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You should have been there

You should have been there

By Mick Webb and Simon Calder
Simon Calder, travel correspondent of The Independent and former BBC producer, Mick Webb, discuss the world of travel and delight in travellers' tales.
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JOURNEY INTO SPACE
Never mind those space billionaires, we are joined by a much more knowledgeable guest to talk about eclipses, meteor showers, Northern Lights and other heavenly phenomena. Dr John Mason MBE, astronomer extraordinaire, discusses what to look out for and and where best to see it. You can find out more about his work by searching online for the "South Downs Planetarium"
28:31
July 25, 2021
FIRST STEPS ABROAD
What was your first trip aboard like? Where did you go? Did anything amazing happen? Simon and Mick compare their first times and their memories, but we want to know about your experiences. Do get in touch by audio message on Anchor.fm/youshouldhavebeenthere or via Twitter: @youshouldhaveBt
22:42
July 18, 2021
GOING UNDERGROUND
We discuss the sometimes surprising delights of the world's underground railway systems and make a spurious case for claiming Gareth Southgate as one of our own.  
26:54
July 11, 2021
DUE DILIGENCE: PREPARING TO TRAVEL ABROAD
We attempt to hack our way through the red tape and labyrinthine protocols surrounding foreign travel. Fortunately we are joined by an expert guide, Julia Lo Bue-Said, who is chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership-the UK's largest group of independent travel agents.  Follow Julia on Twitter at @jlo_said 
29:34
July 4, 2021
THE PERFECT SQUARE
The heart of any self-respecting town or city is its square. So which is the world's best square, what are the essential ingredients for a good one and why are we in the UK so bad at them? Simon offers his opinions from the not very renowned Kings Cross Square in London though I thought the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa was a bit more photogenic!  
29:40
June 28, 2021
RUSSIA: BIG BUT IS IT BEAUTIFUL?
Mick's prejudices about the world's largest country are robustly challenged by Simon and the travel writer and photographer, Frances Linzee Gordon. Enjoy her tales of smiling policemen, two-way mirrors and learning to fire a Kalashnikov.
28:42
June 13, 2021
SMALL PLEASURES: VISITING EUROPE'S MICROSTATES
Join Simon in Gibraltar as he meets the residents and tries to avoid the light-fingered macaque monkeys. The famous "Rock" is just one of the tiny states that dot the map of Europe. Cleo Paskal, Associate Fellow of Chatham House kindly shares her research passion for these Microstates and we revisit a journey to Andorra.  
30:07
June 6, 2021
INSIDE THE RAINFOREST
A gorilla mother and baby are among the most wonderful sights that a rainforest can provide. But there are also snakes, scorpions and mosquitoes that you would prefer not to come across. We get inside nature's miraculous but disappearing hot houses with the help of Joe Taylor and Silas Webb. Thanks are also due to Ernesto, the Colombian guide who helped Simon and me across a small part of the treacherous Darien Gap. The website with details of our very own UK temperate rainforests is https://lostrainforestsofengland.org/  
31:28
May 30, 2021
FIRST FLIGHT TO FARO......
....... and of course Simon was on it, taking the Covid tests and checking out sunny Algarve as the UK's oldest ally gets a green light from the government. But how complicated is it to get there and what kind of holiday experience awaits the intrepid visitor to Portugal?  Many thanks to Paul Goldstein for joining in the Faro fun.   
30:12
May 19, 2021
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DELAYS
Taking our cue from the famous novel by Jules Verne, we hear travellers' tales of trials and tribulations with some unexpected bonuses. A free hotel stay in Antigua can't be bad, can it? Thanks to Carolyn Pearson, Dr Claire Corkhill and David Else for their stories and to everyone who kindly sent their tales of delay via Twitter. 
24:25
May 9, 2021
TRAVEL DESTINATION ROULETTE
We shed light on the government's forthcoming strategy for foreign travel with the help of Carolyn Pearson. Her company, Maiden Voyage, advises business travellers on safety and well-being (maiden-voyage.com). An unexpected accompaniment is provided by some dogs that Simon befriended outside Swindon Railway Station. 
