Destination: Europe

Splitscreen: A Love Story

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Mesmerizing travel video shot entirely on a Nokia mobile phone.

(Via Kottke)


In Italy, a Toast to American Breakfasts

On eating in Europe, and what Europeans have to say about American cooking

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China Beyond its Borders

Caught up with NPR’s series about the ways China is asserting itself throughout the world. It’s excellent. The latest piece looks at Italian response to the changing textile scene in Tuscany, “home to the largest concentration of Chinese residents in Europe.”

Sylvia Poggioli says:

On Via Pistoiese, shops are Chinese—hairdresser, hardware store and supermarket. There are few Italians. It’s 2 p.m. and all shops are open—there’s no time for siesta in Chinatown.


Travel Movie Watch: ‘The Trip’

NPR notes that British comedians Steven Coogan and Rob Brydon have put together a travel-themed comedy that sees them playing themselves (or, versions of themselves) on a restaurant tour of northern England. The film is mostly improvised and, says Coogan, “what makes it interesting is that there’s an edge to it and a discomfort to it that makes it engaging. It’s not just a couple of actors saying, ‘Get a load of me. I’m laughing at myself.’ There are a couple of moments where I find Rob irritating—genuinely—and I respond naturally, but not the way that I would in reality.”

I’ve been a fan of Coogan’s since his Alan Partridge days, and the movie will take place in my old expat stomping grounds, so I’ll hope to catch this one when I can. “The Trip” went into limited North American release last weekend.


Vanished Friends, Love Lost and My Old Address Book

Vanished Friends, Love Lost and My Old Address Book Photo: Jeffrey Tayler

Jeffrey Tayler found a relic from his first trip overseas. It brought back a flood of memories -- and regrets.

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The European Grand Tour, Chinese Style

The Economist takes note of a new variation on an old theme: a Chinese take on the classic “grand tour” of Europe. From the story:

China’s newly mobile middle classes like to visit established spots like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Venice’s Grand Canal. But the visitors have also marked out a grand tour all of their own, shaped by China’s fast-developing consumer culture and by distinctive quirks of culture, history and politics. The result is jaw-dropping fame, back in China, for a list of places that some Europeans would struggle to pinpoint on a map: places like Trier, Metzingen, Verona, Luxembourg, Lucerne and the Swiss Alp known as Mount Titlis.

(Via @reidontravel)


World Travel Watch: Hundreds Killed in Phnom Penh Stampede, Dutch ‘Coffee Shops’ Closing to Tourists

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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World Travel Watch: Tube Strike in London, Election Worries in Egypt and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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Bare at the Baths

Bare at the Baths Photo by Giam via Flickr (Creative Commons)

It was Conor Friedersdorf's last day in Budapest, and he'd forgotten his bathing suit. He opted for an audacious solution.

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Tags: Spas, Europe, Hungary

World Travel Watch: Traffic Restrictions in Italy, Conflict on the Thai-Burmese Border and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Consecrated After 128 Years

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Consecrated After 128 Years REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino
REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

The Pope consecrated the Gaudi-designed church as a Basilica yesterday. The building is still unfinished—it’s been under construction since 1882—but the consecration means that daily masses can now be held in the main nave. If tourist entry fees remain steady, it’s hoped that the Sagrada Familia will be complete by 2026.


World Travel Watch: G20 Alert in Seoul, Volcano in Indonesia and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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Paris vs. New York: The Blog

Paris vs. New York, a tally of two cities is a fun graphic blog that pairs up aspects of the two iconic spots—Quasimodo vs. King Kong, for instance, or the macaroon vs. the cupcake. I guess this is one city-to-city comparison that never gets old. (Via Kottke)


Gary Shteyngart in Russia: ‘Not a Tourist, Not a Native’

The author is in his native Russia for a book tour, and the New York Times’ Clifford J. Levy takes a look at his reception there:

While Mr. Shteyngart is a rising literary star in New York, he is a nobody in Russia, selling fewer translations of his books here than in Belgium. It may be that Russians don’t quite get his three-ring circus narratives, or are not amused by his caricatures of post-Soviet life. But Russia has a splendid tradition of satire, and current writers like Viktor Shenderovich, whose wit has been compared to Jon Stewart’s, have followings. (As well as the disapproval of the Kremlin.)

Maybe, then, it is something deeper: Russia does not like to celebrate the achievements of its wayward sons, often eyeing them with suspicion and even envy. Mr. Shteyngart said that some of the reviews of his work by Russian critics could be summarized as “Balding traitor betrays homeland.”

World Hum contributor Rob Verger talked with Shteyngart about his dual roles as novelist and travel writer last year. (Via The Book Bench)


World Travel Watch: Cholera Outbreak in Haiti, Tsunami in Indonesia and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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