Oct 4, 2011 5:41:50 AM
Greatest historical journeys: part one
In the first of three instalments taken from Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Experiences, we look at the ten greatest historical journeys. So pack your compass, shoe your donkey and step out onto the trails of these famous travellers.
Jules Verne: Around the World in 80 Days
Follow in the fictional footsteps of Phileas Fogg, who travelled around the late-Victorian world in less than three months. Published in 1872, Around the World in 80 Days was Jules Verne’s ode to the technological advancements of the 19th century. So, limiting the journey to rail, steamer an, er, elephant, your itinerary is as follows: London to Suez to Bombay to Calcutta to Hong Kong to Yokohama to San Francisco to New York and then back to London. And your time starts…now.
Book a round-the-world airline ticket and create your own adventure; or, for inspiration, check out the Jules Verne film festival.
The superior military intelligence of Genghis Khan, born in the 13th century, was responsible for uniting the tribes of Central Asia to form the formidable Mongol Empire between 1266 and 1368. He made his conquering way from Mongolia to Beijing, eastern China, western China and finally Russia. If you are going to follow this ruthless historical leader, do your best to restrain from slaughtering 30 million people – the estimated number of people who died during the reign of Khan – along the way.
Most foreigners need a visa to enter Mongolia. Check your country’s status. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Born in Morocco in 1304, Battutah was a scholar and jurisprudent. At the age of 20 he set off on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and kept on travelling for almost 30 years. The published account of his travels, called the Rihla, tells of journeys covering 120,700km, taking in the entire Muslim world and beyond, including 44 modern-day countries. Lost to the world for centuries, the Rihla was rediscovered in the 1800s and translated into several European languages. Grab yourself a copy, set aside the next 30 years and bon voyage.
Western pilgrims can access Mecca travel advice at www.abhuk.com
Lonely Planet’s Great Journeys presents more than 70 of the greatest journeys you could undertake, from ancient trails, like Machu Picchu, through to modern classics, like Route 66.