A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Pub

Dear Traveller,

Among the most popular tours which our company, Mikro Tours, conducts around London, is ‘Olde Pubs and Ale Houses’, and as you can imagine any tour that involves drink can throw up some humorous incidents!

Firstly, it should be stressed that the trip is not supposed to be a ‘bar hop’, but rather a tour around some of the capital’s most historic drinking establishments, where a drink can be enjoyed alongside the numerous tales which anecdotes.

And although for the most part our clients are content to soak up the history along with a few drinks, occasionally the soaking takes priority with comical consequences.

On one memorable evening we had on board an interesting mix-Two retired university professors, who were keen on writing copious historical notes on each inn we visited, and a party of six thirsty twenty-something Danes, who were more interested in the practical than the theory!

As a tour guide it made for an interesting evening. On the one hand you were expected to give scholarly dissertations to the academics as they sipped on a lemonade and lime, while at the same time making sure the Vikings’ did not end up sacking London once again.

Well, my guiding lecturers always stressed that as guides, we required both diplomatic and juggling skills!

Until next time,

Michael Gerrard, Mikro Tours

Mikro Tours takes small groups of individually minded travellers into the parts of London the big tour operators don’t reach. We also personalize tours for people wanting alternative touring experiences in England, i.e. as part of conferences and events. Why not plan your tour with us – soon. Visit our website www.mikrotours.com, email us at info@mikrotours.com, or call +44(0)20 8959 9696.

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New York Giants Fans Touchdown in London

Dear Traveller,

This week the New York Giants American football team won the Super Bowl following a great victory over the New England Patriots, and at Mikro Tours we felt a part of it.

How does a London tour company have any connection to American football? Well, four months ago we hosted a party of 60 keen Giants fans who came over for a historic match-up between their team and the Miami Dolphins at newly-rebuilt Wembley Stadium.

This was the first time a regular-season NFL game had been played outside North America, but the teams and their fans joyfully transplanted themselves and their customs to a rain-soaked London that October weekend.

And this is how Mikro Tours came to host the Giants Roadcrew, a group of dedicated Giants fans who travel everywhere to see their heroes.

This was a tour with a difference, for we were handling a large, not a small group of visitors, and besides putting on a full-day site-seeing trip around London we had to organise a tailgate party for the day of the match.

These are a part of gridiron football tradition, where families and friends gather in stadium car parks to enjoy a beer and a barbecue before a match.

We were able to put on a pulsating pre-match party, complete with DJ, not in Wembley Stadium’s car park but at a very nice hotel nearby.

It laid on a menu a traditional US fayre: burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, pizza, waffles, beer etc.

As it was the Giants defeated the Dolphins in London part of the team’s march to last weekend’s victory, and I enjoyed the most unusual and enjoyable assignment in Mikro Tour’s history.

Until next time,

Michael Gerrard, Mikro Tours

Mikro Tours takes small groups of individually minded travellers into the parts of London the big tour operators don’t reach. We also personalize tours for people wanting alternative touring experiences in England, i.e. as part of conferences and events. Why not plan your tour with us – soon. Visit our website www.mikrotours.com, email us at info@mikrotours.com, or call +44(0)20 8959 9696.

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Beatles’ London- Abbey Road, a place of pilgrimage

Dear Traveller,

Beyond the palaces and Cathedrals, Mikro Tours also takes its clients to less orthodox monuments, such as a road crossing in North West London.

But one look at the surrounding street signs gives a clue to its magnetism- Abbey Road, the name known worldwide from the Beatles’ 1969 album.

And with it the iconic image of that album’s front cover- ‘The Fab Four’ striding in-step over the crossing situated outside the EMI recording studios where so much of their material was recorded.

Little could they have realised that, that shot taken from a ten-minute photo shoot in August 1969, would lead to the zebra crossing becoming a place of pilgrimage for their fans.

For be in no doubt, to some Beatles followers a visit to Abbey Road is viewed with the reverence others reserve for Westminster Abbey and other places of worship.

As one who has conducted rock and roll tours for several years, I well remember the occasion when one of my clients- a big, bearded, middle-aged, American shed tears of joy on reaching this asphalt temple.

