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The Places I Go: Michael Palin

The monty python alum and travel show host climbs Everest and kicks back

Author Mike Guy


“When I was a young buck growing up in the north of England, I never traveled, but I read National Geographic cover to cover. I was fascinated by exploration, but I never expected I would do it. Suddenly, just as Python had, like the parrot, completely deceased, out of the blue comes an offer to host this BBC series, Around the World in 80 Days.

“I see a lot more of the world now, and both poles. I climbed a little way up Everest, and I stayed in pretty grim guesthouses along the way, but through a cracked pane I could see the tip of the mountain. I got a flavor of what it must have been like for Mallory and Hillary.

“As far as cities go, I like ones that have slightly more bustle, like Cairo and Istanbul. Paris is my favorite. I always stay at a little place on the south bank called d’Aubusson. It’s got a very old feel, like me. And there always seems to be jazz piping in from somewhere. I like that.”

Palin’s Halfway to Hollywood: Diaries 1980-1988 is out on March 1.

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