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Whether cruising, biking or walking the Danube, you are following in the wake of previous travelers, among them a young man who crossed Europe on foot just ahead of a war that would transform the countries he so beautifully describes. Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts is an incomparable companion for a trip up or down the Danube, best supplemented with Claudio Magris' astute observations in his classic Danube. And of course, an entertaining history of the Habsburgs will enrich your journey even further.

Follow the links below to see recommended reading for each destination.

The Longitude Blog – Danube
Walking the Woods and the Water
In 1933 Patrick Leigh Fermor walked across Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. Forty years later he would record the trip -- an insightful glance into pre-WWII Europe -- in his famous trilogy, beginning with A Time of Gifts. Now readers can return to his route through the travels of Nick Hunt, who began his own "great trudge" in 2011, walking in the footsteps of Fermor through eight countries and capturing, in his new book
The Broken Road
“I didn’t go to university; I went traveling instead,” Patrick Leigh Fermor said about his 1933 walk across Europe at the age of 18. The now-complete trilogy documenting his journey is essential curriculum for any traveler.
The waters of the Danube River have served as a fountain of inspiration for many writers, among them Patrick Leigh Fermor, Claudio Magris and Nick Thorpe. Fermor's famous trilogy about his travels along the banks of the river captures pre-war Europe in all its innocence and charm. Magris' erudite observations in his book, Danube, bring new depth to our understanding of the places and personalities of Central Europe. Thorpe's new travelogue, also called