A Time of Gifts
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
In 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on an extraordinary journey by foot - from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the first volume in a trilogy recounting the trip, and takes the reader with him as far as Hungary.It is a book of compelling glimpses - not only of the events which were curdling Europe at that time, but also of its resplendent domes and monasteries, its great rivers, the sun on the Bavarian snow, the storks and frogs, the hospitable burgomasters who welcomed him, and that world's grandeurs and courtesies. His powers of recollection have astonishing sweep and verve, and the scope is majestic.
Three Letters from the Andes
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
In 1971 the celebrated traveller Patrick Leigh Fermor accompanied five friends on a remarkable journey into the high Andes of Peru. His adventure took him from Cuzco to Urubamba, on to Puno and Juli on Lake Titicaca, down to Arequipa and finally back to Lima.The expedition was led by a writer and poet and the party included a Swiss international skier and jeweller, a social anthropologist from Provence and a Nottinghamshire farming squire - all seasoned mountaineers. The other two participants - the author himself and a botany-loving duke - were complete novices. As the group travelled from Lima into increasingly remote parts of the country, Leigh Fermor captured their experiences in a series of letters to his wife.Whether recounting the thrill of crossing a glacier, the rigours of campsite life under a blanket of snow, their lively encounters with locals or the strangely moving sight of a lone condor circling in the sky, the author vividly conveys the excitement of discovery and the intense uniqueness of the land.
Through Siberia by Accident
By Dervla Murphy
Through Siberia by Accident is a book about a journey that didn't happen - and what happened instead.Dervla Murphy never had any intention of spending three months in the vast territories of Siberia. Instead she had planned to go to Ussuriland, because it appealed to her as a place free from tourism. But by accident, or rather because she had an accident - a painful leg injury -, she found herself stymied in Eastern Siberia, a place she knew very little about. Although hardly able to walk, her subsequent experiences, in an unexpected place, and in an incapacitated state, provided many pleasant surprises. Above all she was struck by the extraordinary hospitality, generosity and helpfulness of the Siberians who made this strange phenomenon - a maimed Irish babushka - so welcome in their towns and homes.This book is an extraordinary story of fortitude and resourcefulness as Dervla Murphy finds friendship and culture in a seemingly monotonous, bleak and inhospitable place far from what we know as 'civilised'. Through Siberia by Accident is a voyage of Siberian self-discovery.
Travels with a Tangerine
By Tim Mackintosh-Smith, Martin Yeoman
Ibn Battutah set out in 1325 from his native Tangier on the pilgrimage to Mecca. By the time he returned twenty-nine years later, he had visited most of the known world, travelling three times the distance Marco Polo covered. Spiritual backpacker, social climber, temporary hermit and failed ambassador, he braved brigands, blisters and his own prejudices. The outcome was a monumental travel classic.Captivated by this indefatigable man, award-winning travel writer Tim Mackintosh-Smith set out on his own eventful journey, retracing the Moroccan's eccentric trip from Tangier to Constantinople. Tim proves himself a perfect companion to this distant traveller, and the result is an amazing blend of personalities, history and contemporary observation.