Carolyn A

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Carolyn A

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May222012

Tour/Activity

Giverny and Monet's Garden Bike Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Our guide, Andre, was personable and informative, helpful and funny. This tour was great! We enjoyed everything about it. It is a long day, and it is a bike tour, so I would recommend being in pretty good shape. The restroom situation, like everywhere I have been in Europe, is spotty. Lots of tourists plus inadequate public restrooms means long lines. I would highly recommend this tour.

May202012

Tour/Activity

Versailles by Bike Day Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Our guide, Pete, was personable and knowledgeable, fun and forgiving. He gave you just enough information at just the right time. The tour was great! Pete was great! We enjoyed everything about it especially the hunting for picnic supplies at the Versaille market. It is a long day, and it is a bike tour...so I would recommend being in pretty good shape. The restroom situation, like everywhere I have been in Europe, is spotty...lots of tourists + inadequate public restrooms = long lines. I would highly recommend this tour.

May182012

Tour/Activity

Salisbury, Lacock and Bath Day Trip from London

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

The chaos at Victoria Coach Station with many tours starting at once starts off the day on the wrong foot. I would suggest a different meeting place. Our guide for the day, Cosette was very knowledgeable but didn't know when to stop talking and interjected a lot of personal opinions that were unrelated to our tour. She was bubbly but not engaged with the passengers. I sensed hostility with the driver for the first part of the trip and it made me uncomfortable because I was near the front. Our first stop was Bath that was 2.5 hours away with no bathroom break and the one at the coach station wasn't free. The Baths themselves are fascinating and Cosette gave us enough information on the bus to get through them quickly, which was good because there was not nearly enough time to listen to the audio tour. The city of Bath is great and I am glad I hustled through the ruins to shop and find lunch. Also the ruins are VERY crowded with tourists. Stonehenge is exactly what you expect...rocks in a field in the middle of nowhere, but it's on your bucket list and you just have to go. Cosette gave us her version of a tour through Salisbury which was fast and inadequate but thankfully there was plenty of time to self-guide and spend some time in the gift shop. Since we only saw the cathedral and none of Salisbury...and I had seen plenty of cathedrals on this trip...I would probably choose another tour including Bath but something more interesting as another spot.

May172012

Tour/Activity

Small-Group Day Trip to Oxford, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon from London

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

Our guide, David, was a little surly and impersonal. Several times he was impatient with passengers who were only minutes late, and in traffic situations. It wasn't the intimate, cozy tour I expected. The Oxford portion of this tour was very disappointing. Our guide, Debbie, was knowledgeable but her personality was overbearing so it made it difficult to absorb. It was extremely rushed and we only toured a very small section of the university. We mostly got information about the system and how it works and less about the history of the university itself. We never saw Christ Church. The worst part though was the meeting place and the ending place. We met at a coffee shop that only 2 customers could be in at a time. The restrooms were completely inadequate and no other options were available. At the end, we were directed to a very small bookstore that sold mostly t-shirts and sweatshirts. We were told that we had FIVE MINUTES to shop. Ridiculous! The tour through the Cotswolds was disappointing because we stopped at 1 spot for 20 minutes...inadequate restrooms...and another for about an hour, which included your lunch time. So disappointing! Stratford was the worst because Shakespeare's house is such a tourist trap and the streets around it are the same. The only joy we found was walking down to the river and then poking around in the Royal Shakespeare theater. We drove by Trinity Church where he was baptized and buried but it was too far away to get to in the limited time we were given. I would have much preferred to see that. Overall, find a tour that spends more time in the Cotswolds villages.

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