America’s awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, Britain’s historic Tower of London, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, the long-lasting Sydney Opera House and Niagara Falls. For a lot of, visiting these tourist attractions is the trip of a lifetime.
But what’s it prefer to work at them… day-after-day? Does it ever get dull?
MailOnline Travel spoke with staff from these five world-famous places to find how they feel about their roles, what goes on behind the scenes and what bizarre sights they’ve witnessed, from travellers getting arrested for hitting golf balls off the rim of the Grand Canyon to bathers bursting into tears of happiness within the Blue Lagoon. Here’s every thing they revealed…
Peter McGowran, Chief Yeoman Warder – Tower of London
Chief Yeoman Warder Peter McGowran reveals what it’s prefer to work on the Tower of London
Chief Yeoman Warder Peter, pictured, has been working on the Tower of London for 13 years
Did you understand that the Yeoman Warders on the Tower of London have their very own bar?
It is a proven fact that surprises many visitors to the legendary British landmark – officially generally known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London – in keeping with Chief Yeoman Warder Peter McGowran.
Before Peter, 63, became a Yeoman Warder – considered one of the ceremonial guardians that live within the Tower – he served 25 years within the Royal Air Force.
When he first got the gig, he couldn’t imagine how many individuals ‘would not imagine that I actually lived contained in the Tower’.
Thirteen years later, Peter hasn’t felt bored once within the role. ‘How can I get bored when I even have the most effective job on the town and live in a palace within the centre of the best city on the planet?’ he asks.
Describing a mean working day for him, Peter says: ‘I start the day by checking the battlements and preparing to open the Tower to the general public. We ceremonially open the Tower with our guard, transient the team of Yeoman Warders working for the day after which settle in for a day of meetings, compiling rosters, and sometimes meeting and greeting VIPs.
‘Then it is time to close down the Tower to the general public before we ceremonially lock the Tower at 10pm with our famous Ceremony of the Keys.’
The strictest rule that he must persist with is ‘keeping a part of the Tower called Water Lane completely sterile and free from people from 9.30pm to 10.05pm within the evening in preparation for the Ceremony of the Keys’.
This ceremony is an ancient nightly ritual that sees the Yeoman Warders lock the principal gates of the fortress for the night. Peter describes it as ‘considered one of the oldest surviving enactments of its kind in existence’.
In response to Peter, the descriptions of a few of the beheadings which have taken place contained in the Tower can leave tourists ‘shocked’. Above is the Tower’s Jewel House
Through the years, he’s met ‘a few of the most interesting people on the planet, from Queens to Princes and cricket teams to American football stars’.
And he’s picked up some interesting titbits in regards to the Tower itself.
He says: ‘That is the place that monarchs prepared themselves prior to their coronation… it was a Royal Menagerie up until the nineteenth century, with every thing from lions to polar bears living here!’
Not only that, he also reveals that ‘executions took place through the First and Second World War by firing squads actually outside [his] now place of residence’.
And what inspires the most important reactions from tourists?
In response to Peter, the descriptions of a few of the beheadings which have taken place contained in the Tower can leave tourists ‘shocked’.
Lani Strange and Logan Lasley, Food and Beverage Supervisor, and Training Coordinator – Grand Canyon
Lani Strange and Logan Lasley, who work at Arizona’s Grand Canyon, reveal what it’s prefer to live on the legendary natural attraction
Lani, left, has been working on the Grand Canyon National Park for 4 years. Grand Canyon employee Logan, right, says: ‘I even have yet to feel bored here!’
With deep red rifts of rock stretching 277 miles (445km) in length and 18 miles (28km) in width, Arizona’s Grand Canyon is a panoramic natural wonder.
So breathtaking, in truth, that some visitors have relatively intense reactions after they lay eyes on it for the primary time.
‘Probably the most extreme response I’ve seen is a person who stepped as much as [the] canyon, jumped back and gasped, cried, after which got sick. He was so overwhelmed by it!’ says Lani Strange, who has been working on the Grand Canyon National Park for 4 years.
Lani, 52, who’s the Food and Beverage Supervisor for Delaware North, the hospitality firm that runs a few of the park’s facilities, says that the most important perk of the job is ‘the people you meet’, especially those ‘who’ve waited ceaselessly to go to’.
