Tuesday 20 Dec, 2011

Looking Forward To 2012

Following on from last week’s look back at 2011 it seems only right that I look forward to some of the potential tour highlights of 2012.

Bernabeu stadiumLondon – Along with Paris this is the city that I spend most of my time touring in. It is a wonderful city, a really vibrant and exciting place and the one that so many students want to see. Most state run galleries are free to enter (free!) which is exactly how it should be. The movement of the place is terrific, groups really get immersed into big city life pretty fast once they have landed, and most just love it. London also hosts the 2012 Summer Olympics and no matter when you are in the city you will get a feel for the event as there will be plenty of related stuff going on all the way up to August.

Spain – In February I am off on a Madrid, Cordoba, Seville tour, which will be my first tour in Spain for over three years. A quick mention for the Group Leader requesting me to do the tour – she was unsure of whether or not she would get enough people interested in travelling….then managed to get 51 people signed up in about two weeks! I am looking forward to visiting Seville again, such a pleasant city, and the tour begins and ends in Madrid which means the possibility going to the fabulous Bernabau stadium. Although it probably won’t be as good as my last visit, at least they have a roof all the way round and some proper atmosphere.

Monday 9th April – Just short of 100 buses of Canadian students, teachers and parents are visiting Europe on any one of eight unique itineraries. All groups will make their way to Vimy on Monday 9th April for the 95th anniversary of the taking of the ridge by Canadian forces in World War I. I have been very lucky to be involved in the preparation process and am really looking forward to what will be an unforgettable event.

bikes in AmsterdamAmsterdam by Bike – One of my regular Group Leaders is planning a trip in November which will begin in Amsterdam. Each year we like to try and arrange a bike tour (past rides have included Munich, London and Nice) and few cities are so perfect for cycling in than Amsterdam. It cannot be as cold as Munich was, less traffic than London and nothing even remotely hill-like. If you are on tour and a bike tour is a possibility then it is highly recommended. Some cities are very safe for bike tours and your Tour Director will have all the details for you.

The Unknown – At this point I know about half of the tours I shall be leading next year, others will be set as the months go by. This means a lot of familiar situations with unfamiliar people, the very essence of keeping the job fresh. It means more comments on my Cardinals t-shirt and offers to replace with that of a better team, although I think they won a few games last year. Most importantly, it is the idea that I could be on tour pretty much anywhere with pretty much anyone that makes it all so much fun.

Wherever your touring takes you in 2012, have fun!

Flickr photo via plougmann , dkodigital

(Editor’s note: Add Paul on Google+ If you have a question about for EF Tour Director Paul Mattesini, or an idea for a blog post topic, you can email Paul here, and he will answer readers’ questions in future blog posts.)

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