A river lined on both sides with tree-covered banks, reflected in the water and in each other.   As you follow Leigh Ferro’s pre-war crossing of Europe, knowing what came after in destruction and mayhem, you keep asking how much of what he describes survived and how many of the people who helped him traverse in safety and relative comfort.

He could ‘rough it’ sleeping in barns or under trees on summer nights, but sooner or later a letter of introduction would give him access to clean clothes, fine food, unlocked libraries and several weeks of rest and company before starting off again.

‘… vineyards and orchards descended in layers to the tree-reflecting banks.’


Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts (London: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 170

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