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Tangney Tours Traveller Reviews
Reviews of Tangney Tours
Fantastic pilgrimage to Lourdes. Tour Rep was lovely, very helpful and informative.
Fantastic pilgrimage to Lourdes. Tour Rep was lovely, very helpful and informative.Rating for tour operator:
Pleasant, informative, punctual and a great sense of humour.
OUR FIRST TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND
1 WHY ? The overriding reason for the existence of The Knights of The Equestrian Order of The Holy Sepulchreis to support the Christians who live in the Holy Land.. We do this in three ways; by prayer, by each paying an annual oblation and lastly by going on pilgrimages to show our visible support The population of Israel and Palestine is approximately nine million. 75% are Jews, 23% are Muslims and 2% are Christians, either ...
1 WHY ? The overriding reason for the existence of The Knights of The Equestrian Order of The Holy Sepulchreis to support the Christians who live in the Holy Land.. We do this in three ways; by prayer, by each paying an annual oblation and lastly by going on pilgrimages to show our visible support The population of Israel and Palestine is approximately nine million. 75% are Jews, 23% are Muslims and 2% are Christians, either Latin (our lot), Greek Orthodox or Armenian. These numbers equate to about 400,000 Christians.. Not so long ago, the percentages of Christians and Muslims was reversed, ie 23% Christian and 2% Muslim. Over the years there was been a considerable exodus of Christians to South America. It must be inconceivable that at some time in the future there are no Christians living in the Holy Land. Accordingly those remaining urgently need all the help they can get. We are told that 82% of the budget, (I’m not sure whose, but perhaps that contributed by The Order , is spent on education. 2 THE EQUESTRIAN ORDER OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE It dates from 1103 AD, its purpose to guard the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Franciscans were given custody of Holy Places by the Pope and were granted the right to appoint new knights from amongst christians going to the holy Sepulchre on pilgrimage. the Franciscans are still there. It continued to exist over the centuries and in 1868 the Pope gave the order the specific task of supporting the work for the maintenance and advancement of the Catholic faith in the Holy Land. In 1888 the Pope approved the admission of women as Dames - well in advance of Equal Rights ! The Grand Mastership of the Order was assumed by the Pope, but this was later transferred by him to a nominated cardinal. The Cardinal Grand Master is supported by governing body known as the Grand Magisterium based in Rome. He is also supported by national Lieutenants throughout the world, where there are about 30,000 Knights and Dames in total. In England and Wales there are about 600 and we are divided into eight geographical regions. Our lieutenant is Michael Byrne, a retired judge. He recently commented "I cannot over-stress this, we're not a political organisation at all, but we're operating in a very sensitive political region and there's no doubt there are political moves to encourage the Christian Palestinians to leave and there are various mechanisms used by the Israeli state to do that. Quite often the Christian population, which is now down to less than two per cent, are feeling very beleaguered and isolated so quite apart from the practical needs, a presence of support is very much appreciated." Michael led our pilgrimage. There was a total of 54 of us; 42 knights and Dames, including the Archbishop of Liverpool (a Dominican), a monsignor from Taunton, a Canon, two priests and a deacon. There were also 12 family and friends. We could not have been with a group of nicer or kinder people. We have found this is a constant theme running through every meeting we’ve been to with the Knights and Dames since 2016. Quite exceptional and a good mix of age groups too. The fact that Judy is not a Catholic made absolutely no difference at all and she was delighted that no one tried to convert her ! The application to join the Order is not straightforward. Rather like The Masons, you have to be invited to join. You then have to write a CV and provide baptism, confirmation and marriage certificates. You have to be proposed and seconded and your application is then sent to the Grand Magisterium for consideration. It is a process taking several months and rather to my suprise, my application was accepted. This led to my investiture in Southwark Cathedral in June 2017. 