0Carte des États-UnisLivres de voyage

La lecture est l'une des grandes joies d'être en vacances, mais étant donné que la plupart de mes articles sont sur les voyages à travers l'Europe, Je voudrais utiliser cet article pour recommander des livres de voyages européens spécifiquement.

Patrick Leigh Fermor

Considéré par beaucoup comme le plus grand écrivain Voyage de tous les temps, Patrick Leigh Fer­mor wrote about travels all over the world from the 1930’s through­out the 20e cen­tury.  His mas­ter­piece (On Foot to Con­stantinople from the Hook of Hol­land) is the 3-book col­lec­tion describ­ing his walk from The Hook of Hol­land to Con­stantinople in the inter-war years.  If you are trav­el­ling Europe and are inter­ested in the people, the his­tory, and how it has changed since the early 20e cen­tury then look no fur­ther.

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is a well known and hugely suc­cess­ful travel writer who writes humor­ously about every­where he vis­its.  A great and access­ible place to start for any trav­el­ler.

Paul Theroux

Paul Ther­oux is one of the most suc­cess­ful travel writers of recent times.  Whilst his travels are usu­ally glob­al, rather than merely con­tin­ent­al, the stor­ies, people and places are all inspir­ing for any trip no mat­ter where you are going.

Paul Ther­oux — The pil­lars of Her­cules: A grand tour of the Medi­ter­ranean

To my sur­prise I enjoyed this book the least of this list.  I was hop­ing for either a rose tin­ted view, or some humor­ous cri­ti­cism in the style of Bryson.  I found this book just a little too cyn­ic­al and neg­at­ive.  Ther­oux almost feels jaded at times in the early parts of the jour­ney, giv­ing an espe­cially hard time to Spain.  As the book goes on it con­tains more good stor­ies and has a great­er focus on people which bright­ens the feel.  Recom­men­ded, une fois que vous savez à quoi vous attendre.

Robert Byron

Robert Byron est surtout connu pour son livreThe Road to Oxi­ana.  One of his earli­er and less refined works is Europe in the look­ing-glass which describes his jour­ney with friends from Ger­many to Athens via Italy in a Rolls Royce in the sum­mer of 1925.  Whilst Byron can come across as rather arrog­ant at times, the writ­ing is none the less of a high cal­ibre and the stor­ies inter­est­ing and amus­ing.


Nick Hunt — Walking the Woods and the Water

Nick Hunt’s book is inten­ded as a repeat of the fam­ous jour­ney made by Patrick Leigh Fer­mor I have men­tioned above.  It is a won­der­fully writ­ten illus­tra­tion of how Europe has changed (ou pas) dans le 80 years since Paddy walked to Con­stantinople.

Nick Thorpe — The Danube: A Journey Upriver de la mer Noire à la Forêt-Noire

Nick Thorpe has writ­ten a great book with a large focus on the his­tory and the people around the river Danube.  Sa marche en (plutôt que vers le bas!) the Danube takes in large parts of the former Otto­man and Habs­burg empires.

Geert Mak — In Europe: Travels through the 20e century

Recently trans­lated from Dutch this is the closest in style that I’ve found to Leigh Fer­mor.  It is fas­cin­at­ing to read from the per­spect­ive of a non-Eng­lish cul­ture, and notice the sim­il­ar­it­ies and dif­fer­ences.  Note that this is more of a his­tory of the 20e cen­tury told from the per­spect­ive of places, plutôt que strictement un « livre de Voyage ».  Highly recom­men­ded.

Francis Tapon — The hidden Europe: Ce que les Européens de l'Est peuvent nous apprendre

A detailed study of the coun­tries of east­ern Europe from Fin­land to Greece and Ger­many to Rus­sia.  Tapon evid­ently spent con­sid­er­able time amass­ing the know­ledge and exper­i­ence in this book.  He is also a great advoc­ate for couch surf­ing, so if that’s part of your plan this will make very good read­ing.

Andrew Eames — Blue river, Mer Noire

A mod­ern jour­ney along the Danube.  A sol­id travel book with some good stor­ies, I just wished for more of the child­like won­der found in some oth­er books, not­ably Leigh Fer­mor.  This strikes a more believ­able bal­ance of joy and hard­ship but I prefer the rose tin­ted approach.  Still highly recom­men­ded for any­one plan­ning a sim­il­ar trip.

William Dalrymple — From the Holy Mountain: Un voyage dans l'ombre de Byzance

More a book about the his­tory of the East­ern Medi­ter­ranean and the Byzantine/Eastern Ortho­dox empire.  Pos­sibly not the first book to read in this list but a great exten­sion if you enjoy the his­tor­ic­al enthu­si­asm of Leigh Fer­mor.

William Blacker — Along the enchanted way: Une histoire d'amour et de la vie en Roumanie

Wil­li­am Black­er trav­elled to Romania after the fall of com­mun­ism and lived (et aimé) in isol­ated com­munit­ies that had changed little since pre-indus­tri­al times.  I found this a fas­cin­at­ing and grip­ping tale of a near-van­ished cul­ture.

I hope you find this selec­tion enjoy­able, s'il vous plaît laissez-moi savoir ce que vous pensez ci-dessous. I’d also wel­come oth­er sug­ges­tions.

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