25 September 2014


The satisfying pop of a cork from a wine bottle.
Photo: Wikicommons
I’ve had a great response to my blog entry from earlier this year on The Sounds of Travel, with various people suggesting their own favourite sounds. Most mentioned is the sound of a cork being pulled out of a bottle of wine, “preferably in France” adds one commentator. 
Certainly that’s a sound heard less and less frequently these days, with the steady emergence of screw caps. It makes opening bottles a whole lot easier, but I must admit a certain romance is lost without that satisfying pop.
Raindrops on a windowpane.
Photo: Wikicommons.
A good many people mentioned various sounds of waves lapping on a beach and hinted at tropical settings, which suggests that the visual and climactic were intruding on the pure sound experience. You seldom hear waves on a river cruise, it must be said (though Lake Lagoda in Russia can provide a few), but one commentator from cold climes describes the “gurgling and rasping” of water around the hull of a river-cruise ship as one of his favourite travel sounds.
Waves on a beach is one of the “three great elemental sounds in nature” lauded by American naturalist and writer Herny Beston. The other two – the sound of rain and “the sound of wind in a primeval wood” – also seem to have struck a chord. Here are some of the other sounds listed by those who responded through our blog or Facebook page:
- The soughing of wind in the trees.

- Rain against the window, but only when you’re in bed.
- Seagulls over a harbour.
- A steam engine pulling away from a railway platform.

Winter night in Red Square, Moscow, Russia.
Photo: Wikicommons.
And finally a comment that was very specific to time and place and clearly must have created quite an impression, since it dates back to 1981. 
“One of most memorable sounds in travel was complete silence, if you can call silence a sound,” wrote a commentator about Red Square in Moscow at midnight under deep snow. “We had just arrived that evening and escaped from our Intourist Guide (compulsory in those days) who had told us not to venture out alone at night.”

Do you have a favourite travel sound? You’re always welcome to join the conversation, so why not add a comment and let us know what it is?


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