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我的加拿大东海岸豪华巴士之旅(II)
My recent Bus Tour to East Coast of Canada (II)

巴士之旅是由导游公司安排行程的一种带团旅行。虽然巴士之旅有可能大大提升你的旅游体验, 但对于想要从容游览著名景点,细细品味艺术博物馆和名胜古迹的游客来说这可能并不是理想之选。Bob Mok的两篇系列文章详细描述了他的加拿大东海岸豪华巴士之旅。读者如欲参照前文,请点击www.096.ca/news/652529
 
Bus tours are guided tours with the itineraries being dictated by a tour guide. While taking bus tours might be a great way to enrich your travel experiences, it might not be an ideal choice for those who want spend enough time on major attractions and appreciate the details of art museums and historical sites. Bob Mok takes you on a luxury bus tour to visit East Coast of Canada in his two article series. For the earlier article, please click on www.096.ca/news/652529.
 
 
我在最近再度参加这种旅行团,也让我得以有机会比较此次行程与我15年前参加的那次“巴士之旅”的不同之处。
 
My recent experiences on taking one of these tours again after a 15 year absence allow me to compare the changes that took place between them.
 
 
为了迎合旅游业界以及其所招揽的华裔客户,目前旅行团的大部分就餐点都定在中式自助餐厅。由于许多旅行社共同分享非常有限的资源,这些餐厅也因此人满为患。我曾将旅行社的收费与餐厅的菜单价格进行比较,最终没有发现任何证据显示旅行社向我们加价收取高额餐费。但他们是否会因为给这些餐厅带来稳定客源而得到某种回扣就不得而知了。旅游市场的竞争非常激烈,旅行社的利润通常都很低。
 
Most meal stops are now at Chinese buffet restaurants catered to the industry and the Chinese clients they carried. Such limited resources are shared by many touring companies, straining their capacities. I compared the prices charged by the Touring Company against those listed at the restaurants. There is no evidence that the Touring Company is adding significant charges to these meals to us but whether they received any kind of refund for bringing in the steady business to these restaurants cannot be proven.  Touring business is a very competitive one and profit margins are low.
 
 
在此次行程中,无论是酒店还是汽车旅馆都随处可见为游客提供说明和指引方向的中文指示牌。而其中许多说明都涉及“浪费粮食”和“卫生间清洁”问题。我怀疑这些指示牌是专门针对来自某个国家,比如中国的游客所带的一些屡教不改的“恶习”而设。

On this tour, Chinese signs are posted everywhere in Hotel and Motels, to provide tourists with instructions and directions. Many of these instructions are related to “food wastage” and “washroom cleanliness”. I suspect that they are posted in reaction to poor experiences from dealing with some of the “not too welcomed” habits of tourists coming from a certain country, such as China?
 
 
由于旅行团的景点停留时间通常为一小时,游客根本来不及细细游览观赏。在参观渥太华国会大厦时,因为需要半天时间才能通过安检并排队进入建筑内,旅行社的限时只够游客在国会大厦的外部庭院走马观花,以及在大厦前拍照留念。

Typical one-hour attraction stops deny the tourists an opportunity to enjoy the location in detail. When visiting the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, it would have taken half a day to just go through security checks and the line-up to get inside the building. The schedule limits it to a walk on the outside grounds and just a photo-opt in front.
 
 
另一个需要花费更长游览时间并且必须把握好观赏时机的景观是圣约翰河的逆流瀑布。在海潮高涨时圣约翰河每天会出现两次海水逆流的自然奇观,而涨潮高峰时段是可以预测的,因此只要仔细安排好适当的旅游时间就可以目睹到这一奇观。但是,我们去的时间并不凑巧,并且只在那里停留了很短时间。后来,我只能在晚上呆在酒店房间里观看You-tube上的逆流瀑布延时摄影视频以弥补错失良机的遗憾。

Another attraction that can use a longer visiting span and proper timing will be the “Reversing Falls” in the St John River. This river experiences a reverse flow from the ocean twice a day at the high tides and their peak times can be predicted. It would have been prudent to arrange the tour at the right time to witness this spectacle.   However, we arrived at an inopportune time and stayed only for a short while.  I can only compensate for this lost experience with watching a time lapsed sequence of the event from You-tube later on in the evening in my Hotel Room.
 
 
 
此外,并非所有景点的门票都包括在团费内,有些不知名的景点会包含在内,而著名景点却不在其中。导游会千方百计说服所有团员报名参观所有著名景点,比如在推荐观鲸船之旅时,其就称如果游客选择跳过这一景点,在附近根本就找不到栖息之所,也没有其他活动可以参加。但是,与其危言耸听之语相反的是,没有参加观鲸船之旅的半数团员不仅在岸上设法找到一个美味的餐厅吃了午餐,还徒步旅行了一个小镇。
 
Not all attractions are covered by the fees. Minor attractions are paid but major one are not. The Tour Guide tries his best to get everyone to sign up for every major attraction. For the whale watching boat tour, he advised that there will be no shelter or activities nearby if tourists choose to skip it. However, contrary to his gloomy projections, half of the group did not sign up for the tour but managed to find a nice restaurant for lunch and make a walking tour of the small town while staying on shore.
 
 
“豪华巴士之旅”让我们得以有机会以快速而有效的方式“匆匆一游”许多城市及其景点。跟团前往大城市旅行无需自己进行筹划,也不用操心行车和泊车问题。但是对于我们当中那些对艺术景点、历史景点以及博物馆兴趣浓厚的游客来说,这并不是理想的旅行方式。我们希望从容游览这些名胜古迹,而不是像“蜻蜓点水”般“匆匆一游”。这种跟团游只能作为未来深度游的先导之旅。

“Luxurious Coach Tours” give us a chance to “sample” a number of cities and their attractions in a quick and efficient manner. It can dispense with all the planning, driving, and parking hustles associated with touring the big cities. It is not practical for those of us who are interested in Art, History, and museums. We want to spend enough time in them and not “sample” them like “Dragonflies touching water”.  Such group tours can only be a precursor to a detailed future visit.
 
 
我钟爱旅行。身临其境亲眼目睹并仔细观察独特景物奇观的感觉和在电视或You-tube上观看纪录片截然不同。正如我从多年前所学习的速读课程中总结出的经验,为了速度你只能牺牲内容细节的理解。旅游与速读如出一辙,如果你没有花足够的时间游览名胜古迹,你就不能细细品味其中韵味,从而也就无法提升旅游体验。

I enjoy travelling. To witness and study particular subjects and phenomenons first hand is very different from watching documentaries on television or You-tube. As I learned from my speed reading course many years ago, you sacrifice comprehension and details for speed. Touring is very similar, if you don't spend enough time on the attractions, you do not get to observe the details and appreciate the experience.
 
 
游客总是分为两种—— 一种只想拍照以示到此一游,另一种则想品味人生中最美妙的旅游体验。你是哪一种?

There will always be two kinds of tourists – those who want just a photo-opt and those who want to savour the best experiences in life. Which one are you?
 
 
 

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