Modes of Travel – part 1

One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey in Europe on foot.” is the opening sentence of Mark Twain’s ‘A Tramp Abroad

Having just been to Heidelberg and wandered around the woods on the Königsstuhl I also found this to be true: “One never tires of poking about in the dense woods that clothe all these lofty Neckar hills to their tops. The great deeps of a boundless forest have a 

statue hidden between treesbeguiling and impressive charm in any country; but German legends and fairy tales have given these an added charm.They have peopled all that region with gnomes, and dwarfs, and all sorts of mysterious and uncanny creatures. ”

But I’m digressing.. more on gnomes and mysterious creatures in another post, this one is the first of a random selection of ways of traveling other than ‘on foot’.

There are too many to mention in one ‘sitting’ (I will return to the subject in the future), so here are 3 of my favourites:

  1. In a trunk / suitcase

as in Hans-Christian Andersen’s rather surreal ‘The Flying Trunk‘ (the tale within the tale has kettles, matches, brooms and other household items compete for superiority).

flying trunk - danish
drawing by Hans Anker – cover of ‘Den flyvende Kuffert’, Carl Stenders Kunstforlag

2.  On a broom
as in Otfried Preussler’s ‘Die kleine Hexe‘. A wonderful story (and childhood favourite) about a little, good witch and her adventures with her trusted companion, the raven Abraxas.

Illustration by Winnie Gebhardt-Gayler

3. With an umbrella
Yes, you all know this one – but what’s not to like?

Illustration by Emanuela Delignon

More soon – travels with a cockchafer, anyone?

1 Comment

  1. I love the idea of the flying trunk. And witches and broomsticks are always cool! There was a British/Dutch animation show called Doctor Snuggles in which his mode of transport for air was a wooden rocket and for on the ground a talking umbrella-pogo stick which he hopped about on.

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