Over the past month, I have watched two different, but equally enjoyable, travel documentaries.
The first documentary is the New Europe seven hour DVD series that Michael Palin did in 2006 – 2007. Having watched just about everything that he has done ( Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Sahara, Himalaya) and loving them all, I must say that I wasn’t expecting this series to be at the same level. After all, it’s only Europe, not Africa, Asia or an around the world journey against the clock. Boy, was I surprised and greatly entertained.
The series covers travels in 20 countries, ranging from Turkey to Romania to Poland to the former Yugoslavia. I was impressed with the people that Palin met on the journey as well as the incredible scenery and settings, ranging from simple but beautiful farms to spectacular mountains and wide open land, something I didn’t expect in a densely populated continent. After watching this, I have now added several more countries to my travel list. It was an enjoyable series and a great surprise indeed.
The DVD set also includes an interview with Michael Palin himself, and watching him reflect and add his own perspective to the journey reminds one of the joy of sharing travel with others. If you are interested, check it out at: Michael Palin – New Europe.
The second documentary, which couldn’t be further in content from the New Europe series, is a 90 minute show called Running the Sahara. It chronicles the journey of three men, one American, one Canadian and one Taiwanese, as they attempt to literally run across the Sahara Desert, from Senegal to Egypt, covering about 4,300 miles. In addition to experiencing the scenery and people of Africa from an ‘on the ground’ point of view, their grueling schedule of running around 40 miles a day, without a break, is amazing to see. You can learn more about it at the Running The Sahara website.