There’s no doubt about it – travel is, for now, off the agenda. Everyone is staying at home. International borders are closed. Aircraft are grounded. The travel industry as a whole will probably never look quite the same again. Something no one was really expecting to happen quite so fast.
Having been somewhat grounded to the UK already by the reality of being a parent, the current lockdown is even harder because I can’t even go to my go to places here in the UK. My local National Trust site is closed. The London Underground is for essential journeys only. We can’t even jump in the car to escape to the coast for a day. I totally understand and respect why, but at the same time it is frustrating for a family who like to be moving around a lot.
Instead I’m trying to get my travel kicks remotely via a screen instead.
At the weekend I saw the end of the second series of what has to be the most exciting travel programme I’ve ever seen – Race Around the World. Last year I wrote about how much I enjoyed the first series, but the second one has been even better. Not only did the winning team win by only 20 seconds (honestly!) but I think it was a longer series, and one which shows off a part of the world that I know very little about – South America. If you haven’t seen it yet then please do, it really is wonderful television. South America, especially the Southern part, is now firmly on my bucket list. It looks absolutely gorgeous and the terrain there isn’t really what I was expecting. I think most of my South American knowledge was about the more northern countries. That needs rectifying now.
The rest of my travel viewing has been closer to home focussing on the London Underground. I accidentally stumbled across the Hidden London Hangouts that the London Transport Museum is putting out weekly on their YouTube channel. The experts from the museum’s Hidden London series of talks and tours sharing their knowledge about the London Underground. What isn’t to love? It’s certainly satisfying my current Tube withdrawal symptoms. It’s also making me keener than ever to finish our Tube Stop Baby challenge when we can.
Continuing the theme, someone on Twitter recommended the Heart of the Angel documentary on BBC iPlayer. Recorded back in 1989 before Angel station was redeveloped it is a fascinating look at 48 hours in the station and some of the people who work there. In a way it is hard to believe how much has changed in just 30 years.
One thing I miss loads under lockdown is being able to either travel by train, or see a train anywhere. We don’t live near a railway line and have no essential journey that requires one. I’ve managed to scratch that railway itch a bit though by watching the first episode of Tim Dunn’s new series on Yesterday – The Architecture the Railways Built. Not only does episode 1 let you have a nosey around the closed Down Street Underground Station, but he also visits the gorgeous Central Station in Rotterdam that Bonn and I were lucky enough to see for ourselves a couple of years ago.
Travel might change forever after all this, but we’re still determined to get out there as much as we can (rules permitting etc) and hope to still be able to share our adventures on here with you. Until then they might have to stay confined to our back garden!