Patrick Leigh Fermor endorses Tim Salmon's THE UNWRITTEN PLACES


'A remarkable book' Patrick Leigh Fermor


A new endorsement for Tim Salmon's The Unwritten Places - Wanderings in the Mountains of Northern Greece from Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, widely seen as the greatest travel writer of all time, has just come to light. Once described as a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene, 'Paddy' died in 2011. So, how come?


In Tim's words:


A friend, once UK ambassador in Athens and himself author of several scholarly books about Greece, was recently involved in curating an exhibition celebrating the painter John Craxton (my neighbour in Crete and in London and a long-time friend), Paddy Leigh Fermor and the Greek artist Ghika.


Michael, the friend, organised the Paddy Leigh Fermor side of the show. A couple of summers ago he was staying in Paddy's old house and found his copy of The Unwritten Places, which John Craxton had given him.  Michael took the photo and sent it.


Quotes by established authors are manna to publishers and authors alike and we are delighted to add the quote to Tim's cover and blurb. Books, good books, never go out of date of course. Especially this one. Tim's route through Northern Greece THE PINDOS WAY is gradually becoming an established adventure tourist trail. Check it out here:


The Pindos Way website


The Unwritten Places - Wanderings in the Mountains of Northern Greece by Tim Salmon

Paperback and ebook, available online and to order from all good bookshops.


When Tim Salmon first set out to explore the remote mountain regions of Northern Greece, he couldn't find anybody, either Greek or foreign, who knew anything about them or had ever been there. This, along with the absence of any books or detailed maps, proved irresistible to the Rough Guide author, travel journalist, mountaineer and linguist.

"Those hazy bulwarks seen against a summer sky from lowland roads and tourist routes where the black-caped winter shepherds repaired in spring. Where did they go?"

For the next 40 years Tim made it his business to find out.

A close friendship, ongoing to this day, with a family of Vlach mountain shepherds lies at the heart of The Unwritten Places. The Vlachs are called Arumani in their own language, which today is their principal distinguishing feature. It is a language derived from Latin and is considered to be a dialect of Romanian. Tim has watched his friends' flocks grow in size and seen the road arrive as their children grew into their sophisticated twenties.

Tim's final acceptance by these proud and secretive peoples (but never quite their dogs!) is marked by his participation in the annual transhumance of the shepherds and their flocks between winter and summer pastures at a time just before the roads and the lorries took over.

A beautifully-written, intimate portrait of an all but vanished way of Greek mountain life, uninterrupted for thousands of years.

A few quotes from PLF's Wikipedia page:

As a child Leigh Fermor had problems with academic structure and limitations, and was sent to a school for "difficult" children. He was later expelled from The King's School, Canterbury after he was caught holding hands with a greengrocer's daughter. At school he also became friendly with another contemporary Alan Watts.[


At the age of 18 Leigh Fermor decided to walk the length of Europe from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople (Istanbul).[9] He set off on 8 December 1933 with a few clothes, several letters of introduction, the Oxford Book of English Verse and a Loeb volume of Horace's Odes. He slept in barns and shepherds' huts, but was also invited by gentry and aristocracy into the country houses of Central Europe. He experienced hospitality in many monasteries along the way.

Leigh Fermor influenced a generation of British travel writers, including Bruce ChatwinColin ThubronPhilip MarsdenNicholas Crane and Rory Stewart.[29]

Leigh Fermor was noted for his strong physical constitution, even though he smoked 80 to 100 cigarettes a day.[30] Although in his last years he suffered from tunnel vision and wore hearing aids and an eyepatch, he remained physically fit up to his death and dined at table on the last evening of his life.


Write a comment

Comments: 0