2 THE JOURNEY We flew BA from Terminal Five at Heathrow to Tel Aviv, a flight of just under five hours, leaving at 8.00am. I was suprised to see just how big an airport it is, seemingly about the size of Terminal Five. It was relatively easy to get through passport and security and although our passports were not stamped we were each given a small printout confirming entry for three months but stating that we were not eligible to work in Israel. I managed to have a fall at the baggage carousel, trying to grab both suitcases at once, failing miserably and landing flat on my back ! The transfer to Bethlehem by coach took about an hour. The Coach Our transport was by a brand new 62 seater coach, driven by a top class man who knew its length and width to a very few centimes. Our guide was a Palestinian Christian called Abdu. a delightful man who was with us every step of the way, even at five o’clock in the morning. 3 BETHLEHEM Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie Dream on ! It is a totally un-coordinated concrete jungle, a mixture of high and low rise buildings and appears completely haphazard in layout. We stayed at The Manger Hotel, right in the centre, a building of some nine storeys. Our coach parked at ground floor level at the back of the building and luckily there were two lifts. Reception was on the 7th floor, street level at the front of the building. It’s a four star hotel, well, by Israel standards, but not perhaps by ours. By the time we arrived it was drinks time and the drink of the Knights and Dames is clearly gin and tonic ! Our room was clean and comfortable and dinner was at 7.30pm. A very strange bill of fare, most of which to be honest was totally unappealing. I think we managed on chicken and rice, plus red and white wine. Breakfast was even more unappealing. Some dishes looked like regurgitated left overs from the night before. We had toast and luke warm scrambled eggs or boiled eggs. The coffee, however, was drinkable ! The Grotto of the Nativity Michael advised us that if we wanted to avoid the inevitable crowds we would have to go early and suggested we got up to meet at 5.15am. As always when getting up early, we had an uneasy night in case we overslept. What sleep we did have was interrupted by the Call to Prayers from the synagogue just after 3.00am. This was a mournful wail, broadcast over loudspeakers and seemed to last for half an hour. Eight of us gathered at 5.15am and ventured to The Church of the Nativity. This was only a short walk away. It’s an impressive building . Traditionally the Nativity took place in a stable but in fact the stable was an underground cave. It is approached by either of two flights of steps from the church which lead down to the actual place where the birth took place. This is marked by a fourteen point star. This represents the fourteen generations from Abraham to David, then from David to the Babylonian captivity and after that from the Babylonian captivity to Jesus Christ. It is also believed to represent the fourteen Stations of the Cross. Opposite the star is the manger; the Holy Manger is where the Virgin Mary laid the new born babe. Opposite the manger we see the Holy Altar; this belonged to the three wise men where the three Kings put their presents, the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. The Church of the Nativity above has three churches in one. The main part belongs to the Greek Orthodox, which has the exclusive use of the High Altar. Another part belongs to the Armenians and then we have the Roman Catholic Church which has the very small Chapel of the Manger. It seems a very odd arrangement but that’s how things are. Because of different calendars, we have 24th of December as Christmas for the Catholics, the 7th of January for the Greek Orthodox and 6th of January for the Armenians. While the eight of us were there, a party of some sixty or so Polish people arrived by the other staircase together with their priest. The place was packed and claustrophobic with so many of us. The Polish priest said a mass and I was suprised that no one fainted ! But it was a moving experience in a very special place. Unfortunately he said it in Polish and not Latin. When we got out it was time for breakfast back in the hotel and to join the others who had more of a lie in. We all then went to the Church of Saint Catherine which immediately adjoins the Church of the Nativity. It is from here that Midnight Mass is televised to the world. It was built by the Franciscans in 1882 for the exclusive use of Roman Catholics and was refurbished in 2000. Mass was celebrated by the archbishop, after which we saw a huge queue waiting to go down to the Chapel of the Nativity. Delighted we were, that we got up so early ! I mentioned that the Archbishop was a Dominican. I went to a Dominican school, Blackfriars at Laxton near Stamford which sadly closed in the late sixties. Most of the priests from there seemed to end up at the Dominican House in Manchester and the archbishop knew them all and in fact buried them all. Bizarre ! After a much needed and well deserved beer in Manger Square, we went to a local ” Restaurant” for lunch.Not the sort of place we expected perhaps but adequate. After lunch we went to Shepherds Fields - self explanatory really and in the West Bank of Palestine. There is a very fine Franciscan chapel built only in 1954. It was designed to represent a shepherd’s tent and has some very attractively decorated alcoves. From there, back on the coach to visit The ‘Wall” This was built in 2002 by the Israelis and from their point of view its sole purpose is for it to combat terrorist attacks launched from the West Bank. The Palestinians however consider it racial segregation or an apartheid wall. It is a massive structure built of concrete slabs which must be fifty feet high and topped with barbed wire. At strategic places there are armed watch towers. Along its length abounds graffiti and further down we passed through an Israeli check point. The coach stopped and an armed soldier came on board. Someone shouted England and someone else Liverpool. He immediately relaxed, shook my hand since I was sitting at the front and departed. The Walled Off Hotel. This is owned by the celebrated artist Banksy who opened it in 2017. it is situated right up against the Wall, has only 10 bedrooms and has the worst view of any hotel in the world. As you can expect there are many examples of his work both within the hotel and on the Wall adjoining. He has a museum there which unfortunately we did not have time to look at. Back to the hotel, a large whisky, supper and bed. 5 Sunday 26 May After a very busy first day, Sunday was much easier. We didn’t gather until mid morning and we then transferred by the coach to The Seminary at Beit Jala. Beit Jala is a small town not far from Bethlehem and only 10 kms from Jerusalem. We dressed in our robes, insignia and hats for a mass at 11.00am. This was celebrated by the archbishop and was held in a delightful chapel. Afterwards we had a very good three course lunch, probably our best meal of the pilgrimage, cooked and served by the seminarians. It was quite a squeeze, pressed into their dining room and it was a pity that there was not the space for any of them to sit with us. Following lunch we said five decades of the rosary in a delightful part of the garden there, sheltered by trees. Onwards to a Palestinian covered market selling everything a self respecting pilgrim could possibly want to buy. We purchased some more olive wood sheep for our crib and a gold Jerusalem cross. Then back to the hotel. 6 Monday 27 May After breakfast everyone back on the coach and we transferred to Jerusalem. We were dropped off at a busy coach park and then after a long walk we were in the Upper Room also known as the Cenacle where the Last Supper is reputed to have taken place. It is situated in the southern part of the old city of Jerusalem on Mount Zion. The current structure dates from the XIVth century with attractive Gothic era columns. It has some exceptional stained glass windows From there steps led down to a small chapel where a group sang the Ave Maria - very moving. We then walked back passed the coach park and down a very long slope to the church of St Peter in Gallicantu. At least it seemed a vey long slope to me as I don’t do slopes very well and by the time I got the church I was knackered and had to take time out. John kindly stayed with me while the others went on down to see the underground dungeon when Jesus is reputed to have been kept overnight from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday. The coach then took us as far to The Gloria Hotel as it could get. This is situated within the Old Walled City in the Christian Quarter. where we were to stay for the next two nights. When we heard that our room was in the annexe approached by 28 steps; we declined. Instead they gave us a room on the first floor of the main hotel. Lunch there and then a rest before we went to the Con- Cathedral for the presentation of shells. These are insignia, presented to pilgrimages to recognise and confirm the attendance of their first pilgrimage. There were about twelve of us and the shells were presented individually by an ancillary archbishop of Jerusalem. We are also presented with a scroll by way of confirmation. Unfortunately the whole thing is written in a form of Latin that I cannot understand ! We then celebrated mass in the Con - Cathedral. It dates from 1872 and has some loverly stained glass windows. There was a dinner at the Knights Palace Hotel but we decided that we had walked as far as we could and instead returned direct to the Gloria for the night. 7 Tuesday 28 May - an eventful day ! At 7.00am a group walked the Via Dolorosa. This is a processional route in the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion, known in the Catholic church as The Stations of the Cross. Michael strongly advised me not to attempt it as I would find the walking very difficult. After breakfast the coach took us to the top of the Mount of Olives. From there we had a panoramic view over the whole of Jerusalem. The Mount itself is full of graves/collections of graves. It is the belief of Jews that when the end of the world comes, it will commence there. There is a difficult walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane and again, with my best interests at heart, Michael again advised me that, together with a few others, I should not attempt it, but should go down on the coach and wait for them at the bottom. We met up and went to The Dominus