Nr.70 / Year 3

May 13, 2015

What is a visit?

One of the most difficult and contentious issues for all travellers is just this - what can be defined as a visit? Different travellers use different definitions, as do various travel clubs. has avoided taking a clear stand on this issue for a long time - mainly because we believe that travel is a personal issue, and that we can't ever dictate what is or is not legitimate... However, we have been often asked to create some sort of guideline. Our 11-member Committee has convened for a considerable amount of time and has finally reached its decision based on the majority vote - though it was not easy! The text of these Guidelines follows below and will soon also be available on our site as an addition to our FAQ section.

Visit Guidelines differentiates between a ‘good visit’ and a ‘minimal visit’. In the interest of intercultural understanding, we urge all travellers to aim for a ‘good visit’, which would imply experiencing at least one recognised highlight of a particular region – whether natural, historical, cultural, gastronomic, entertainment or other.
In order for a visit to qualify as valid for, however, a ‘minimal visit’ is required of a traveller. defines a ‘minimal visit’ as:
  1. In the case of international border crossings where there is a border control, clearance of immigration authorities is required, and a visit to the area immediately beyond the immigration area itself is accepted. In the case where there is no border control between nations, standing in an area belonging to a region is accepted.
  2. In the case of regional border crossings, standing beyond the demarcation line between two regions is accepted.
  3. In the case of airport stopovers, standing with both feet in an area beyond the airport area is accepted.
  4. In the case of train transits, standing with both feet in an area beyond the train platform and train station is accepted
  5. In the case of road (bus, car, motorbike) transits, beyond what has already been mentioned regarding international border crossings, standing with both feet within the region is accepted.
  6. In the case of visits to areas by ship/vessel, beyond what has already been mentioned regarding international border crossings, standing with both feet in the region in question is accepted. However, for regions which are uninhabited and do not have any permanently manned stations (Ashmore and Cartier, Heard and McDonald, Bouvet Island, Clipperton Island), a clear sighting of the land in the region within the territorial waters is accepted.
In terms of items c, d and e above, in other words, a traveller must be beyond the entrance of the airport area, the train station area or the bus station areas themselves.
Once again, in the spirit of real travel, would consider that a ‘good visit’ should be the aim of travellers. 

Bay of Fires

How do you choose a great hike? It doesn’t need to be long, it doesn’t need to be hard… but it surely has to be nice! The Bay of Fires trek is for all the hikers who don’t want to spend a whole month in the wilderness or withstand the cold of the mountains. If you can’t imagine a better plan than 3-4 days walking over some of the most beautiful beaches of the world, then Bay of Fires is perfect for you!
If you want to try this wonderful beach trail, you have to travel to Tasmania, looking for the bay with the same name. The path goes from Mount William National Park to the Bay of Fires Lodge. Between these two spots you will find 16 miles of infinite beaches that will surprise you with their variety. You will be astonished by the white sand and the unusual rock formations, besides the endless turquoise sea that will accompany you during the whole path. 
The Bay of Fires trek is doable by almost everybody if you keep some basic things on mind. Don’t expect to walk barefoot, it’s much better to bring good boots and avoid the soft sand if you want to reach the end. You have to keep in mind that it’s difficult to find water or accommodation so it’s usually recommended to not go on your own. In addition, you have to keep an eye open because of the snakes, although attacks by them are very rare.
But don’t let these little details turn off your enthusiasm. It’s not a trail to be worried about or one where you can expect hard times. If you decide to walk the Bay of Fires, it’s better to be relaxed and not rush. Take your time to enjoy the sound of the waves, to admire the peaceful beauty of the place. Feel free to make as many stops as you want to, your destination is not so far! And of course, remember to bring your swimsuit. It’s extremely unusual, after all, to have the possibility to rest with a swim in the Tasman Sea!
The photos in this article are taken from the  


Here is an app to make things easier when you are moving through a new city. We all know how annoying it can be to search for the metro map on the station walls, trying to see something over the shoulders of a tourist family. It's better to avoid it! Bring all the maps on your phone!
With aMetro you can download metro maps from cities all over the world, saving them on your phone and getting instant access without an internet connection. The app displays a metro map in an extremely simple and useful way, helping you to quickly plan your route. 
Just in case you are not very good planning routes, aMetro can also do it for you. It can find concrete stations and give you the best way to reach them from your current location. It also gives you an estimated time, but this only works if you don't get lost during the transfers!

aMetro is completely free, but unfortunately only for Android. If you have an Iphone you can try the app MetrO. It has the same function, although it seemed a little less simple to us!

