Preparing for Travel TalesMonday, September 02, 2013
Every good journey starts with an excellent travel companion, a book and fantastic hosts. Our trip would not have been nearly as much fun without the hospitality, time and generosity of our many hosts as we made our way through Amsterdam, Paris, Oslo, Tronheim and Tolga*.
You have your Lonely Planet and other travel guides telling you where to go, but I prefer to read something that makes me want to go.
My sister and I both made our way through "Paris to the Past", E before we left and and me in transit lounges and while combating early morning jet lag. It is the history of Paris told through monuments, building and the events surrounding them.
Over the last year I had been reading with a Parisian flavour - "The House That I Loved" and "A Family in Paris" even before a trip was on the cards. On the other hand, my sister was deep in the French Revolution with Hilary Mantel's "A Place of Greater Saftey". This came in particularly handy as we played spot the book character in amongst the paintings in Musee Carnavalet.
There are however, books and movies to be avoided pre-travel. Liam Neeson's "Taken" is one. Do not let your mum watch a movie about abducted daughters on an OE! Douglas Kennedy's "The Woman in the Ninth" is equally enthralling and haunting. As a gritty, mysterious underbelly or Paris is explored, booking tickets should be the last thing on your mind.
As for the Norwegian leg, I recommend Roald Dahl's "Boy" over Jo Nesbo any day.
Then again, if you haven't the time to read there is always music videos, especially this trip through early morning Paris from Snow Patrol.
Over the next few days I'll be sharing my travel tales. There will be tales of markets, food, craft, adventures and thrifting. The same as always, but just in foreign locations.
*This brilliant little town doesn't usually feature along with these other leading lights, but really it should.