Get on the bus

Excuse me, that’s “coach.”  We’re ironing out details for next May’s England tour, and I’m reminded that your group’s mode of transportation can make a great deal of difference to how you are perceived and where you fit.

            Our first garden tour in England, Stuart drove a purple coach, hired from some firm that had plastered a Euro Disney ad on the side.  This wasn’t a large coach, seating only about 30 or so, but it didn’t have to be to get attention.  Wherever we went, someone would come up and ask Stuart if he had a brochure on the Euro Disney trip.

            After that, Stuart bought his own small coach, this one white with no advert.  It could hold about 22; two seats on one side of the aisle, one seat on the other.  It was a puzzle to fit all the luggage in the back — and we never had more than 16 people, so that’s a small bags compartment for a coach.

            What’s important to me on a coach tour, is that there are loads of windows and comfortable seats.  An overhead bin for small bags is good, too.  Toilets on board are only for large coaches, and I’m not interested in that.  I’ll be sure find the loo at each stop.

            A friend recently visited Iford Manor in Wiltshire, one of my favorite gardens.  He asked how in the world we got our bus down the little lane.  See, that’s one of the best things about a small coach — you can go places that others can’t. 

            Big buses have their virtues.  I’ve heard that Sue Buckles’s famous England tours for the Northwest Perennial Alliance always used a big bus.  Every person got a window and there was plenty of room for all the plants they bought at nurseries.  Our tours are different — even when it was easy to bring plants back to the U.S., I’d rather spend my evenings in the pub than washing soil off roots.

And large coaches just scream “TOURIST”.  I won’t be on one of those behemoth buses, the kind that have enormous side mirrors that look like insect feelers.  How could you possibly get down a tiny lane or through a small village?  I don’t want to stick out that much.  It suits our touring style to be more modest; we feel comfortable stopping at private gardens and having tea with the owner.  It’s all a matter of what you’re looking for in a tour.

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One Response to “Get on the bus”

  1. Bookmarks about Bus Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by Iver on 2008-09-08 Get on the bus https://passportsandseedpackets.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/get-on-the-bus/ – bookmarked by 5 members […]

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