It is envy time again. I was recently contacted by Owen Martel who made a long walk across Europe last year. His was a slightly different journey to Paddy’s and to our current venturer, Nick Hunt, but nevertheless it must have been exciting. Unfortunately Owen did not hear about Paddy until he was half-way through his journey, and he only read ATOG and BTWW upon completion of his walk.
From March to December 2011, I was on foot from Istanbul to Edinburgh; and at one point, while I was laid up with badly damaged feet at a mountain hut in Austria, a fellow traveler showed me the book she was reading and urged me to find it in the original English when my journey was over. Upon settling for three months in Glasgow this past winter, I accordingly tracked down at the public library and read “A Time of Gifts” and “Between the Woods and the Water,” alternately laughing and shaking my head in bewilderment at the all-too-familiar and bafflingly different experiences Patrick Leigh Fermor recounts. While my own route was quite different from his – certainly nothing like the retracing that, I have just learned from your site, Nick Hunt embarked upon almost exactly as I was finishing my own odyssey – the spirit of the thing was highly in keeping, and if you have any interest in this latter-day echo, I’ve posted various aspects of the trip on my blog at Walk Across Europe.
Thank you for running the Patrick Leigh Fermor blog, and for helping to keep this particular sense of possibility alive and well.