Saturday, July 10, 2010

PHD in hop on hop off tourist bus .

I love traveling with my daughter and wherever we go we always try to experience the city by means of the open top tourist bus. What a great way to see a city without getting blisters or lost! Obviously by now we are something of an expert in this tourist activity, not only do we have endless dog eared maps but an array of red earphones, discount coupons and in the case of Budapest a very 'fetching' straw hat. Well it was hot !
You might think that all these trips are the same but you would be wrong. For me the biggest difference and often the highlight of the tour is the commentary. With an array of languages on offer it cannot be an easy job and some cities make more of an effort than others. I do appreciate the native language speaker aspect the most but even that can be fraught with danger. Get an American with a too strong accent and it grates on the Brits ears but get a Brit with a regional accent and the Americans have no chance of understanding. What is not OK is the local who thinks he can speak fluent English - have news for you buddy, no you don't! It can be pretty hilarious though!
Another irritating thing is when the bus driver hits the play button in the wrong place and you end up looking at a concrete wall yet hearing about this fabulously elaborate architecture of some church that is nowhere near. Some also have a habit of talking over the commentary and telling you which is the next stop. Yes, thats you Madrid and what's with the 'lets wait until you are on the stairs going up and down and then take off at speed' routine? Did nobody teach you anything about 'elf and safety?
So which cities have the best and the worst?
The best without a doubt was in Boston and the Duck Tours. Informative, fun and very entertaining.
The worst - sorry Milan but you take this dubious title because it was dull dull dull.

1 comment:

  1. Love the photo!
    Love the quote below too!
    'lets wait until you are on the stairs going up and down and then take off at speed' routine?


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