Reading about places I’d love to visit but which I’m currently unable to (pandemic) may seem like a form of torture, but the best travel bloggers can expertly use words to take you along on their journey and make you almost feel as though you’re there with them. Plus, as evidenced by my own blog, I love to plan and these bloggers provide a never-ending source of inspiration and tips. Here are some of the best that I’ve noticed this month.
Stonetown’s ancient doors –@orangewayfarer
What a wonderful way to learn about Stone Town’s rich Arabian and Indian trading history, and the characters who have passed through. I’ll admit that, when I visited Zanzibar, although I noticed the intricate doors, I didn’t fully appreciate them, nor how they linked this tropical island with the subcontinent, and how each door seems to tell a story.
In addition to illustrating this post with dozens of delightful door pics, Madhurima’s fun digressions also give an insight into Indian culture. Now, please excuse me while I shop at B&Q for a door which can deter elephants.
70 year-old Polish dining cars – @JCBretan and @notesfrompoland
I really didn’t think that a Polish dining car could be so much fun until I read this article, but it seems as though, in the country’s post-war Communist years, they were packed with raucous drinkers having a grand old time. Well, until they woke up with a hangover the next morning hundreds of kilometers from their destination.
Juliette Bretan’s hugely entertaining article brings us up to the modern era, where those 70 year-old dining cars are still in operation today. She describes how they’re now much more chic, and that the food served on board is freshly cooked – far less dubious than the stuff that was once presented in jars – making the dining car a highlight of any journey.
Goma and Nyiragongo volcano – @PlaneTicketAway
As part of a chat about volcanos, @PlaneTicketAway shared this video of a journey they’d done to Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s a wonderful few minutes’ insight into this tour, including the travel there, as well as quite breathtaking footage of the active volcano itself.
Gower Peninsula hiking – @MattWalkWild
Being ‘stuck’ in the UK has provided many people the opportunity to better get to know their own country. Thanks to bloggers such as Matt, my eyes have been opened to places that rival many I’ve travelled thousands of miles to see. Even better, the page that he’s created contains a wealth of information on how to walk what looks like a spectacular route along the Gower Peninsula coast path. As someone who loves to plan, this has a lot of appeal for me!
Non-touristy Cotswolds – @Jackie8 and @wanderlustmag
I walked the Cotswolds way several years ago, briefly lived in the area after a South America trip, and now run a boutique holiday cottage in Winchcombe. Jackie Scully puts into words my reasons for why I’ve fallen in love with this Area of Outstanding National Beauty.
If you’re interested in visiting then you’ll find no better source for planning than this article, which focuses on the less-touristy, non-crowded, but equally (if not more so) beautiful villages which are scattered along the Cotswolds Ring walk. This route combines, in my opinion, the best walks in the region, as well as delightful villages such as Guiting Power where the coaches don’t dare to tackle the narrow country lanes.
Flying as a Black traveller in the Jim Crow era – @mia__bay and @CNTraveler
I was just about to publish this post when I saw this article by Mia Bay re-tweeted onto my timeline (thanks @travel4thestars and @travelhistory1). It outlines the abhorrent discrimination faced by Black passengers during the Jim Crow era, including Ella Fitzgerald who was bumped off a flight during a layover on tour, and had to wait three days for the next one.
Although this is a record of what happened decades ago, it’s worth adding that discrimination in travel is far from a thing of the past (watch this Ted Talk by Evita Robinson of NOMADNESS for a glimpse into that).