Monday, 9 June 2008

The joy of slow travel

Dr B. has just got back from Berlin where he was celebrating his friend Horst's 60th birthday, at which Gerhard Schöne performed a Wünschkonzert, and he travelled there and back by train. "You know," he said,"it might seem a contradiction in terms to call the Intercity Express, which rolls at 250 km an hour (or faster) 'slow travel', but that is what it is when it takes 11 hours to get from Calvin City to Berlin. We're so used to instantaneous communication and have the whole battery of internet, email, mobile phone and sms to make sure that wherever we are we are instantly in touch. The low cost airlines apply the same logic to airtravel (sometimes), blink your eyes and you are there (after having of course queued up to check in, go through security, to board the plane and so on) - lunch in Geneva, afternoon tea in Berlin, or whatever. But travelling by train you have a real sense of the distances you are covering, and having space in your mind to adjust from a to b. And, of course, if you are really lucky, you can read a book, newspaper, relax , visit the restaurant car, have time to relax. It can be a moment when time stops still, a small glimpse of eternity."


Lac19offthesedays said...

It would be even better traveling by ship :o)

Jane said...

hmm on the Rhine but not on the sea - I get very sea sick!