🚝If you’re thinking of travelling again, then think about the train and let it take the strain (as they say!). Rosie’s #Bookreview of #travelogue Overland by Richard Kauffmann🚄

Overland: Traveling with No PlanOverland: Traveling with No Plan by Richard Kaufmann

4 stars

Overland is a non-fiction travelogue. First written in German, it has now been successfully translated into English.

Set out in easy to read chapters with some wonderful colour illustrations, the book begins by questioning our human need for travel: what it means to be a tourist versus a traveller. The author poses a theory about a holiday being a search for some peace; a place to unwind from life’s stresses. He then considers how that peace is obtained. Is it the final destination? Or is it the complete journey with all its experiences? It’s easy to buy into the travel agent’s image of a destination and its promises, but how many of us are disappointed when our perfectly imagined holiday lets us down? Could we look at travel in a different light?

These musings are interspersed with author Richard Kaufmann’s travels, mainly via train, around Europe and parts of Asia. I really liked the author’s arguments against excessive air travel and how those carbon footprints add up, while his observations about people, culture and places were insightful. He certainly opened my eyes to make me look at my own methods of travel in the past and how I might change them in the future.

There’s also a map which lists popular and lesser-known destinations in Europe. It starts in Brussels, the author explaining that it is a good starting point for many Europeans. The map shows distances and train travel times, with some suggested prices. Some of those prices were surprisingly cheap (I know prices fluctuate) but it gives the train a new appeal.

If you are thinking of travelling again but want to do things differently, then think about the train and let it take the strain (as they say!).

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Desc 1

Richard Kaufmann once travelled to Morocco, unintentionally with no money, simply because he had set off without any kind of plan. It changed him, and the way he travelled in future. Here, he shares his stories and vision for how we can all holiday in comfort, without wrecking the environment. And we don’t have to take especially long, or go particularly far. We find the most beautiful destinations when we travel overland. Normally we never see them, because we fly right over them.

224 pages on traveling Europe, Morocco and Iran by train & coach. Paperback plus map of train routes in Europe. With a foreword by Tom Hodgkinson (EN version) .

English version available to buy here

German version available to buy here

Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #TravelGuide NOT COOL: Europe By Train In A Heatwave by @JulesBrown4

Not Cool: Europe by Train in a HeatwaveNot Cool: Europe by Train in a Heatwave by Jules Brown

4 stars

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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Book description

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.

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