Hilary M

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Hilary M

Hilary M

Ireland

Sep182010

Tour/Activity

Nice City Sightseeing Small Group Tour

Nice, France

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
Nice tour in minibus done by a lovely Latvian lady who had good but not perfect English! She was a good little driver too. I'm a slow walker due to a bad knee plus because it was towards the end of my holiday I was very tired and she handed it tackfuly & patiently. The highlights were the viewpoint over Nice City & airport whose runway starts & ends in the sea. The other highlight to me was the Russian Orthrodox Church, get to see inside if you visit. The Franciscan Musemn & Roman Ruins I could have taken or left. Reckon its not the cheapest way to see Nice since there is a tourist train which possibly stops off at the same sights. not sure. However if you want a more personalised door to door service its worth it though you might get it cheaper booking last minute in Nice from your hotel when you arrive. Sorry. .

Sep162010

Tour/Activity

Provence Countryside Small Group Day Trip

Nice, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This was an excellent tour which would be nigh impossible to do using public transport. The guide was great, with excellent English and she was a continuous fountain of knowledge, she earned her money. Because there was only myself and a nice Norwegian couple on the minibus it felt like a very personalised ViP service & I got the front seat! You see the real Provence of lavender, olive trees and perched villages on this trip however Saint Paul-de-Vence struck us as a bit of a tourist trap. brought to perfume and confectionary factory. I would wholeheartly recommend this tour to see the other Provence away from the glamorous coastal resorts, everyone on the tour agreed it was worth every penny. I even got a small orientation tour of Nice while dropping the other couple off before we haded to Cannes to drop me off & drove down the Promenade des Anglais which blew me away.

Sep142010

Tour/Activity

Ferry to St Tropez from Nice

Nice, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Enjoyable trip, boat was nice & adequate for yourney & safety brief was given. Only minus was having to stand on quai for ages waiting for boat to comes late from Nice. No seating provided on quai. Young guy giving English & French commentary onboard was enjoyable, entertaining & personable, an ideal guy for the job. Wasn't always obvious which celebrities house he was pointing out as we entered St Tropez harbour.

Jan012010

Tour/Activity

Vienna Woods and Mayerling Half Day Trip

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
A very nice short trip, though mind you I was beginning to get tired of even more monasteries & churches since I had already done the Danube Valley Day Trip. For me the best part was the trip into the mine, which felt like a bit of an adventure. It has quite a history, having been taken over by the Nazis in 1944 to develop a fuselage for a jet aircraft. The unsuccessful project was abandoned at the end of the war. The trip through the lake was amazing too. I was, however, disappointed that there wasn't a more wildlife element to the tour, but the very nature of fauna in the wild is that they're unpredictable, so maybe it wasn't possible. Still I would have liked to learn more about the flora & fauna of the region. The hills of the Vienna woods are considered to be the foothills of the Alps & the countryside we drove through when we eventually got off the motorway was indeed very pretty.

Dec312009

Tour/Activity

New Year's Eve at an Austrian Wine Tavern from Vienna

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
An okay experience. I expected a guide who would try & get us in the party spirit, rather we had an interesting night tour of Vienna first, but it wasn't a party atmosphere on the bus. We were driven to the restaurant & were greeted by a pig's head in the fridge soon as we went through the door. I suppose when in Rome, but uggh! A fine spread was put on. Austrian entertainment seems to be one guy playing the fiddle & another playing the accordion, so if you're expecting a brass band played by a load of guys dressed in lederhosen like you get in Germany, you will be disappointed. Also if you're expecting a dramatic countdown to the New Year & everyone entwining arms & singing Auld Lang Syne, don't. I was there looking at my watch saying I think we're into the New Year before those at our table tapped glasses. So the 'build up' was really an anticlimax. Worse, we then saw loads of people leave & we couldn't understand why. Turns out our guide had omitted to tell us about the fireworks display the village of Grinzig outs on, but luckily we copped on & didn't miss much of it.

Dec302009

Tour/Activity

Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
A thoroughly enjoyable trip with a character for a guide. Although I'm not religious, I was amazed at the beauty of the church at Melk. Driving along the Danube was enjoyable too.

Dec292009

Tour/Activity

Budapest Day Trip from Vienna

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
I found it a very good trip, with plenty of time spent on the Buda side, including a walking tour of the major sites. Down by the river, Budapest really comes into its own, enhanced by the beautiful Xmas lights on the Four Seasons hotel on the Pest side. First we did a coach orientation of Pest. We drove past the famous spa in Budapest and after lunch went to the Buda side with a local guide. We also had time for a little bit of shopping. After visiting the sights on the Buda side we were driven back to Pest, where we were again let loose for around two hours. It was just a short stroll to the Xmas markets. Overall, I found it a good varied tour that gives you a taster of what Budapest has to offer and that fit a lot in the time. The two hour drive through the Hungarian countryside didn't reveal any dramatic landscapes, just flat countryside sometimes coming over a little on the poor side.

Dec282009

Tour/Activity

Vienna City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Doing a hop on hop off trip to me was a new thing, so for the unitiated I was left to find out the ropes for myself by the unhelpful guide when I first got on the bus. In fact she's not really a guide at all, but she could have explained about using the audio giude when I got on the bus because it took me a while to cop on about it & find out how to use it. If you want to be cossested & have someone show an interest in you, this isn't the trip to do because it's all highly impersonal. However, it is a good value way of seeing the sights of the city with the freedom to hop on & hop off when you want, which is limited if you want to do all the three lines in one day particularly in winter with the shorter operating hours. I only had time to hop off in 3 places, one at the end of the day from where I made my own way home.

Dec272009

Tour/Activity

Schonbrunn Palace Evening: Palace Tour, Dinner and Concert

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
An enjoyable evening; however, when I came out of the underground I didn't realise that just across the road in the orangery was where I was supposed to collect my tickets, so I walked all the way up to the castle, then back down to the orangery & back up to the castle again. Alright if you enjoy walking, I don't! The meal was okay, no choice though I was allowed strudel instead of chocolate mousse, but if you're fussy about your food it might not be for you. The highlight of the evening for me was definitely the concert. The castle also looks stunning, particularly when it's lit up. Hadn't time to visit the gardens.

Dec042006

Tour/Activity

Malacca Malaysia Day Trip from Singapore including Lunch

Singapore, Singapore

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
I enjoyed this trip, and the meal and hotel were all lovely. The one drawback was the lack of time for shopping in Malacca, although we passed some shops on our walking tour. The tour guide was excellent.

Dec032006

Tour/Activity

Kukup and Orchid Valley - Malaysia

Singapore

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

My Review
I am of two minds about this trip. While I enjoyed the visit to the fish farm and seeing the houses on stilts, I didn't enjoy the meal or Kukup itself. I found the whole experience a bit of a culture shock regarding the food, the smells and cleanliness of Kukup itself. The tour guide was excellent.

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