Friday, June 24, 2011
365 TRAVEL edited by Lisa Bach - Another book to add to our expanding list of Favorite Travel Books
I'd forgotten I had this chunky little book on my shelf and only ran across it by accident last night while looking for something else. Isn't that always the way?
365 TRAVEL - A Daily Book of Journeys, Meditations, and Adventures, edited by Lisa Bach is just nothing less than a charming delight of a book, perfect to dip into now and then, when one is in a mood - when you need to focus on faraway places even if only for a few moments.
Each day of the year gets a page and a post. There are short excerpts from fiction and non, from famous authors and some not so famous - opinions and descriptions and all sorts of bits and pieces related to travel or travelling.
Here are a few examples:
Bogota is a city of conversation. As you walk along you have to keep skirting couples or small groups, all absorbed in excited talk. Some of them even stand out in the middle of the street, holding up traffic. We suppose they are discussing politics. The cafes are crammed, too; and everybody has a newspaper, to quote from or simply wave in the air.
Christopher Isherwood, The Condor and the Cows
CHANGE OF SEASONS
It is the smells of a strange city that gradually lure one into its inner mysteries, and in Moscow these were rich, strange, and various, especially in summer: a blend of low-grade petrol fumes, cheap calico, black mahorka tobacco, disinfectant, the warm yeasty odor or freshly-baked bread, and the slightly acrid smell of tar when the water-cart has passed. Then as the days lengthened and the dry breath of the surrounding plains invaded the city, the topol, or white poplar, shed its fluffy seeds upon the air, where they slowly sank to gather in great bleached drifts along the pavement edge, like a parody of snow-falls past or still to come.
Erik De Mauny, Russian Prospect
THE ENGLISH CHANNEL
It is the most marvelous sea in the world, the most suited for these little adventures; it is crammed with strange towns, differing one from the other; it has two opposite peoples upon either side, and hills, and varying climates, and the hundred shapes and colors of the earth, here rocks, there sand, there cliffs, and there marshy shores. It is a little world. And what is more, it is a kind of inland sea.
Hillaire Belloc, Hills and the Sea (1906)
A RIVER OF WORDS
The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book - a book that was the dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day.
Mark Twain, LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Exploration is nothing more than a foray into the unknown, and a four-year-old child, wandering about alone in the department store, fits the definition as well as the snow-blind man wandering across the Khyber Pass. The explorer is the person who is lost.
Tim Cahill, JAGUARS RIPPED MY FLESH
FINDING YOUR PLACE IN THE WORLD
Up in the High Air, you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and though: Here I am, where I ought to be.
Isaak Dinesen, OUT OF AFRICA
HOME IS NOT HOME UNTIL YOU RETURN
Your travel life has the essence of a dream. It is something outside the normal, yet you are in it. It is peopled with characters you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again. It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longing...But you are like the Vikings or the master mariners of the Elizabethan age, who have gone into a world of adventure, and home is not home until you return.