(Snappy title eh? If you can think of a better one let me know!)
I’ve been in Vietnam almost a week now. It feels both similar to China and a whole world away. It’s still cheap, the food is still tasty (and I continue to get to show off my chopstick skillz) the flags are still red and the museums still seem to exist primarily for dubious patriotic education purposes. But it’s also different, the motorbikes and scooters are now petrol driven rather than the deadly silent electric versions of China, infrastructure is far less developed and I don’t think I’ve seen a single designer store selling the sort of luxury western goods that feel so prevalent in Chinese cities. (Quite a few markets selling counterfeits though!) Continue reading Entering Vietnam and getting back on the backpacker trail→
After posting lots of pictures of China’s beautiful scenery and architecture I felt I was neglecting something. Then I remembered it must be almost 3 weeks since I last put up pictures of a railway museum. Well I thought to myself – this must be corrected immediately, and so below you can find a link to some photos from China’s biggest railway museum, which is unsurprisingly enough in Beijing.
The Chinese love their trains, they keep families linked together, help get people to work, and are even bound up in the history of their civil war and war against the Japanese. It was understandable therefore to find that the museums here took themselves a bit more seriously than some of the others I have been to. No rust on show here, no trains abandoned to the elements, no weird black plastic replacing all the glazing, and most thankfully, no wedding photos…
Hong Kong’s Railway Museum is small, and lets get one thing straight. It is not romantic. But this, and the fact Hong Kong must have a million other better backdrops (beaches, the city skyline, beautiful natural scenery) does not seem to stopped it becoming a popular spot for wedding photos…
I’ve commented before on the strange phenomenon of couples having their pictures taken betwixt locomotives but this is the first time I’ve seen a couple having wedding photos taken at one. It would appear it’s not an irregular occurence either…
I seem to find myself coming across steam trains in various states of disrepair throughout my trip. Sometimes in museums, sometimes just outside train stations. Given I’ve now amassed quite a few photos of these I thought I would put up a new part of my blog to show them off, away from the eyes of those who might think this all “a bit sad…..”
I’m not (he said defensively) actually a particular train geek so I have no idea what the identity of most of these trains are, and even when they was a plaque or something saying what they were its not something I have cared to note down. Instead what I’ve done is split them down into where they can be found. (links will be added to this post as I upload the pages or can be found in the page menu on the left.)
I like the “elephant graveyard” feel of a lot of these places, at the photos I take reflect that. I tend to prefer the ones left to rust and decay.
Tomorrow I get the train from Zagreb to Sarajevo, but in the meantime I feel I am definitely starting to catch up on blogging. One more blog after this on Slovenia, and one on Zagreb and I’m hopeful I will be back on track by the time I leave Bosnia!
Slovenia, as our guide on the free tour of its capital Ljubljana kept repeating, is the only country in the world to have love in its name, a strapline the tourist information office at Scunthorpe can only dream of and whilst I didn’t find love there I was pleasantly surprised to find what seemed to me to be one of the most chilled out and least stressful countries in Europe. (The free tour is highly recommended btw).
Just a quick post this time, feels like a while since I have last blogged. Will hopefully get back into more of a habit soon!
This post is about the Zeppelin Museum in Friederichshafen in southern Germany on the coast of Lake Constance. Zeppelin as in airships. It is not a Led Zeppelin museum. I think though, that I would find it very pleasing if some long haired rock fan accidental did turn up there, blasting “Whole Lotta Love” out of their headphones only to be presented with the story of lighter than air travel… Continue reading Zeppelin!→
This is a long post. I thought about splitting it in two, but the camp at Dachau was a horrible place and frankly I found reading what I wrote about it on its own too depressing.
I don’t like tours. My idea of travel hell would be to be bused around a country only to be let off at places of interest 15 minutes at a time to be rushed around as part of a group of bum-bag/fanny pack owning Americans all following a tour guide holding aloft a coloured umbrella, or god forbid some “novelty” item to distinguish themselves from the other coach loads of bum-bag/fanny pack owning Americans and their tour guides.
However a number of hostels do offer “free” walking tours around city centres which I feel less inclined to rant about as because on the whole they provide a good opportunity to meet fellow backpackers and it normally leaves me nicely orientated for my own individual wanderings afterwards. Continue reading Two different tours – Munich and Dachau→