Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

hidden europe Notes

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Our quest to travel light is of course a fruitless whim. We like the idea of strolling down to our nearest mainline station and hopping on a night train to the other side of Europe with no more than a light day sack. But it never happens.

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Our quest to travel light is of course a fruitless whim. We like the idea of strolling down to our nearest mainline station and hopping on a night train to the other side of Europe with no more than a light day sack. But it never happens. By the time we have packed half a dozen maps, a guidebook or two and a few essential clothes our luggage has expanded to proportions that would surely have many discount airlines eyeing us up as clear candidates for some hefty excess baggage charges. Fortunately rail operators do not yet value overburdened passengers as prey for extra revenue.

So, weighed down by our own baggage as we are, we take heart to read on a leading American travel website (Fodor’s if you must know) that we are leaving home without the essentials that many other travellers judge as absolute necessities. Evidently, there really are people who pack an inflatable ice bucket, a collapsible vase for a bouquet of flowers, a supply of ducting tape and a camping headlamp. We are still struggling to fathom quite what purpose the ducting tape might serve, but it is good to know that next time we board a train and find ourselves sharing a compartment with travellers wearing headlamps, this is just a transatlantic habit that is absolutely normal.

And what of your luggage? Would you, like us, dare to venture abroad without an ice bucket?

Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
(hidden europe)

This article was published in hidden europe notes.

About The Authors: hidden europe

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

Comments (1)| write a comment

  1. Amy
    2 June 2010

    An inflatable vase and ice bucket I can definitely do without, but a headlamp is so useful! I use one at home all the time when I read in bed and my boyfriend wants to sleep. I'm about to bring it on a 2 week trip for use in hostel dorms and on the night train.

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