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A prototype gap year,
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This review is from: A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (Kindle Edition)
In late 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor began a solo walk across Europe - a sort of prototype of modern-day "gap year" backpacking, if you will. Coming from the sort of social class that allowed an 18 year old the luxury of undertaking this type of adventure, and gave him access to social connections who would occasionally put him up in castles for weeks on end, this is neither Down and Out in Paris and London or, from a slightly later era, a European equivalent of Arabian Sands (Penguin Classics). While he may not have had to grapple with grinding poverty or near-death adventures, in his travels he had enough nights sleeping in barns, rubbing shoulders with peasants in obscure village drinking holes or thefts of his pack and passport interspersed with the visits to cathedrals and art galleries to make this an interesting and diverting read. For such a young observer he leaves a distinct and memorable (if incomplete) impression of European society and ethnic and cultural distinctions of the era - highly recommended.