Catastrophes, Iron Curtains, and Currencies

“Catastroph!”

 I looked across at my Budapest taxi-driver from whence the bellow had issued.

“CATASTROPH!” he repeated, this time causing a slight tingle on my tympanums. We had been acquainted for less than a minute, but he seemed determined to let me know that even this brief interaction had caused him immense pain. Continue reading

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Of Balkan Bikes and Civilised Cities

My short trip across Europe by train has already taken me through Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. Tomorrow will be Hungary then Austria, Germany and France and onto London. (For those with an interest in these things, I chose the convoluted third option suggested by that nice man in Seat 61). Continue reading

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The travel drug

After months of shameful neglect, I will be posting a few blogs here over the next few days as I journey overland from Athens to London.

Travel is most certainly my drug of choice – and for the first six months of this year I went cold turkey. Luckily, as Bryan Ferry memorably crooned, love is also a drug – and I (and my new wife) had preparations for our wonderful wedding this summer to serve as a most effective distraction from confinement to barracks. Nevertheless, our honeymoon in Corsica in July came as a much-needed shot in the arm for us both. After a brief fortnight back in London, we have spent the last two weeks cruising through the Aegean with my parents as they celebrate their Golden Wedding. It would be fair to say that we are both sporting the fixed grins of addicts given the opportunity to overdose.

Today we have finally docked in Athens. I’ll be blogging about both Corsica (the place, not the honeymoon) and the Cruise (extraordinary) in due course, but over the course of the next five days I’ll be returning to the spirit of my 2008-9 journey by train in Asia as I wend my way back to London along the railways of Europe.

The route is, as yet, unclear, but the options are myriad. Step 1 is to leave Greece, probably into Bulgaria. More tomorrow. Toodle pip!

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