Around the World in Eighty Days
Jules Verne's novel, "Around the World in Eighty Days," chronicles the experience of the fictional character, Englishman Phileas Fogg, as he circumnavigates the globe. The year is 1872, a time when rail travel is expanding throughout the world, but air travel does not yet exist.
The story begins with Fogg and his friends playing a game of whist at London's Reform Club. A newspaper story about a robbery of £55,000 from the Bank of England sparks some lively discussion. One of the friends suggests that the thief has a good chance of escaping capture since advances in transportation have shortened travel times significantly, making it possible to travel around the world ten times more quickly than was possible a century before. Fogg claims that the entire circumnavigation can be completed in eighty days. After more discussion, he decides to demonstrate that his eighty day time estimate is correct by making the trip himself. Phileas Fogg, accompanied by his assistant, Jean Passepartout, leaves London at 9:45 p.m. that evening (October 2) having wagered £20,000 that he will return to the Reform Club by 9:45 p.m. on December 21 (eighty days later).
More than one hundred years after the fictional Phileas Fogg made his journey, Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame) attempts a real-life eighty day circumnavigation without using air travel. His "Passepartout" is actually a four to five person BBC film crew. This video (filmed in Autumn 1988) provides an enlightening and sometimes amusing glimpse of urban places in many parts of the world.
Time constraints do not allow us to see the entire video, but we will view the following segments:
North Africa and the Middle East
These cities include Alexandria and Cairo (Egypt), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates).
- travel across India from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Madras (now Chennai)