Category: Surface travelPage 1 of 2

Posts about the joys of keeping as close to the earth’s surface as possible while travelling

Why close the train doors 40 seconds before departure?

This announcement always irks me. “To ensure a timely departure, train doors will shut 40 seconds before departure.” It reminds me of what a senior Network Rail manager…

Potential energy navigation – or not pedalling downhill

How driving an e-car has changed the way I think about driving, cycling and our relationship to the landscape through which we travel. I have recently started driving…

Global zoom confession

I have a confession to make. Sometimes, when online meetings are getting really dull, I gaze at the globe on my desk and search for islands. My eye…

The left-right game – experiments in navigation, embodiment and control

Yesterday my daughter and I left the house and flipped a coin. Heads for left, tails for right. Right it was, then left, then left again, et cetera….

Imprisoned with the infinite – the philosophical implications of an imaginary visit to Sweden

Yesterday our household returned home from an imaginary holiday. Despite being in lockdown, we realised that we could imagine going on a trip anywhere in the world. Our…

In praise of Aix-en-Provence TGV

I am speeding north on a train from Aix-en-Provence TGV and reflecting on what it is I like so much about this station. It sits on the southern…

On traffic

Drivers, please don’t complain about the traffic: you are the traffic Broadbent, O. (2019). Internal monologue everytime I hear a driver complain about the traffic. Bristol.

Transformative infrastructure goes both ways

Marseille In my previous post I was talking about the experience of distance, and how, when understood as an experience, distance is no longer a fixed entity. That…

Microadventure #1: Garden Sleeping

For my birthday this week my partner Mary gave me Alistair Humphreys’s inspirational book  ‘Microadventures’. According to Humphreys, a microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local,…

The joys of ferry travel – a postcard from Crete

You can get from London to Crete by land and sea but it takes about four days each way. I was due there for a four-day meeting and…

Derive #2 City of London – Log book

19/3/18 Derive #2 Location: City of London Context: preparation for my talk ‘Circling the Square‘ 0:00:00 Moorgate and London Wall. Once solid-looking stonewalls are now façades pinned in…

Circling the square – psychogeography in the City

Last night I have a talk at the first ever City of London Showoff called Circling the Square. The event was put on by the City Centre, a…

Surface travel – Münster to London

Overview Six trains and one monorail Leisure 709km £130 Today I take my journey home from Münster to London via a different route from my way out. Outbound…

Surface travel – London to Münster, Westfalia

Overview London – Harwich – Hook of Holland – Den Haag – Enschede – Münster Six trains, two buses and a ferry. Leisure 365 miles. £90. When I…

Eiffelovercast #4 – Crossing France very very fast: a paean to TGVs

Ever since I saw my first one zoom past as a boy I’ve loved TGVs. In January I travelled from one side of France to the other and…

Packing lists are sexy

I love packing. But until four years ago, I hated it. I would put off packing my bags, leave it to the last minute, forget things, bring the…

Follow the deer tracks, who knows where they’ll lead

Every time I go to the woods I find new insight or inspiration that I can use in my teaching. Today’s comes from deer tracks. I know the…

Building the Forth Bridge on Stage

For my first time on stage at Science Showoff back in November 2011, I decided to recreate the famous public demonstration conducted by engineer Benjamin Baker to reassure…

In Praise of Euston Station

I know it is not often that you hear people say this, but I do really like Euston station – from an interpreted transport perspective, it is a…

Negotiating the lifts at Kings Cross

Pushing a pram, as is my new daily habit, has made me much more aware of the relative accessibility or inaccessibility of London. Today I decided the best…

Travelling on Eurostar with a baby

This week we took our 5-month old by Eurostar to Paris. The experience of travelling with a baby is adding a new perspective to my journeys. Long-distance train…

Tips for riding the Caledonian Sleeper on a work trip

This is only the second time I have taken a night train as part of a business trip. As we slip into Edinburgh in the early morning, having…

Going full circle on the Overground

I feel like a bit of a wally standing here in the rain at Clapham High Street Overground station. There are many shorter ways to get me home, which…

Train + bike: the easy way to get to a festival

Last year for Cloud Cuckoo Land and this year for Shambala, I’ve taken the train most of the way, and covered the final leg by bike. Often the…

Hello St.Pancras

For all the publicity in London about the opening of the new Eurostar terminal at St Pancras, passengers leaving Paris on its inaugural day wouldn’t have been any…

Au revoir Waterloo

Last Tuesday evening I bid farewell to Waterloo International, the last day that Eurostar will serve this station before it transfers to St Pancras ‘in the (other) heart…

Iran diaries* – the omelette hall of fame

Every omelette* has a story to tell. The first omelette was in Istanbul. It was on a Wednesday morning, having just arrived by train by a round about…

Finishing my course – travelling to Iran by train

Since my last post, I have been rather busy!  The lack of posts on this blog since then can be attributed in part to the large amount of…

Metro entrance – TGV promotion on stilts

Going home from work is always such a pleasure when it’s such a beautiful day… On my way home through Gare de Lyon I saw three stilt walkers…

Things to do in Paris ⋕1: Go to Lyon

This Monday I did “le pont”, which is when French employers give their staff an extra day off between the weekend and a bank holiday, in this case,…