Thursday, July 15, 2010


From an excerpt of Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts in an old Knopf guide to Vienna (Fermor dilating upon the Turkish influence):

There were quivers and arrows and quarrels and bow-cases and tartar bows; scimitars, khanjars, yataghans, lances, bucklers, drums; helmets damascened and spiked and fitted with arrowy nasal-pieces; the turbans of janissaries, a pasha's tent, cannon and flags and horsetail banners with their bright brass crescents.

The guide says that Fermor "journeyed on foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland in 1993 and passed through Vienna on the way."

I know nothing about Fermor. Did he wear out his knee cartilage the way Thesiger did? Note: I know little about Thesiger, but he is entrancing.

Of course, the unknown has dropped off the face of the world map since his death. At this point, I would think that the best travel "destinations" are ones where there is no cell-phone service, no television, and no surveillance cameras. I imagine that people visiting such places would relax--truly, interiorly (word?)--exponentially more than they would by going to places wired and screened to the hilt. Maybe one day a nature preserve will be just this--plus some trees, flora, and shubbery, and small creatures.

No comments: