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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for an armchair escape
As with Lonely Planet's other publications this is a great coffee table book with beautiful photography and geographical and historical information for numerous places across the globe. 'Great Journeys,' is split into 8 sections: Overland, Rail, Explorers & Conquerors, Rivers & Seas, Ancient Trade Routes, Literary Journeys, Road and Walks & Pilgrammages with between 5 and...
Published on 29 Feb. 2012 by K. Wright

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great pics, shame about the text!
Remember the days when Lonely Planet was all squat toilets and hitchhiking on goat lorries? It would seem their erstwhile globetrotting demographic has ditched their flip-flops for slippers if this hefty lump is anything to go by.

With 311 A4 pages and weighing in at almost two kilos, this monster will definitely not fit in your backpack. (It will, however,...
Published 18 months ago by Rachel Sirotinina


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for an armchair escape, 29 Feb. 2012
By 
K. Wright - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
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As with Lonely Planet's other publications this is a great coffee table book with beautiful photography and geographical and historical information for numerous places across the globe. 'Great Journeys,' is split into 8 sections: Overland, Rail, Explorers & Conquerors, Rivers & Seas, Ancient Trade Routes, Literary Journeys, Road and Walks & Pilgrammages with between 5 and 14 subsections within each.

With 4 pages for most journeys with over half of that being dedicated to pictures, the information is succinct and thus is best seen as a great source of inspiration rather than a guide to any specific place.Each section follows the same format and I especially like the maps showing the journey and key locations, essential experiences whilst there and the shortcut/detour options to help tailor the route to your own interests/time frame - not everyone has 16-24 years to devote to exploring Marco Polo's route.

From circling the Iceland's Ringroad to the Blue Train of South Africa; Route 66 to walking along the Great Wall of China, there is something for everyone. Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For prospective intrepid adventurers and eternal armchair dreamers alike, 8 Dec. 2011
By 
possessed.by.a.lemon - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
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From the ancient to the modern, the epic to the (relatively) short, Lone Planet's Great Journeys has all bases covered. Whether it's following the fictional Phileas Fogg around the world in 80 days or Wainwright along his Coast To Coast walk, theres something for everyone.

Split into sections (rail, road, sea, walks, literary, etc.) and blessed with gorgeous photography, Great Journeys is a perfect coffee table book that you or anyone else who's come over for coffee can pick up and spend a few minutes with and use as a talking point. It looks the part on the outside with burgundy and gold trimmings framing two examples of the quality photography within.

Inside, it becomes apparent that it's more of a beginners guide, a source of inspiration. Each journey takes up just four pages. The main body of text is accessible but brief and you'll frequently be left wanting more detail, but there are other books for those needs and this one's already plenty heavy enough.

All the basics you need are here along with boxouts with bullet points for essential experiences as well as appearances in film and literature and some further reading. Distances, countries covered, ideal time commitments, best time of year and other handy tips are also provided.

A great gift for those looking to travel the world but unsure of where to go. Those who've already been there and done that should consider it a less essential but still very attractive proposition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great pics, shame about the text!, 19 Nov. 2013
By 
Rachel Sirotinina (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
Remember the days when Lonely Planet was all squat toilets and hitchhiking on goat lorries? It would seem their erstwhile globetrotting demographic has ditched their flip-flops for slippers if this hefty lump is anything to go by.

With 311 A4 pages and weighing in at almost two kilos, this monster will definitely not fit in your backpack. (It will, however, look nice on your coffee table, if that's what you're into). Its principal use is inspiration, so don't expect it to provide anything more than a starting point; it is of highly limited use for detailed trip planning.

The text is divided into easily navigable sections - overland, rail, pilgrimages and so forth - each containing a dozen or so four-page entries on specific journeys like the Glacier Express and the Great Ocean Road. Of these four pages, at least two are pictures, and the rest is little snippets of information dotted around in text boxes. (Like I said, don't expect detail). The text follows a consistent format of headings throughout: `Essential Experiences', `Shortcuts', `Detours' and my own personal bugbear, `The Journey Today', a cloying second-person account of what you might experience should you ever prise yourself from your armchair to take one of these trips. An example: "'That's La Pera,' you inform a fellow passenger, `for its shape, like a pear'." If this is your idea of acceptable social intercourse, I hope you're not on my train.

