Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Planes, Trains & Automobiles (2011/12)


I should begin by making one small request: although this trip is named after the amusing 1987 movie, please don't read too much into that. Rest assured that this is an account of another memorable and hugely enjoyable trip - NOT a journey-from-hell made by two incompatible strangers unexpectedly lumbered with each other's company! The name is appropriate not just because those three methods of transport crop up repeatedly along the way, but because they are absolutely central to allowing the whole thing to work.

Perhaps the strangest aspect of this trip is that the plan started out as a San Francisco city break, allowing me to bring in New Year 2012 with California-based friend and regular travelling companion, Bruce. Then one day in September I received an email with an unusually long title: Would you think I was a madman to suggest a train to Santa Fe over New Year? At first I did think it was a little bit crazy, but with each reading of the proposed itinerary I realised not only that it could be made to work, but that I was already completely hooked on the idea.

So join me on this intercontinental journey of a little over a week as I take a whirlwind tour of one European city and four US federal states (and as many different climate zones!), flying the skies, riding the rails and cruising the highways of America - and all of this made possible by planes, trains and automobiles!