25:18
May 2, 2021
TRAVEL'S NUCLEAR OPTION
35 years since the melt-down of Chernobyl's nuclear reactor, the site of the catastrophe has become a top tourist attraction. Nuclear scientist, Dr Claire Corkhill, joins us to talk about "dark tourism" and the ethics of visiting places like this. Claire has recently taken part in the documentary "Russia versus the World" which you can see on My5. 
29:19
April 25, 2021
TWINNING WAYS
We investigate the twinning movement, looking back at some of the more interesting and bizarre connections that it has thrown up. Did you know, for instance, that one English town has chosen Narnia as a partner? We'd love to receive your ideas for any new kinds of twinning via twitter, @youshouldhaveBt
25:45
April 19, 2021
LIES, DAMN LIES AND HOTEL RATINGS
As self-catering accommodation re-opens, we discuss the widespread problem of fake reviews with the guidebook writer and editor, David Else.    He highlights some scams and reveals the tricks of the professional reviewer's trade. Find his work at www.davidelse.com
30:24
April 11, 2021
TRIPS THAT NEVER WERE
We hear from listeners about all the journeys that were planned but not made during the past 12 months, while Simon makes a "minimised" trip to the seaside. Many thanks to Poppy, Daisy and Jamie for their readings. Also to Christian Bjoerklund for his music track "Hallon" 
29:01
April 6, 2021
ON THE ROAD AGAIN!
Simon reports from the first bus to leave Manchester for London on the 29th March, the day that travel restrictions were cautiously relaxed. Many thanks to Dave the driver, fellow-passenger, Sam Serrano, as well as listener Mick for his message. 
23:48
March 30, 2021
EASTER ESCAPES
We talk about the best places to visit at this time of year and answer that perennial question.  No, not when is Easter, but WHERE is Easter? Do get in touch with us on Twitter:  @youshouldhaveBT
29:32
March 22, 2021
DECIPHERING BORIS'S ROAD MAP
Cathy Adams of The Independent joins us to plot a route through the 68 page document that will lead us towards a day out in Brighton and the promise of far-off beaches. Or will it?  We assess the obstacles that await on the road ahead. Cathy on twitter is Cathy@catman and we are @youshouldhaveBt. Many thanks, too, to Glyn Jones and to Poppy
25:11
March 15, 2021
THINKING DEEPLY ABOUT TRAVEL
We talk to Emily Thomas about her recent book, which explores most entertainingly what philosophers have said about travel.  Descartes, for instance, claimed to have gained most of his knowledge from "the great book of the world". Emily's book, The Meaning of Travel, is published by Oxford University Press.  
25:13
March 10, 2021
CONFESSIONS OF A TOUR GUIDE
Find out what it's like to be a top cultural tour guide with our guest, James Hill. The highs, the lows and what goes on behind the scenes, plus some terms you might not have come across before-we certainly hadn't : "lollipops" and "shamrockisation".  James' tours can be found at www.ciceroni.co.uk
29:49
February 26, 2021
VAMOS A LA PLAYA
As the prospect of a Spanish holiday draws a little closer Lola Culsán and John Weller reveal how to avoid the seaside crowds. Their new book, Hidden Beaches: Spain, is the fruit of an epic, covid-interrupted journey round the whole coast of Spain in a campervan. Get a 20% discount with the code, hiddenbeach21, from www.wildthingspublishing.com/product/hidden-beaches-spain-book/
28:55
February 23, 2021
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Today we're talking about group travel with Joe Fallon, founder of the company TruTravels.  From steamy Thailand he tells us how he set up his firm and about his hopes for it in an uncertain future. We also discuss what group travel can offer that independent travel can't!  Joe's company website is trutravels.com.  Contact us at   twitter.com/YouShouldHaveBt
29:56
February 14, 2021
ROMANCE ON THE ROAD
In honour of Valentine's Day, our subject is romantic destinations and locations. They range from heart-shaped islands to a windowless bar in Krakow. We'd love to hear your own stories of travel romance via Twitter- @you should have BT
26:54
February 7, 2021
THE MYSTIQUE OF MUSTIQUE
Journalist Claire Wrathall helps us peek behind the plantation shutters of Mustique's exclusive villas and explains what it's like to visit this most exclusive of islands.  
