Airport is bottom of the pops
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Thursday 17 April 1997
The guide book publisher Lonely Planet asked the eight authors of its new Central Europe on a Shoestring for their highlights and lowlights of the region. The writers voted the Sound of Music Tour runner-up, not least for the antics of other participants: "Loutish youths skipping in the summer house chanting 'I am 16 going on 17', or manic Julie Andrews impersonators flouncing in the fields, screeching 'The hills are alive'."
In third place was the resort of Siofok on Lake Balaton in Hungary. Wine cellars in Vienna's popular suburb of Grinzing take a hit in fourth place. Lower down the order, the Warsaw branch of McDonald's and the Nowa Huta industrial complex put in appearances for Poland. Munich's Bierfest also rates a tourist health warning.
The writers' votes on central Europe's highlights puts Prague in pole position, followed by the Alps, Budapest and Czech beer.
Central Europe on a Shoestring, pounds 13.99, Lonely Planet. Simon Calder
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