Leigh-Fermor’s continent-straddling meander encompasses pre-war scenes of breath-taking bucolic beauty. A decade after his peregrination this world had been turned on its head and much of it destroyed. Yet in reading of his experiences, you sense an easy timelessness without any foreboding of the wrenching maelstrom to come, despite a sense of menace in the air in Germany, where he witnessed some early fist-flexing of brown-shirted thugs.
‘Meanwhiele, traversed by the shadows of flat-bottomed clouds, the level country was variegated still with wheatfields and lines of poplars and orchards.’
Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Between the Woods and the Water (London: Penguin Books, 1986), p. 57