30:21
February 2, 2021
THE ALLURE OF AUSTRALIA
Simon reveals his love of Quokkas,  while Mick's sceptical view of Australia's charms is well and truly challenged by Oz aficionados, Charlotte Hindle and Peter Webb.
25:28
January 24, 2021
WHEN A BREAKDOWN IMPROVES A JOURNEY
There's nothing quite like a mechanical breakdown to disrupt your travel plans.  But sometimes it can make rather than break your holiday, as we hear from Steph Nelms and Alec Webb. Meanwhile  the President of the AA, Edmund King gives some timely advice on how to avoid mechanical mayhem. Do send your travel tales to us via Twitter  @youshould haveB1
26:30
January 17, 2021
THE BEST EVER TRAVEL FILM
To help draw up a shortlist of worthy contenders, we are joined by Sarah Baxter, Charlotte Hindle, Alec Webb and Tony Wheeler.  Would you believe that someone proposed The Sound of Music?  Do send us your own suggestions to our new Twitter destination, @youshouldhavebe1
29:39
January 10, 2021
PROSPECTS FOR TRAVEL 2021
What does this New Year have in store for tethered travellers?  And If we are allowed to get away, how much of the travel industry will still be functioning?  Our guest this week, having an educated guess at what might happen, is Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet guidebooks. Find out about Tony and his travels at  www.tonywheeler.com.au 
28:01
January 2, 2021
THE WORLD-BEATING CHRISTMAS TRAVEL QUIZ
SImon goes head to head with Lyn Hughes, Editor in Chief of Wanderlust magazine, over ten mind-bending rounds. Can you outquiz them? 
43:60
December 21, 2020
TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS
With acknowledgements to Kratftwerk, we preview the new European Rail Timetable in the expert company of Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries. Prepare for the light at the end of the tunnel with their top train tips. Find details of their publications at  www.hiddeneurope.co.uk/
29:25
December 13, 2020
LONG DISTANCE WALKS
Where are the most enjoyable long walks and what's the best way to tackle them?  Our guest this week is Sarah Baxter, travel writer, walker and author of  " A History of the World in 500 Walks" . Her website is sarahbtravel.wordpress.com
29:42
November 29, 2020
TRAVEL BUGS
We discuss how to travel healthily with Sascha Heeney. She 's not only a nurse but also a travel guide with Lupine travel (lupinetravel.co.uk) which specialises in tours to some of the world's hardest to reach destinations. Altitude sickness, malaria, air pollution water, food, insurance, it's all here! 
28:14
November 21, 2020
THE LOST ART OF NATURAL NAVIGATION
 Discover how the humble stinging nettle can help you find your way to a village pub with our guest, Tristan Gooley.  He's an expert in the lost and often fascinating art of navigating by the sun, stars, clouds, trees, even satellite dishes. Details of his ideas and his books are available on naturalnavigator.com
29:15
November 15, 2020
EVERY PHOTO TELLS A STORY?
It's not just what you photograph but the context in which you take it.  Our guests today are travel writer and adventurer, Frances Linzee Gordon, and Mario Cavalli who is a film maker and photographer. Enjoy some of his work at https://mario-cavalli-images.squarespace.com/.  And, https://mario-cavalli-images.squarespace.com/-jodhpur-the-blue-city-holi.  See our photos at  http://bit.ly/YouShouldHaveBeenThere
29:11
November 8, 2020
ARE YOU A TOURIST OR A TRAVELLER?
Helped by travel writer and adventurer, Frances Linzee Gordon, we discuss the contentious distinction between the words "traveller" and "tourist".   Would you ever find a true traveller in an all-inclusive resort?  Or a tourist on a dodgy local bus? 