Still worse, there seem to be mistakes in the smidgens of text you do get. The Trans-Siberian entry lists both St Petersburg and Tomsk as `essential experiences', despite the fact neither is actually on the railway line in question. If I spotted this one blooper, I suspect there may be many more.

The relentlessly upbeat style also seems misleading, giving the reader the mistaken impression that overlanding it from Cairo to Cape Town is just as much of a doddle as a luxury railway jaunt through the snow-clad Swiss mountains. The gloriously glossy photos further compound the problem, concentrating on landscapes and picturesque fruit sellers rather than the swarms of aggressive beggars and stroppy livestock you're likely to encounter in many of these destinations. I don't object to them showcasing the beauty of the regions covered, but I do feel they should make the dangers of the more adventurous itineraries clearer.

All in all, it's probably fine if you're after a gift for that awkward-to-buy-for backpacking nephew, but I doubt this is a book many will cherish and pore over for years to come. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it ends up being given away with travel magazine subscriptions before long. The pics are really nice though!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd like to go there, and there!, 18 Feb. 2012
By 
Ayami "Ayami" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
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Great Journeys is a gorgeous book from Lonely Planet covering journeys across the world whether they are by rivers or sea, by rail, overland or the journeys made by explorers and conquerors. To begin there's a short introduction on why we choose to travel followed by each journey. These routes usually cover a few countries at a time as shown by a map, details of the journey, some stats including distance, how much time it could take and any tips. Of course each has photos representing something on that journey. There is a lot of information packed into the 4 or so pages each journey covers and I like the addition of `Armchair' which includes any films, books or video games these journeys are featured in.

This is more of a great gift for someone who likes to travel rather than something to reference for a specific journey because there just isn't enough information covered to plan a trip on. The pictures however are enough to make you want to find out more. Some of them are fantastic landscapes while others are portraits really capturing the different cultures and lifestyles. There's a little on wildlife but really not enough for someone to buy it for that. This would make a great coffee table book and it's great for getting a little inspiration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 10 Dec. 2011
By 
Marand - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really gorgeous hard-backed large format book - the perfect gift for a keen traveller. The photography is, for the most part, stunning. It is very much a coffee table book - inspirational rather than an aid to planning a trip. The book includes about seventy journeys and necessarily there are only three or four pages devoted to each. There is a wide range of journeys by road, rail, boat & foot, a section on literary journeys and ancient routes. There are, of course, well known journeys and places, but also some less familiar places & routes, such as the route of Amelia Earhart's final journey.

Each original journey is described together with a note of the changes that have taken place over the years. There is also a section in each journey called 'Armchair' which lists books, both fiction and non-fiction, films and even computer games (Gran Turismo 4 for the Amalfi coast drive!) associated with that journey, helpful as a source of further information or as accompaniments for the journey.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and inspiring, 20 Oct. 2012
By 
Miss "crazyminx" (Coventry) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
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If you like coffee-table travel books, then this item is a must. It's a huge, beautifully produced hardback which is absolutely full of gorgeous photographs all over the glossy pages. It's full of inspirational ideas and just enough information to whet your appetite for a number of fantastic journeys.

The book covers many different types of journey, which are split up into chapters under the headings Overland, Rail, Explorers & Conquerors, Rivers & Seas, Ancient Trade Routes, Literary Journeys, Road and Walks & Pilgrimages. I particularly like the idea of the Literary Journeys where you can follow in the footsteps of Che Guevara's Motorcycle Diaries, explore Mark Twain's USA or emulate Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey. The Explorers & Conquerors chapter also has some interesting ideas, such as Amelia Earhart's Final Flight, and the Ancient Trade Routes contain intriguing suggestions for following the Spice Route or Silk Road, for example. Of course all the more traditional journeys are also included: the Inca Trial, the Kybher Pass, Norway's Fjords, etc.

