Greece 2011, The Ferry Journeys

My friend Dai Woosnam has suggested that I illustrate the blog with some maps and I am always happy to oblige and fulfil a request!

3 responses to “Greece 2011, The Ferry Journeys

  1. Yes I noticed Dai suggested that. I suppose it is always useful for reference but I would rather read more about ok use your maps but don’t reduce the writing…

    It’s a very nice map!


  2. Dear Mr Petcher and Miss Whiplash,
    No, I am not suggesting that one thing should be at the expense of another.
    There is no reason why we cannot have both.
    There is a long history of travel writers using hand-drawn maps to illustrate their journeys.
    I guess in this country, Alfred Wainwright is the most famous recent example. His Coast To Coast walk reads so much better with his charming maps.
    Okay, he was a brilliant draughtsman. But I don’t think they all were.
    I seem to recall reading an edition of Gerald Brenan’s wonderful “South From Granada” that featured some primitive maps drawn by the author. Or have I dreamt that up?
    One thing for sure, there was nowt primitive about his limpid prose! As good a book on Spain as has ever been written.
    Brenan is forgotten a quarter century after his death.
    But not by me he ain’t.
    And did not Henry Miller’s “The Colossus of Maroussi” also feature a map or two? There again, I may be dreaming. But I know that I could not dream of a better book on Greece.
    And then the whole fantasy genre is so much better for the hand-drawn maps. I believe JRR Tolkien originally drew his own of Middle Earth.

    But what am I trying say? Give me a moment to collect my thoughts.

    [ten minutes later]

    Let me breathe in all those words and try again.

    Take a best-selling masterpiece like “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig.

    Pirsig’s manuscript attempts to understand the true meaning of life. By the time it was finally published in 1974, the book had been turned down an incredible 121 times.

    Those duffers who turned it down must feel like the chumps at Decca Records who turned down The Beatles!

    Yet in a way it is the true travel book.
    Because TRUE travel books work on 2 levels: the inner and the outer.
    The outer is easy: it is the physical movement of the writer across his landscape. So in the case of the Pirsig book, I got my Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World down from the shelf and followed every mile of his route across America. Towns I had never previously heard of, now became familiar to me.
    Yet on another level, the towns could all have been imaginary: straight from Tolkien’s magic kingdom. It mattered not a jot. Because we were on a wholly different journey, into the deepest recesses of the writer’s psyche: indeed, into his very SOUL.

    Now, here endeth my musing on the lofty heights of Travel Writing! Now let me descend to the very bottom! (Pun intended!)

    Tell me, in your travels in the Greek Islands, were there any that allowed toilet paper to be flushed down the loos? I understand Andrew that you don’t like a Carrefour replacing the local rip-off village shop, but have any of their toilets arrived in the TWENTIETH century yet, let alone the 21st?!



    • Hello Dai – No, still no lavatories that can cope with toilet paper! New visitors to the Greek islands sometimes find this difficult to come to terms with, especially those from the USA and you are absolutely right – progress in this case would be a thoroughly good thing! Andrew


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