The incredible biography of the most famous steam locomotive in the world. Think of the Golden Age of Steam and one train leaps to mind above all others: the Flying Scotsman, Nigel Gresley’s elegant masterpiece of a locomotive. She broke the world speed record in 1934 and has enthralled millions with her beauty and power. Uniquely, her post-war career has been even more varied and exciting than her early triumphs. Now Andrew Roden tells the Scotsman’s remarkable story, from her construction and the glory days between the wars through the decline of steam and her rollercoaster fortunes in the subsequent years: nearly abandoned on a tour of the United States after the money ran out, crossing the Australian interior, then put up for sale yet again when the company that owned her went bankrupt in 2003. A massive public campaign saved her for the nation and the Flying Scotsman’s restoration began in 2005 at the National Railway Museum. With the aid of numerous interviews with those involved with the Scotsman over the years, Roden brings her story memorably to life. Above all, he asks: why do grown men risk their life savings to own her? Why do thousands of people still line the trackside when she’s due to race past? And just what is the eternal appeal of the Flying Scotsman?
Hundreds of oversized images of the world’s most spectacular destinations are featured along with service information on the best and most authentic ways to experience them. A candy box full of visual delights, this book will inspire tangible ideas for everyone’s next great trip. National Geographic takes you on a photographic tour of our world in this spellbinding new coffee table travel gift book. Hundreds of Earth’s most breathtaking locales are illustrated with vivid, oversized full-color images taken by Nat Geo’s world-class photographers. These images, coupled with evocative text, feature a plethora of visual wonders: ancient monoliths, scenic islands, stunning artwork, electric cityscapes, white-sand seashores, rain forests, ancient cobbled streets, and both classic and innovative architecture. Loaded with hard service information for each location, Destinations of a Lifetime has it all: when to go, where to eat, where to stay, and what to do to ensure the most enriching and authentic experience.
In the company of his friend Stephen Katz (last seen in the bestselling Neither Here nor There), Bill Bryson set off to hike the Appalachian Trail, the longest continuous footpath in the world. Ahead lay almost 2,200 miles of remote mountain wilderness filled with bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, poisonous plants, disease-bearing tics, the occasional chuckling murderer and – perhaps most alarming of all – people whose favourite pastime is discussing the relative merits of the external-frame backpack. Facing savage weather, merciless insects, unreliable maps and a fickle companion whose profoundest wish was to go to a motel and watch The X-Files, Bryson gamely struggled through the wilderness to achieve a lifetime’s ambition – not to die outdoors.Bill Bryson has made a living out of travelling and then writing about it. In The Lost Continent he re-created the road trips of his childhood; in Neither Here nor There he retraced the route he followed as a young backpacker traversing Europe. When this American transplant to Britain decided to return home, he made a farewell walking tour of the British countryside and produced Notes from a Small Island. Once back on American soil and safely settled in New Hampshire, Bryson once again hears the siren call of the open road–only this time it’s a trail. The Appalachian Trail, to be exact. In A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson tackles what is, for him, an entirely new subject: the American wilderness. Accompanied only by his old college friend Stephen Katz, Bryson starts out one March morning in north Georgia, intending to walk the entire 2,100 miles to the trail’s end atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin.
If nothing else, A Walk in the Woods is proof positive that the journey is the destination. As Bryson and Katz haul their out-of-shape, middle-aged bodies over hill and dale, the reader is treated to both a very funny personal memoir and a delightful chronicle of the trail, the people who created it, and the places it passes through. Whether you plan to make a trip like this one yourself one day or only care to read about it, A Walk in the Woods is a great way to spend an afternoon. —Alix Wilber