Each journey is covered in four pages, two of which tend to be taken up with full-page photographs. You get a brief description of the background/history of the places on the route, an even briefer description of the actual route (think two or three paragraphs), a suggested detour and/or shortcut, a list of essential experiences and a list of further reading for armchair travellers (though, oddly, no further reading for those who actually wish to take the trip). Obviously what is essentially less than two pages of writing is nowhere near enough information to allow you to take the trip, but that's only to be expected. However I do wish the writers had included a few less journeys and given six or seven pages to each one, as I found that I was itching for more information about each journey and I was left a little frustrated by how little I was told. Of course the book is only meant to whet your appetite for each journey, but with the small amount of information given I would be hard pressed to decide which ones I wanted to research further.

However, despite the fact I would like more information, this is still a beautiful book and one that is a real pleasure to look through. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy looking at this and it would make a lovely gift.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book and a Good Source of Travel Ideas, 20 Nov. 2011
By 
Brett H "pentangle" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a large, lavishly illustrated book which describes 74 journeys from around the world. Some of these are traditional routes such as the Spice Road or the Silk Road, whilst others are from the more modern era such as the Hippy Trail and Route 66. These journeys are split into various sub headings - Overland (7), Rail (13), Explorers and Conquerors (9), Rivers and Seas (9), Ancient Trade Routes (5), Literary Journeys (8), Road (14) and Walks and Pilgrimages (9).

Four pages are devoted to each journey and about half of the available space is filled with pictures, including one full page picture for each journey. Hence, of necessity, you are just given a brief glimpse each time for what, in many cases, could fill a book all on its own. Therefore, the main purpose of this book is as a taster, to give the traveller new ideas and possibly the inspiration to visit places they have not considered before, or to give the armchair traveller the experience of visiting off the beaten track places mentally if not physically. However, due to space limitations, it is very short on detail. For example, one of my own favorite places is Samarkand, which merits just a few lines and says very little.

Each journey contains a section entitled 'the journey today'. What Lonely Planet have always been noted for is good, down to earth practical information and advice and I would say that this is what this book is, to a large extent missing. For example the first journey which is the Hippy Trail advises under the journey today section, 'You've crossed the Iranian border near Mashhad into Afghanistan.........'. Yeah, right! I guess the answer is that if the brief description has roused you into actually wanting to do the trip the next step is to buy the Lonely Planet or other detailed guide book of the area to determine the practicalities.

To summarise this is a well presented book which I imagine most would be pleased to receive as a gift. It is well illustrated and looks and feels like an expensive volume. It is interesting as a brief taster of many diverse parts of the world, and is probably the sort of book you will dip in and out of, reviewing areas of interest rather than reading cover to cover.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Brochure, 28 Sept. 2014
This is a beautifully presented book, full of awe inspiring images and epic journeys. It doesn't have the detail of the standard Lonely Planet guides, so isn't one to lead you through the essentials of your trip, pointing out all of the local hotspots, but is more about inspiring you where to go. Having read it I could quite easily fill the next 20 years with the journeys it describes, even though many of the suggestions are impossible given the current global political situation.

Given the work thats gone into the photography and content, there are a few pretty shocking editing errors. Hopefully this has been corrected in later editions, but the copy I have accompanies the 'Blue Train of South Africa' tour with the same map that goes with the 'The Royal Scotsman' journey. Even worse, the 'Palace on Wheels' journey around India is accompanied with the text from the overland 'Istanbul to Cairo' text. I would rate the book lower given the scale of these errors, but I really love everything else about it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and inspiring, 1 Feb. 2012
By 
Scott A. Mckenzie (Selkirk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
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I own this book as well as the National Geographic Version 'Secret Journeys of a Lifetime' - both are fantastic books. This book decribes fewer journeys but provides much more information for you to relive the journey from your couch. The journeys are grouped into sections according to with the terrain or rationale for the trip so you can easily skip through the book. Some are epic historical journeys, other describe beautiful routes relevant today. The National Geographic Book describes more journeys but in less detail. Everyone should browse a book like this, let their imagination run wild and maybe even plan the ultimate trip !
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5.0 out of 5 stars A visual inspiration, 24 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Great Journeys: Travel the World's Most Spectacular Routes (Lonely Planet. Great Journeys) (Hardcover)
This book is currently pride of place on the coffee table - absolutely beautiful and so inspirational. It really makes it seem like it would be so easy for me and my family to set out on any one of these journeys. Sumptuous photography with heaps of helpful information. A must read for anyone from avid travellers looking for inspiration and advice to 'armchair' travllers looking for a break from reality!
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