Thursday, May 31, 2007

Taxi! Take me to Greece

An 89-year-old woman took a £2,000 taxi trip to Greece - because she can't stand waiting in airports.

Kathleen Searles is fascinated with history and Alexander the Great. So, to visit Mieza, where he went to school, she ordered a cab to take her on the three-day journey through France, Germany and the Balkans.

She made the 3,000-mile round trip from her home near Sudbury in Suffolk after persuading friend Wendy Turner, 73, to join her and share the taxi fare. The fare was £2,000 but with food and accommodation the cost was £5,000 when a plane trip would have been £130.

For Mrs Searles it was the trip of a lifetime as she had wanted to see where Alexander had learnt the things that had made him "great" - even though she only spent four hours there.

She said: "I've always been extremely interested in Alexander. I've been to Greece before but never to Aristotle's School at Mieza where he was taught and I thought if I was ever going to do it had better be now. One could have spent a lot longer than four hours there but I have read a lot about it so it was really just checking things out. The whole journey was most delightful. I'd been to London in Julian Delefortrie's nine-seater mini-bus before and it was very comfortable."

On the way back they group made a detour and saw the sights of Belgrade and Munich.

Taxi driver Mr Delefortrie said: "I like driving and it seemed a good idea. The drive through Austria was spectacular."

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