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How Low Can You Go? Round Europe for 1p return (+ tax) Paperback – 3 May 2007
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Offers a passenger-eye view of this amazing revolution. Fasten your seatbelts, it's a wonderful ride. (Mail on Sunday)
Highly readable Bill-Bryson-esque travel writing... Chesshyre asks some timely questions, among them the ethics of flying and the cultural, not to say racial, damage inflicted by the dreaded stag-party outing (Telegraph)
If it's unspellable and unpronounceable, Chesshyre has been there, travelling steerage. (The Times)
While never lacking in humour - even in darkest Szczecin, Poland (where he goes for 1p) - Tom also makes a valid environmental point. (Mirror)
The resulting book is a larky yet thoughtful tour of New Europe, during which Chesshyre braves local tipples, leaps into icepools and joins some very British stag nights. (Daily Mail)
Funny, up-to-the-minute travel writing that explores the furthest reaches of no-frill, high-thrills EuropeSee all Product description
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This book is a humorous travelogue, a bit like Mark Twain's A Tramp Abroad. It was very interesting to read the author's comments on the places he visited, as several of them are unlikely to be found in a Lonely Planet guide. In fact, I came across this book whilst looking for a guide to Brno. Fortunately, I had a vastly different experience there than the author. I never did find a proper Brno guide.
The author also looks at the ethics of low cost travel, specifically the cost to the environment.
The result is a bit of a curate's egg, lacking the wit and entertainment provided by other travel authors. It also fails to paint a sufficiently detailed picture of each destination to enable the reader to determine whether he or she might like to visit that place themselves. The final chapter, Rijeka, is particularly bad in this respect. The book also contains chapters on two places you won't find on the departure board at Luton or Stansted: Camden and Shoreditch, but these areas of London contain the headquarters of EasyJet and Friends of the Earth respectively, each of whom grants Mr Chesshyre an interview. Okay, Tom, so Stelios of EasyJet hasn't visited every destination his airline flies to - get over it!
By far the most entertaining chapter is the one on Brno, where the author clearly had a most dreadful time. It's a sorry tale of surly receptionists and downright hostile tour guides, but it makes good reading.
His lowest prices seat is 1p, hence the title of the book, and he spends an average of £48 per flight. These are 2006/2007 prices though. He manages to go to some obscure parts of Europe, reom Finland, his furthest northerly point, down to Croatia and the Czech republic. Most of the time he enjoys where he visits, and find the locals amenable to him and his fellow travellers, but there is the odd place where I don't think that he will be returning to.
He also meets with the chairman of easyJet and the director of Friends of the Earth to look at the business and environmental aspects. They have, as you would expect, widely differing perspectives of the effects of cheap air travel on the environment. I think this adds a good balance to the book, rather than just making it a series of weekend jollies.
A good travel book, now outdated. Glad I read it though.
behind the old Iron Curtain. Not the usual tourist haunts of Amsterdam, Pargue and Paris but new destinations with wonderfully unpronouncable places in Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia and the rest, all accessible thanks to cheap flights.
Mr Chesshyre writes sympathetically about each. Only one place stands out as grim and unfriendly (I will not spoil the surprise and tell you which). As for the others, each has a gem or two that are worth seeing
and makes the flight really worthwhile. If you like Bill Bryson, you will like this, especially as Mr Chesshyre goes one step further than Mr Bryson and interviews the locals. This is a book which is great to read
on a flight or waiting at the airport. It will make a great Xmas stocking filler. I could have done without the chapter on the anti-airplane eco-warrior, a self-righteous and rather dull figure who reveals that he actually flies six times a year; it is there to provide balance with a super chapter on Stelios who gives a great account as to why it is morally right to fly and to fly often. Morally right and great, great fun.
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