Flevit Church, opposite the old wall of the city. The church was designed and constructed between 1953 and 1955 by the Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi and is held in trust by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. Dominus Flevit translated means Jesus wept, when he was descending the Mount of Olives on Palm Sunday. Looking down on the city, he prophesied Jerusalem’s future destruction. ”Enemies would set up ramparts around you and hem you in on every side … crush you to the ground.. and they will not leave within you one stone upon another because you did not recognise the time of the visitation from God”. Within 40 years, in AD 70, this prophesy was fulfilled when Roman legions besieged Jerusalem and after six months of fighting, burnt the temple and levelled the city. Across the road is The Garden of Gethsemane. This is totally walled and completely private . It had been booked for an hour’s private visit so we had it entirely to ourselves. There are some olive trees reputed to be two thousand years old. I had been asked to deliver a reading, after which there was a shorty homily and we all then had forty minutes for private contemplation and if we wish for confession. I decided to go the archbishop who, I thought let me off with a very minimal penance. The good Lord clearly thought otherwise since when walking back to meet up with the others by the gate, I tripped and fell, gashing my forefinger and damaging my knee, ripping my trousers in the process. I was badly shaken but luckily we had two doctors in our party. They took charge and after giving me a long recovery time they took me to the Franciscan’s office next to the church where I was patched up. The highlight of our pilgrimage was to take place that evening - A Solemn Entry and Mass at The Church of The Holy Sepulchre. On arrival back at the hotel, Michael, in consultation with the two doctors, had decided that I would not be able to walk there and that I would therefore have to miss out. I was not at all happy but as Michael was our Pilgrimage Leader, I had no option but to accept his decision. We had been joined that morning by John Tangley, the owner of Tangley Tours who had arranged our pilgrimage. John is a man of many talents, Mr Fixit being one of them. He rang through to our room after lunch to say that he had arranged with the hotel owner that I would be transported to and from the church on a golf buggy, which was a multi-purpose vehicle, owned by a friend of the owner. So I was able to go after all. There is a large square outside the church and we congregated there. It caused considerable interest from tourists and other pilgrims when we robed up out there and many asked who we were and what we were doing ! At 6.00pm we entered the church and went through a choir of Franciscans in their brown robes. The singing was particularly moving and Abdu was there to help me. We went passed the Holy Sepulchre and after a short ceremony went to a smaller chapel within the church for our mass. Afterwards my buggy and driver was waiting to take me ( with Judy and John sitting in the back) to The Knights Palace Hotel where we all had dinner. I asked John what I should pay the buggy driver and he suggested 150 Shekels which was the difference between me going at all or not. Dinner which was preceded by the customary G & Ts and was an excellent meal including poached salmon. I walked back to the hotel, helped by Sandra, one of our doctors. 8 Wednesday 29 May A few walked The Via Dolorosa again but not too many. After breakfast the pilgrimage split. About 16 of us were returning to London, the remainder going on to Jordon for a further five days. Those of us going home went to mass at the Con- Cathedral again conducted by Monsignor Bernard, a lovely man who was the most excellent preacher throughout our pilgrimage. The coach journey to Tel Aviv took about an hour and we got there three hours before our flight time. John had kindly arranged for Special Assistance for me and after a short wait a wheel chair arrived to take me to the departure gate. A good job too, as it was a vey long way away and my knee was v painful following yesterday’s fall. The flight home was uneventful, BA again, with excellent service and free G and Ts. Well, what else would we have expected !Rating for tour operator:
We were provided with a first class service in every way. Jill in the office kept us fully up to speed as there were some inevitable changes to our itinerary. We were very lucky that John Tangley was with us for the last three days. I had a bad fall and iit was decided that I would be unable to walk to the Church of The Holy Sepulchre which was the highlight of our pilgrimage. John came to he rescue and manage to arrange fro a golf buggy to get me there. The streets are too narrow for a taxi ! He could not have been more helpful. we considered us very fortunate to visit the Holy Land with privately owned tour company whihc catered for our very needs. We will certainly go to the Holy Land again, but only if we go with Tangley Tours !
