This is an ideal holiday book, packed with a lovely mixture of culture, architecture, and food.
A travelogue is always a joy, particularly these days, as it transports us to somewhere new and different. This is an ideal holiday book, packed with a lovely mixture of culture, architecture, and food. It is a sort of gentle Paul Theroux without the biting humour, and Peter Mayle, without the distinctive structure of the seasons. Miles's descriptions of the places he visits are packed with detail and he is every bit as graphic writing about architecture or scenery as he about the restaurants, homes and cafes he samples. His descriptions of the food he tastes in the restaurants, local homes and markets, makes you itching to pack and head off there straight away. I particularly enjoyed the way the book flitted around Europe. One minute he is in the Scottish Highlands eating fish and chips and in the next chapter, he is back in Southern Italy eating octopus and muscles. It is also unusual in that he returns to places, meeting up with fellow travellers and local residents where their personal stories are revisited, one such memorable event being Oliver the campsite owner. Miles seems to invite friendships and confidences wherever he goes. In every town and village, he finds a friendly face, someone to take him to a fiesta or a lavender field, an amazing restaurant, or in one or two cases the town's red light district. He also manages to invite quite a few admirers and offers with definite sexual innuendos along the way! From Scotland, to Bavaria to Bergerac in France, his popularity seems to know no bounds. He seems to acquire interesting people like a magnet. I certainly haven't been invited to a weekend festival after a couple of drinks, a concert or been offered blueberry tart and wine on a walk in the Voges mountains. Perhaps we must all try harder, learn from our surroundings and travel with an open mind and a keener eye. As the last line of the book says, 'life is a voyage, those who travel, live twice.
Rosie Watch, A LoveReading Ambassador
A compelling memoir of a British man in the autumn of his life who sets about discovering a multitude of exceptional places across Europe. The book has the style and structure of a novel with meticulously researched geographical, historical and architectural facts woven into the narrative. The author meets a succession of distinctive personalities who encapsulate the character and culture of the regions he visits. On another level, these journeys are an extraordinary tasting experience of the various cuisines. So vivid and colourful are his descriptions that there are times when you almost smell and taste the food he is savouring. However, travel is the key ingredient, and the writer takes his readers along on the voyage. Miles’ primary form of transport is a campervan, but he also goes by train, yacht, ferry, scooter, bicycle and on foot. Miles travels solo in half of the chapters and is joined by his Mexican partner, Güerita, for the remainder. While touring Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Holland and the United Kingdom, Miles finds himself in locations that do not star in the mainstream travel guides but still have a star quality all of their own. Each chapter is a complete story in its own right. All the requisite parts expected from a travel memoir are included: quirky characters, adventure, humour, culture, romance, danger and passion. The stories illustrate the beauty of being alive and are told by an author with a humorous disposition who inspires the reader to break free from the shackles of everyday existence and roam.
|Publication date:||21st April 2021|
|Author:||Miles W. Hewitt|
|Publisher:||The Weasel Publishing Company|
|Primary Genre||Biographies & Autobiographies|
Closing date: 25/11/2021