“All towns have been discovered, but some have been discovered more than others”. John Williams, with thanks to George Orwell
When travelling along the highways of Europe, it is virtually impossible to miss the brown signs erected to highlight a nearby leisure attraction. Most of the time we are on a tight schedule to reach our destination, so we drive past and can only wonder what delights we may or may not have missed.
Then there comes a time when we are travelling by car with no fixed deadlines, just the urge to explore. So the invitation, extended by a brown sign, with its basic pictogram showing a castle, monastery, an ancient town or even a theme park can sometime become irresistible. We slow down and take the next exit to discover a new place.
When travelling by air, I take it as read that the surface I pass over will mostly remain a mystery to me. When travelling by train, I get to see the towns and countryside, but unless I have GPS, or a map I am not always sure what I am looking at, or what the town I pass through has to offer. On a coach I can read the signs, but have no opportunity to follow to where the brown signs lead. It is only by car that I can really appreciate what is on offer.
In this way I have come across all sorts of fascinating places. From unheard of character filled towns, to the foundations of “Big Bertha” a massive First World War gun and Parc Asterix.
So when I pass one of these signs and have to drive on, it is often with regret. Am I alone in feeling this way?
Updated 24 March 2011 for #FriFotos on the Theme of ‘Signs’ on Twitter.