In these times, it is hard to find a region around the globe that remains untouched by the heavy hand of large-scale tourism and development. No doubt many tourists have grown weary of the sunny climes of southern Spain, wandering the Scottish highlands, or traipsing along the ancient monuments that are ubiquitous throughout Greece. Well, even the most intrepid travelers will have never even heard of the Eastern European country of Molvania, because, well, it doesn't exist. That hasn't stopped Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, and Rob Stich from writing about the fictional country in their latest travel guidebook, which serves to parody both the nature of travel and the general tendencies of some travelers to rely heavily on such reference books. Recently released in Britain, Tom Gleisner noted that "The idea for a joke travel book came about 10 years ago when I was backpacking through Portugal with friends. We decided to make up a country so we wouldn't offend anybody -- or offend everybody, depending on how you look at it." The book itself contains sections on language (including the important Molvanian phrase Dyuszkiya trappokski drovko?, which means Does it always this rain this much?, dining, and the major cities of Molvania.The first link will take visitors to a recent online Boston Globe article about the newly discovered phenomenon that is Molvania. The second link will take visitors to a book review from the Guardian that talks about this recent travel guide parody, and also the history of shoestring budget travel guides as well. The third link leads to a news story from The Age in Australia that talks about the success of the book, and the interesting process of getting the work published in other markets. The fourth link leads to the book's homepage, where visitors can get a taste of the magic that is Molvania, and learn about forthcoming titles, including Viva San Sombrero and Aloha Takki Tikki! The fifth link takes users to the homepage of the venerable travel series, Lonely Planet. Here visitors can peruse author interviews, get snippets of travel information culled from the books themselves, and take a look at the SubWWWay section which brings together the best online travel pages divided into geographic regions and topical areas, such as buses, customs, and hostelling. The final link will take visitors to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs where they may procure information on current travel advisories.


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