"Service could not have been better - by phone, mail and email. Office staff were extremely friendly, helpful and efficient, and went out of their way to assist us.”
MEET OUR 'OTHER' EXPERTS
Here at Andante we talk a great deal about the expert archaeologists who lead our tours. However, we sometimes forget to mention the dedicated and highly-experienced team here at The Old Barn: these are the people who organise, research and meticulously (some might say obsessively!) plan every aspect of your holiday. Many of them are multi-lingual and most have backgrounds in archaeology, languages or travel. Occasionally, we also let them out of the office to manage and research tours – between them, they have been on just about every Andante trip going!
All this ‘in-house’ knowledge is invaluable, of course, when it comes to discussing the fine details of our tours with guests. Our ‘tour administrators’ offer informed, considered advice – they don’t read from a script or churn out stock phrases. When you ring us, you always talk to a real person – someone who knows our trips inside out, and may well have been on the tour themselves…
Below are the best people to talk to if you have any questions.
For ITALY, and especially our holidays to Pompeii:
Clare Tuffin speaks Italian which she read at Exeter University. She has travelled widely within Italy and has also lived and worked in Australia and New Zealand.
“For me, nothing beats Pompeii. I have visited the excavations many times (my first visit was nearly 20 years ago) but even now, every time I stand in the forum with Vesuvius looming ominously in the background, I get a chill down my spine as I imagine what its residents must have endured in AD 79.”
For more information on our: Pompeii tours
For Greece, Egypt and Spain:
Martin Adams studied French and Spanish at the University of Exeter. He has accompanied our Roman Spain, Ancient Argolid and Other Egypt tours and is keen to take on more!
“I challenge anyone to find a more beautiful setting than the glorious Peloponnesian springtime – with wild oregano growing like a weed on the hillsides and the all-pervading smell of oranges on the trees. The highlight of the tour for me was the 6 mile walk along the ancient road to Mycenae. You arrive at the ‘back gate’ to the citadel – away from the crowded main entrance. It felt as though I been had swallowed up into the belly of history itself.”
We have tours running to the Greek Peloponnese see: Walks in the Argolid
The ancient civilisations of Central & South America:
Barnaby Jones - read Latin American Studies at university, lived in Mexico and speaks fluent Spanish. He is widely travelled and has tour managed several Andante holidays, including trips to Mexico. He also organises our holidays to Cyprus and Namibia, and, in 2012, took charge of our Cambridge Alumni Tours.
For Classical Sicily, South Italy or Turkey:
Alex Casey is fluent in Italian, having lived and worked in Italy for several years. She has accompanied over 30 tours as tour manager for Andante.
“South Western Turkey combines stunning coastal scenery with less touristy and accessible places, such as Sagalassos, Antioch in Pisidia and Kibyra (with its Stadium and Odeon). I loved the combination of staying in coastal hotels and venturing into the hinterland of the ‘Turkish Lake District’ where few tourists go, apart from the locals. Beautiful empty sites and the colourful wild flowers dotted around the hillside waving in the warm breeze.”
Click for more information about our South West Turkey tour.
- For all things Scandinavian, Australian and Balkan:
Helen Norstedt-Girling studied European Culture and Tourism at university and speaks fluent Swedish. She has over three years’ experience at Andante and has set up many of our new tours including Australia. Czech Republic: Prague, with its stunning gothic cathedral and omnipresent spires struck me immediately as somewhere I wanted to spend more time. It has a slightly nostalgic, almost haunting atmosphere like no other capital city I have been to. And Cesky Krumlov, with its beautiful historical buildings, is like visiting an open air museum – history infusing every step. Without a doubt one of my favourite countries in the world.”
- Our newly re-established Czech Republic tour departs in June.
And for almost anything else!
Gudrun Schmid is our polyglot! She speaks German, French, Italian and Chinese, and is currently learning Spanish. She has an MA in Chinese Studies & Romance Literature, and another in World Heritage Studies. Gudrun has accompanied over 20 tours for Andante a Tour Manager.
"Sardinia - what an unexpected gem: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans (and Catalans) all have left their mark. But the undisputed highlight is the heritage of the indigenous prehistoric population – the Nuraghi. What an amazing people! And what joy to explore their striking architecture and charming bronzetti (small bronze sculptures). I utterly fell in love with them."
Our first tour to Sardinia in 2013 departs 23rd May, see: Sardinia - Nuragic Warriors and Phoenician Traders
Mary Reynolds has over 20 years’ experience in travel, and manages our team. She has accompanied over 25 tours as tour manager for Andante and has wide experience of all the tours, but particularly Egypt and Tunisia. One of her particular favourites is Egypt - Land of the Pharaohs:
“Egypt has some of the most impressive and oldest ancient monuments in the world, but it is the unexpected that makes this trip so memorable for me: the huge Solar Boat at Giza; the abrupt stop between the desert and the lush green of the Nile when viewed from above; the striking blue on the columns at Medinet Habu; rural life in Middle Egypt carrying on at pace far removed from the bustle of Cairo…”