Travels During the Virus

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Without leaving my house, over the past few months, I’ve visited several countries. It’s so interesting to see the landscape, culture, and social norms in other places. I’m interested in the various housing designs and seeing towns and cities I’ve heard about but don’t plan to see in person. There are many series and movies filmed internationally available on Netflix and Amazon Prime (this is not a commercial). I’m also vacationing in the Ozarks with my husband some evenings.

For a long time, I’ve searched out British shows. I typically watch detective/crime stories, and I really enjoyed Criminal: United Kingdom, Broadchurch, and the first two seasons of Marcella. Over on Amazon Prime, I love Endeavor, a crime series which takes place in the 60’s and courtroom dramas I’d recommend include Silk and The Bench. More detective series worth a look are Midsomer Murders (although my husband can’t stand the intro music!), Father Brown, Ruth Rendell Mysteries, DCI Banks, Murder City, Silent Witness, and Scott & Bailey. A few dramas that I liked that don’t fit neatly into a category are Appropriate Adult, The Stranger, and From There to Here.

Next stop, Australia! As far as I’m concerned, everything is better with an Aussie accent. Loved the comedy, Rake, laugh out loud funny to me. Dramas included Wentworth, The Blue Rose, City Homicide, The Trial: A Murder in the Family, and Deep Water. The courtroom series, Crownies, is a guilty pleasure, mixing law, gossip, humor and some drama. Rebel Wilson hosts Last One Laughing: Australian. It’s quite silly and I did LOL.

From Iceland, we have a mystery, The Valhalla Murders. You can choose English dubbing or subtitles. You could also choose audio in French, German, Icelandic, or Spanish. There are stunning landscape shots.

The Twelve is a courtroom drama filmed in Flemish originally, Let’s just start there. If the cast is speaking Flemish, where are they? Admittedly, I’ve always been confused about how exactly Denmark, Holland, the Netherlands, and Belgium relate to one another. For our purposes, Flemish is spoken by about 55% of Belgians and a few thousand people in France. I could’ve used the Belgian flag but I thought the Flemish flag was so cool. What struck me with this show was how different the court proceedings are from the U.S. judicial system. This was true of many of the shows filmed around the world.

Wading into the weeds here, I looked it up: people who live in Denmark are Danish and speak Danish, for the most part. The folks in the Netherlands are Dutch. There are two provinces that include the name Holland, but over the years, people have casually referred to all of the Netherlands as Holland. The Flemish, or Flemings, are an ethnic group of Germanic origin who make up the majority of the Belgian population. You’re welcome. 😁

From South Africa, I recently viewed Shepherds and Butchers, a very dramatic film inspired by true events, exploring the prison system, namely the application of the death penalty. It was hard to watch but I’m glad I did. The Forgiven is a great movie starring Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana.

Not sure I’d call this one a recommendation. I watched a Swedish series called Quicksand. I found the storyline nominally interesting but the main character’s English dubbed voice sounds like she has marbles in her mouth, which is a pet peeve of mine. As far as seeing what life is like there, the scenes are set on a yacht, in mansions, and prison, so not a real tour. The story is wrapped around a school shooting, so some might want to steer clear.

Most recently, I watched Borderliner, which primarily takes place in Norway with some border crossings to Sweden. This one doesn’t have English dubbing, although it does have Brazilian Portuguese, French, Italian, and Spanish! I put my phone and tablet down, committed to being present, watched the scenes without dialogue and faithfully read the English subtitles. It was a nice, centering experience, rather than glancing between screens, relying on hearing the story unfold. Good, complex plotlines with twists and turns. You get to see a lot of different homes, apartments and other buildings. In general, I found this one most interesting for architecture and the styles of interiors. Hey, maybe that’s because I truly watched!

Currently, I’m watching Hinterlands, which takes place in Wales. The variety of landscapes is interesting and sometimes beautiful. It’s in English, but not exactly my English, so I still have English subtitles activated because I have a hard time understanding everything they say. Love that flag!

I almost forgot The Durrells on Corfu by PBS on Amazon Prime. Corfu is an island municipality in Greece. The story takes place in the WWII era. A British family led by a single mother land on the island, and adventures ensue. The scenery is wonderful and the characters are delightful.

Staying home to avoid COVID due to lung scarring and having all kinds of fibromyalgia symptoms, I’m choosing to visit other lands and stories with some of the time on my hands. Not sure I’ll watch Hinterlands all the way through because there are a lot of seasons, but then I’ll be off to a new location.

p.s. If you’ve read some earlier posts, you may recall that I am cyber challenged. If you could have seen me fumbling to find flag photos, download or share to myself, and try to find them after I saved them in order to insert in the blog; you’d be shaking your head. One would think after handling a couple of them, I’d get the hang of it, remembering how it worked last time, etc., but no. I share this with you to lower your expectations – not really, just joking – but to let you know that you certainly don’t have to be a techie to publish a blog. No doubt my process is incredibly slow and clumsy, sometimes taking longer than it should to get it just the way I want, or close, but I sure enjoy this form of expression. Thanks to anyone reading this – as of today, I have 50 followers! 🎉

Published by Sara Z

Writing is one of my passions. Most blog entries are relatively short articles regarding a wide variety of topics. I'm a middle-aged wife and mother of two adult sons. I've been a teacher, counselor, medical transcriptionist, student teacher supervisor, substitute teacher and retail clerk. Staying home now due to fibromyalgia. Seeking purpose.

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