Tag Archive for literature

Chapter 22 – To the Plains of Thessaly

I’d been pedalling across Europe for some weeks now, travelled about fifteen hundred miles through nine countries and in that time seen what I considered to be my fair share of hills, from that puffy little rise on the way to Parenty my first day on the road, to those tortuous grinds in the Ardennes…

Chapter 21 – The Adriatic Sea

  The ferry company’s booking office was in an old dockside terminal that used to belong to the White Star Line back in the day, judging by the block letters still visible through the faded whitewash on the brick facade. It was crowded inside, a swirl of brassy voices and cigarette smoke and piled-up luggage…

Chapter 20 – Trieste Once More

Another hot clear morning dawned on the Istrian Riviera.  I broke camp at half past five, grumpy and bleary-eyed after another fitful night in that rowdy campground. A quarter of an hour’s easy pedalling brought me around to Pula’s sleepy railway station.  The place was practically deserted at that hour, just an old man in…

Chapter 18 – Road to Trieste

Two nights later I was in Opicina, Italy, sprawled beside my bicycle at a scenic lookout on the Carso, the high limestone escarpment above Trieste.  The evening sun was low in the sky, the air sultry and scented with warm earth and pine, and the view lifted straight out of an old-style travel poster: picturesque…

The Bridge of Dreams

All this fine weather and not only am I off the bike but packing to go overseas as well, for a month this time, to the Caribbean. I am going to Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. I am going there for work but this time it’ll be a different sort of work.  For once…

Need For The Bike

Need For The Bike – now there there’s a title that speaks to me these days as I hang around the kitchen of a morning, nose pressed to the window pane, looking out at the rosy dawns that have characterised these past few days. No doubt the hard men of the Belgian spring classics would…

Chapter 16 – The Big Bend at Bratislava

As good as it felt to be on the road again, a kind of out-of-season loneliness began to take hold of me once I put Vienna astern. Call it  a sense of anticlimax, of having lingered on after the party was over. For just about everybody travelling the Donau Radveg that summer, Vienna was the…

Cabin Fever

It sounds a little odd, I suppose, to tell someone that you woke up at four o’clock in the morning, crawled out of bed and trundled downstairs to the sounds of wind and rain outside, look out the windows into the cold and dark and feel a sense of wistfulness and regret that both you…

Chapter 15 – A Million Mozarts From Home

It’s a little over two hundred miles from Passau to Vienna and the only hard words you could say about them was that they pass too quickly.  The sheer loveliness of the scenery drew you into it, while the seductive simplicity of the Danube bicycle path made it awfully easy to cover ground.  One long…

Chapter 14 – Along the Danube to Passau

I followed the river as far as Vohlburg the next day and the morning after – a Sunday – I set off again in a soft cold rain making my way back down to the river on Vohlburg’s rain-slickened cobbles, past the little knot of church-goers who had assembled beneath their umbrellas in the soggy…