It seems Leigh Fermor’s first great journey, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople on foot, was conjured from a mix of schoolboy geography and a florid fiction-induced impression of Europe, including ‘wolf-harbouring Carpathian watersheds’.

‘Even before I looked at a map, two great rivers had already plotted the itinerary in my mind’s eye: the Rhine uncoiled across it, the Alps rose up and then the wolf-harbouring Carpathian watersheds and the cordilleras of the Balkans.’

 

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts (London: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 21

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