Today I’m thankful for Travel.
We’ve been fortunate to be able to travel to several interesting places.
Some, like Iceland, we just lucked in to. We’d wanted to go to Ireland but the travel agent couldn’t get us in at any time over that summer. She did get us a deal where, if we flew Iceland Air, they’d give us a free week in a hotel in Iceland before flying us to London. Duh! Wonderful trip.
A couple years ago we were in Costa Rica and took a day trip to Nicaragua where we stood at the rim of Masaya, a live volcano.
And a neat train in Alaska (more about this trip here: http://www.cushingsonline.com/Alaska/alaska.htm)
Our bus driver was a very good driver who told us all about the history of Skagway and the surrounding areas. Our first stop was Liarsville (http://www.klondiketours.com/goldcampshow.html), a tent village for gold miners. It was called Liarsville because many newspaper reporters were there publishing tales of how “easy” it was to find gold and become rich. No Way! The locals did a show for us and let us pan for gold. Of course, most everyone found some little gold flakes. A very hard way to make a living!
We made our way up the White Pass on the Klondike Highway to a 3,000 ft waterfall, Dead Horse Gulch (a lot of pack horses couldn’t make it the whole way), the Moore Bridge, Yukon Suspension Bridge at Tutshi Canyon and up over the West White Pass into Fraser British Columbia Canda, the same way that the miners had to walk or go with pack animal and 2,000 pounds of supplies. Much easier by heated bus! It was very scenic and we took lots of pictures.
At the summit of that, in Fraser, British Columbia, we got on the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) Railroad train.
The WP&YR was originally built to help those miners who were hauling the ton of supplies up the pass but they finished building the railroad a year after the gold rush had ended. There’s more info about this railroad at http://www.wpyr.com We went over trestle bridges, through tunnels, over glaciers. Definitely a worthwhile trip.
WP&YR webcam: http://www.whitepassrailroad.com/multimedia/webcam.html
Here’s a bit of our train trip. Tom took this from the platform between the cars:
A very scary road between Stirling and Kinlochard, Scotland:
A helicopter around Barbados (more about this trip at http://beautiful-barbados.blogspot.com/2008/08/wednesday-week-one-helicopter-day.html)
Edinburgh Tattoo – twice!
Panama Canal. In the volcano image above, I’m wearing the tshirt for the Panama Canal Railway that runs through the jungle.
Costa Rica and the Oh My God bridge. They took this down while we were there – thank goodness!
And the not so good: Fire ants in Hilton Head, Thunderstorm in the Everglades, Africanized Killer Bee in Costa Rica, …
I got this from a Facebook post and don’t know if any of it is true but these are sure funny 🙂
UPDATE: A bit more digging reveals the source is http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/magazine/news/20-astonishing-holiday-complaints-thomas-cook-abta
THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS” FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:
1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
2. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this should be banned.”
3. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”
4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”
5. A tourist at a top African Game Lodge over looking a water hole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel “inadequate”.
6. A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she’d been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the “do not disturb” sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.
7. “The beach was too sandy.”
8. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure.Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”
9. A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.
10. “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”
11. “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”
12. “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”
13. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home.”
14. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller..”
15. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the accommodation’. We’re trainee hairdressers – will we be OK staying there?”
16. “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.”
17. “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”
18. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”
19. “I was bitten by a mosquito, no-one said they could bite.”
20. “My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”
Travel editor Peter Greenberg solves traveler disputes and offers tips on how to travel smartly this holiday season.