hidden europe 37

The art of marketing

by hidden europe


We fear that the slow travel tag has been appropriated by writers and publishers who see slow travel as the latest marketing opportunity. Seven years after the launch of hidden europe and three years after the publication of our Manifesto for Slow Travel, we take a look at how slow travel is evolving.

We happen to take the idea of slow travel quite seriously. All the articles which we wrote for this issue of hidden europe were researched and written without recourse to flying. But does merely eschewing flying mean one can claim to be a slow traveller? Dan Kieran seems to think so. Dan can, on the face of it, lay claim to some decent slow travel credentials. A few years ago, he purchased an old milk float on eBay and travelled across England at a sedate twenty kilometres per hour. Dan told the tale of that slow expedition in his 2008 book Three Men in a Float (co-authored with Ian Vince).

Dan’s latest book is The Idle Traveller: The Art of Slow Travel. It was published on 1 July. In it he reveals that “there was no great philosophical plan” behind the milk float stunt. So much for the ecotainted prose of the 2008 book, where Dan does a very plausible job in trying to persuade readers that riding across Britain in a battery-powered cart is a great way to save the planet. Fast forward to 2012 and Dan gives a fresh gloss on his milk float journey. “It was all an elaborate joke,” he writes in The Idle Traveller.

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Editorial hidden europe 63

Is there not a measure of absurdity in all our lives today? We have discovered that it’s hardly possible to plan anything. And yet there is a certain liberation in simply not trying to plan, in just receiving with simplicity all that might come our way. This may of course be the secret of enjoying travel, as and when the day comes when we can start exploring Europe again.

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Editorial hidden europe 46

Welcome to issue 46 of hidden europe travel magazine. In this issue we walk through Lisbon and take the ferry to Iceland's Vestmannaeyjar. We also explore the Suffulk coast of England and visit the Danube wetlands and the Scottish Cairngorms.

Related note

The warm shadow of Isabelle Eberhardt

Many years ago, I spent a long hot summer in and around a sleepy ksar on the edge of the Sahara. I read many books that summer, but it was 'Dans l’ombre chaude de l’Islam' that tugged and tugged again, urging me to return to its pages. That book was my introduction to Isabelle Eberhardt, a writer who — perhaps more than any other — has influenced my life and my thinking. This summer, so far from the desert and in a country where the most charming of all oases is my garden, I turned to Sharon Bangert’s English translation of 'Dans l’ombre chaude de l’Islam'. It appears under the Peter Owen imprint in a pocket-sized paperback.