Postcard from the Past’s weirdly addictive tweets quote from cards mailed home by travellers of yesteryear
‘This morning I went to where Mussolini was shot’, reads one quote, while others are more banal, such as ‘Have had scotch eggs & salad, very nice’; Twitter feed is being turned into a book, out soon, for fans of travel nostalgia
You don’t need a Twitter account of your own to look through these “fragments of life in real messages on postcards from the past” but – such is their mysterious allure – curator Tom Jackson has acquired almost 40,000 registered followers since he started tweeting them last year.
Mostly sent either to or within Britain, they range from the banal (“Getting fatter every day”, from Benidorm), to the quite bizarre (“This morning I went to where Mussolini was shot but it wasn’t worth the walk. Had raspberries & real cream,” from Lake Como). One lucky visitor to Cannes “Had cocktails with Tony Curtis in his yacht out in the harbour”, whereas a less fortunate tourist in Brussels glumly confesses, “I waxed so Gallic with my gestures after a single whisky that the waiters steered clear of me & I never got a second.”
A 160-page book compiled by Jackson, titled Postcard from the Past, will be published by 4th Estate on June 1, and is already getting rave previews from celebrity followers.
Business thrived over the next few decades, peaking in the ’80s and ’90s, but, of course, the original routes through Afghanistan and Pakistan have seen little traffic in the past 15 years. Tour company Dragoman is still thriving and offers trips in its custom-built trucks all over the world, including around the Indian subcontinent, China and Southeast Asia.
A useful resource for finding overland tour companies is TourRadar. Go to the website, click on Travel Types, then select Overland Truck and use the filters to find your preferred region, duration and age group. For an idea of what to expect from the overland experience, and how to organise your own, pick up a copy of Chris Scott’s Overlanders’ Handbook, which will be published in a second edition later this month by Trailblazer.
FREE NIGHTS Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts is running a “Night on Us” promotion, which offers a free night’s accommodation with stays of three or four nights at 23 resorts around the world.
DEAL OF THE WEEK A good range of hotels is on offer with TLX Travel’s two-night Beijing package. Prices start from HK$2,810 per person (twin share) until the end of June at the Swissotel Beijing Hong Kong Macau Center, or you can stay at the Pentahotel from HK$2,590 from June 1 to August 31.