She says: ‘I recently had a 95-year-old couple who told me they have been coming to the Grand Canyon every yr for the reason that Nineteen Fifties. This was their last yr visiting, and so they were telling me how a lot has modified through the years.’
Lani, who’s originally from Mississippi, relocated to the park to work there, and finds that the toughest a part of the job is ‘working and living in a distant location’.
She says: ‘Amazon and Walmart will deliver, but when it’s essential do any shopping, you are looking at an extended automotive ride. Many associates are retirees or veterans, and that will be difficult on them.’
It is a challenge shared by fellow Grand Canyon employee Logan Lasley, 24, who’s a Training Coordinator for Delaware North.
Logan, who has been working on the park for a yr, says: ‘Cellphone service will be spotty, and Wi-Fi will be hard to return by, though we’re all the time working on it. Usually, the infrastructure will not be what persons are accustomed to. There is no major airport nearby, and while there may be a small clinic, should you need a bigger hospital, you will need to travel about an hour away to Flagstaff.’
Lani, who’s originally from Mississippi, relocated to the park to work there, and finds that the toughest a part of the job is ‘working and living in a distant location’
But there are positives to the distant lifestyle – the park’s employees have formed a tight-knit community, says Logan, who notes that he was surprised by how many individuals live within the ‘Grand Canyon Village’ on the South Rim in Coconino County, Arizona.
He continues: ‘The college, which serves students in grades K-12 [school years from roughly the ages of four to 18], is the one K-12 school district that’s situated inside a national park. It’s a really family-oriented community. Persons are there living, raising their kids and families. There is a recreation centre with a workout facility, community events with the varsity and different organizations, and much more.’
Spending all of their time in the realm, employees quickly learn the ins and outs of the park.
In response to Lani, some of the interesting facts in regards to the Grand Canyon – one which visitors won’t concentrate on – is that ‘all the mules within the Grand Canyon come from Tennessee’.
Amazon and Walmart will deliver, but when it’s essential do any shopping, you are looking at an extended automotive ride
While for Logan, it is the ‘diverse climate and the range of eco-systems’. He says: ‘It’s far more diverse than people think, and we get a number of different weather, especially as you go down into the canyon. As you go up, you get less cactus, more pine trees. The North Rim looks more like Canada than a desert!’
This natural beauty is partly why Logan never gets uninterested in working on the Grand Canyon. He says: ‘I even have yet to feel bored here! My interests of mountain climbing and running keep me busy every weekend. There’s a lot to explore on the canyon, and should you’re interested by mountain climbing, I feel it could be difficult to feel bored living on the Grand Canyon.’
Visitors to the park, it’s revealed, have a couple of unusual rules they should persist with.
Lani says: ‘The Grand Canyon is an International Dark Sky Park, so there are strict regulations around outdoor lighting. The National Park Service (NPS) and concessionaires work toward keeping the Grand Canyon very dark at night.’
She adds: ‘For visitors, it isn’t really unique but perhaps not well-known, that you just cannot bring your dogs into the canyon below the rim unless you’ve a special permit. The NPS puts a number of effort into keeping non-native species out of the park. That is for his or her safety in addition to the native animals within the park.’
It’s forbidden to feed these native animals, Lani reveals, but she says she sees visitors doing this often, and ‘sometimes even attempting to get their kids in photos with them’.
Logan weighs in: ‘Mostly, I see young kids throwing rocks off the sting of the rim, which will be very dangerous. There are trails which you can’t see right underneath, so it could cause harm to hikers below.’
Lani, meanwhile, recalls her co-worker seeing a person arrested ‘for hitting golf balls off the sting of the rim’.
Snorri Mar Gunnarsson, ‘Greeter’ – Blue Lagoon, Iceland
In response to ‘Greeter’ Snorri, sometimes when travellers enter the waters of the Blue Lagoon, they’re ‘so overcome by their feelings that they shed a tear’
Snorri Mar Gunnarsson, pictured above, hosts in-water storytelling in a special seating area within the Blue Lagoon
People travel from everywhere in the world to wash within the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, but for Snorri Mar Gunnarsson, a every day dip within the geothermal pool is an element of his job description.
Snorri, 26, works as a ‘Greeter’ on the famed Icelandic tourist attraction, which lies on the Reykjanes Peninsula within the southwest of the country. ‘A part of my job as a Greeter is to enter the Blue Lagoon, which is unquestionably essentially the most relaxing and favourite a part of my day,’ says Snorri.
