On our return to Copenhagen, the group had a single day to settle in to a new hotel, visit another iconic site in the city (Rosenberg Castle) and take care of Covid tests for returning to the US. Luckily, somewhere in there we had an absolutely beautiful final dinner together at a Michelin-rated restaurant called Hoest. It was a busy, but wonderful, final day.
And some people, who shall remain nameless, acquired quite a sizable stash over the ten days of the trip. This phenomenon is not unusual. It’s why we recommend people bring an extra, foldable duffel with them. And those who do not heed our sagacious words usually have to buy one.
By the next morning, this wonderful group of 14 ladies was off to the airport at various times in order to go home. Those who had an extra day in the city were now needing to do their Covid tests. I spent my morning helping them, then threw my clothes in luggage and dashed to the airport myself for my flight to Heathrow. Aside from a ridiculously long line through security, my time at the Copenhagen Airport was unremarkable. Oh, except I enjoyed this little piece of art? advertising? entertainment?
From Copenhagen to Heathrow. From Heathrow to the middle of London, at a hotel next door to Paddington Station. My taxi driver who drove me there was very jovial and spent time explaining to me all it takes to become a “cabbie” in London – no small feat. He also let me know that petrol had doubled in price, the road system in London was a mess, the current government is no help at all and that things are going to all get worse. Oh my. I was a bit depressed by the time I got to the hotel. Then I had the daunting task of finding dinner in an area that looked a bit grungy and getting myself to bed so I could be up early to meet our travelers coming in for the next tour. I must have accomplished those things because by the next morning, I was downstairs by 8am, sitting in the lobby with my knitted shawl on and a sign that said “Rowan Tree Travel”. The plan was for about seven people flying in to Heathrow to make their way by train or taxi to the hotel. Once all there, we’d hop next door and take the train to Bath, where our next tour was starting.
That was the plan.
Some of it worked!
Arrival times were between 8am and noonish, which was why we thought it would be more comfortable to meet and wait for everyone at my hotel instead of at Heathrow. Then one of the flights was delayed until about 2 pm. Then someone else’s flight from the US was cancelled entirely. Oh my.
For those who made it in the morning, I was able to get them train tickets and send them forward to Bath at about 11 am so they didn’t have to wait for so many hours. For the later two, I waited for them at the hotel and we managed to catch a train down to Bath at about 3:30pm.
And our last traveler, with the canceled flight? She ended up leaving upstate New York a day later than planned, flew into Heathrow, then got to Paddington station on her own and caught the last train into Bath that arrived at 1 am. Plucky!
And so began our next trip: A Knitter’s Tour of British Breeds. From Bath we traveled to Devon, then down to Cornwall, then back up to Bath, then up to Gloucestershire. Pretty swell. I tell you all this info because much of this tour is a blur to me now. Luckily, I have photos to jog my memory.
As we traveled south from Bath to Somerset, we stopped at Hestercombe House and Gardens. Just my cup of tea.
Another hour and we landed at Pickwell Manor. The group was whisked right in to a workshop as we were running late. But Heather and I got to take everyone’s luggage to their rooms so that when they were finished, they’d have to go exploring to find which room was theirs.
And with our arrival at Pickwell, I must pause and go take care of business. Tour 4 of 6 starts tomorrow here in Dublin! I’m off to get some more work done and prep for the group’s arrival.
I’m exhausted just reading your posts. The experience seems wonderful but definitely would blurr my memory. Our tour of Scotland with Nadine in 2011 was wonderfully hectic, but 6 in one spring and many springs for you makes you an exceptional person. Best wishes, Gordon
Hah! Yes, I’ve learned my lesson on what one person can reasonably expect of themselves as a tour leader. Future seasons will be limited to 2 or 3 trips only. At least for me. Can’t speak for Heather. She is younger and has bottomless reserves of energy! Luckily my time in Yorkshire was restorative. I’m ready and looking forward to the Ireland tours.
Could you send me info on next year’s Ireland, Wales, or Cornwall tours? Do you ever do Portugal?
Gordon, we’ve not put together our tour schedule for 2023 yet. We wanted to wait and see how things went for the spring. If you (or someone in your household) are on our mailing list, you should receive our quarterly newsletters about what’s up wit Rowan Tree Travel. Portugal? Not yet…
Lovely, coy portrait of you amongst the flower, Suzie. And yes, you must be exhausted. This tour looked beautiful. I hope the weather remains good and Ireland is restorative as well.