Like many an adventurer, I have picked an unnecessarily complicated route to follow.

Paddy Leigh Fermor hopped on a small ferry from Tower Bridge (yes, directly down the steps from Tower Bridge) all the way to the Hook of Holland in December 1933, and then walked, rode a horse and sailed a little, from there to Istanbul. He took just over a year to complete it (8 December 1933-1 January 1935). I plan to walk his entire route over the next years, a little bit at a time.

His journey, as laid out in A Time of Gifts, follows three major rivers: the Waal, the Rhine and the Danube.

  Map taken from The Folio Society edition of   A Time of Gifts   by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Map taken from The Folio Society edition of A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor

MAP2.JPG

2017: Rotterdam to Budapest

The first stage of my adventure, in May 2017, took me from Rotterdam to Budapest, with a couple of train journeys to help me along the way. I joined the ferry at Harwich and disembarked at the Hook of Holland, just as Paddy did all those years before. In September 2017, I returned to Esztergom to walk across the Pilis Hills to Budapest.

WEEK ONE

I walked along the Waal from Rotterdam to Tiel over four days, before hopping on a train to Cologne.

WEEK TWO

From Cologne, I travelled down the Rhine to Coblenz, before walking for four further days to Bingen, where Paddy spent Christmas Day in 1933.

WEEK THREE

From Vienna, I walked along the Danube to Bratislava over two days, before travelling by car to Nové Zámky and then walking towards Esztergom. I then travelled by boat for my final stretch, ending my journey in Budapest. 

Week Four

I returned to Esztergom and walked for two days across the Pilis and Visegrád Hills, ending in Csobánka.

 

2017 route, including DATES AND stops

Sunday 30 April:  Ferry from Harwich , UK to The Hook of Holland, The Netherlands

Monday 1 May: Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Tuesday 2 May: Gorinchem, The Netherlands

Wednesday 3 May: Zaltbommel, The Netherlands

Thursday 4 May: Tiel, The Netherlands

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Friday 5 May: Cologne, Germany

Saturday 6 May: ALFTER, Germany

Sunday 7 May: Coblenz, Germany

Monday 8 May: Boppard, Germany

Tuesday 9 May: St Goar, Germany

Wednesday 10 May: Bacharach, Germany

Thursday 11 May: Frankfurt, Germany

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Friday 12 May: Vienna, Austria

Saturday 13 May: Vienna, Austria

Sunday 14 May: Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, Austria

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Monday 15 May: Bratislava, Slovakia

Tuesday 16 May: Nové Zámky, Slovakia

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Wednesday 17 May: Esztergom, Hungary

Thursday 18 May: Budapest, Hungary

Friday 19 May: Budapest, Hungary

Saturday 20 May: Return to London, UK

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Thursday 7 September 2017: Esztergom, Hungary

Friday 8 September 2017: Dobogóko, Hungary

Saturday 9 September 2017: Budapest, Hungary