28:59
November 2, 2020
STRANGE BREWS
We recall, or at least try to, some of the oddest drinks we've encountered during our travels and attempt to describe their flavours and their effects!
27:40
October 26, 2020
Q IS FOR QUARANTINE
Simon and Mick are joined by travel journalist, Helen Coffey to ponder some of quarantine's big questions. Where was it first practised, how do you cope with being quarantined and hardest of all, what are the UK's current restrictions? 
27:54
October 19, 2020
TIERS FOR SOUVENIRS
Souvenirs come in all shapes and sizes and, of course, in various shades of naffness.  We compare our own favourites and talk to Julia Ferguson, a Business Psychologist, about the value that we place on these symbols of abroad. 
29:01
October 12, 2020
THE CYCLING REVOLUTION?
Simon and MIck are joined by Anna Hughes, Director of FlightFree UK, co-author of Peaky Climbers and a champion of cycling. They share the pleasures (and pains)  of cycling and wonder what could be done to make getting on your bike an easier experience in the UK. 
29:06
October 4, 2020
THE MODERN-DAY PILGRIM
We hear from people who have walked the Camino de Santiago about the joy and pain they have experienced, and muse on the similarities between tourism and pilgrimages. Many thanks to Debra, Richard and Louise for their contributions
30:08
September 28, 2020
GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL
Simon and Mick compare notes about their respective attempts to enjoy some time off. But was it better to be scaling Holland's highest peak or to be walking through a road-free valley on the way to a pint of Sussex ale? Well, we'll let you decide!
27:10
September 20, 2020
YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THREE
A typing error leads Mick and Simon to wonder about the desirability of travelling in threes. When is three a better number of people than the standard two?  The answer seems to be - when you're in a boat with a dog, when you're up a snowy mountain or when you're flying on a low-cost Spanish airline on Valentine's day!  
26:01
September 6, 2020
EMBARRASSING TRAVEL MOMENTS
Travelling and embarrassment seem to go hand in glove.  Simon and Mick wonder whether it's an essential part of being a tourist and also, if we are often the authors of our own discomfort, not to mention that of our children. The tale  of the false beards is a case in point.  Thanks are due to Poppy and Daisy Calder for dishing the dirt on their dad! 
28:22
August 30, 2020
RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
Are you a responsible traveller?   See if you measure up to the standards proposed by some of the movement's new gurus, and enjoy the poetic pledge created by the Tourist Office of Finland.  Thanks to Anna Hughes of Flight Free UK for her interview  and to  Aaron Burden@unsplash for his photo.
28:20
August 24, 2020
HIGH PLACES
What is that makes us stretch every sinew to get to the top of things? Simon and Mick's favourite high places include the Blackpool Tower, Buenos Aires' Barolo Tower, Mount Aconcagua, also in Argentina, and The Cirque de Gavarnie in the French Pyrenees. Joining them are Silas Webb, who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro and Ed Douglas, whose book, "Himalaya, a human history" is published on the 27th August by Vintage-price £25. Thanks are also due to Christian Bjoerklund for letting us use his musical track, Hallon. 
30:58
August 18, 2020
TRAVEL WIT AND WISDOM
The act of travelling from one place to another may seem a simple thing. But it has spawned  a vast number of sayings and reflections. Simon and Mick discuss the wittiest, wisest, pithiest and most pathetic of them. 
28:01
August 11, 2020
SURE WAS GLAD TO GET OUT OF THERE ALIVE
Mick and Simon relive some of the travel situations which they're only too pleased to have survived.  Plus a visit to a pub in Southampton which is proud to carry the name of that ill-starred ship, The Titanic.  Thanks to Martin and Michelle for their contributions and to www.fesliyanstudios.com, for the music. 
28:05
August 4, 2020
THE NEW NORMAL
What's in store for this summer's holidaymakers in the UK?  What's open, what needs booking and when do you need to take your own toilet with you? Plus an insight into the mysteries of Romney Marshes and the challenge of cycling from London to Land's End. Thanks to Rob, Silas, Karen, Jan and Vanessa. 