A unique experience
Good hotel and first rate service - We would use again
Good hotel and first rate service - We would use againRating for tour operator:
Not the best of exeriences
Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi 3 - 10 June. After our experience of the Hotel Olympic for our party in Rome, I would never recommend your Company.. I had never been on a "Budget" holiday, but I have now with you, and this must have been very near the bottom - substandard accommodation, and an evening meal which left a lot to be desired, very much a canteen style of catering. Breakfast resulted with people standing in the corridor eating their ...
Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi 3 - 10 June. After our experience of the Hotel Olympic for our party in Rome, I would never recommend your Company.. I had never been on a "Budget" holiday, but I have now with you, and this must have been very near the bottom - substandard accommodation, and an evening meal which left a lot to be desired, very much a canteen style of catering. Breakfast resulted with people standing in the corridor eating their breakfast on occasions, due to a lack of room, and it was very uncomfortable even for those who found seats. The coach driver, when a request was made to use the facilities on one of the longer journeys, replied it was only available after four hours of travel! I could go on, but I am sure you have already been made aware of the many shortcomings on this trip.Rating for tour operator:
She was helpful, but always in a rush to get us to the next venue (where we so often had to wait to get in!)
Rubbish buses and drivers
Pilgrimage by bus, no toilet paper, can’t dry hands, not enough stops, stops were badly managed in quiet places that weren’t expecting us and weren’t able to cope, no handicapped accommodation on day trip, no air con on return journey, dvd didn’t work on return journey , bus driver got lost on return journey and was put in danger in. Coventry
Pilgrimage by bus, no toilet paper, can’t dry hands, not enough stops, stops were badly managed in quiet places that weren’t expecting us and weren’t able to cope, no handicapped accommodation on day trip, no air con on return journey, dvd didn’t work on return journey , bus driver got lost on return journey and was put in danger in. CoventryRating for tour operator:
Rude drivers that didn’t listen to concerns and an operator that didn’t accommodate for handicapped passengers on day trip and driver on day trip was aggressive toward my son for chewing gum!
Interesting and varied pilgrimage
sadly all available flights are at antisocial hours so one starts the pilgrimage sleep deprived. Manger Square hotel in Bethlehem was comforable albeit slightly dated. Food was good. Gloria also a little daed but felt Historic Food at Knights Palace was good Location was excellent. Rossary sisters convent quiet relaxing location. Food was wholesome and plentiful with good choice. Major Congratulations to John Tangney for organising ...
sadly all available flights are at antisocial hours so one starts the pilgrimage sleep deprived. Manger Square hotel in Bethlehem was comforable albeit slightly dated. Food was good. Gloria also a little daed but felt Historic Food at Knights Palace was good Location was excellent. Rossary sisters convent quiet relaxing location. Food was wholesome and plentiful with good choice. Major Congratulations to John Tangney for organising transport for wounded Knight, and Sister Alexandra for her invaluable nursing assistance. Varied and interesting program and Ramsey was excellent amusing guideRating for tour operator:
effiecient personalised service
Holy Land in May 2019
we stayed in two Hotels. (1) Legacy Hotel Nazareth: buffet was plentiful and good choices available, the rooms were comfortable (2) Manger Square Hotel Bethlehem, Food was good & plentiful though no choice of bread, the reception staff were very helpful, However the two lifts sometimes could not cope with the number of guests, sometimes we gave waiting and used the stairs.. It would have been better if the tour has used a hotel in Jerusalem ...
