Andy & Bev Fraser's Travel World

26 years of discovering our world


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Being a tour operator for a quarter century has been 'interesting'.
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Andy & Bev's Blog


“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” ~ James Michener
Monet's Garden, Normandy
How to sum up 25 years as a tour operator?...haven’t a clue.

It was Scotland that got Andy into this. His love of the place and his wanting to share in a physical sense rather than by words and pictures triggered the idea.

Since then (and on the very first flight an engine died on the 747 and we lost a day) we’ve wandered the streets, the back lanes and the highways of most of the countries of Western Europe, all countries of the U.K., the Channel Islands, parts of Canada, Morocco, Turkey, Croatia and the Balkans. Never would have believed it would happen and never suspected there would be so much joy in discovering all those places and all those people.

Florence, Italy
A few personal memories...

Having a birthday lunch at Rick’s Café in Casablanca...the obvious awareness and delight of realizing that there really were windmills and tulips and lots of water in the Netherlands...sitting on the balcony of our hotel in Nice overlooking the Med, drinking wine and just soaking up that view...the heart grabbing moment when we came out of a street and there we were looking up to the right along the Champs Elysees with the Arc de Triomphe at the end and down to the left was the Louvre and in front of us the Seine...wandering anywhere and everywhere in Paris...enjoying the tiny villages, thatched cottages and half timbered homes of so many English villages...taking in theatre productions at the Abbey theatre in Dublin, the west end in London, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford...choking up at every opening and closing of the Edinburgh Tattoo (25 years worth) when the pipers march on to the esplanade from the Castle and as they leave with “The Black Bear” marching down the Royal Mile.

And while speaking of choking up, it happens every single time we walk along the endless rows of headstones of all the young men in all the war cemeteries of France. “They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old...”...watching kids play on the Normandy landing beaches and realizing that this is the ideal memorial...staring in the windows with drool-like awe at the baked goods in the patisseries in France...Having Fish and Chips in Mallaig and in Glastonbury...remembering a buffet dinner at our Lisbon hotel where the staff gave us a tour of the hugely extensive buffet layout..and all the hugging that went on in the same dining room after Ken had handed out his ‘free hugs’ card. Waiters hugging us and each other, us hugging other guests, kitchen staff coming out for their hugs - one of those magic moments that just happens once in a rare long time.

The casual acceptance by Romans that their ancient ruins and monuments live cheek by jowl with today’s modern world...huge bicycle parking lots in Amsterdam...walking through Sherwood Forest and discovering a class of school kids lurking behind all the mighty oaks, all armed with bows and suction tipped arrows waiting for unwary tourists...enjoying the pure escapism of the Welsh banquets at Ruthin Castle and realizing that the Welsh really can sing...driving and walking through Dingle in Ireland, one of the truly magical corners of the world...the strange feeling of smallness while being confronted by the stunning 20,000 year old cave paintings in the Dorgogne...realizing that ancient Romans or Greeks had a lifestyle much the same as ours, except maybe they were a bit more sophisticated.

The market in Marrakech, a world of snake charmers, fortune tellers, drummers from Senegal, water sellers and the fascinating, wonderful medieval market itself...the haunting call to prayer of the muezzin from the mosques just before dawn...the shock of discovering Turkey with it’s endless ability to enchant and surprise...the smell of the spice bazaar...the mind boggling shock at being told we were on the ancient spice road which was just down the road from where Homer was born...

It goes on and on and on...all the friends we have made, both the ones we have taken with us and the ones we discovered.

Someone once asked: “Don’t you get tired of all that travel? Of course we do, but we never tire of the places and the people we discover at the other end.

In the not too distant future we’ll all be able to rest for a long, long time. In the meantime, there’s a world to discover.

Thanks for the memories.

Andy & Bev