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Around the World in 80 Days

Introduction

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThe pace of this kind of travel has not much changed since Fogg set out in 1872. Trains may be a little faster, but there are certainly no high-speed rail links yet across India, China or the USA. Passenger services have practically disappeared from the world's shipping lanes, whilst at the same time the armoury of bureaucratic obstacles - visas, permits, passports and carnets - has proliferated. Recourse to air travel, even as a convenient means of escape, was not allowed.

But these were challenges and challenges help to make an adventure, and an adventure was what I was after when I signed up. This diary is a record of success and failure, of euphoria and deep gloom, of friends made and advice and help generously given on what must still be the ultimate terrestrial journey.

There was never time to dig very deep and those expecting profound international insights will be disappointed. I'm particularly aware of how traumatically China suffered only a few months after my visit. But my journey around the world gave me a sense of global scale, of the size and variety of this extraordinary planet, of the relation of one country and one culture to another which few people experience and many ought to.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Chapter: Introduction
  • Country/sea: England
  • Place: London
  • Book page no: 9

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