Category: Surface travelPage 1 of 2

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

Glasgow Central Cinema – notes from the Caledonian Sleeper

There’s a magic about boarding a night train in a big city terminus. At that hour, some people are ending their nights out. For others their night out…

The joy of the ‘train classique’

France is well-known for its TGVs. But there is a place in my heart for the ‘trains classiques’, the older, long-distance trains that still trundle round the older…

Notes from the Île de Ré

Our summer tour continues. From Batz-sur-Mer we took a TER train to Nantes. No cycle reservation necessary. And then from Nantes, an Intercité train to La Rochelle. This…

The Great Elephant – Les Machines de L’Île

The highlight of our visit to Nantes was standing next to the Great Elephant as it set off for one its walks around the former dock yards. The…

Champtoceaux to Nantes – reflections on Loire à vélo

The last leg of our journey along the Loire à Vélo cycle route, à 35km flat run into Nantes. It was misty as we covered the early morning…

Ponts de Cé to Champtoceaux

A day for integrated travel! 70km from Ponts de Cé to Ancenis, and then 10km by kayak, our bikes carried to the downstream dock in a van, then…

Saumur to Ponts de Cé

The next leg of our cycle trip along the Loire took us from Saumur to Ponts de Cé, a town a little south of Angers. Again the river…

Cher-Loire confluence to Saumur

The one night we decided to sleep with out a tent and it rained. Only a few spots at around 5am, but enough to wake me and wonder…

Amboise to the Cher Loire confluence

We left Amboise, climbed the out of the valley of the Loire and over into the Cher, which runs parallel to the Loire and would be what we…

Muides sur Loire – Blois – Amboise

The second day of cycling along the Loire. A relatively flat 70km that would get steadily heavier going as the day heated up. The cycle path along the…

Provins – Tour de Femmes stage 2

From stage one of the Tour de Femmes in Paris to a very different stage two finish in Provins. The stage in Paris was of ceremonial importance, but…

Women and men’s Tour de France

One of the anchor points for our trip this summer is to catch the start of the Tour de Femmes, which coincides with the end of the Tour…

Paris – towers, boats and beaches

Today we had a proper tourist day in Paris. We’ve been numerous times with our daughter but now she’s old enough to remember we decided to take in…

Ouistreham to Paris

The port of Ouistreham is about 15km from the city of Caen. Journey today began with a cycle along the canal de Caen à la Mer. The canal…

Caen to Santander

Today we begin our summer #surfacetravel continental adventure: from Caen in Normandy to Santander in Northern Spain. We are travelling via mixture of bicycle and train. The adventure…

Ponts de Cé – Ancenis – Champsaucau

A multimodal stage on our journey through France, with 70km by bike, 7km by kayak and another 2km uphill to finish the day. We crossed the Maine river…

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…