The ambulance picks up speed. “I’m really sorry!” shouts the bleached-haired man in the doorway as I fight to click in my seat-belt. “WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR….” “I said I’m really sorry – I’M ABOUT TO GET NAKED!” I laugh dutifully. Well, they’re adventurers, not comedians, and however in-jokey or lame their attempts at humour are, I’m their guest. I … Read More
It is described as “the greatest adventure in the world”. It’s 10,000 miles in vehicles powered by engines not exceeding 1,200cc and often chosen more for their novelty value that their long-distance roadworthiness – like ambulances (see above). It’s delightful, eccentric, incredibly brave, thrillingly intrepid…and thoroughly bonkers. There is nothing like staring down the bonnet of a Nissan Micra at … Read More
Here’s a true story about how I nearly didn’t go to Austria a few weeks ago. It was a really close thing. 60 seconds. 5.30am Stumbling. Coffee. Cannot. Think. Things, fanned out on the floor in an order than made perfect sense last night – or more correctly, earlier this morning. Most of everything is already packed, but these are … Read More
I’m sat at Frankfurt airport, on one of those chair-partitioned metal benches that seemed designed to inflict maximum discomfort and etch interesting patterns deep into your backside. A few strides away my laptop is charging at one of the airport’s impressively free charge-points, and I could stand against it to continue to tap out this post…but I have something better … Read More
Expectations are hard things to manage. They mess with your memory, fog up your present and drain your future of novelty. On this trip, I did my best to avoid them.
I’m hollow-eyed and bleary today, and I haven’t had enough coffee. A little later I’ll be pootling round York, picking up travel essentials and converting my Brit money into Euros before jetting off to Austria tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow will be my second visit to London in 3 days, and yet again I’m using the train. If you know what rail … Read More
We’re on the summit of the 29th highest mountain in Austria, and we’re going to need to call for a helicopter.
“Authentic travel”. Buzz-phrase of a generation. We’re all in search of it. The travel industry is obsessed with it. What a shame we have no idea what it actually is.