Sightseeing stamina


Bernd and I don’t have any concrete plans this weekend but we talked about going swimming at the Brockwell lido. Then I discovered a robot zoo exhibition that looks fun so I suggested that.

Bernd: “So we won’t go swimming?”

That’s how we usually operate. We’re pretty busy through the week so we don’t like to schedule more than one outing on the weekend. This leaves plenty of time for relaxing, faffing about and reading the Sunday Times.

It strikes me, though, that pretty soon we’ll be squeezing 2 attractions into a morning, then exploring a temple complex in the afternoon. Topped off with a 12 hour overnight train journey.

I don’t know how I’m going to cope. 20 years ago I was capable of full on, action packed sightseeing, but those days are long gone. Now I’m the kind of person who bemoans the lack of seating at the V&A because slow walking gives me ‘museum hips’.

The solution is to have some busy days and some quiet days. Fortunately I don’t equate inaction with boredom. I don’t understand travellers who want to be entertained 24×7. I see people asking advice on the internet about how long to spend in a certain town or village. The answer from the online backpacking community is often 1 day, take a day trip from a bigger city or skip it altogether. I think they miss seeing a lot of interesting places.

I can entertain myself pretty much anywhere for several days, just walking around, sleeping, reading and eating. That’s all I need. Sometimes it’s all I can cope with. I like wandering around an unfamiliar place, seeing how locals live, what they do in their daily lives, what they eat etc.

That’s why we’re spending at least 3 nights in most destinations on this trip and 5-6 nights in many places. Otherwise I’d be pure hell to be around.

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