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Travel & Lifestyle

Travel and enjoyment from your own home – see the world with new eyes and get inspired.

Focus on: Up & Away

Up & away: exciting and beautiful travel books

COVID-19 has really put a damper on our sense of wanderlust. But we can still dream of trips, and set off with the help of books – using them as inspiration for where to go once current restrictions are lifted.

In the run-up to Brexit, Tom Chesshyre decided to purchase an Interrail ticket to live out his affinity for Europe. The leisurely pace of his trip in local trains is the subject of the renowned British travel author's “Slow Train”. The journey is truly the destination as he makes his way from London via Ukraine to Venice.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Slow Train

Tom Chesshyre: Slow Train
A declaration of love for today's Europe in 25 stops.
DuMont Reiseverlag, 334 pages, 14.95 €

Chesshyre's adventure on local trains was certainly off the beaten track, but a mere walk in the park compared to what Ferdinand Magellan undertook in 1519, when he became the first European to set sail across the Pacific. He never returned from his voyage. But one of the five ships in his expedition continued on its way eastwards, and actually made its way around the world – proving that the Earth is round. Antonio Pigafetta was there, and his renowned travelogue has been released in a new edition: “Around the World with Magellan”.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Mit Magellan um die Erde

Antonio Pigafetta: Mit Magellan um die Erde
(English: Around the World with Magellan)
An eyewitness account of the first circumnavigation of the globe 1519-1522.
Edition Erdmann, 288 pages, 24.00 €

Today, there are no blank spots on the map anymore. But adventure and excitement can still be found – as described by Claudia Hildenbrandt and Daniel Mathias in “Jesus Loves Cyclists – and So Does Navid”. The pair of travellers spent two years pushing pedals, covering 32,000 kilometres in Europe, Asia, America and North Africa. Their journey was arduous, sometimes even dangerous – but most of all moving, when again and again strangers offered to help the cycling fanatics.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Jesus liebt Radfahrer

Claudia Hildenbrandt, Daniel Mathias: Jesus liebt Radfahrer – Navid auch
(English: Jesus Loves Cyclists – and So Does Navid)
How God's chosen, gun enthusiasts, and some wimps helped us out of a pinch.
Reise Know-How, 192 pages, 15,00 €

Brief time-outs
Right now, one can only dream of such journeys: COVID-19 has put a damper on our collective wanderlust. But travel is still possible, recreational vehicles are the travel heroes of the day, or if you want to be literally well grounded, tents. Everything you need to know is covered by tent-camping enthusiast Björn Staschen in his “Handbook for Camping”, which for him, first and foremost, is a way to find freedom and come into closer contact with nature.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Gebrauchsanweisung Camping

Björn Staschen: Gebrauchsanleitung fürs Camping
(English: Handbook for Camping)
Piper, 224 pages, 15.00 €

His individual approach may be combined with Yvonne Weik's discovery and decompression guide: “52 Big and Small Escapades in the Black Forest. Comfortably keep your distance during the pandemic, while rambling, cycling, paddling. Immerse yourself in nature and let your mind wander.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss 52 kleine & große Eskapaden

Yvonne Weik: 52 kleine & große Eskapaden im Schwarzwald
(English: 52 Big and Small Escapades in the Black Forest)
DuMont Reiseverlag, 232 pages, 16.95 €

If the summits of the Black Forest are not tall enough for you, then head for Europe’s mountains, with Eugen E. Hüsler's “Guide to the Alps in your hand. It will lead you to natural wonders and on fantastic tours. Thanks to his breath-taking photos, you can already imagine being out and about – and hope that unrestricted travel will soon be possible again.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Das Reisebuch Alpen

Eugen E. Hüsler: Reisebuch Alpen
(English: Guide to the Alps)
The best places to discover – highlights, natural wonders, and fantastic tours.
Bruckmann, 384 pages, 29.99 €

Text: Sabine Schmidt

Look forward to these Food & Travel events at Bookfest digital

Travel Studio 1

„Die Klimaschmutzlobby“ - The climate pollution lobby

Live now DE
Speaker: Susanne Götze
and 2 more speakers

Green matters! A talk on sustainable lifestyle

Live now DE
Speaker: Mimi Sewalski, Sociologist and CEO of Avocadostore

MARCO POLO Online-Talk

Live now DE
Speaker: Stefanie Penck
and 3 more speakers

Alexander Sperling "Glashauseffekt"

Live now DE
Speaker: Alexander Sperling

Live-Talk with Dirk Steffens and Fritz Habekuß

Live now DE

Food Studio 1

Vegan Klischee Ade - Das Kochbuch

Live now DE
Speaker: Niko Rittenau, University lecturer, seminar leader and speaker
and one more speaker

The “Cat” serves up her favourite family recipes, sprinkled with stories and personal insights.

