Love him or hate him, one thing is for sure: Jeremy Clarkson has probably traveled the world more than most people and he just KNOWS stuff. Sure that may not necessarily make him an expert per se, but his opinions do matter, and despite his controversies, when he speaks, people listen.
In a recent piece by the Wall Street Journal, Jeremy gives his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including mentioning that he feels at times, The Grand Tour is as much a traveling show as a car one. An example given is an upcoming road test for the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio which takes place in the Welsh countryside. The landscape is so breathtaking that Jeremy imagines viewers will think “Get that stupid car out of the way and let’s have a look at where you are.”
Below is an excerpt from the piece with some of Jeremy’s musings:
On the greatest touring car:
The greatest touring car is: the Aston Martin DB 11. It even has a button on the steering wheel called GT Mode for actual Grand Touring. Push it and it settles the car down and it all becomes relaxing. It’s by far the best Aston Martin I’ve driven, ever.
What does the globetrotting Jeremy Clarkson never travel without?
I don’t travel without: my billy bag that I know has everything in it. It’s got a universal adapter, phone charger and a tablet for watching movies. I must have 50 currencies in there, so I can buy a cup of coffee almost anywhere the plane lands. I don’t have to think. I just bring my bag.
As someone who has driven some of the great roads in the world (Stelvio Pass, Transfagarasan Highway), what does Jeremy think about what makes a road great?
I think a great road is: organic. It follows the contours of the land. A great road follows sheep tracks, effectively. The sheep set the tracks, then the man walked there, then the horses came. Nobody would ever call a freeway a great road.
Of all the places in the world, what’s one of the strangest things Jeremy has ever brought back home? You know, other than Dutch traffic cones:
One of the strangest souvenirs I have is: a tile from Saddam Hussein’s bathroom, which I chiseled off the wall.
Along with many of the bad experiences around the world (see Argentina), what does Jeremy think one of the best experiences he has come across?
The greatest hospitality I’ve ever experienced came: courtesy of the Rainbow Sheikh, Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, in the United Arab Emirates. I took my children to meet him for lunch. He had laid out every conceivable foodstuff—from Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s to an entire goat, with everything in between. “I did not know what your children would want” he said. And then, after lunch, he said: “Would you like to go skiing? We’ll go skiing on the sand dunes.” He said to my daughter, “Do you drive?” and she’s only about 12 years old. And I was drawing breath to say, “No, she can’t” but before I could, she said, “Yes, I can.” And he gave her a pink Jeep Wrangler so that she could go skiing in the desert. Now, that’s hospitality.
And finally, Jeremy’s thoughts on Italy:
Driving in Italy is: always joyful. It’s a racetrack. If you overtake an Italian, you’ve offended him, and he’s going to get you back.
There is no shortage of traveling shows with hosts that have gone around the world, but it’s always interesting to see what Jeremy has to say about his adventures. I might tune in to the Travel Network every now and then, but until one of their hosts is almost stoned in Alabama or killed in Argentina, I’ll always have an interest in what Jeremy has to say about his traveling experiences. After all, it would be Jezza without some controversy and mishaps!