[lit-ideas] Re: Travel instead of war...(was something less cheerful)

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 13:38:04 -0400

We always walk everywhere. Yes, we stayed mostly to the centre. Although we did walk through some fine parks near our rooming house and once or twice saw huge sails, which we presumed was the harbour.

We used to rent a car when we arrived someplace, but it's such a nuisance unless you're driving from city to city. Even then, we park it and use our feet or public transport. In Prague (we visited many times in all seasons as our son lived there for a few years (also Ljublijana and then Vilnius), I used to get up early and catch the first tram that arrived and just take it to the end of the line and see what was there. This while everyone else was getting 'organized' for the day. I was always back in time for a smoked kipper.

As to the waxed paper, yes, I'm harking back to our first visit to England in 1975.

We've been to Avignon once before -- maybe 1986 or so -- and had a magical time. The mistral blows up through there, you know, and we were camping. We left our then 16 year old son and 8 year old daughter to set up the camp while Ken and I found a nice table by the laudry and shared a bottle of wine. A half hour later, the kids came and said that they had good news and bad news. The good news was that the tents were staked down really firmly. The bad news was that the wind had got in somewhere and ripped the whole tent body from the floor as though a can openeer had gone round. The kid's tent was fine, so we left them and went into town. There happened to be a festival and carnival going on and the old town was alight with food and games and rides and dancing and drinking. (If we'd known we'd have brought the kids). We wandered a bit, rode a scary ride or two and danced with grandfathers and little girls. We remember it like something out of Ray Bradbury. The wind around the edges carried something sinister and the light strings across the narrow streets both hid and highlihted macabre scenes in the shadows. Eventually we went back and slept under the stars in our doorless, windowless, wallless, roofless tent. We bought a new one in Paris the next day.

The story of the yellow plums another day...


Judith Evans wrote:

Good title change, Ursula; yes, something more

<i>It was April of 2001 </i>

Ah.  I was here but somewhat tied up, perhaps
fortunately; I'm useless at showing people around
Cardiff because I walk everywhere and find it hard to
switch to "what can be done by car" mode.  Cardiff's
an ideal city for walkers but some things are a fair
way from the centre.

Bath, Tintern Abbey, and Monmouth are all really fine.

Do they still have the peacocks on the castle


I was limping around Cardiff as I'd fairly seriously
twisted my ankle in Bath.

ah, nasty; so you won't really have been able to see much and you'll have stayed in the centre, not seen the Bay. (There's no neighbourhood linking the rest of the city to the Bay, just a rather ugly road; a great shame.) The Bay has changed a lot since then but has always been worth seeing.


off to Paris, Berlin, Riga and Avignon this August.

I envy you Avignon, I went there briefly years ago. I'd like to spend a month in Languedoc and Provence,
but can't see that happening. (Though I've done some
whistle-stop touring, the best being
London/Frankfurt/Milan/Venice just before Christmas, I
prefer to stay in one place for at least a week. I get
bored, but still prefer it.)

(Not much wax paper here these days)

Where are others off to? What are you taking along to read? What
place would you recommend to the undecided?

I'm probably not going anywhere this year, I hope to next year. So I'll play tourist here, go to the festivals in the Bay and find more good coffee-houses and walk in the parks.. Recommendations? Difficult. The places I like the best, I liked before they became touristy or became too touristy: Prague, the Languedoc coast, ? (My mind's seized up; the heat, the heat.)

Salzburg, goodness.

They handed out the candies with

much fanfare, suspecting that we'd never seen such (even though,
right on the package it said Made in Germany). The toilet paper they
proceeded to show around and then coyly explained it's use to my

Wonderful!, and of course your nother was polite... I can't think of any travel stories but that is, again, because it's hot here, I'll have an iced drink and ponder


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