Alex: Personally I hate seeing people off. I prefer being seen off myself. I'm extremely fond of travelling and feel terribly envious of any friend who is going anywhere. I can't help feeling I should so much like to be in his place.
Bert: But what method of travelling do you prefer?
A: For me there is nothing like travel by air; it is more comfortable, more convenient and of course far quicker than any other method. There is none of the dust and dirt of a railway or car journey, none of the trouble of changing from train lo steamer and then to another train. Besides, flying is a thrilling thing. Don't you agree?
¬.: I think I should like to say a word or two for trains. With a train you have speed, comfort and pleasure combined. From the comfortable corner seat of a railway carriage you have a splendid view of the whole countryside. If you are hungry, you can have a meal in the dining-car; and if the journey is a long one you can have a wonderful bed in a sleep≠er. Besides, do you know any place that is more interesting than a big railway-station? There is the movement, the excitement, the gaiety of people going away or waiting to meet friends. There are the shouts of the porters as they pull luggage along the platforms to the waiting trains, the crowd at the booking-office getting tickets, the hungry and thirsty ones hurrying to the refreshment rooms before the train starts. No, really! Do you know a more exciting place than a big railway-station?
Cecil: I do.
A.: And that is?
—: A big sea port. For me there is no travel so fine as by ship. I love to feel the deck of the ship under my feet, to see the rise and fall of the waves, to feelthe fresh sea wind blowing in my face and hear the cry of the sea-gulls. And what excitement, too, there is in coming into the harbour and seeing round us all the ships, steamers, cargo-ships, sailing ships, rowing boats. 65
A.: Well, I suppose that's all right for those that like it, but not for me. I'm always seasick, especially when the sea is a little bit rough.
¬.: I've heard that a good cure for seasickness is a small piece of dry bread.
A. Maybe; but I think a better cure is a large piece of dry land.
David: Well, you may say what you like about aeroplane flights, sea voyages, railway journeys or tours by car, but give me a walking tour any time. What does the motorist see of the country? But the walk≠er leaves the dull broad highway and goes along little winding lanes where cars can't go. He takes mountain paths through the heather, he wanders by the side of quiet lakes and through the shade of woods. He sees the real country, the wild flowers, the young birds in their nests, the deer in the forest; he feels the quietness and calm of nature.
And besides, you are saving your railway fare travelling on foot. No one can deny that walking is the cheapest method of travelling.
So I say: a walking tour for me.
Tasks to the topic:
1 All the words in the box relate to transport. Put them into the correct column below. (Some words go in more than one column.)
to change lines
a return ticket
a departure board
to drop someone off
a single ticket
2. Work in pairs. Discuss the following questions.
- Which forms of transport do you prefer for long journeys?
- What about when you are travel around in your own town or city?
- Do you use public transport very much? What is it like in your local area? Could it better, do you think?
- Have you ever tried to use public transport in a foreign city? Was it easy or difficult?
3. How many cars does your family have?
4. How often are they used?
5. Does your family use the car for short journeys?