Many of us first ‘travelled’ around the world in the company of Tintin and his comic book adventures, thus instilling in our generations a passion for exotic places and new cultures.
If, like me, you are a bit of a romantic, the lure of exotic Arabia, India, China and the lost cities of the Incas is something that has been instilled since a young age. It was through Tintin, amongst a few others, that I first discovered a passion for travel and exotic cultures long before I was able to do the real thing. Pouring over maps, I would follow Tintin as his exploits took him from his native Belgium in the heart of Europe to such romantic-sounding locations as Alexandria, Bombay and Shanghai.
As children, we were being educated while being entertained, and learned about colonial Africa, the America of the 1920s, and other distant parts of the globe. Always impeccably respectful, whether dealing with Somalis, Incas or Icelanders, Tintin was a shining example to the younger generations. Of course, not all his destinations were as easy to find as others. I could trace Scotland, Peru and the Himalayas easily enough on my trusty map, but it took me a little while to figure out that the likes of Sildavia and San Theodoros were ‘approximately’ Albania and really any of a series of potential Latin American countries respectively.
For those romantics for whom modern travel never quite did manage to live up to the classic ideal as depicted in Tintin, and for those who have fond memories of the comic strip series, the travel scene has just got a lot more exciting. Bringing together the best in adventure and romanticism, On The Go and Moulinsart have joined forces to create an itinerary inspired by Tintin.
Moulinsart hold the rights to Tintin and On The Go are specialists in bespoke adventure trips. The collaboration means they have been able to put their considerable resources together and create a series of inspired itineraries that will have lovers of authentic travel and fans of Tintin lining up. If you fit both categories you will be particularly enthralled as Destination Tintin offers the kind of travel you have always dreamed of.
Reliving the adventure
Drawing from the broad palette of options provided by the books, On The Go have chosen to start with a selection of destinations that include the ancient world of Egypt, the exotic Kingdom of Jordan and the plains of Northern India. Naturally, Tintin’s homeland is also represented, with weekend trips in Brussels designed to walk in Hergé’s footsteps and discover this city of fine food, culture and Art Deco pleasures.
Organised in a bespoke manner, travellers are taken to the famous sights visited by Tintin. In Jordania this includes the mysterious rock-hewn Nabataean town of Petra, where Captain Haddock had a memorable encounter with local troglodytes. Besides choosing the destination itself, you can also decide whether you want to join an adult group or get caught up in the family adventures that are sure to make it a holiday to remember for kids between seven and 12. Either way, local guides point you to the best spots while Tintin experts are on hand to maintain the classic flavour of the experience.
Though not compromising on modern comfort and safety, the organizers have done everything in their power to bring the halcyon era of travel and adventure back to life. As a result, you may find yourself following in Tintin’s trail as you board steam trains, river steamers and perhaps even a camel or two. For those who wish there is the possibility to adapt the trips even further to your own interests and timetable, effectively creating a uniquely bespoke travel experience in which to live out your own sense of adventure and discovery.
As the launch year, 2010 has seen the creation of four destinations ranging from a weekend in Brussels to eight days in Jordan and 15 days in India. With a growing itinerary, more parts of the world will open up to a revival of Tintin’s memorable exploits, though we imagine we’ll have to wait a little longer to emulate his Destination Moon series.