUP TOUR for lunches and found some of the best places to enjoy the food. We ventured upstairs to the Old George Inn and read the long standing history and the litany of historic names. I am hoping that Fay will come by for a read and leave a comment so that I might have her email – I am so sorry Fay, I cannot find your business card anywhere.

Old George Tea Rooms

As much as I enjoyed being waited on by my daughter the navigator-photographer and the tour itself, I appreciated so much having people to eat meals with and share our adventures, stories and finds along the way. We all had made such interesting discoveries and the conversations just punctuated the day to a delightful conclusion.

For 14 full days, I had a new group of friends; it was a “spot on” celebration similar to the blogging community. The diversity was refreshing and reminding to taste the new and be bold.

Have you had a similar experience when you travel? Have you avoided tours and been totally adventurous? Have you been waited on for 14 days? Did you like it?

PS – Most of the Australians had 36 hour plane rides to London, and were going on to Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal before they went home. Chuck and his whole family had done a walking tour/reunion in Ireland before they came on this tour!


Looking forward to hearing your stories:

Other posts you might enjoy:
Welsh Men are Born to Sing
Beauty on a Sandy Beach
No Reversing Without Rear End Supervision

15 Responses to “On the Bus”

  1. Talon Says:

    Beautiful shots, Patricia. Your daughter has a good eye.

    It’s always disheartening when places become tourist traps, but it sounds like you found ways to look past all the trappings to find the original beauty.

  2. Jannie Funster Says:

    Hey — Fay & Chuck from Canada! I think I know them!!!


    What color is your evening heart purse?

    And No — REALLY?? we’ll get to play “Spot the Patricia” soon? Yay, after almost a year I may get a glimpse at the exterior that carries around such a fine heart and mind?

    Whatever. It’s all inside anyway.

    I usually abhor every one I travel with and vice versa, so I tend to stay at home swilling beer.



  3. Vered - Blogger for Hire Says:

    I’m generally avoiding tours, but I imagine if I go to a really adventurous place, I might join a tour. The most exotic place we visited so far was China, but we did have people there that we knew to show us around.

  4. Patricia Says:

    Yes she does have a good eye – you would not believe how many tourists were walking in front of her on a boardwalk, and around the stones on a pathway…hundreds…and she was shooting between chain link fencing. Amazing shots.
    The little flower was just by the dirt road way.

    Do you know them well enough to have their email? Alberta?
    Oil man – cattle rancher?
    I hope the picture will be up soon? I am in the shot – windblown but there…thank you
    Purse is red with a huge faceted bobble clasp

    We were on such a nice walking tour of Scotland, it was nice that the people were so fun and enjoyable on this heavy bus riding tour. We must go back to walk Scotland – I am sure I would tour again in Africa or South America where I did not know anyone or the places. This way we have an overview and bravery on our side to venture forth again.
    I know I have some relatives there but do not know them or how to find them right now.
    I am getting reports now too that other IBIS’ where others stayed was wonderful and now someone sent me a coupon for a refund on the Earl’s Court experience and I think I will apply.
    Going on the bus tour took over $1,000 off the trip – thus I had spending money!

  5. Robin Says:

    You didn’t buy anything at the Magic Shoppe? I’d love to see you in a velvet robe!

    When I flew from Melbourne to London it took 33 hours – mostly on the plane – because the plane broke down and we had to wait at Sydney for 8 hours for a new crew, mostly sitting on a plane. Then it was foggy at Heathrow, so we circled it for 2 hours.

    A New Zealand rugby team got on at Bahrain for the last leg to London, and because it was Christmas day, some of them went around the plane singing and playing guitar to everyone. The whole lot also did performances of Maori war dances, to each section, but were told to sit down because they were upsetting the plane’s balance. We got Christmas dinner and free drinks because it was Christmas Day, too, then we got Christmas dinner when we finally arrived at our hotel, too – what is it with multiple Christmas dinners? You asked!

  6. J.D. Meier Says:

    > The diversity was refreshing and reminding to taste the new and be bold.
    Well put and so true. I think it’s one of the secrets of renewal.

  7. Ian | Quantum Learning Says:


    Dropped by from Bunny Got Blog and enjoyed this post. I did get a bit nostalgic reading it and looking at the pictures – being British myself but having left in 1994.

    I’m not really attracted to tours as I find groups intimidating and schedules inhibiting. I prefer to travel alone or with one other person and to choose my own pace and destinations. But each to their own.

    btw … I’m a big fan of NVC so was delighted to see you mention the books of Marshall and Lucy!

  8. Dot Says:

    I’m guessing the woman in front in the denim jacket, based on the fact that she’s sitting next to a young woman who could be her daughter and on the shoes. But I can’t see the shoes of the people in the other rows, and the woman in front doesn’t look windblown, so I guess I’m wrong.

  9. Patricia Says:

    Oh I do love your stories and love all your Christmas Dinners – and circling an airport for hours is in my repertoire too! No fun. The Magic Shoppe and Velvet Robe spot were not open for another 2 hours and we were only there about 40 minutes for TEA

    Yes I do too think it is good for renewal. Thank you

    I am not the woman in the front row sitting next to her two daughters and her husband – she is a teacher from Canada..
    I am definitely windblown and look large of chest, which I am not…Thanks for coming by

  10. patricia Says:

    Welcome and thank you for stopping by from Bunny’s site. I am a huge fan of NVC and don’t know how I parented before I became a student and teacher of the material.
    I did not start out on such a tour we were going on a walking tour of Scotland first, but that was canceled and we were put on this bus tour – I would go alone next time or with my daughter – I did enjoy being waited on and the lower cost of the group rate on hotels. My daughter truly enjoyed not having to drive in London, but I think she would be fine out of the city.
    Now we know about buses and trains etc too…a good learning experience.

  11. Jannie Funster Says:

    I’m not sure but I’m guessing you’re not the guy in the front in the red striped shirt.

    You’re in the pink tee, in the middle?

  12. Patricia Says:

    Australia Scotch expert fellow in the red stripped shirt! ha ha

    Pink T shirt is from Virginia and too young for me! She is the mom of the youngest passenger

    Thank you for guessing!

  13. Jannie Funster Says:

    I see you, per your e-mail! Hello you!

  14. Patricia Says:

    Don’t tell …let’s keep everyone else guessing!

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