Not Cool: Europe By Train In A Heatwave is a travel guide. Written by professional travel writer Jules Brown, this is about his journey through nine European countries in nine days during the summer of 2019. He travelled through Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Italy.
I’m not a big fan of cities, so the highlights for me were the rail trips, particularly the Semmering Railway between Vienna and Graz and The Bernina Pass from Switzerland to Italy. I enjoyed reading about the second one the most; the scenic route over the top of the Alps sounded particularly amazing.
In each capital city, Jules had just a few hours to visit the sights and partake in the local food and beer. He sought out some unusual places to visit rather than the main tourist attractions which I appreciated. As a seasoned traveller, Jules had already visited some of the popular attractions in these cities, while the oppressive heat was often a factor in where and what Jules chose to do.
The itinerary is heavily interspersed with Jules’ humour, opinion and life experiences; at times I found that the style smothered the delights of the travel experience, while on other occasions this was easily offset by some very enjoyable descriptive passages about the joys of train travel.
As a travel guide the book contained a sprinkling of travel tips which added to the delight of the rail trips; I can almost see the appeal of Interrailing.
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9 cities, 9 countries, 9 days
1 ridiculously hot summer
What could possibly go wrong?
The latest travel memoir by Jules Brown – author of Takoradi to the Stars (via Huddersfield) – is a hot and steamy adventure (no, not that kind) by rail across Europe.
In the European-wide summer heatwave of July 2019, while sensible people stayed indoors, put their heads in the fridge and watched endless re-runs of ‘Frozen’, Jules spent nine days on trains across Europe, visiting nine cities in nine countries.