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Review: Marco Polo Didn’t Go There

Rolf Potts is perhaps best known for his classic book “Vagabonding”, detailing how to get ready for long-term travel. But “Marco Polo Didn’t Go There” from 2008 is a fine collection of travel stories with an unusual twist, since each chapter has ending notes which describes the circumstances surrounding that particular story. This is a great concept and feels like the director’s commentary track on DVDs.

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Featured stories

Bunker safari

"The area contains 54 excavated bunkers along with gun emplacements, scattered around the town’s most visible landmark."

Having champagne in Champagne

"We roamed the damp and chilly tunnels and stumbled upon a large barrel delivered by Napoleon himself."

Visions of Singapore

"By extensive use of landfill with sand bought from Indonesia and Cambodia, the bay area has expanded greatly in the last few years and tall buildings pop up everywhere."

Wazzup in Vaduz

"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."

Roaming the cobblestones of Istanbul

"Inside the church there are still traces of rune inscriptions made during the Viking age by Varangians, an elite guard made up of Scandinavian immigrant warriors."

Getting lost in Yazd

"Navigating on random while surrounded by staring old men, pointing their crooked fingers at the Godzilla Viking in surprise. It feels like I’m walking around in Mos Eisley."