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Between the Woods and the Water (Trilogy #2)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  2,018 Ratings  ·  225 Reviews
Continuing the epic foot journey across Europe begun in A Time of Gifts

The journey that Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on in 1933—to cross Europe on foot with an emergency allowance of one pound a day—proved so rich in experiences that when much later he sat down to describe them, they overflowed into more than one volume. Undertaken as the storms of war gathered, and provi
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 3rd 2005 by NYRB Classics (first published 1986)
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Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 20-ce, uk, memoir, travel, hungary
This book and its predecessor, A Time of Gifts—and its successor, The Broken Road, which I've yet to read—are about a walking tour the author took at nineteen years of age along the Danube in late 1934 and 1935. In A Time of Gifts he travels on foot from London—he hops a steamer across the channel—to the bridge over the Danube just before Esztergom, Hungary. In the present volume he continues his foot tour over the whole of Hungary, into Romania, Transylvania to the Iron Gates which then separat ...more
May 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Patrick Leigh Fermor relied on a Rhine barge, the odd lorry lift and his own two legs to carry him through Holland, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Northern Hungary. Now, he’s crossing the Great Hungarian Plain on horseback:

Whenever he got the chance, Malek broke into a canter, and one of these bursts turned into a long twilight gallop...

Back in Budapest, Leigh Fermor had fallen in with a “noctambulistic” smart set (cellar nightclubs, scotch-and-soda, American jazz) whose country-housed,
Rebecca Foster
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Paul
Shelves: memoirs, travel-books
A Time of Gifts is stellar, but I struggled with this sequel. Fermor’s descriptions and encounters are just as delightful as he journeys from Hungary to the Balkans, but this second volume gets seriously bogged down with historical and etymological context. It’s awfully wordy. Still, there are some terrific moments when, looking back from older age, Fermor considers how lucky he was to have this adventure:
“Life seemed perfect: kind, uncensorious hosts; dashing, resplendent and beautiful new frie
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The middle leg of Paddy Leigh Fermor’s walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople finds him dropping into Hungary on Holy Saturday among the pageantry of elaborately costumed peasants, ornate processionals of gilded clergy, scimitared grandees, the raiment of Archbishops, all imbued with incense, gathering dusk, the drone of organs, and canopied by a horizon of migrating storks and the silvery sheen of the Danube sinking and shimmering into twilight. A typical PLF scene; and nothing is wast ...more
This book follows A Time of Gifts, which was superb. In this part of his travels Patrick Leigh Fermor walks on foot, for the most part, from Budapest to the Iron Gates, a gorge on the Danube River beween Romania and Serbia. His end destination is Constantinople. He does get there, in the last book The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos and goes even a bit further to Mount Athos in Greece.

Fermor is nineteen when he makes this trip. He did it in 1934. The world is changed now. The wa
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In this volume Patrick Leigh Fermor continues his account of his walk forty years before from Holland to Constantinople, a walk undertaken when he was less than twenty years old and taking three or four years. When his previous volume, A Time of Gifts, ended, Leigh Fermor had traveled to Budapest and was about to cross Hungary. This book describes his experiences until he arrives at the Iron Gates, the narrows in the Danube River between Rumania and Serbia.

Herein Leigh Fermor continues to demons
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The travel books of Patrick Leigh Fermor are rare examples of travel writing as literature. I have read four of them to date, including this one, its prequel A Time of Gifts, Mani, and Three Letters from the Andes. This volume is particularly fascinating to me because I am a Hungarian, and this volume covers Patrick's walking tour through Hungary and Romania (most of which was through Hungarian-speaking Transylvania).

A particularly rare feature of this book is a last, lingering look at the old M
I realise that this, along with the others in this trilogy, are considered classic, and are thought by many readers to set the bar for travel writing - but for me, I didn't find it hard to put down.

At the start PLF points out that Books about this part of Europe incline to be chiefly, sometimes exclusively, devoted to politics, and thus abundance lessens my guilt about how small a part they play in this one, where they only appear when they impinge directly on the journey."

For me, it felt like t
carl  theaker
Apr 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to carl by: R.
Shelves: history

Take a stroll across central europe in 1934, along the Danube to the
Iron Gates, what a nice recollection! With its great descriptions of the
countryside, this book would be a great prep for a visit of the Danube area.

If you want to be dedicated, read it with a map by your side and
if you want to go for bonus points also a book on the history of Europe.

Along each stop of the walk there are references to the history of
each town, influences of the various invasions by Turks and the counter
Janez Hočevar
If I could, I would rate this book with ten stars!!!!! Patrick Leigh Fermor's book is not just a travelogue, it is a piece of art, a fresco evoking the world, the people and the customs long gone. Patrick Leigh Fermor was lucky indeed to have been the witness to the this civilisation destroyed by the Second World War and its aftermath. His skill, nay the virtuosity of the English language when describing the nature, the people or anything at all-left me speechless. I could literally see the land ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure
  • The Way of the World
  • Walking the Woods and the Water: In  Patrick Leigh Fermor's footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn
  • The Road to Oxiana
  • Eothen
  • Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
  • News From Tartary
  • Hindoo Holiday
  • Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Across Europe
  • Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea
  • Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere
  • Eastern Approaches
  • Love and War in the Apennines
  • The Marsh Arabs
  • The Valleys of the Assassins: and Other Persian Travels
  • Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars
  • An Armenian Sketchbook
  • The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor DSO OBE was a British author and soldier, who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Battle of Crete during World War II. He was widely regarded as "Britain's greatest living travel writer".
More about Patrick Leigh Fermor...

Other Books in the Series

Trilogy (3 books)
  • A Time of Gifts
  • The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos
“Scattered with poppies, the golden-green waves of the cornfields faded. The red sun seemed to tip one end of a pair of scales below the horizon, and simultaneously to lift an orange moon at the other. Only two days off the full, it rose behind a wood, swiftly losing its flush as it floated up, until the wheat loomed out of the twilight like a metallic and prickly sea.” 7 likes
“Historic priority, could it be proved, would be vital evidence in a suit of contested ownership; and earlier in this century, before ethnic considerations were the overriding factors they have since become, it was more important still: possession by conquest, backed by historical continuity and stiffened by treaties, was still a valid and respectable consideration.” 0 likes
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