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Prague, Czech Republic
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  • Location: Holland, Germany, Hungary

A Time of Gifts

A Time of Gifts

Why a Booktrail?

1933: Walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul.

  • ISBN: 978-1529369526
  • Genre: Guide book, Travelogue

What you need to know before your trail

In 1933, aged eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on his ‘great trudge’, a year-long journey by foot from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul. Three decades later he wrote A Time of Gifts, the sparklingly original account of the first part of this youthful adventure, which took him through the Low Countries, up the Rhine, through Germany, down the Danube, through Austria and Czechoslovakia, and as far as Hungary.

Alone, carrying only a rucksack and with a small allowance of only a pound a week, Fermor had planned to sleep rough – to live ‘like a tramp, a pilgrim, or a wandering scholar’ – but a chance introduction in Bavaria led to comfortable stays in castles, and provided a glimpse of the old Europe of princes and peasants.

Hailed as a masterpiece, A Time of Gifts is in part a coming-of-age memoir, but it is also a rich and compelling portrait of a continent that – despite its resplendent domes and monasteries, its great rivers and grand cities – was soon to be swept away by war, modernisation and profound social change.

Travel Guide

A Time of Gifts

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.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: A Time of Gifts

Destination: Hook of Holland to Istanbul. Author/guide: Patrick Leigh Fermor   Departure Time: 1927

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