Welcome to The Idiot Traveller, a blog about travel and the people, places, history and culture that we encounter when we travel. Please note that if you are looking for the latest posts in my series of environmental and social anecdotes about campaigns over the last 35 years, you can find them on the "Emperor's... Continue Reading →
We are a ship of Poles. 22 to be precise plus one Ukrainian, 2 Germans and one Australian. We slip slowly down the river, in the Belgian winter fog, out of Antwerp bound for Cape Town via Porto, Vigo and Wallis Bay. Our ship, the six year old, 200 metre, 30,000 tonne, Blue Master 2.... Continue Reading →
Always lead from the rear, they say. Heeding this good advice, Kaptan Kaylee took the rear seat in our double kayak when it was offered. We were off on a short four-day kayaking trip in Sweden. This has several advantages on such a trip: (1) the marine serf in the front can't see you when you... Continue Reading →
1980: The year of Rubik's cube, of the eruption of Mt St Helens, of the establishment of CNN, the start of the Iran/Iraq war, the murder of John Lennon...and Richard Pryor set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine. All important events, of course, but...more importantly 1980 was the year we sailed the Nile. I say... Continue Reading →
They say that Einstein said that the sign of an idiot was doing the same thing twice (actually I think the word was repeatedly) and expecting a different outcome. This is the thesis of the Idiot Traveller. I am a world expert, while travelling, in repeating mistakes. I command that you stop misquoting me... I... Continue Reading →
I must have been in my teens when "Marrakesh Express" came out (1969). Those were heady days. Before Hendrix (1970) and Joplin died (1970). The Lizard King was still alive (died 1971). We were still trapped in Hotel California. Barclay James Harvest would play at our school a year or two later, followed by Genesis.... Continue Reading →
It is 392 kilometres from Sofia to Belgrade and another 600 kilometres from Belgrade to Vienna. From Vienna you are on the fast rail networks of western Europe but these first two legs of my journey are about 200 years in the past in terms of train technology years. The trip from Sofia to Belgrade... Continue Reading →
The train which we boarded in Istanbul stops at the Turkey – Bulgaria border - and, refusing to be outdone by the Australian rail system, this train is old and slow and leaves from some part of Istanbul far from civilisation - a 45 minute bus ride from central Istanbul - what Australians would call woop woop.
The train, itself, is some form of exercise in Turkish logic. My carriage is numbered 483 even though the train contains just four carriages. One assumes this is designed to confuse foolish yabangee (foreigners) since, no doubt, Turks understand this logic.
As it is, looking at Rhodian history, it seems that it was a bit like a conga line of uninvited dinner guests. They arrived sans wine or food, hung around for a while, behaving unpleasantly
"Life is art, art is life, I never separate them." Ai Weiwei (AWW)....and everything is political. If you take the view that I do, which is that even drawing breath is a political act, then Ai Weiwei's exhibition, in Istanbul is a great expression of the philosophy that Art is Life and that everything in... Continue Reading →