A postcard from Cluj

Thank you to my friend and colleague in Cluj, Stefi Timofte, for finding this picture for me. Of course it shows the Hotel New York (now the sad and decaying Continental) that Paddy visited with Angéla and István in the summer of 1934. This story has been debunked in Artemis’ biography but I am not […]

£1 a week – Rendezvous in Cluj

My visits to Cluj are always a pleasure, notwithstanding the need to get up at five o’clock in the morning to catch an early Wizz Air flight. However, as I prepared for my last visit, there was an extra dimension to my anticipation. If you have been following Nick Hunt’s journey on his blog and […]

An eye for detail and the memory of the Hotel New York in Cluj

There is often a debate about Paddy’s ability to recall so much of his journey with accuracy so long after the event and often without his precious notebooks. Benedict Allen put him to the test at the Red Ox Inn in Heidelberg and the Romanian spa resort of Baia Herculene: Paddy passed that test with […]

If food be the music of love … Bánffy’s lover in Cluj (Kolozsvár)

I am currently reading two books. The first is a little known series that Paddy contributed to in 1962 about which I will say more very soon. The second is volume two of Bánffy’s trilogy. I am convinced of the semi-autobiographical nature of these books and I have become obsessed with trying to find the […]

Images of Cluj by Alin Niculescu

There is one respect in which I have a definite advantage over Paddy in terms of the places he visited. I have been lucky enough to get to know well the city of Cluj-Napoca due to my regular visits. Paddy had but one night there with Angéla, but it was one of one of love […]

A Winter Afternoon in Cluj

I am very fortunate to be able to visit Cluj quite often. We all know a little about the city from Paddy’s visit here during his brief love affair with Angéla in the summer of 1934. Today I find myself here again after a busy week in my company office. It is a cold overcast […]

Angéla and Paddy’s visit to Cluj-Napoca

In response to requests from many of the citizens of Cluj who inhabit the pages of I Love Cluj on Facebook, I have scanned the pages which recount the story of Paddy and Angéla’s 1934 visit to Cluj in full. This is taken from “Between the Woods and the Water”, the second volume of Patrick […]

Angéla, Paddy, István and Tom in Cluj-Napoca

    If the lifespan of a crow can be up to thirty years, it is conceivable that the grandparents of the present day crows of Cluj observed Patrick Leigh Fermor and Angéla on their clandestine assignation to the city in 1934 when they were chauffeured by the understanding István. Their journey was a secret, […]

Routes of the Heart: Lucy Abel Smith’s Transylvania

Transylvania, with its rich natural and historic heritage, enjoys a huge revival as a cultural and touristic destination. Historian Lucy Abel Smith is one of the British enthusiasts who have contributed, through her writing as well as various projects, to transforming this land of diversity and overwhelming beauty into a hotspot of unforgettable discoveries. The […]

Travels in Transylvania: The Greater Tarnova Valley

Whenever I mention Transylvania to friends and acquaintances most express a strong desire to visit this land of mystery. Few however, can place Transylvania on a map and even less ever actually travel there. Readers of the Paddy blog will know that PLF passed through in 1934 and returned during communist times. I have had […]

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 […]

The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo: Meeting Patrick Leigh Fermor

Ryan Eyre lives in Seattle, and took a journey to Kardamyli to meet Paddy in 2009. He has written this article for the Journal of the Book Club of Washington, and has asked to publish it here as well. Ryan tells us, as many others have done, about Paddy’s remarkable memory, which he utilised to […]

£1 a week – Up Down and Across

Nick Hunt will be giving a talk about his epic walk in Paddy’s footsteps from Hook of Holland to Istanbul at London’s Westminster Reference Library on 11 May, and will be joined by other adventurers in an evening of talks, performances and art about walking. Find out more on Nick’s blog, After the Woods and […]

The First Transylvanian Book Festival: 5th – 9th September 2013

If you enjoy literary festivals, want the opportunity to meet authors like William Blacker, and discover the romanticism and beauty of the Saxon lands of Transylvania whilst discussing the work of Patrick Leigh Fermor, then the place to be in September next year is the very first Transylvanian book festival which will be held during […]

Flying to the moon

As many of you will know by now, I travel to Romania pretty frequently and I am fortunate enough to stay and work in the beautiful city of Cluj which Paddy says he visited during his road trip tryst with Angéla in the summer of 1934. Paddy’s descriptions in Between the Woods and the Water […]

A PLF Pilgrimage to the Abbey of St Wandrille

Ed Ricketts has been travelling again and taking the opportunity to follow in the Paddy’s footsteps, this time at the Abbey of St Wandrille where Paddy spent much time writing, and described in A Time to Keep Silence. Ed has sent some pictures for us to enjoy. If you have your own stories about Paddy […]

£1 a week – Nick has arrived in Constantinople!

He left England on a warm and balmy December 8 2011, and has today, 17 July 2012, arrived in the hot and bustling melting pot of Istanbul as we in England endure the foulest, accursed summer weather. Nick’s boots, which he had just had repaired by a Romanian cobbler in Turda when I met up […]

Originally posted on After the Woods and the Water:
Looking back, the landscapes of my journey are reduced to pure colour. Austria was  frozen white, Slovakia scorched ochre brown, the Hungarian Plain the yellow of rushes and the blue of a cloudless sky. Two weeks walk across the border, and Romania has flooded my mind…

A Year of Memory: the top ten posts on the Patrick Leigh Fermor blog

As the year comes to a close it is time to reflect upon what has passed and to look forward to 2012. I make no predictions for the coming year. There are some things which are almost certain such as the continuing Euro crisis and the much anticipated publication of Artemis Cooper’s authorised biography about […]

Travel writing: Lost art in search of a lost world

Few authors have been able to equal Patrick Leigh Fermor’s ability to dissolve into the places described in his books. Editorial, first published in The Guardian 18 June 2011 “I hate the French cookery, and abominate garlick,” Tobias Smollett told his readers 245 years ago, with a snooty disregard for foreigners that runs through too […]

The Phoenix Land: The Memoirs of Count Miklós Bánffy

I am just ten tantalising pages away from the end of Miklós Bánffy’s Transylvanian Trilogy (They Were Counted, They Were Found Wanting and They Were Divided) published by Arcadia books. If I have time I will write a short review very soon.The books are lively, and Bánffy writes so well about love, life, and politics […]

One year on … the Patrick Leigh Fermor Blog

I am back. Sorry that I have been so quiet for the last few weeks. I don’t have any real explanation. Excuses may range from work commitments through some form of ‘writer’s block’ (where has my muse gone?) to the genuine excuse of being totally absorbed by Miklos Banffy’s first volume of his trilogy – […]

Prince Charles in Transylvania

By William Blacker. First published in the Financial Times 27 August 2010. When in early 1990 I first went to Transylvania, leaving behind the bright lights of western Europe and adjusting my eyes to the more sober tones of its eastern reaches, I could hardly believe that such a place still existed. In deep winter […]