Where the Wild Winds Are
Walking Europe's Winds from the Pennines to Provence
By Nick Hunt
The story of following the wind from the fells of Cumbria to the Alps, the Rhône to the Adriatic coast, to explore how these unseen powers affect the countries and cultures of Europe.
Nick Hunt sets off on an unlikely quest: to follow four of Europe's winds across the continent.
His wind-walks begin on Cross Fell, the highest point of the Pennines, as he chases the roaring Helm - the only named wind in Britain. In southern Europe he follows the Bora - a bitter northerly that blows from Trieste through Slovenia and down the Croatian coast. His hunt for the 'snow-eating' Foehn becomes a meandering journey of exhilaration and despair through the Alpine valleys of Switzerland, and his final walk traces an ancient pilgrims' path in the south of France on the trail of the Mistral - the 'wind of madness' which animated and tormented Vincent Van Gogh.
These are journeys into wild wind, but also into wild landscapes and the people who inhabit them - a cast of meteorologists, storm chasers, mountain men, eccentric wind enthusiasts, sailors and shepherds. Soon Nick finds himself borne along by the very forces he is pursuing, through rain, blizzards, howling gales, and back through time itself. For, where the wild winds are, there are also myths and legends, history and hearsay, science and superstition - and occasionally remote mountain cabins packed with pickles, cured meats and homemade alcohol.
Where the Wild Winds Are is a beautiful, unconventional travelogue that makes the invisible visible.
Nick Hunt has walked and written across much of Europe. His articles have appeared in
the Economist, the Guardian and other publications, and he also works as a storyteller
and co-editor for the Dark Mountain Project.
His first book Walking the Woods and the Water (Nicholas Brealey, 2014) was a finalist for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. He currently lives in Bristol.
- Other details
- Publication date:
07 Sep 2017
- Page count:
Nicholas Brealey Publishing
A thrilling and gorgeous tale, packed with meteorological wonder. — Amy Liptrot, author of 'The Outrun'
A wonderful book; reading it is like being introduced to a gang of complex characters by an entertaining and erudite host. It has been a joy getting to know them better and in all their moods. — Tristan Gooley, author of 'The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs'
Praise for Nick Hunt — -
A glorious book, rich with insight and wit, about walking his way both across and into contemporary Europe. A book about gifts, modernity, endurance and landscape, it represents a fine addition to the literature of the leg. — Robert Macfarlane
Illuminating — Wall Street Journal
This moving and profoundly honest book sometimes brings a sense of unlimited freedom, sometimes joy, sometimes an extraordinary, dream-like dislocation: always accompanied by a dazzling sharpness of hearing and vision. — Artemis Cooper
Hunt's narrative mixes description elegantly with reportage — New Statesman
A good old-fashioned adventure — Geographical