In response to Snorri – who previously worked for the airline Icelandair on the country’s largest airport, Keflavik International Airport – going into the Lagoon ‘allows for a more personal reference to the guests’.
Usually, ‘Greeters’ are tasked with creating an ‘unforgettable’ experience for visitors, from sharing facts in regards to the Blue Lagoon to helping them take snaps for his or her photo albums.
At 2pm on the dot every day, Snorri’s team hosts’ in-water storytelling in a special seating area within the Blue Lagoon’.
He says: ‘We try to collect as many guests as possible to hitch us as we talk in regards to the history and evolution of the Blue Lagoon, our sustainability efforts and the geography of Iceland, and even a little bit of local folklore. We do that in the shape of a transient introduction followed by a Q&A, which might result in a really vigorous discussion!’
The Blue Lagoon’s milky blue waters have been drawing in travellers for many years – with some visiting within the hope that the water will cure their skin problems. Silica, a mineral compound that exists within the water, is alleged to assist treat conditions similar to psoriasis and eczema.
‘It does have healing powers,’ says Snorri. ‘In the course of the pandemic after we closed temporarily, I could see a transparent difference in my skin as I wasn’t going into Blue Lagoon.’
Imparting more wisdom in regards to the natural wonder, he says: ‘The Blue Lagoon water is 100 per cent natural and is heated by magma 2,000m (6,561ft) from throughout the earth. A quite common misconception is that the water is heated by machinery, and it isn’t a natural occurrence, but we actually need to cool it down because the water’s natural temperature is past the boiling point.’
The Blue Lagoon water is 100 per cent natural and is heated by magma 2,000m (6,561ft) from throughout the earth
The perk of the job is ‘making people comfortable and seeing smiles’, in keeping with Snorri, who says: ‘The energy I get from this sense is healthier than the most effective cup of coffee on the planet’.
Some visitors are moved to tears by the experience.
‘I even have seen a number of reactions during my time here, but my favourite is when guests have waited their whole lives to return to the Blue Lagoon and after they walk into the water, they’re so overcome by their feelings that they shed a tear,’ says Snorri.
If you happen to fancy getting on bended knee during your visit, Snorri and his team will help to plan the special moment.
He adds: ‘Considered one of my favourite things to do is help coordinate special requests like marriage proposals… we take into consideration how we will disguise the proposal as a photoshoot or create a surprise moment through the in-water tour all while ensuring it is a secret for the person about to get proposed to!’
Emma Kande, Guest Service Supervisor, WildPlay ‘Zipline to the Falls’ attraction – Niagara Falls
Emma Kande, who works on the WildPlay ‘Zipline to the Falls’ attraction, reveals that her team can send as much as 1,300 people down the zipline over Niagara Falls every day
Emma, pictured, says that she has ‘witnessed screams of joy’ within the day-to-day of her job
Niagara Falls, an impressive trio of three waterfalls – The American Falls, The Canadian Horseshoe Falls, and The Bridal Veil Falls – is considered one of Canada, and the world’s, hottest landmarks, and clearly with good reason.
But not all tourists are content with just seeing the falls from a ship ride or a viewing platform.
A staggering 1,300 people every day can zipline from Grand View Marketplace on the Canadian side towards the thundering water of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, whizzing a distance of 670m (2,200ft) and passing the American Falls along the best way.
‘The variety of folks that we will send down the zipline on average a day is exhilarating! I’m still surprised how far people travel to return to see Niagara Falls in addition to to go down the zipline,’ says Emma Kande, the Guest Service Supervisor on the WildPlay ‘Zipline to the Falls’ attraction.
Commenting on the travellers who brave the ziplining experience, Emma, 23, says: ‘I even have witnessed screams of joy, excitement, and being scared, guests crying as they’ve overcome a fear of theirs. But for essentially the most part, it’s happiness all season. It’s the guests who’re a little bit scared who also appear to be those who’ve essentially the most fun!’
She has even seen newlyweds zipline of their ‘wedding attire’ after saying ‘I do’. ‘I really like with the ability to fulfil someone’s dream of taking place the zipline and checking an item off their bucket list,’ she says.
