Monday, 18 February 2008

Journey's end

This is where the real journey for Mark and our virtual, geographical journey ended on Friday afternoon in the Avenue de Wagram just off the Place de L'Etoile in Paris. The tracker kept running well after Mark crossed the line and recorded all the spots where the interviewers and photographers ushered him to get the best shots! In keeping with what became the norm throughout this blog whenever Mark was in a big city, I will gloss over the geography and simply say that in Paris there is too much geography .......and history, art, literature and culture to do justice to it in a blog.

On Friday the geography in any case was not about a city but about the conclusion of a journey which had taken Mark around the world. His circumnavigation of the globe makes our world seem both smaller and bigger.... smaller because one guy has cycled round it on a bike but much bigger because in doing so, he has shown us the environmental and cultural diversity which exists in 360 degrees of longitude. It was a priviledge to be in Paris to watch the return of this extraordinary young man who has engaged so many people with the world.

I was recently at an event where Michael Palin was speaking about Geography. He said "Geography is as much about what you see outside as what you learn inside". Mark's gargantuan efforts over 195 days have given us a new perspective on the world and the chance to see it 'on the outside' in a different way. 'Geo Blogging with Mark' has been a learning journey for me and if I have managed to share some of my enthusiasm for the subject I love with a wider audience, it will have been a very worthwhile project.

When I started writing about Mark's journey, I had intended simply writing the occasional posting as part of my departmental blog for school. Somewhere towards the 'end' of Europe, the potential for a bigger project suggested itself and I migrated all the postings onto 'Geo Blogging with Mark' and since then, like Topsy, it just 'growed'.

A lot of people have asked me what will happen to the blog. The first thing I plan to do is to proof read and sort the errors then I will print out a hardcopy to give to Mark. At 600+ pages it will be a long read but I hope it will remind him of some of the places he cycled through but had no time to explore. At some point I will also 'tag' the posts with some extra labels so that the geographical content is more accessible for teachers in the classroom. I would like to think that in years to come, when I need a good example of an ox bow lake, I will know exactly where to look!

And finally, for those who liked the 'big pictures', here's the biggest and best picture of all........

I'm going to miss following that blue line!

If you have enjoyed my geographical meanderings, please consider making a donation to Mark's charities . They are all very worthy causes and by giving a little you will be doing a lot to help children, young people, communities and environments around our wonderful world.

1 comment:

meg said...

Thankyou so much for all your hours of work on this Mrs V it has enlivened our view of Mark's journey so much. As a fellow Geographer I have enjoyed showing some of the posts to my classes. What a very special gift for Mark to receive.