Friday, 3 January 2014

Tourist in My Own Town?

Went to pick up a prescription the other day; and, as I came out of the Health Centre carrying my white paper bag with the big green cross on, a double decker bus drove right past. It was a tourist bus - maybe you've seen them? A Hop On Hop Off guided tour of the city. They're still pretty new round town: tourists, actually, are pretty new round town, for a long time we weren't on the radar. Sometime this year I plan to take a ride myself.

Sian Fair Tourist in my Own Town

I've been on tourist buses in other cities - Rome, Helsinki, Oxford, London. You sit on that top deck and admire the landmarks and listen to what the guide has to say; but you also get to look at the locals going about their everyday business. So I couldn't help wondering what those tourists on that top deck were looking at as they passed me.


Maybe they were looking at the lovely Victorian red brick terrace across the road, and the old school, or maybe they saw a small redhead wearing a green parka and carrying a pharmacy bag. Maybe they caught sight of the rows of cars double parked outside the doctors and thought - it isn't any easier to get parked here than it is at home. Maybe they looked at the little row of shops and said - this is student land. We're going to see the university in a minute and I bet that pizza place does good business. Maybe they noticed the hordes of school kids in their blazers and thought - they like uniforms round here. And maybe, as they drove further up the road, they took photos of the green trees lining the pavements and the wide open avenues and they thought - this isn't what I imagined I'd see here.

And maybe it's because it was just before the new start of the New Year, but the whole idea of looking at a familiar place with fresh eyes made me want to come home and make a page about it. So I did and here it is. Some day this year I'll make it onto that bus and maybe there'll be another page in that too. How about you? ever been a tourist in your own town?

36 comments:

Jo said...

I used to be a tour manager on coaches so I've done a fair few tours but have only ever been on a tourist bus once and that was around Stratford and it was to learn everything I needed to know to do a tour for a group of passengers the following week :)

Linda said...

Love the idea of tourist in my own town! I made a mini book once for my Spanish teacher when she moved away, which included all the local landmarks. I should make one for myself:)

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Interesting post. We don't get many tourist here in my town, but Shaftesbury (5 miles away) is a bit of a hot spot for them. When I lived in Devon that was a very different story!

Ruth said...

You should absolutely do the tour! Auntie and I did (in the rain) and we loved it. The guide (only a young man) was very funny.

Nathalie said...

Lots and lots of tourists in my town and I have been to many places where they go... haven't done the bus thing though ;) I love how you put yourself in the passengers' shoes to look about your surroundings, what a great exercise! I am also a fan of your three point design, it is very you I must say :D

Mad about Craft said...

Last summer I did a bit of 'touristing' in my town as there were things I hadn't seen in the 20 years I have lived here.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

I love the challenge of seeing your own town through the eyes of a tourist. It's always fun when we have visitors to think up things that would be of interest to them, although most common to us. If Phoenix (Arizona) had a tour bus, I'd take it after reading this post. And I hope you will actually ride that tour bus and tell us all about it someday.

Sandra said...

Maybe you're in on of the tourists photo and you'll be on one of their scrapbooking pages soon :)

We used to have tourist days .... And go into London and do a tourist attraction. Maybe we'll revisit that again this year

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Sian,

This post really made me stop and think. We get tourists here from around the world but we don't have a double decker bus to take them around in. What an interesting way to think about your town.

I have played tourist in Santa Fe more so than in my own little town. It's always fun.

Your page is great.

Peace,
Kay

Cheri said...

My town is so small there are no tourist busses going through here. But if you want to come visit, I'll be sure to show you the covered bridges, the walking path, some of the beautiful old farms... all places I visit and photograph frequently!

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

You are so right! I lived in Washington, DC for several years but rarely took the time to see the sights. Fortunately we've been back to DC for both business and pleasure over the years and have been able to see much of what I missed the first time around.

As for the here and now, I'll have to think about touristing in my suburban environment as it doesn't have that "destination" appeal.

alexa said...

Such a pretty page ... I like your photo mat especially. Living in a town where other people come on holiday most of the year does keep me looking at it through it fresh eyes. I never tire of it! Good to be reminded how rewarding this is to do.

scrappyjacky said...

I live in a town that gets a lot of visitors....tourists and foreign language students from all round the world.....I'd never really thought of looking at the town through their eyes....I think I should try it.
Love your page....and your thoughts.

Jennie Hart said...

Great page :)

I live in a tourist spot and I remember as a paper girl in the late eighties seeing the new registration cars at the beginning of august (and wondering why we still had an old jalopy :-) ) and seeing tourists out and about early and wondering where they were from and wishing I were brave enough to ask them.
Each year I try and do a tourist day where we stroll through with the tourists, eavesdropping and smiling a secret smile when they mispronounce place names etc. We also try and do a touristy thing, the aquarium, museum and this year the evening coastal cruise I blogged about a while ago.
So definitely get on the bus when you can.

