We can confidently say that, as travellers, we strive to find in our trips the essence of a place. Get in touch with behaviours that have had as little external influence as possible. Be in a way the discoverers, those who made the first contact with another civilisation, new to us.
Aiming to be embraced by the native friendly strangers, that’s why our World Wide Travellers have explored all continents and most countries. In the search of something that has become impossible in the most popular parts of the world.
How beautiful it would be to be able to discover a Spanish coast that never saw tourism spoil it? A Rome or London untouched by the flashes of thousands, millions of cameras. The ones who could do that, didn’t even have the tools to document it, so we could at least pretend we are them and enjoy this sort of body transposition.
With one exception, perhaps, and that’s the Lumiére brothers, the parents of cinema. In their experiments they filmed a late 19th Century Paris that was nothing like what we know of it now, but on the other hand, the cultural and architectural aspect, it was quite the same.
Recently I discovered in the inspiring Kottke, the remastered and speed corrected version of Guy Jones of the video of Paris that the Lumiére brothers recorded.
You can see said video bellow, and for a moment you can teleport yourself to a place when Paris was thriving but still was not exploited. When mixed feelings arise between the sadness of people generally not being able to experience the beauty of travel, but also a time where no one took it for granted and neglected its grandeur.
Yes, it is true that this footage is not much more than people in what from a 21st Century perspective looks like Sunday dressing walking about the dusty streets of the French capital, but boy, can we not let our minds travel with just this handful of minutes of, decently restored, tape.