25:52
July 27, 2020
TAKING A CHANCE ON A FOREIGN HOLIDAY
Simon unveils his five pillars of advice on how to avoid some of the nastier travel surprises that are emerging in the wake of the pandemic.  We're grateful to f_ilippo @Freesound for the casino recording  
28:36
July 20, 2020
TRAVELLING LIGHT
Reflections on the subject, a bit of advice on how to do it and a look back at what some eccentric travellers carried with them on their journeys. You can see the painting "Waiting for a train" @ https://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/collections/3243/objects/35106/waiting-for-the-train-willesden-junction
28:42
July 14, 2020
NEW FRONTIERS
Mick and Simon try to make sense of the bewildering advice about where we can and can't  go on our holidays. They also ponder the new pop-up enclaves created by Coronavirus, adding to the historical oddities like Llívia, a small piece of Spain entirely surrounded by France. 
28:24
July 6, 2020
CARRY ON CAMPING
Simon and Mick discuss a tentative new dawn for camping, and swap tales of their own intense experiences under canvas.  Music: Solstice by Scott Buckley 
28:30
June 29, 2020
SLOW TRAVEL
Is slow travel something we should all strive for, or is it just an exercise in marketing?  Simon and Mick investigate, helped by Gina Waggott, Anna Hughes, Alec Webb, Nicky Gardner, Graham Hoyland and James Hill. 
30:59
June 22, 2020
TRAVELLING SAFELY, WEIGHING UP RISKS
Mick and Simon discuss travel risks and how to manage them. Diseases, snakes and hippos all feature, along with selfies, local police and rip tides. For information about these, go to bit.ly/RipSafe. Thanks to Charlotte for her wise words. 
28:32
June 9, 2020
GREAT EXPEDITIONS: BARNARD CASTLE AND BEYOND
What makes a trip or a holiday into an expedition? Does it need a key objective, sponsorship or just some specialised kit?    Simon and Mick talk machetes and mountain meals, as well as catching up on the latest Covid19  travel news   
30:53
June 1, 2020
Brief Encounters
The search for the perfect, fleeting holiday experience takes in the Kentish North Downs, Kalingrad Oblast and Carnforth railway station. With the briefest of stops at Dublin airport and Newport Pagnell Motorway Services.   The recording of the steam train leaving Moor Street station was made by Keith Burnett 
28:59
May 25, 2020
Travel with social distancing
What's the current guidance and what will await us, when and if we do get away?  Simon unveils his five "tests " for prospective travellers while Mick continues his worldwide search for Gerald Bernstein.                                                                                                                                           We'd like to thank Daisy and Poppy for their help.                                                                                                                                                                          You can read the article from the New England Journal of Medicine  at :   https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa031349
29:22
May 18, 2020
The Bits Awards
Enjoy the best bits from our first 20 podcasts.  Among the categories: best travel moment, best lock down story and best breakfast. 
31:07
May 11, 2020
The ideal travelling companion
Who would you most like to travel with on a long trip?  Someone who get things organised, can carry most of the kit, tells a good joke..........?  Thanks to Charlotte and Alec for their contributions.  
29:06
May 4, 2020
School Journeys
What were your journeys to school like? Long, uneventful, exciting, dangerous.....?  Enjoy the experiences of some of our listeners.  We'd like to thank Steph, Camilla, Silas, Lynette, Carol, Daisy and Poppy for their contributions. And the website we mentioned is www.boredpanda.com/dangerous-journey-to-school 
28:18
April 27, 2020
Poetry in motion
Travel and journeys have inspired some great lines and uplifting verses. But, how many of our chosen poems do you know ? 
27:02
April 18, 2020
The World's Top Travel Icon
Which famous site has come out top in our twitter poll?  Will it be a wonder of nature or an attraction created by us humans?   We also discuss Robert Louis Stevenson's book: Travels with a donkey in the Cévennes The musical fanfare,  The Curtain Rises, was composed by Kevin Macleod (incompetcech.com)  
27:40
April 13, 2020
Armchair Travel
Simon and I exchange ways of keeping the flame of travel alive, without going anywhere. Expect entertaining books, silly games and a brief appearance from the president of The AA, Edmund King.  The book "Journey round my room" is available, free, at gutenberg.org. 
