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travel & culture - why places are the way they are
A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube
"From Holland to Austria, a fascinating insight into Northern Europe in the thirties, shown to be a twilight age where ancient cultures remained as ghosts, before being swept away by the war."
Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates
"part 2 of the never-completed trilogy, the ghosts of Austo-Hungary, again the fresh experiences of youth put in perspective by the deep knowledge he had gained when writing many years later."
From the Holy Mountain: A Journey In The Shadow of Byzantium
"From Greece around the levantine coast, exploring the extraordinary cultures and interweaving religions, as living traditions and traces of the past"
Travels with a Tangerine: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah
"The old Islamic lands from Tunisia to Egypt, Arabia and Crimea, the keen eye of an outsider with deep knowledge and love of the culture, chasing remnants of the medieval glory of that culture found in"
Hall of a Thousand Columns: Hindustan to Malabar with Ibn Battutah
"A unique insight into the complex history of India, as again T.M-S is following the footsteps of the medieval writer, searching for traces of the Islamic rulers of Hindu lands. Hard to put down."
News from Tartary
"From Peking through central Asia to Kashmir, an extraordinary journey made in the thirties, a real feel for the ancient way of life in this inaccessible area."
Bread And Ashes: A Walk Through the Mountains of Georgia
"All around the Caucasus, particularly Georgia, with a knowledgeable guide"
A Traveller in Rome
"Not a guide book, more like having a holiday, but just happening to know a lot about this most fascinating city. Written in the fifties, I found it better than more recent books."
Prague Pictures: Portrait of a City
"Its good - like the rest of the list, about the place and the traces of the past to be seen."
Shadow of the Silk Road
"From western China through central asia & northern Iran, portrait of an extraordinary area where ancient cultures met and hold on, seldom seen, in complex defiance of stereotypes"
Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land
"Who knew the south-west corner of Arabia was so different from the Saudi / gulf state cliche we see so often. A joy to read."
Journey to the Vanished City: Search for a Lost Tribe of Israel
"Travel in southern africa, on the trail of an ancient link to the wider world, where history was written"
Tale of Three Cities: Vienna, Budapest and Prague
"Middle-europe, memories of Austro-Hungary at the turn of 19th/20th century; nostalgic tone but explains a lot of the trauma to come later."
Black Sea: Coasts and Conquests: From Pericles to Putin: The Birthplace of Civilisation and Barbarism
"a series of essays on the Black Sea, particularly the Ukraine, dressed up as a continuous book"
Among The Russians
"a journey from the Baltic right through Russia to Georgia in 1984, but not much dated because focused on people & their history"
In Search of Genghis Khan: An Exhilarating Journey on Horseback Across the Steppes of Mongolia
"Mongolia - an empty waste? - a place with a past, where the traditional nomadic life has survived & once expanded to rule the world. And SO well written, hard to put down."
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