As we celebrate International Women’s Day in 2018, we remind ourselves of the need to push harder than ever for progress on gender equality. Gate 1 is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and pays homage to the incredible contribution of all our female staff around the world who are valued members of our community.
If you have had the good fortune of joining one of our groups, then you’ll know that our Tour Managers are the real heros and among our impressive team are many remarkable women. They are on call 24/7 and go out of their way to make sure that you have a hassle-free holiday.
Our Tour Managers are also a wealth of local knowledge, so we sat down with two of our much-loved European Tour Managers and got some great travel tips.
Jutta Hinterer: when she isn’t travelling the world, she’s looking after travellers on Gate 1’s European River Cruises.
Q: What’s your favourite season to travel in Germany and Austria?
A: The weather has become unpredictable now and you can have nice summers but hot springs or autumn with three seasons in a day, but the up side of this is there are no better or worse seasons any more. I would rather come in the spring, when the weather might not be perfect but the places you want to visit are not too jam packed yet and you don’t have to encounter temperatures over 30°C, which can be hot for walking tours. Or, if you like colder periods, why not come in early December, when all the Christmas markets are open and give the cities and villages a special flair?
Q: What do you love most about being a Gate 1 Tour Manager?
A: I love the attitude of Gate 1 guests. Even if they are not experienced travellers, they are always open for something new and embrace the challenges of being in a new environment – they might not speak the language or not know their way around, but they are not deterred. It is fun to guide Gate 1 guests as they are curious and eager to get to know places, yet not shy to go out of their comfort zones.
Q: Do you have any tips for someone who’s planning to come to Vienna?
A: Don’t be afraid to use public transportation. It is inexpensive and brings you to all areas of town – Why not take the Bus 38A to Kahlenberg or Leopoldsberg which gives you a great view on the city. Then you can stop in one of the Heurigen, the typical Viennese wine places and enjoy a glass of the local wine and some great food, in some of the places also music accompaniment (the Viennese usually go to the ones without, they are more authentic and less touristy!).
Q: Austria has fantastic local cuisine, what’s the most popular dish?
A: Too many! There’s the famous Wiener Schnitzel which was originally veal but pork is more common nowadays. Then some of the better known include Tafelspitz (boiled beef – one of the favourite dishes of Emperor Francis Joseph), Palatschinken (the Austrian version of pancakes) or Kaiserschmarrn with Zwetschkenröster (cut-up and sugared pancakes with raisins and plum sauce). You should also try breaded fried chicken salad (Backhendlsalat), Überbackene Schinkenfleckerl (backed ham pasta), Stuffed Peppers (Gefüllte Paprika) or Buchteln mit Vanillesauce (warm yeast dumplings with custard). They definitely taste much better than their English translations sound!
Mercedes Medici: her passion for her home country of Italy is infectious and you’ll be inspired to explore beyond the regular tourist sites.
Q: Is there a best time of the year to visit Italy?
A: I love Italy in spring time, it’s a great season here. The temperature is just perfect, not too hot. Yes, we might have some rainy days, but not usually storms. The days are getting longer and milder, so one can make the most of a touring day and then also enjoy a romantic sunset or a stroll after dinner. The travelling day on the bus becomes a feast for the eye, as the countryside is green and blooming. So it’s really La Dolce Vita!
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: Being a Gate 1 Tour Manager puts me in the best position to be a proud ambassador for my country. Our travellers come from everywhere, so I love showing off the best of Italy. Gate 1 has established long-lasting, friendly relationships with local hotels and suppliers, which is so important and benefits our travellers. We have access to the best professional local guides in each city. We don’t wait in line, because every time it’s possible to book we get priority entrances to museums and other venues. And we all love to pamper our travellers.
Q: 2018 has been declared the Year of Italian Food. Can you narrow it down to a favourite dish?
A: The choice is really hard, as we are proud and fanatic about all the different local specialities. But when in Rome, do as the Romans do and you must try Spaghetti Carbonara. It’s pasta with a creamy, yummy seasoning made of crispy bacon, eggs and a lot of black pepper, topped with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. You might have eaten it at home, but I can assure you it will never taste the same after trying it here. Buon Appetito!
Thinking of travelling to Europe? On our website you’ll find an incredible selection of tours, river cruises and independent packages that will help you to see more of Europe for less!