In 1873, Jules Verne published Around the World in 80 Days, the story of Phileas Fogg and his attempt to circumnavigate the globe to win a bet. Now, we can accomplish the same feat in just over two days, with another couple of days added in to get through airport security. (Well, I always manage to get behind that guy...) Today, let's slow down a little and retrace Phileas' trip.
The first thing most people think about when they hear Around the World in 80 Days is a hot air balloon. I found this amazing balloon cake with two guys who might be Phileas and his valet, Passepartout.
Isn't this gorgeous? Wouldn't it be great for a little circumnavigating? There's just one problem -- it never happened. There's no hot air balloon travel in the book.
Really, you can look it up.
They did take trains, though, like this beauty.
"Woo, wooooooooo... Chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga..."
They also rode a lot of steamer ships.
By Cake Central member Gingerbread_from_Germany
Don't you love the wooden decking?
Phileas even bought an elephant and hired a guide when there was a gap in the train lines in India.
What can I say? It was a big bet -- millions in today's money.
Sadly, he didn't keep the elephant.
(I'd have found a way. Elephants who can accessorize are rare.)
So, now that we've lined up trains, ships and pachyderms, where exactly did Phileas and Passepartout go?
Well, they started in London.
Pay no attention to any perceived anachronisms -- Jules Verne was a visionary who predicted electric submarines and video conferencing. An edible double-decker bus wouldn't have stretched his imagination at all.
From London, they headed to Egypt.
I'm going to be extra careful the next time I peel the fondant off a cake, just in case there are precious paintings underneath.
Sadly, Phileas didn't have time to stop and read the hieroglyphics. Instead, he pressed on to India.
Even though he was on a tight deadline, he still managed to rescue his future wife there. That necessitated a rather rapid departure to Hong Kong.
Do you think anyone would notice if I took one of the dragons? They look like foil-wrapped milk chocolate.
Of course, there wasn't a lot of time to see the sights in Hong Kong, because they had to make their connection to Yokohama next.
This is much too peaceful and zen-like to run past on the way to your next stop. If I hadn't been rooting for Phileas to win, I'd have made him stop for a nice cup of tea.
Sadly, leisurely refreshments weren't in the cards, but a trip to San Francisco was.
I really like the contrast of the razor-edged whiteness of the rest of the cake with the tumbled chaos of Lombard Street.
If Phileas had just had a pair of roller blades, he could have coasted all the way to New York, his next destination.
It's just wicked that he didn't have time to catch a show, but the schedule was getting VERY tight, and Phileas still had to get back across the Atlantic.
After inciting a mutiny and burning most of the wooden parts of a ship for steam, Phileas and friends made it to Ireland,
which, you've got to admit, was pretty lucky. (Don't worry, they appeased the Captain by paying him a boatload of money.)
Still, there was one more stop before they got their pot of gold.
So, back to London they went.
Sadly, it appeared they were a day late -- but of course, it wasn't that black and white.
They'd forgotten about the International Date Line! Upon realizing the correct date, Phileas rushed to his club and won the bet! Significantly richer, he married his lady love and settled down to a quiet life.
(Maybe he even bought a hot air balloon...)
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