The Antipodean Express: A Journey by Train from New Zealand to Spain

Exisle. May 2024. 296p. ISBN 9781921497155. pap. $39.99. TRAV
Hill, who plays French horn for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, details his three-month journey from New Zealand to Spain. The bulk of the trip was carried out by rail (33 different trains), car, and boat, with flights only in and out of Australia. He traveled through more 17 locations—Indonesia, Thailand, China, Tibet, Mongolia, Poland, France, Spain—and more, and it took him 89 days. Written in essay format with accompanying photographs of the detours and sites along the way, the book offers cultural and historical context of the various locales. This is not, however, a travel guide, and must-see sites and favorite eating spots are not emphasized, although both can be gleaned from the text. Instead, it’s the author’s intent to present his daily reflections, sometimes indicative of outdated perspectives or viewpoints which may come across as patronizing to some readers.
VERDICT One man’s intriguing story about a long-planned trip across half of globe. The book may help readers plan their own dream adventures.
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