It was a nice idea. Get myself out of the digital-only communication means on my blog and on Twitter, and go back to old and friendly forms of travel writing – postcards!
But not any old postcards…
Self-printed postcards, 2 for each day of the #CrossBorderRail project, home made and with a photo relevant to the day.
Each day European Commissioner for Transport Adina-Ioana Vălean would get a postcard, as would one of my supporters who had either helped with the crowd funding or had helped me somewhere en route.
And now with the main part of #CrossBorderRail completed, I can confirm that 88 postcards have been dispatched – 40 regular days, 4 extra days, and 2 postcards per day.
The biggest headache?
Stamps, and then remembering to find post boxes!
In four countries it was super simple – Germany, France, Sweden and Poland have excellent online stamp ordering systems. So for those I could buy the stamps ahead of time, and either write on a code (Sweden), or stick a QR code onto the postcards (Germany, France, Poland).
Getting stamps in Latvia and Hungary was very amusing – in each place I was give handfuls of stamps that filled up half the back of the postcards!
Croatia and Greece were easier, stamp wise, although there was an amusing queue jumper in Alexandroupouli
The Birdy matches well with post boxes in Poland
I found the building I had put on the Umeå postcard
Some of my supporters got in on the postcards thing, giving me some local postcards
And in Romania doing the job getting stamps and posting the cards for me!
Pull down tables in Slovenian trains are fine for writing postcards
And there was even an old post carriage in Zaragoza
And just to confirm I did send a lot of postcards, here are the pics of all the postboxes of the cards being sent!
But the big question: was any of this worthwhile?
Someone had briefed Vălean that I was the postcard guy – she acknowledged that at the event in Lyon where I asked her a question. But there has been no response to any of the substantial points raised in any of the cards, nor any acknowledgement from anyone in the Commission that any cards arrived (many of the supporters who received cards have told me when they received them). There has been no response on Twitter either, despite the tweets of post boxes and cards citing the Commissioner’s handle. I suppose I can hope that someone, somewhere, in the Commission did pay a little attention!