Live now DE
Speaker: Daniela Katzenberger

Eating with Africa - My journey through the African kitchens

Live now DE EN
Speaker: Maria Schiffer

Food Studio 2

Ross Antony bakes WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

Live now DE
Speaker: Ross Antony

Meet The Authors from HQ, HarperCollins

Live now EN
Speaker: Adele Parks
and 2 more speakers

Thrilling: Uri Buri tells of his colourful life and lets us peek into his kitchen

Live now DE
Speaker: Uri Buri
and one more speaker

Lorena Palombo

Live now DE
Speaker: Lorena Palombo

3 reading tips

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Allein durch den Iran

Walk of life

Kristina Paltén and Desirée Wahren Stattin: Allein durch den Iran
(English: Alone through Iran)
1,840 kilometres of trust, curiosity, and openness.
Translated into German by Paul Berf.
KiWi paperback, 344 pages, 18.00 €

Kristina Paltén and Desirée Wahren Stattin: Allein durch den Iran
(English: Alone through Iran)
1,840 kilometres of trust, curiosity, and openness.
Translated into German by Paul Berf.
KiWi paperback, 344 pages, 18.00 €

Kristina Paltén covered 1,840 kilometres in 59 days – on foot. And her walk was a challenge in other ways: the Swedish extreme athlete speaks only a few words of Persian and could not read the road signs. In addition, she was well aware that Iran is not a free country – but that is the very reason she undertook this long journey: to build bridges. She wrote a book about her exhilarating travels; about the life crisis that led her to running; about her extreme tour through a land whose political and religious leaders are so keen on limiting women's freedoms.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Einfach wein

Enjoying wine and travel

Aldo Sohm and Christine Muhlke: Einfach Wein
(English: Simply Wine)
The illustrated guide.
Translated into German by Ansgar Knirim.
Prestel, 280 pages, 28.00 €

Aldo Sohm and Christine Muhlke: Einfach Wein
(English: Simply Wine)
The illustrated guide.
Translated into German by Ansgar Knirim.
Prestel, 280 pages, 28.00 €

Of course, you can always get your wine from the supermarket. Alternatively, you can let the fruit of the vine become your passion, develop a personal philosophy of enjoyment and travel, develop your palate, give it a chance to explore, find out about the vines and where they are grown. You can travel in your mind or in person to enjoy the delightful vintages, and life itself. Find out everything you need to know in this guide to wines by sommelier Aldo Sohm, a native of Tyrol and New Yorker by choice: concise, practical, and designed to enhance your enjoyment.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Karten Meere

Dreams on the horizon

Wolfgang Struck, Iris Schröder, Felix Schürmann, Elena Stirtz: Karten-Meere.
(English: Charted Seas)
Giving rise to a world.
Corso, 164 pages, 20.00 €

Wolfgang Struck, Iris Schröder, Felix Schürmann, Elena Stirtz: Karten-Meere.
(English: Charted Seas)
Giving rise to a world.
Corso, 164 pages, 20.00 €

There are no unchartered gaps on today’s maps of the world; possibilities for discovery are severely limited. On the other hand, maps themselves allow us to take journeys, helping us to orient ourselves in the world and most of all on the high seas. At the same time, they reveal dream worlds of possibilities, they can help us retrace past voyages, to envision future journeys, or conceive our own fantastic forays. The bibliophile volume “Charted Seas” shows us how all this works, with numerous illustrations, as well as excerpts from literary works in which maps play a role: from Herman Melville's “Moby Dick” to Joseph Conrad's “Heart of Darkness”.
Texte: Sabine Schmidt

Talk with: Kathrin Passig and Aleks Scholz

Round trip to the Big Bang and back

Fans of time travel now have the best way to prepare for it it: Kathrin Passig and Aleks Scholz explain what to look out for when encountering dinosaurs along with insider tips on the delights of Communist East Germany.

Kathrin Passig
Aleks Scholz

What moved you to write Handbuch für Zeitreisende (Handbook for Time Travellers)?

It wasn’t our idea. It originated with a physicist named Matthias Rampke, who was kind enough to let us use it. We were fascinated by various aspects. Aleks wanted to write the book to prove that it is impossible to write such a book. But this attempt was a washout. Kathrin wanted to prove that we can put the past to good use. That also washed out. So the book turned out to be the culmination of two failed plans based on an idea that was not our own.


What were the criteria for your choice of travel destinations? Why back to East Germany but not to the Colosseum in ancient Rome?

We wanted to concentrate on destinations that are not immediately obvious. The Colosseum is described in any old travel guide, no need in covering that ground again. But Communist East Germany is a real insider tip.

Kathrin Passig, Aleks Scholz: Handbuch für Zeitreisende. Von den Dinosauriern bis zum Fall der Mauer.

Kathrin Passig, Aleks Scholz: Handbuch für Zeitreisende. Von den Dinosauriern bis zum Fall der Mauer.
(English: Handbook for Time Travellers: From the Dinosaurs to the Fall of the Berlin Wall)
Rowohlt Berlin, 336 pages, 20.00 €

Which time travels would you not recommend?