“I’ve dreamt of this moment since I was ten years old!”. He exclaimed, before nearly falling on his knees in front of a less than amused van driver anxious to shift his transit northwards.

He was one of thousands of day-trippers that are keen to retrace their heroes’ footsteps again and again and again, making sure that camera shot is just right!

In fact their antics get a worldwide audience, thanks to a web camera positioned nearby which broadcasts live coverage over Abbey Road Studios’ official website.

The Abbey Road zebra crossing is an unorthodox monument to be sure, but it is an iconic 2oth Century cultural symbol in London.

Until next time,

Michael Gerrard- Mikro Tours

Mikro Tours takes small groups of individually minded travellers into the parts of London the big tour operators don’t reach. We also personalize tours for people wanting alternative touring experiences in England, i.e. as part of conferences and events. Why not plan your tour with us – soon. Visit our website www.mikrotours.com, email us at info@mikrotours.com, or call +44(0)20 8959 9696.

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London, a winter Wonderland

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the second of my blogs extolling the virtues of this fine city, mixed with practical advice and tales gathered during years running personalized sight-seeing tours here with Mikro Tours.

If it has long been your wish to visit London, then why not come now and enjoy it before the summer hordes arrive?

Sure the temperature might be somewhat cooler than in the height of summer or even during the Easter break (Though this being England I would not bet on it!), but the places you’ll want to see will be more accessible, and you won’t have to spend hours waiting on line.

Take for instance that staple of the London tourist itinerary- The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, when the Queen’s soldiers parade outside her residence in all their finery, complete with red tunic and Busby fur helmets and military bands

I well remember one of my American clients commenting that her ‘New York’ elbows came in useful for gaining a good view of the ceremony during busy times.

You will find that later in the year this event attracts crowds of thousands, making it harder to get a front row seat for this ancient ritual. Whereas, at this early time of year you can enjoy this and other popular attractions, such as Westminster Abbey largely at your leisure.

In addition, London in winter will present the chance of seeing the city as it is often portrayed by Hollywood i.e., tinged by fog and mist, though finding Sherlock Holmes might prove more difficult!

Until next time,

Michael Gerrard, Mikro Tours

Mikro Tours takes small groups of individually minded travellers into the parts of London the big tour operators don’t reach. We also personalize tours for people wanting alternative touring experiences in England, i.e. as part of conferences and events. Why not plan your tour with us – soon. Visit our website www.mikrotours.com, email us at info@mikrotours.com, or call +44(0)20 8959 9696.

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Smaller Groups See More with Personalized Touring

Dear Reader,

Thanks for looking at our blog which we hope will provide an entertaining and informative read about the adventures of our tour guiding company Mikro Tours and what London has to offer the visitor.

This capital city is our passion, and through our tours and this blog we aim to give you a Londoner’s prospective on life in this, one of the world’s most exciting destinations. We provide personalized tours of London and surrounding areas to small groups of independent-minded travellers, using luxury air-conditioned minibus. If you hate to be treated as coach-fodder then you will enjoy our approach.

Over the years we have been very fortunate to have worked with thousands of visitors from across the world.

Travellers from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have traditionally form the bulk of our clientele, but given the worldwide use of English, we have also over the years welcomed a diverse mix of nationalities- everything from Japanese doctors and Romanian plumbing suppliers to scores of Scandinavian keen to re-enact Viking-style celebrations at our historic pubs!

Sure we’ll show you all the usual sights that visitors flock to- Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London etc…, but we also aim to show areas of the town that the big tour-buses seldom visit.

These include, for example, the hidden green spaces of the original City of London, and the many picturesque churches built by Sir Christopher Wren there.

Well I hope that gives you a flavour of what we are about. So until next time…

Michael Gerrard, Mikro Tours.

Mikro Tours takes small groups of individually minded travellers into the parts of London the big tour operators don’t reach. We also personalize tours for people wanting alternative touring experiences in England, i.e. as part of conferences and events. Why not plan your tour with us – soon. Visit our website www.mikrotours.com, email us at info@mikrotours.com, or call +44(0)20 8959 9696.

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