30:18
April 6, 2020
Travel beyond the pandemic
Travel and tourism will be transformed. Will our attitudes have to change too? 
27:16
March 30, 2020
Coronavirus versus the Travel Bug
We ponder the future direction of travel and suggest some ways of combatting cabin fever.
27:45
March 22, 2020
Faking it
Simon and Mick make  a few personal confessions and reveal some of travel's great fakes and fakers.  They award the title of the greatest travel impostor to Georges Psalmanazar (not his real name), native of Formosa (well, not exactly) who hoodwinked  London society in the eighteenth century. 
29:49
March 9, 2020
BAYWATCH
All about the world's bays: the most beautiful, the saddest and those that have left their mark on history.  Some, like Montenegro's Bay of Kotor even have their own islands.   
30:45
February 20, 2020
Getting to know the Stans
Discover the five mysterious and intriguing countries of Central Asia with names that all end in  ........ stan. 
34:07
February 17, 2020
The Ups and Downs of a Travel Writer
Simon Calder and Mick Webb share views on working as travel writers- the rewards, the challenges and how to do it well.
28:46
February 4, 2020
Travel in the 2020's
The Great Green Wall,  electric planes, vacuum trains....   Simon Calder and Mick Webb look forward to the next decade of travel and what it might bring.  Electronic music is from the track "Hallon"  by Christian Bjoerklund on the album Skapmat. 
29:29
January 17, 2020
Tales from the A23
Every road, like every picture, has a story to tell. The A23, on its route between London and Brighton, has seen some of the best and worst of travel. Mick Webb and Simon Calder uncover tales of highwaymen, princely misdemeanours and old crocks (cars not them). They are joined by Rachel Birch and Beverley Keech    
30:32
January 14, 2020
Can you fly with a clear conscience?
Simon Calder and Mick Webb visit the UK's Gatwick Airport to discuss the carbon impact of flying
30:49
December 16, 2019
Places glimpsed
Simon Calder and Mick Webb create an alternative bucket list of places they've glimpsed from cars, planes and buses, and which they would love to return to one day.  Like this Greek village in the Peloponnese. 
28:32
November 28, 2019
Travelling hopefully.......
...............Is it better than arriving?   SImon Calder and Mick Webb discuss Robert Louis Stevenson's famous quotation.  And they trek hopefully through the vast expanses of the World Travel Market, playing Crazy Golf, Abu Dhabi style, and collecting freebies, daft marketing slogans and inspirational ideas about  tourism.
28:37
November 27, 2019
When in Rome........
........       should you do as the Romans or behave like a tourist? And how about in places like Dohar, Dubai or Australia's Ayres Rock?  
27:42
November 6, 2019
Lost
Simon and Mick have made getting lost into an art form. They recall their most memorable experiences and discuss various ways to avoid losing the plot.  Do send us your own stories via the audio link
29:18
October 24, 2019
Borders
Crossing frontiers is a crucial part of the travelling experience.  It can be time-consuming,worrying, frightening, often fascinating and sometimes downright entertaining .   In this Podcast, travel journalists, Simon Calder and Mick Webb, who have travelled far and wide, reflect on the borders they have crossed. Like the unforgettable night  spent trying to convince the Panamanian soldiers on the frontier between Colombia and Panama that they were bona fide tourists.  Far from any road, in the thick rainforest of the Darien Gap, where most travellers were smugglers, Colombian guerrillas or paramilitaries, it took some doing. The photo shows a border marker ( and Simon). Some remote border crossings seem to have very little serious connection with monitoring comings and goings, others, ironically, have become tourist attractions in their own right: Simon discusses the origins of the name and his own experience of crossing during the Cold War. And sometimes you get the feeling that it’s the border-crossing travellers who are providing the entertainment for the frontier officials.  Do send us your own tales of frontier experiences- the good, the bad and the ugly.   
28:13
October 18, 2019