Rotterdam to Budapest

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.

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.

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. I will return to walk the two days' journey between Esztergom to Budapest next year.

MY route, including DATES AND stops, is outlined below. 

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

DATES / LOCATIONS ON THE ROUTE

 

SUNDAY 30 APRIL: FERRY FROM HARWICH TO THE HOOK OF HOLLAND

Monday 1 May: Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Tuesday 2 May: Gorinchem, The Netherlands

Wednesday 3 May: Zaltbommel, The Netherlands

Thursday 4 May: Tiel, The Netherlands

*

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

*

Friday 12 May: Vienna, Austria

Saturday 13 May: Vienna, Austria

Sunday 14 May: Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, Austria

*

Monday 15 May: Bratislava, Slovakia

Tuesday 16 May: Nové Zámky, Slovakia

*

Wednesday 17 May: Esztergom, Hungary

Thursday 18 May: Budapest, Hungary

Friday 19 May: Budapest, Hungary

SATURDAY 20 MaY: RETURN TO LONDON

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