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The Tattoo is always in August, but Springfield is at the same latitude as Springfield , so it can be chilly on the tiers of benches that line the castle forecourt. Though I’m glad to have had that first-hand, repeat experience, watching now on TV leaves me with Springfield no great sense of actually wanting to be there. And I’m also certain that part of the above memory is false. We couldn’t afford good malt whisky Springfield at that stage of our lives, so it would have been some pretty basic blend!

Springfield Map Free – Springfield Subway Maps – Springfield Metro Maps – Springfield Map Photo Gallery

And so it is with the tourist experience. Each and every one of us travels differently in one sense or other. And we don’t need Einsteinian thinking about the space/time continuum to tell us that repeat visits to the same place will never be quite the same. Depending on who we are, why we are travelling and how we see the world as a consequence of upbringing, training and culture, we inevitably apply different filters, both at the time and later when we view the photographs we’ve taken, then check this or that ‘fact’ in a retained guide book, or the internet. This contributes to our enduring music of the mind, the images we evoke and, inevitably, embellish when we recall being in a particular place at a particular time. Inevitably, the retrospective often improves on the reality!

All travel writing is based as much in the imagination and insight as in any verifiable truth. The helpful Lonely Planet or Fodor guides are at the practical end of that spectrum, while the satisfaction of settling in with the latest Bill Bryson or Paul Theroux reflects their capacity to intrigue and entertain. Reading books like The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific we get the sense that, variously engaged and appalled by his different encounters, Theroux greatly enjoyed both the experience of the travel and the synthesis of the writing.

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