Traveling with Elizabeth Bishop's evocative poem, Questions of Travel:
"Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?"
TraveLit--A blog about travel literature.
Even with the best of maps and instruments, we can never fully chart our journeys.
Heidi’s Alp: One Family’s Search for Storybook Europe
By Christina Hardyment. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987, 258 pp.
“The greatest travelers travel alone,” wrote John Julius Norwich, in A Taste for Travel. Maybe so. But some very fine travelers travel with families, and their books can be just as engaging.
In Heidi’s Alp, Christina Hardyment recounts the 7-week journey she took with her four daughters, ages 5 through 12, to explore the roots of European fairy tales. As they travel from their Oxford home to Holland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France, the author describes the adventures with the children while reflecting on the stories of Hans Brinker, The Little Mermaid, the Pied Piper, Pinocchio, William Tell, and Babar. Fairy tales these may be, but as Hardyment relates them to their authors and the cultures from which they emerged, they are fascinating for adults as well.
Maps are not reality at all--they can be tyrants. I know people who are so immersed in road maps that they never see the countryside they pass through, and others, who, having traced a route, are held to it as though held by flanged wheels to rails.
―John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley
Yes, but I would alter this a bit: I think it's not that maps "are not reality at all," but that they aren't all of reality. Read More
For National Travel and Tourism Week, I suggest reading a travel classic. Many are reviewed on this blog. Among my favorites, along with the dates of their reviews:
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, by Laurie Lee (7/15)
Cooper's Creek, by Alan Moorehead (10/13)
Two Against the Ice, by Ejnar Mikkelsen (1/15)
A Visit to Don Otavio, by Sybille Bedford (4/14)
Three in Norway by Two of Them, by Lees and Clutterbuck (9/13). Read More