As we head into the New Year I thought I would share my favorite memories from 2013. This is also the time to say a big thank you to all the teachers, parents and students who traveled, the people at EF who work so hard behind the scenes to make the tours possible, and to the one person who was always there to help me on every tour.
Primrose Hill (London) – A city of many small neighborhoods there are possibly none more enjoyable than Primrose Hill. Located just behind Regent’s Park the area offers a beautiful slice of London life; great cafes, stylish Victorian terrace housing, small independent bookshops and some great places to eat. The actual hill was made public land by an Act of Parliament in 1842 and offers some of the finest views over the city. Next time you’re in town try and find time to get over there, you’ll create some lasting memories.
Scandinavia (with a Latvian) – In August I was fortunate to be invited to lead the Scandinavian Discovery Tour with a bus full of teachers and staff from EF Canada. From Oslo (where we met the EF Bus) to Stockholm via Copenhagen we enjoyed northern Europe in beautiful sunshine while also on a quest for (surprisingly elusive) ice. The week was full of fabulous scenery, various boats, interesting cities and fun new languages. Land transportation was done on a Latvian bus whose driver Yuri played only Latvian radio – where, it seems, no music recorded after 1988 is recognized – excellent!
Frozen in Barcelona – Back in February I was on a Mediterranean Journey tour. As the tour ended we faced sub-zero temperatures in Barcelona. My flight back to London was delayed for three hours while waiting to be de-iced. They only have one de-icing machine at the Barcelona Airport. As you can imagine they don’t really use it much. I’d like to think that for many airport employees it was a chance to finally say “Oh, now I understand what that thing is for.”
Spending June at Home – I did two tours in June, both of them in England. The AP Literature tour and the Best of England. Our visit to Stonehenge was postponed on June 21st as the site is closed on Midsummer Day. Instead, we spent the solstice at Avebury, a smaller stone circle but equally enchanting.
On the Beach in Ireland – In April I was in Ireland and taking a group from Dublin to Galway. We stopped for lunch in Spiddal and were able to spend a lovely spring day clambering the rocky beach. Spiddal is where the Waterboys recorded their ‘Fishermans Blues’ Album. There are no finer days touring than driving towards the beach with this song playing. If Primrose Hill has a competitor for best day on tour this year – then this was it!
Have a wonderful 2014 everyone!