May 2014 took me took me on a European jaunt to Venice, Monaco and Rome - three of my favourite cities! You can never visit Rome or Venice too many times in my opinion. Our guests were travelling to Venice on the Orient Express with a night in a London hotel before taking the train from London Victoria the next day.
My colleagues and I flew to Venice to meet our guests on arrival. The logistics there are crazy, with water taxis here and gondolas there, making it quite a challenge to safely deliver our guests to their hotels. But we managed and we celebrated with cocktails that night at the famous (and stunning) Hotel Danieli, the set for many a scene from The Tourist starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
The remainder of this trip consisted of us escorting our 140 guests on the national train service from Venice to Rome, first class of course; and dropping them off at Civitavecchia port for their luxury Silversea cruise. After their voyage ended in Monaco we escorted them all the way to London on the train, via Paris. Phew, that was a heavy schedule and we slept for England once we arrived home!
When I look back on this trip I smile whilst fondly remembering the evenings we spent sipping Limoncello on our hotel terrace overlooking Venice’s Grand Canal. Simply enchanting.
I remained on European terrain for my September 2014 assignment, and what a trip it was! The first destination was Athens to meet my group for their pre-cruise stay at Electra Palace, a five-star hotel situated in the city centre. My favourite thing about this hotel was the rooftop restaurant – from here, we could see the most magnificent views of the Acropolis.
The cruise finished in Venice where I was ready and waiting to escort my group to Lake Garda. En route, a guided tour of the romantic city of Verona was included. The open-air opera house and Juliet’s balcony had been on my ‘to do’ list for some time and here I was. Granted, not with the love of my life to soak up the romance, but I was more than happy to share it with my 45 lovely guests.
As for Lake Garda, it was also my first visit here and I was all set to see a lake. I was overwhelmed by the size of this gorgeous stretch of water, which definitely feels more like being by the sea. Our hotel was in the small tourist resort of Sirmione, a picture-postcard miniature town with seemingly more ice cream shops than the whole of Northern Italy put together, and surrounded by ancient castle walls. I had three whole days to soak it all in myself while the guests enjoyed their time there.
[to be continued…]
Check back next Friday for the next part of Gillian’s Diary Of A Tour Ambassador series
Hailing from sleepy Northumberland, Gillian Lowes realised her passion for travel at a young age and always dreamt of glamourous worldwide adventures. Having worked in a variety of travel roles over the years – including as a Front Office and Operations Manager aboard a cruise ship – Gill became an ROL Tour Ambassador back in 2013. At the last count, Gill has visited over 70 countries!