Andy & Bev Fraser's Travel World

34 years of our "UnTour" Adventures
Andy & Undies (Busted)
Our journeys are as close as we can come to a good old fashioned no rushing, relaxed time with good companions. This is our 35th year of doing it our way. Hope you can join us. Andy & Bev
Bev cooling it in St. Tropez
Fun (mostly) with memories

Going through tour photos (35 years worth) is downright frightening. We didn’t organize, sort, date, or write anything on the back which means there are many, many photos at which we stare blankly trying to figure out not only the location, but also why in the heck did we take some of these.

But there are others which light up the memories and open up many avenues of enjoyable times.

An old photo (circa 1988) of me…

...Staring stupidly at a line up underwear hanging on the front of an early 19th century fireplace while a mob of people are all sitting around and laughing.

The underwear were mine. I always made sure when we got to Torridon House, way up in the NorthWest Highlands, I would rush in with a bag of underwear, socks and other assorted things before everyone was settled . The head housekeeper, a tiny midge like creature with a head of hair that had the appearance of the aftermath of an explosive device had agreed a few visits back to sneak my laundry in with the hotel stuff. But unbeknownst to me, our driver had figured out what I was up to and on this trip he managed to get to the head housekeeper with a plot to hang my smalls in front of the fireplace.

Everyone was in on the game. Everyone but the guide. After dinner, our driver took me out for a short stroll. When we returned we headed for the lounge to find all our group sitting around the fireplace and all somewhat giggly. Bill, our kindly driver, pushed me through to the fireplace and there was evidence of my trying to jump to the head of the laundry line. Mind you, it only happened once.

Bill, despite this one terrible act, was a gem. An older man who owned his own little coach company out of Dundee, drove our tours for about three years until he retired. I still miss him and his gentle, if somewhat devious nature.

Another photo...

...This one of Bev with a big sunhat standing on a beach in St. Tropezcooling her feet in the Med. The memories are not of the good life. We had just finished a tour, maybe two, and the two of us were traveling through the South of France setting up what would be the first of many tours to Provence.

Problem is it was July and it was disgustingly hot. Had to do it then because we had other tours in Britain planned in August so this was our only window. Went to hire a car but none available with air conditioning so as we drove from place to place we couldn’t decide if it was better to keep the windows closed and be parboiled or to open them to the hot breezes threatening to melt our brains. This was heat I had never experienced.

Bev, who lived in the Caribbean for a few years does not appreciate the heat of summer, and that is putting it mildly. She does not handle heat with her normal graciousness, which is putting it mildly. She never appreciated the Caribbean climate and to compound matters while living there she had an oven blow up in her face and while it didn’t leave any scaring it did make her skin exceptionaly tender to much sun. In fact on some of our drives, trying to hide from the sun, she would sit with our large road map opened wide over her lap covering he legs and feet while hiding under a huge sun hat.

Night life...

While checking out the city of Orange and neighborhood and its absolutely remarkable 25,000 seat Roman ampitheatre, we would try and get as much traveling done early in the day then grab some cold cuts and salad, and head for the hotel to sit in front of the air conditioning outlets. Couldn’t go out for dinner because nothing happened much before nine or ten p.m. when some semblance of cooling took place. Besides it was still too hot until at least nine or ten.

That ampitheatre, by the way,, is still in use and hosts an annual concert series in the summer evenings. We met one of the opera singers, a young man from the U.S. who, along with many others barnstormed the many venues holding events all summer long.

While there a big international jazz festival was going on but absolutely nothing started before 10 at night.

We loved all the places we checked out but loathed the heat. Needless to say we didn’t schedule any South of France tours in the summer.

Provence and her neighbours are remarkable and we loved every tour. But NOT in the summer. In fact, following our summer of planning, it was a pleasure to fly into rainy and soggy old Britain.

Meanwhile, our photo hunt has re-ignited marvelous memories of great times. Who knows where the next pics or jolts of memory will take us.