Just as with space travel, general recommendations aren't very useful for time travel. Some of us like to relax on the beach, others climb icy peaks. Consider in advance what is important for your holiday – clean drinking water? Emergency dentistry with an anaesthetic? Sleeping in proper beds? Is it important that you are not subject to discourteous treatment due to your gender, sexuality or skin colour at your holiday destination? These are all questions to be resolved first before choosing your ideal holiday destination.


What are your favourite time travel ideas?

Kathrin Passig: I find the current level of mobile Internet service already somewhat lacking in the present, and it only gets worse the farther back you go. If you want to travel in time, then into the future. At normal speed, it costs nothing and happens by itself. That suits me just fine.

Aleks Scholz: I would like to go back to the birth of the Solar System and observe the birth of the planets closely and then come back and collect my Nobel Prize for describing it all.

Interview: Sabine Schmidt

Book recommendation

Artist on board

Sailing off the coast of Greenland: The French author Julien Blanc-Gras describes a cold and fascinating journey – on a yacht where he is artist-in-residence.

Atka is the name of the 50-foot yacht. In the language of the Inuit, the name means icebreaker but also spirit guardian, explains Julien Blanc-Gras. Its double aluminium hull allows it to withstand the ice and at the stern there’s a rack of reindeer horns in place of a flag.
The owner of the Atka has many ice and rescue adventures behind him. He wants to share his passion for the north and so he turned his ship into a travelling artists' residence. When Blanc-Gras was invited there, he found a painter on board. They were joined by two Breton sailors whose job was to keep the Atka from meeting the same fate as the Titanic: there was no end of large and small icebergs in their path, bumping into and surrounding them.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Das Eis brechen

Julien Blanc-Gras: Das Eis brechen

Meine Reise in die Arktis.

Translated into German by Annika Klapper. 
(English: Breaking the Ice
My journey to the Arctic)
mare, 160 pages, 18.00 €

Travelling as a way of life
Julien Blanc-Gras was the only one of the four men on board who had no experience with sailing. But he is a traveller, “one of those driven souls who waste away when they are not off wandering somewhere, who find their sense of equilibrium while travelling” – that is also a topic of his entertaining, self-ironic and yet serious work.
He wrote the book not as a detailed account of the sailing tour around Greenland, but to do justice to its uniqueness with select impressions: its beauty, fascination with  the ice, of course. But also the history of Greenland: how it was colonised by Denmark and the Inuits' abrupt move from igloos to council housing. In addition there are reflections on seal hunting and fishing, on Greenland's natural resources – and especially climate change, which the melting ice makes clearly visible.

Text: Sabine Schmidt

Portrait of: Elke Heidenreich

Sounds of longing

A journey to an altogether different Venice: Elke Heidenreich invites us to take in the city on the water through music and literature – far removed from mass tourism.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Elke Heidenreich

© Leonie von Kleist

Sometimes, you can still sense some of the quiet that drew Richard Wagner to Venice – no coaches, no modern noise, gondolas gliding silently through the canals – writes Elke Heidenreich. But there was always singing. Not “O Sole Mio” as the tourists request from the gondolier today, but arias that could be found far removed from the opera houses. Or piano melodies drifting out of the windows of the palazzi.

Heidenreich muses over the Venice of the past, the wonderful quiet which once left space for music and musicians, before visitors started flooding over St. Mark's Square: in a text that flows before us as quietly and longingly as one of Chopin's “Nocturnes”.

She tells us about Monteverdi's Venice, where his gravestone in the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is always decorated with fresh flowers. About Vivaldi, who until today remains the most-played composer in the city on the lagoon. About Richard Wagner, who held court with family and servants in one of the palazzi. And of course, Verdi, whose “La Traviata” totally flopped on its premiere at the Teatro La Fenice, and only later began to enjoy popularity.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 Themenwelten Reisen & Genuss Die schöne Stille

Elke Heidenreich, Tom Krausz (photos): Die schöne Stille
Venedig, Stadt der Musik. (English: The Beautiful Silence Venice, City of Music)
Corso, 144 pages, 16.90 €

A declaration of love for Venice
Heidenreich luxuriates in music while at the same time devoting herself to her second passion, literature  – the Serenissima comes to speak in the words of renowned visitors: the author integrates their words into the text, quoting Rilke, Goethe, Lord Byron, Mark Twain, Ernst Bloch, and many others.

Tom Krausz underscores her light and yet profound text. His photographs highlight the sense of melancholy that sets in when reading, often with views of a deserted Venice, the Canal Grande or the Rialto bridge. In addition, there are images of paintings and portraits of musicians.

“Die schöne Stille” (The Beautiful Silence) seeks to seduce us to take pause, to page through, to linger – and this lovingly composed volume succeeds in doing just that, a book on Venice for our homes; travelling in our imagination. A book that informs us about music and musicians, but most of all invites us to dream, of course while also listening to a record or CD.

Text: Sabine Schmidt