Tuesday 1 November 2011

Travel dreams: Blog party

This month's international blog event, which I've kindly been invited to participate in, has as its theme dreams and aspirations: we're asked to 'name the thing, person, place you've always wanted to experience but haven't (hmm, person? I could think of a few, but that would be a different kind of post); dream that money is no object; tell the world what you've always wanted to do or wish you could do ...'

It didn't take me too long to figure that since travel and reading are two of my most favourite things in life, and since each one inspires the other, there was plenty to go on. 

Masai Dreaming, by Justin Cartwright has me dreaming already of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania ... I'm flying in on a biplane over the Great Rift Valley into the Serengeti plains ...

... for touch-down in a lodge on the edge of the crater with a view worthy of Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa ...

After that, Abdulrazak Gurnah's By the Sea might have me hopping onto the Pride of Africa luxury train bound for Dar es Salaam ...

for a side trip to Zanzibar, while I'm in the region, pourquoi pas ...

Then again, I might do exactly as Paul Theroux did in The Great Railway Bazaar ... set out one day from London's Victoria Station 'bent on boarding every eastbound train that chugged into sight' ...

For retro train glamour I couldn't go wrong with the Eastern & Oriental Express, from Chiang Mai, Thailand ... 

... to Singapore (I'm thinking Han Suyin's A Many Splendoured Thing, aren't you?) ...

via the Bridge over the River Kwai (Pierre Boulle), of course ...

Paul Theroux returned - eventually - on the Trans Siberian Express. So if, lets say, I ended up in Vladivostok ... 

I could in fact take the very same train on a 6000 mile journey across Siberia (plenty of time to take in Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich) ...

... since it would take 19 days, covering a third of the planet ... 

... to St Petersburg, just to see what Tolstoy (Anna Karenina), Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment) and Pushkin (Eugene Onegin) were on about ...

... after which I might need a shot of vodka and a lie-down.

Did you notice that trains figured prominently in my dream travels? That's because I'm planning an actual trip this Christmas from London to ...

yes, you guessed it ...

... via Paris, Zurich and the Swiss Alps, by train. I'll be taking Graham Greene's The Third Man with me, of course, and hopefully seeing quite a lot of these ...

(Thank you Pinterest for all the pics. I hope some day to have my own ...).


  1. Dear Karen, I'm going with you...and then I got too tired...and then I perked up a bit when you mentioned Wien.
    Great Image selection...almost like being there.

  2. It would be a most wonderful journey!
    For Vienna you must visit Merisi's Vienna for Beginners (you can google it)
    she has a lovely blog --we have been chums for over 6 years now --from when we lived in Morocco....
    Trains are the most civilized way to travel, I think
    and maybe the safest?

  3. After all that travel, how delicious is that creamy schlag!
    Dream travel indeed ---

  4. My dear Karen,
    I'm coming with you! To all the places! And it would be my dream journey for ever!

    Just wonderful post and beautiful images!

    Heartily greetings, my friend,

  5. Simply Splendid !!
    Absolutely fabulous & wonderful. I cannot say how much I enjoyed every word and every photograph. Brava to you for reaching far & wide with your dream. I LOVE IT !! xx's Marsha

  6. Karen what a wonderful post with almost all of my favourite authors - such a joy to read thank you. I am now going back to read it again and dream.

  7. As Marsha said...you most definitely reached far and wide. I'm not very well traveled...I liked dreaming your dream and would need you to be my guide. Mona

  8. Let's all go! A wonderful journey Karen....xv

  9. WOW
    What big dreams you have.
    I can't begin to envision anything close to this or as grand.
    Most admirable indeed.

  10. I like the way you think! Great ideas for fantastic journeys! If you need an assistant... :)

  11. Here I am, safely returned over those peaks from a journey far more beautiful and strange than anything I had hoped for or imagined - how is it that this safe return brings such regret?


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