Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Slowmoves on Guardian's Been There website

Slowmoves is being featured on the Guardian's brilliant 'Been There' website. "Been There is a guide to the world as traveled by you". Users can share their travel stories, post tips and browse thousands of reader recommendations.

Check out the slowmoves feature here:


Sunday, 28 June 2009

Campaign for better train travel

Why is it that in this country taking a plane across the UK is often cheaper than taking the train? UK train fares are the highest in Europe, especially if you don't book in advance. A last minute ticket from London to Manchester can be as ridiculously expensive as £250 return. But people love taking the train, watching the landscapes change, being able to walk up and down the carriage. And of course it's a much greener way to travel, ultimately reducing traffic and improving lifestyles.

The train VS plane debate is battled out in this funny video put together by Campaign for Better Transport. They argue that the government should stop giving such high subsidies to airlines and put their energy and money into better and more affordable train travel. You can join the campaign at: http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/train-fares


Thursday, 18 June 2009

Here's what you're missing when you fly

Not my words.  The words of Sunday Times' Chris Haslam.  I'll continue with them, "as you know, it's not the arriving, it's the getting there."  Or TS Elliot, "The journey not the arrival matters".

The centre page spread is titled SLOW TRAVEL.  Look out.  The article includes the following if you're UK based and want to check out the link for details:
- to Paris by bike in four days (which a number of friends have done and I hope will feature on this site)
- slow train to Constantinople in five days (slower than the 3 night express, which coincidentally I am looking at for August)
- banana boat to Costa Rica in 20 days
- camper van to Kathmandu in 40 days

slowmoves fits to whatever time you have.  Our only tip to add to the trips is to remember traveling loops (rather than straight) mean you don't have to cover the same ground twice... if you'd rather not.

Thanks to Paddy for sending us the article.  Echoes of my first post, not flying for a year.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The London Loop Walks - part 1

After making the decision to ration our use of flights to one big long-haul adventure every three years we have been a bit stuck for cheap holiday plans... Cheap flights are obviously out, trains can be really expensive, camping is polarising in our house, we can't really afford British hotels... So at the expense of our sanity we haven't done anything in the last two years that might, even vaguely, count as a holiday. So this year, we've decided that we need a mission - something that gets us out of the house and gives us a sense of purpose. Cue the London Loop - one of the Mayor of London's Strategic (!) walks. The London Loop is a series of 24 walks almost encircling outer London - each walk ranging in length from 6 - 14 miles.

We've just completed the first walk... from Erith to Old Bexley (8.4 miles) heading anti-clockwise around London, starting at the Thames. The walk was extremely diverse - taking in everything from salt marsh to woodland - with a huge array of both natural and man-made curiosities along the way. My favourite sight was a glass recycling factory! Doesn't sound very beautiful - except that the ground-down glass powder meant that the whole area had a glittery green sheen.

We’ll keep you informed of our progress.



Monday, 8 June 2009

Crazy Guy On A Bike

Grateful to the Crazy Guy for giving us the cycle route between Bordeaux and Biarritz.

Mixed emotions about revisiting the site as I was hoping the slant of this post might be about achieving cycling 400kms. The first line I re-read is: "after last year's trip we decided on another one to a flat part of France".

Crazy Guy On A Bike is practical a website, offering easily searchable cycling trip ideas and routes around the World in a series of postings, muddled together. Aside, it offers journal and forum facilities. It's well worth a visit.

Our Bordeaux and Biarritz tour was indeed flat, and at times frustrating, to be by the sea but not in view of it. However we were struck by the quality of ride itself. Of 400kms, the vast majority was on maintained asphalt, purely for cyclists, away from any roads and traffic. In fact away from just about everything other trees making up light, airy woods. slowmoves in the most peaceful of surroundings. June felt like a good time to be there. I am sure September also.

We did our trip slowly, albeit over four reasonably long days. Our route was Bordeaux of Cap Ferret, via Lacanau, before around the Bassin Arcachon and on south. Trains to and from Paris go from on the same line for both Bordeaux and Biarritz.

Along with the woods, highlights were Dune du Pyla and Biarritz, for very different reasons. Dune du Pyla (pictured) is something I simply didn’t know Europe had. Biarritz is more diverse and vibrant than my preconceptions had given credit to. I must also acknowledge the fantastic Hotel De L'Ocean, where we stayed for three nights, right in the heart of Biarritz and at very good value.

A recommendation of website, route, journey and destination.


Pictures from our trip to follow, but in the meantime from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Dune_du_Pyla-08.jpg

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Great British Walks

As you've probably gathered by now, at slowmoves we are big on walking - the ultimate form of slow travel. So when I heard that the Guardian/Observer were doing a 6 day supplement of 'Great British Walks', I thought other ramblers should be informed.

It starts tomorrow (sat June 6th) with an Art and Literature walk through the places that inspired painters, sculptors, writers and poets.

And then:

Sunday - Film and Music walk to explore famous film and TV sets, and see the places that inspired great musicians.

Monday - War and Politics walk guiding you through the sites of great battles and the places that have shaped politicians.

Tuesday - Engineering and Architecture walk exploring awe-inspiring bridges, earthworks and stunning architecture.

Wednesday - Lost Worlds and Legends walk through giants, hunters' caves and stone circles.

Thursday - Castles and Churches of Britain walk.

Friday - Wildlife and Water walk to get a closer look at our native wildlife.

6-12 June
Free with the Guardian and the Observer