we stayed in two Hotels. (1) Legacy Hotel Nazareth: buffet was plentiful and good choices available, the rooms were comfortable (2) Manger Square Hotel Bethlehem, Food was good & plentiful though no choice of bread, the reception staff were very helpful, However the two lifts sometimes could not cope with the number of guests, sometimes we gave waiting and used the stairs.. It would have been better if the tour has used a hotel in Jerusalem as we had two days visiting Jerusalem traveling from Bethlehem and we wasted time being delayed by the rush hour traffic, I think it added an hour to the outward journey each morning.Rating for tour operator:
We have used Tangney Tours many times before, they are helpful and deal well with any requests. on this booking, we requested an upgrade on our flights which were dealt with well and we got the seats requested. Tangney used Laila Tours as their local contact, their owner (Laila) visited the group to asked how everything was. The local guide (Magid or Majid (?)) had a good command of English, excellent knowledge of the local sites and Christian scripture, however towards the end of the trip we felt he made some inappropriate jokes. On the last day of the trip Majid was replaced by another rep (Carol) who had just come off sick leave, who saw the group to the queue to the first security check. The coach driver, was excellent. The spiritual director (Fr Stephen) was very knowledgeable, and friendly, helpful and looked after the group perfectly.
Rome Parish Pilgrimage, May 2019
29 Parishioners from Our Lady Star of the Sea, North Tyneside, went on pilgrimage to Rome: 20-24 May 2019.
29 Parishioners from Our Lady Star of the Sea, North Tyneside, went on pilgrimage to Rome: 20-24 May 2019.Rating for tour operator:
Mum of 2, youngest with ASD and an organized Pilgrimage virgin, loved it!
It was awesome! every detail was well thought of, from the preparation stage we were given reading materials to prepare ourselves on what we are going to face when we get there so I was able to pack accordingly. We were even given hats for those who didn't thought of those tiny details. Our tour guide is very knowledgeable and kind. It helped that He is also a Catholic because he made some experience even more spiritual, we sang Gloria in Excelsis ...
It was awesome! every detail was well thought of, from the preparation stage we were given reading materials to prepare ourselves on what we are going to face when we get there so I was able to pack accordingly. We were even given hats for those who didn't thought of those tiny details. Our tour guide is very knowledgeable and kind. It helped that He is also a Catholic because he made some experience even more spiritual, we sang Gloria in Excelsis deo while walking down Shepherd's field and we sang Hosanna while walking down Mt. Olives, the Palm Sunday route. It was surreal. It made the Bible alive to me, I would never read the Bible the same way again.Rating for tour operator:
They went above and beyond to make our Pilgrimage easy for us. It is not easy to travel with children in general more so if one of them has special needs. My son is on GFCFSFCF diet, I planned to go to the market daily and live on fresh fruits and vegetables when we get there but since it's a foreign land and our schedule is so hectic I was not able to even see a market place on the first 3 days. But our guide was wonderful they were able to let the hotel know of our situation and they were able to cater for his needs, they even made him birthday cake on both hotels, the lucky child had 2 birthday celebrations while away from home. I brought candles and lighter and was willing to stick it on an orange, sing, make him blow the candle and call it a birthday. But everything was made extra special. They were so hands on I even met Mr. Tangney himself in person.
Out of this world
On a solo 11-day pilgrimage to Rome organised completely by Tangney Tours including flights,transfers,accommodation,etc.,with Tangney staff or on-site courier always available for consultation. Pilgrimage was 10/11days. Pilgrimage
On a solo 11-day pilgrimage to Rome organised completely by Tangney Tours including flights,transfers,accommodation,etc.,with Tangney staff or on-site courier always available for consultation. Pilgrimage was 10/11days. PilgrimageRating for tour operator:
They have managed my pilgrimage requirements for at least 10 years and have provided an excellent service in every respect.I cannot put it any higher!