S said...

No I haven't where I am living now. But I have often thought I want to go spend a few days in St. Louis and just be a tourist there though.

Sandie said...

No tourist bus for where I live Sian, we are lucky to see a bus that runs hourly through the village. I did take one of these buses in Barcelona though. A great way to explore a new city and even though you are familiar with your own area I'm sure you will enjoy the new perspective. Enjoy the ride when you take it.

Maria Ontiveros said...

I don't think it could beat the Black Cab tour we took together!
A hop on- hop off bus goes right by my office. I hear the tour guide every so often but can't quite make out what he is saying.
Rinda

helena said...

I love to eavesdrop on tourist comments as they so often see the city in a different way.

Barbara Eads said...

I love this post and can totally relate. I'm that person sitting on top of the double-decker bus imagining what is going on in the life of that little red-head with the pharmacy bag. Of course, first, I'd be impressed with the bag itself. These little things we take for granted in our own world, somehow take a fascinating twist of the ordinary while traveling. I love observing how other people live and go about their daily lives. That's just another reason I love those buses!

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

With the German kids last year we´ve been to some places we hadn´t been before and rediscovered our neighbourhood through their eyes. :D
Have a wonderfully adventurous year with lots of photo ops!

Ginger said...

We have an old streetcar that goes across the river to one of the more "hip" areas in town and each year I say I will hop on ot and never do! This might be the year 😉

debs14 said...

It must be lovely to live in a town where there is so much of interest that you have a tourist bus. It wouldn't be much of a tour where I live - although it's a very old town, there's little of public interest!
You know that now you have mentioned it, you DO have to take that trip and photograph it for us to see!

Beverly said...

I do like to play tourist at home. I had several meme ideas for 2014 in mind in the fall but they had cobwebs on them. As soon as I saw your blog title I remembered one was pretty spot on to this :)

Missus Wookie said...

I like your thinking and your page. As for being a tourist? Oh yes - but then I love having a good wander. I like doing the tour guide bit too of my adopted city.

Karen said...

A happy new year to you Sian. I have been on a tourist bus ride around my local town a long time ago and now am quite taken with the idea of doing it again.

Michelle lovesallsorts said...

Great post

Hettie said...

No tourist bus in Abergavenny but one summer I did spend a week or so of lunchbreaks going round the town just looking up at the architecture and walking round the castle. Must make a mini album. Our Cattle Market closed after 180 years in December so I spent some lunchbreak getting photos of that too.
Thanks for the reminder.
Hettie
x

Karen said...

I don't believe there's a tour of Rochester per se, but the Landmark Society does wonderful tours---and I've never been on one of them. Now I'm going to investigate and find out what is available to tourists here--there's actually quite a lot to see. I just don't know whether any of it's been organized into a tour. You always seem to come up with the most interesting ideas, that prompt a good deal of thought!

Becky said...

No tourist bus here, we are far too small! However Penny and I did do a 'tour' of our local park which is a memorial park to those who served and there were many interesting things to see and we had to research a couple of things when we got home, such as the nurses house. Love your layout and hope you get to rise that bus!

Melissa said...

What a lovely page & I like that you took that spark of inspiration & thought and made a page right away. There are several things I'd like to do as a tourist here in our home town - maybe this will be the year for me, too.

Louise said...

A very pretty page with all those little elements. There's no tour bus anywhere near here...yet we did go on one last year in Liverpool. It poured with rain 5 min after stepping on the bus so we had to move downstairs :( pick a fine day for your tour won't you xx

Chipper Newman said...

I love being a tourist in my own town. You always learn something new and see things with a new perspective. I especially like walking tours with a guide who knows their history. As a kid I read something in a book that made me want to learn more about my own town. It was something along the lines of "When you visit a place for two weeks you see almost all of it, visit for 6 months and you will see large parts of it, live there and you will miss most of it". I think you might just enjoy a tourist view of your hometown :)

Chantal Vandenberg said...

Gorgeous layout!

Miriam said...

I also live in a town heavily populated by tourists all year round. I keep meaning to take a walking tour, I think that would be interesting. I have been on the open topped bus, nearly got my head chopped off! we sat downstairs on the way back. This is such a good idea, maybe it might appear on Rinda's scavenger hunt this year?

Alison said...

You couldn't get a bus THROUGH our tiny village, but the local area attracts lots of tourists....I would actually love for someone to take me on a tour of our valley..there are so many places I haven't seen!
Alison xx

Gail said...

What a delightful layout! I haven't been a tourist in the town we live in but when I lived in Toronto I used to be a tourist there whenever we had friends or relatives from out of town, especially our American relatives. It's kind of neat seeing some of the places we'd go to as I'd never have gone there otherwise.

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