The First Time I …

This month the contributions from everyone were excellent. It was difficult to choose a couple to put on the blog.

First of all we have Alan Lovell’s contribution, which we loved for its humour.

The first time I…went on a holiday with SAGA was quite a traumatic decision. Had we really reached that age where SAGA was right for us? Would it be full of decrepit old people who talked about the second world war all the time? Or is that us? No, of course not, we are still ‘young at heart’ and in attitude, who could possibly level that description at us?

Well, rather sceptically we looked at the brochure and were attracted by a rather fascinating 12 day trip to southern Italy. It included 3 separate hotel locations and a range of excursions to interesting places, some included and some as an optional extra. And the USP (unique selling point) was an included chauffeur pick at both ends of the trip.

We’d never been south of Naples before and this trip included Sicily, another place we hadn’t visited. So we signed up and sent in the deposit and soon afterwards  we encountered the first hints of derision; and guess what, they came from our family.

 ‘Oh SAGA is it? Doesn’t that stand for “ Sex and other Games for the Aged”?   

Well we could but hope I suppose?

The months until the holiday disappeared rather quickly, do you know that feeling? Where had they gone, what had we done with them? And then a snag appeared, the flight time at Gatwick was for 6.40 am (not pm as we had thought) so that meant a pick up at 3.15 am, so not much sleep that night. Oh well!  Its quite surprising how busy Gatwick can be at 5.00am and the queue to get through security seemed endless. I suppose the terrorists have already won really causing all that inconvenience to everybody.

It wasn’t until we reached Naples that we first met with the other 46 ‘old folk’ who had signed up like us. And what an assortment they appeared to be covering an age range, just guessing here, of between late fifties and eighty plus. A few of them very plus.

We followed our guide outside the terminal, no umbrella as he was very tall, and found the coach which was really quite a nice one, just the sort of thing you usually see Germans getting into whilst boarding your own charabanc.

Dinner that night was a bit of a challenge as we all got seated on tables of 8 people. It was pot luck of course and we struck up a lively conversation with one other couple whilst the other four seemed content to concentrate on their food. The next night was a bit different though. After a day which included a few stops and a tour of an ancient village we had talked with some more of our fellow travelers and lo and behold, some of them were quite like us. Funny that!

And so it went on, and by the next night there were eight of us together for dinner and at every night after that. We had some good laughs and conversation and you know what, they didn’t seem old at all, just like us really.

 

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About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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