Emma has seen newlyweds zipline at Niagara Falls of their ‘wedding attire’ after saying ‘I do’
For Emma, the novelty of working on the tourist attraction doesn’t show any sign of waning. She says: ‘Working in Niagara Falls, I wouldn’t say that I get bored. In peak season it is normally all the time busy, so there isn’t a time to get bored as there may be all the time something to do.’
She adds: ‘It also gets interesting when there are events happening here, like seeing the fireworks at nighttime and having big names and celebrities come [to] experience the Zipline to the Falls.’
However, the hardest a part of the gig is when ‘Mother Nature will not be on our side and we’re unable to operate’. She adds: ‘Our safety standards are extremely high.’
And through her time on the job, she’s picked up some interesting facts in regards to the Falls themselves, similar to that newlyweds and honeymooners are alleged to wish upon the Bridal Veil Falls ‘for an extended and comfortable marriage’.
Nevertheless, there’s one proven fact that stands out to Emma as essentially the most interesting thing she’s learned in her two years on the job.
What’s it? ‘The Ontario Hydro Generating Stations situated in Niagara Falls supply one-quarter of all power utilized in Latest York State and the province of Ontario,’ she reveals.
Darryl Cooper, Tour Guide – Sydney Opera House
Tour guide Darryl Cooper says that there are believed to be ‘almost one million tiles’ on the roof of the Sydney Opera House, which opened its doors in 1973
Darryl, pictured, has been guiding visitors around Australia’s Sydney Opera House for the past 22 years
The Sydney Opera House was masterminded by the Danish architect Jorn Utzon. Nevertheless, Utzon, who died in 2008, never got to see it accomplished – he had a falling out with the Minister for Public Works and left Australia in the midst of the development.
‘Firstly of every tour, there have been individuals who cry after they learn that Jorn Utzon never (physically) got here back to the constructing,’ says Darryl Cooper, who has been guiding visitors across the Australian attraction for the past 22 years.
‘The story of how this constructing got here to be truthfully all the time surprises people,’ says Darryl, who adds that there is believed to be ‘almost one million tiles’ on the roof of the opera house, which opened its doors in 1973.
Shedding light on the constructing’s construction, he says: ‘It has been estimated that around 10,000 people worked on the location and although it was a time when hard hats were worn, it was not a time where harnesses were used. With all that elevation and concrete and steel and tower cranes – it’s phenomenal that not a single employee died on site.’
When Darryl first began leading tours, he was amazed by just how expansive the constructing was on the within.
‘I feel visitors are all the time surprised to learn the way big the Opera House actually is. There’s so far more to it than simply the massive and delightful sails, which persons are, in fact, all the time welcome to admire from the surface,’ he says.
Though he’s racked up years of experience, Darryl can still get the jitters when he’s about to begin a tour. He says: ‘Just about before every tour, I still get nervous about meeting complete strangers. When that happens, I just need to remember to breathe and that there is all the time the glory of the constructing to fall back on. For me, the positive response I get from the overwhelming majority of my tours is type of addictive and outweighs the nerves.’
While nerves may come into the equation, boredom is rarely a difficulty for Darryl, who says: ‘Never, not once, whilst I even have done a tour, have I ever felt bored… as a guide, you’re only nearly as good because the tour that you just are giving (at that very moment) and on top of that, the constructing still reveals its beauty to me, to this very day.’
He adds: ‘I do not tire of it, ever.’
‘Never, not once, whilst I even have done a tour, have I ever felt bored,’ Darryl reveals
For some, a visit to the Sydney Opera Home is the trip of a lifetime. Darryl says: ‘On almost every tour, there may be someone who has desired to visit the Sydney Opera House for his or her entire life and I feel answerable for helping with making it worthwhile.’
Darryl has one golden tip for visitors – ‘wear comfortable shoes’. He says comfortable footwear will come in useful for all of the climbing that is in store. He explains: ‘There are about 2 hundred steps on a tour and each time we’re going up steps, just know that we’re getting closer to one more great view.’
There are a couple of rules in place that tourists must persist with.
‘You may assume that a tour group could photograph or film anything they see, but sometimes the sets that they get to see are protected by copyright, or we want to respect that performers are rehearsing and doing their job,’ says Darryl, adding: ‘The Opera Home is a living and respiratory constructing, and the great thing about happening a tour is that you just really never know what you are in for. Someone who might need gone on an Opera House tour five years ago could return tomorrow to see something completely different.’