Chance Encounters

Travel never goes quite like we expect. Planes are late, maps are misread and unexpected detours are made. When this happens, the twisting roads of travel can lead to adventures we never imagined – and lessons we never expected to learn. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we cross paths with people who show us life from a different angle or provide kindness when it’s needed most. 

Those we meet while travelling can change our journey, our experiences or even our lives. Come along with some of the world's top travel writers as they share their stories from around the globe. 
You can buy it at amazon or find more information about the contributors here

Luca Zanni

"Travelling is like a very long, extended college education"

Q: Luca, tell us something about yourself.

I am researcher in economic history, I have written eight books, two of which have been translated into Russian. I was the first to discover certain Russian thinkers and bring their concepts to the west, the basic one is Nikita Giliarov-Platonov. He was a contemporary of Marx, one of the first Russian economists. Since I was very young, I have always collected old coins, which link very nicely with my professional interest in economic history. I have a diploma in numismatics from the American numismatic association and frequently go to conventions to find rare old coins. 

Q: How does your interest in coins link to your travels?

Whenever I travel, I am always looking for a coin shop or a coin market or an auction house and like to meet people who are interested in numismatics. Unfortunately, every country has its own particular market, it is not international, they focus only on their own old coins. But I am international, and so one of my reasons for travelling is to uncover more numismatics knowledge and expand my collection.

Q: So, what is your main motivation for travelling? Will you always be a traveller?

To learn about places so I can discover more of the world and then stop travelling in the future, maybe I will open a coin shop! For me travelling is like a very long, extended college education. I don’t think I will be travelling this intensely in the future – both moneywise and jobwise, I have other aims, so once I complete my list of quirky destinations, I think I will be more settled. I am especially interested in certain quirky places with a historical meaning, and mainly travel to explore them. This includes enclaves, exclaves, extra-territorial tombs, obscure islands or disputed borders.

Q: Such as?

An example is the only condominium in the world, which is French for 6 months of the year and Spanish for 6 months. This is the island called Isla de los Faisanes on the River Bidasoa between the two countries.

Q: What is your favourite means of travel? 

I love travelling by boat because I can move around, and have lots of space especially on large cruise ships. The boat allows me to read, the activity I most enjoy, while relaxing. I would say that I have spent more than a year on a ship in my 33 years and taken more than 10 long trips. Sometimes I may get a little seasick but in general I’m ok.

Q: Can you tell us about a travel experience that was particularly memorable?

I have some friends in the French government and thanks to them I got the permit to visit the Iles Eparses which are French islands around Madagascar; I visited 3 bases where the army, the navy and the foreign legion are present. From the supply ship, a helicopter takes you to land. This was memorable as they are among the hardest places to visit. I especially liked Tromelin island; I remember arriving early in the morning on a pristine island with just a meteorological station and lots of fascinating species of birds.

Q: What are some of your favourite places and why?

I especially like Argentina because of the light and the wonderfully pure air; for similar regions I love Alaska, which also appeals to me because it is so big and unpopulated. I also like Monaco because of its climate. And my home country, Italy, for its food of course – my favourite dish is coniglio con polenta (rabbit with polenta). I love Asian food, so all Asian culinary capitals are also on the list – definitely Taipei stands out. I also like opera so cities with opera houses are among my favourites – I have been to the opera in San Francisco, Chicago, Vienna, Paris. But, ultimately, I like quiet places like Jersey or Madeira – where I can think.

Q: What are some obstacles you face while travelling?

The cost is the biggest obstacle really; apart from that I can’t think of many other problems. In general I don’t really like overly hot countries nor overland trips.

Q: So, what are your travel plans for the summer?

Oh, just a simple trip to Lampedusa in the Mediterranean. I have never been there, and along with some friends we’ll just rent a place and be by the sea for a week or so.

Q: If you could invite four people to a fictional dinner, who would they be?

Friedrich Nietzsche, Sir Richard Francis Burton, Socrates and Dante Alighieri. These are very cultivated people and I think we would be able to talk about difficult issues, such as the reason we are here in the first place. I don’t have an answer to that, so I would ask them…
The photos in this article are from the private collection of Luca Zanni
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