Traveller Story: Kathleen's Christmas Alpine Adventure
What tour did you travel on?
An Alpine Christmas 2019
When did you travel?
12 December, 2019
Why did you select this particular tour?
I remember from my childhood the Christmas cards that we use to receive all depicting these beautiful winter scenes. Ever since, it has been a dream to one day experience a White Christmas. I chose this particular tour as it was mainly through the alpine region of Switzerland and I thought I would be guaranteed of seeing snow. It certainly didn't disappoint.
Who did you travel with?
My husband, Philip. By the end of the tour though it was with a whole group of new friends.
Have you travelled with us previously?
This was our first tour with Albatross. If we decide to do any more tours of Europe, Albatross will be our fist choice.
What was your favourite place/s on your Albatross tour?
Milan, Aosta, Chamonix, Geneva, Veveuy (Charlie Chaplin Museum), Montreaux, Bern, Grimdelwald - the list goes on and on. It is too hard to narrow my favourite place down to one or even two or three. Klosters was special as we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day there and with snow falling it was magical.
What was the most amazing thing you saw or did on your Albatross tour?
Again it would be too long to list all of them but Snow Shoeing on Christmas day and the horse drawn carriage ride Christmas Eve were special. Riding the cog trains to Jungfraujock and Gornergrat and seeing the Matterhorn were also pretty amazing. The ride on the Glacier Express was also a great experience. Just seeing so many places I had only ever read about was very special. Living my whole life in Queensland, I have never seen very much snow, so seeing so much snow everywhere and seeing it falling so heavily was also special.
Tell us about your most memorable moment on tour?
Waking up on the first morning of the tour and looking out our hotel window in Milan and seeing it snowing was the first of many, many memorable moments. From then on, we knew it was going to be an exceptional tour. Visiting the Christmas Markets in Montreaux, eating roasted Chestnuts, drinking mulled wine and taking in all the sights and sounds of Christmas was something I had only ever dreamed about before. Having coffee in Thun in a little coffee shop/bakery and meeting and chatting with a local lady who then walked us back to our meeting point whilst giving us a personalised guided tour on the way was also a memorable moment that will stay with us for a long time.
What was your favourite meal on tour?
All our meals were good but the two exceptional meals were:- In Chamonix on our 'free' day we went to dinner with two of our new friends to a little seafood restaurant. The staff were friendly, service and price were good and the food was some of the best I have ever eaten. Second, was Christmas dinner at our hotel in Klosters. The main course being 'Pink grilled beef fillet'. Now I like my steak on the well-done side of medium and when they placed the plate in front of me and the meat was on the redder side of pink I wondered how I was going to eat it or should I send it back to be cooked a bit more. I decide to just eat it and I am glad I did as it was beautiful (and no blood running from at as I expected from my first look at it).
What advice do you have for anyone interested in travelling on this tour?
You need to be reasonably fit as there is quite a bit of walking, although the walking is not difficult. As with any tour, go with an open mind to new sights and experiences. Don't hesitate in booking!
Would you recommend this tour to family and friends?
Most definitely. The tour was well organised. It was great having two and three night stops in most of the towns where we stayed. We particularly like how, when we arrived at a destination (whether it was overnight or just for a few hours), our tour director took us for a walk, usually about 3o minutes to point our things to see and do and coffee shops etc. He would then leave us to do whatever we wanted whether it be having a coffee or something to eat or wandering. The bus driver was very good - we felt safe with him especially on some of the rather narrow and very windy roads which were at times covered in snow/ice. The tour director was outstanding. He always had time to answer questions, was keen to make recommendations for our 'My time' and even sometimes came with us to make sure we got to where we were going, Being Italian, he was very knowledgeable on the areas where we were travelling.
Have you travelled with Albatross Tours previously?
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