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Travel Notes + Jetlag

Relaxing on the green grass of Ireland

I’m back from my European Economic Basket-case 2010 tour of Dublin and Greece trying to get over my jetlag, get through the hundreds of emails, downloading travel photos, Facebook, the handful of snail mail, shopping and washing. Under this stress I’m trying to put together blog entries from the jumble of notes in my travel journal.

What is this gibberish that I’ve written?

“Beware of Greek’s building bathrooms.”

“Dubliners are to fashion what the Eurovision song contest is to music.”

“I arrive in Greece on the 21st of May the birthday of Apollo; his twin sister Artemis was born the day I departed Melbourne.”

I wasn’t looking at art galleries for most of the trip, sometimes I was even trying not to look at the horrors in the tourist focused art galleries that I passed in Greece and Dublin. Or trying not to look at the same thing hung on the wall of the hotels that I was staying at.

Then there is the art in airports. I should write something about the similarities between international airports and art galleries. There is always some art on display at the airports – I remember as a child seeing an Alexander Calder mobile at Toronto International Airport. Nationalism at international airports sometimes demands displays of art and the architecture wouldn’t really work without it. However, the art, like hotel art, can’t be too confronting, too political, too expressive, too anything. At Melbourne Tullamarine Airport there are mosaics. Then in the departure lounge there are these funky, shiny and colourful steel, bronze, aluminium and fibreglass sculptures by Akio Makigawa “Journey West” and “Journey East” 1996. There is one Australian aboriginal painting by David Blanasi “Two crocodiles, the same yet different” 1994 in the departure lounge at Gate 7. Why is it the only painting in the departure lounge? Is it a token piece of Australian aboriginal art at the airport?

Looking back through my travel journal there are more notes about the art at Adelaide Airport and Singapore Airport but the art is pretty much the same. But maybe the content is more suitable for the blog my wife and I write: Who Buys This Stuff?

At some points in my travels I was on a similar path to the 19th century grand tour. What is the point of the “grand tour” as a contemporary experience? No, someone else (Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour) has already made a TV series about that.

Maybe I should write something about Mykonos given that The Kings of Mykonos movie has just been released. It was also released in Greece when I was there. I can put a tag on it and get a few more readers. Maybe not… but the exchange of contemporary Melbourne and Athens Greek culture is worth noting.

Maybe I should write about travel guides. “In Your Pocket – Essential City Guides” they proved to be a more practical travel guide than my old favourite Lonely Planet. For one these guides actually fit in your pocket and don’t overload the reader with information. The editorial information was accurate, informative and critical…

I am just raving now… jet lag will do that to your brain. I will be writing more about my travels – I just have to do some more writing and research before publishing them.

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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