The meetings started and as usual you quickly get into a flow. These meetings are usually well organised and have some kind of nice add on.There was the reception with the thank you s and nice catching up with all. This meeting had a cool one to go with it. We were offered a bus tour in one of those open top busses through Philadelphia.
So after the Wednesday afternoon meeting we went to the train station and took the train to downtown Philly.What we did not know was that the first carriage was a silence carriage To be honest none of us had noticed any sign to that effect. Needless to say that we got a fair few “Shsssts” and very dirty looks thrown at us. 😉
We re-grouped before the train station. Over 60 had turned up. We quickly boarded the bus as it arrived and I managed to find a good seat on the open top deck. Off we went. Now these tours are always fun and corny at the same time. It tells you about the history and the city’s special things. Our tour guide was cheerful and was more than willing to answer questions. Of course we had a map of where we were to go and I always enjoy reading along with these.
About halfway the bus drove up the hill, atop which the Museum of arts is located. This hill we learned once held the lake which was used for the drinking water supply. Now it has a massive and beautiful museum. From our vantage point I noticed a sign that said Drexel university. As my friend had studied there I made a picture and sent it to her email from my new work phone without any note. This of course led to an email “was that you?” Yes it was 🙂
It was here that we noticed that something was not quite going to plan, as in things turned to custard. The bus alarms went off. As it turns out the engine was overheating and well that is never a good thing. As you can imagine going uphill was a strain but seriously this is standard for a bus like this so we were a little surprised and the organisers a little annoyed.The bus then moved to the other side of the museum and parked itself there. We were ushered out of the bus and were given the opportunity to discover the museum steps and fountain. Which was a nice little walk and with the reasonable weather indeed very nice.
Our stop took about half an hour while the driver was trying to find out what the exact issue was. Well it turned out they had no coolant left in the engine, thus the overheating. Not good when you are at the far end of your tour with over 60 foreigners on the bus. The organisers were so embarrassed. The group, most of us well over 40, slowly changed to a group of elated school children that try to poke fun at a silly situation.
We quickly found out that though it felt like a long way we were in fact only 1.5 km from the station (Google Maps what we do without you) and some of us decided to walk. In the end the bus engine had cooled down enough to limp back to its garage not far from the train station so the rest of us were driven/limped back.
As said we all had turned a little silly with this bus event. One of the main streets there has all international flags to the sides and when we noticed this the Dutchies did the mexican wave for the Dutch flag as we passed underneath. This was followed by a Swedish version. It was hilarious and we fell out of the bus laughing and onto the train. This time taking care not to be in the first carriage.