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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 4: 28 September

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThe out-of-season feel persists. The small swimming pool is dry and a safety net is slung across it. I ask a crew member if it will be filled. He looks at me in surprise and shakes his head: 'It is for crazies'. The whole of the lower sun-deck is full of Mercedes cars - an overflow from the hold, I suppose.

Passepartout has lost all the Sunday papers he bought at Victoria three days ago with the exception of Sunday Sport. As we cut through the deep blue waters of the Adriatic, on our way from one cradle of civilisation to another, I settle down beside the Mercedes and read of 'Lesley's Agony As Her Man Turns Into A Frog'.


Midnight. A last turn on deck. Cool enough to make me grateful for including a sweater in my minimal luggage. After the mad rush of the first 48 hours, the pace of the journey has completely changed. For the first time I'm beginning to sense the immensity of the distance ahead. We're making 18 knots, which is respectable for any ship, but it still means that I'm currently going round the world at less than 30 miles an hour. Trains now seem unimaginably fast, aircraft incomprehensible. We have been moving steadily now for 29 hours and have seen nothing but hazy pale-grey sea. Away to our right (I'm sorry, starboard) is Brindisi, from where my illustrious fictional predecessor set sail.

Back to my cabin, which I can now find with only one wrong turning. In the middle of the Adriatic I put my watch on an hour - the first of twenty-four time changes before I get back home.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 4
  • Date: 28 September
  • Country/sea: Mediterranean Sea
  • Place: Adriatic Sea
  • Book page no: 29

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