The 80th anniversary of the Great Trudge – Paddy’s Romania tour?

Something like the opening line to Sergeant Pepper, it was eighty years ago today, that Paddy Leigh Fermor was on his way, setting out on the journey that more than anything else was to define his life.

I have written about this once or twice before – Nice weather for young ducks – but this time it is different. This is the start of a number of major anniversaries, including the 70th, next year, of the abduction of General Kreipe.

For some time I have had an idea to arrange a tour, In The Steps if you like, of Paddy’s Romania. Much of Between the Woods and the Water, and the recent Broken Road are taken up with a country that Paddy once said was second only to Greece in his heart.

The idea is to get together a party of around twenty people for an 8-10 day tour of Romania next September, 2014. I am planning this with an experienced tour company. The general idea is to meet in Bucharest, then follow Paddy’s Transylvanian route, including stops in Cluj, Sighisoara, Sibiu, and Hunedoara. If possible I would like to include a visit to Baia Herculene and the Danube at the Iron Gates. It would also be great to include a visit to Baleni where he lived with Balasha. It is a little out of the way but may be possible once we look in detail at the itinerary.

Romania is a beautiful country, and Transylvania is very special. We will include visits to the Saxon villages with their fortified churches. Accommodation and food will be good, as will the company.

In order to proceed all I need at the moment are expressions of interest. There is no commitment beyond that. Costs are likely to be around £,1500 per person excluding flights to and from Romania. But this may change. If you are interested all you have to do is drop me a line at tsawford[at] .

The following slideshow gives you an idea of some of the things we night see. These are my own personal pictures and some are of an area to the north of Romania called the Maramures which will probably not be included (the wooden churches in the main).


12 thoughts on “The 80th anniversary of the Great Trudge – Paddy’s Romania tour?

  1. su Compton

    I’ve only just discovered Paddy and his book “Between the Woods and the Water” and have promised to pass on my copy to some Hungarian friends who live in Australia now. I noticed in the Wikipedia that Malcolm Williamson composed an opera based on Paddys “The Violins of St Jacques”. Does anyone know if they knew each other?
    I’d love to come on your trip following Paddy but haven’t been in Europe for ever. Maybe I can interest my Hungarian friends?

    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Su – the more the merrier. What I need at the moment is just an expression of (fairly serious) interest. If there is not enough then I will not proceed with the project.


  2. Hamish Maclean

    Would love to join you Tom, but in the mean time a running commentary to those fabulous photo’s would be great.


    I might be interested as I am a long time fan and have read all of Paddy’s books and A Cooper ‘s biography. I visited Bucharest a few years ago. My oh concern is my age …. Just turned seventy. How much hiking and what sort of accommodations have you in mind. If I am not a good candidate I will certainly follow y’all if you post the story of your journey. Barbara Boling Oxford, Mississippi

    Sent from my iPhone Barbara Boling



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