On the Shores of the Mediterranean
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With his trademark charm and sharp wit, Newby leaves no stone unturned in his quest for wonderfully detailed and quirky knowledge to share with his reader. Insightful, hilarious and sheer fun, this is an adventure not to be missed, by Britain's best-loved travel guide, and father of the genre. 'Why don't you start in Naples and go clockwise round the Mediterranean instead of dashing off in all directions like a lunatic?' Fortunately, Eric Newby followed his wife Wanda's advice, and so begins the wonderfully madcap adventure, 'On the Shores of the Mediterranean'. Beginning during the Newbys' wine harvest in Tuscany, the adventurous but disaster-prone pair follow a path using every form of transportation conceivable (public bus, taxi, foot, bike, boat), from Naples to Venice, along the Adriatic to Greece, Turkey, Jerusalem and North Africa, from sipping wildly extravagant cocktails in San Marco to being cordially invited to Libya by Colonel Gaddafi.
will announce the Judgement, when God’s throne will be set up on the Rock, the scales will be suspended for the weighing of the souls, and a horsehair tightrope will be set up between the Rock and the Mount of Olives, spanning the Valley of the Kidron, otherwise the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which Muslims believe will be the Mouth of Hell, across which the Faithful will walk without falling into it. The same valley devout Jews believe to be the place to which the Messiah will come first, and on the
lieutenant commanding a platoon of perhaps thirty men. In the simplest terms – this is not a military history – the aim was to break out from the Tobruk fortress, then surrounded by Axis forces, and to link up with the Allied armour which was sweeping up from the Egyptian frontier. The immediate aim of the Black Watch was to attack and carry an advanced German post known as Jill which was about two miles out from the perimeter across the terrain I had compared to the Sargasso Sea. Having taken
of £7 ($9.80) for two, we set off, lugging our bags, for our tryst with the head waiter’s bus at 22.15 which, like the mini-bus due to leave at 22.00, proved to be a figment of his imagination. There, in the station yard, we waited until 22.30, by which time it was obvious to anyone, even me with my peanut brain, that it wasn’t coming. Back at the restaurant we found it on the point of closing, the atmosphere no longer jolly, our table cleared with the chairs stacked on it, the now acrimonious
wind called by the Slovenes the Kraška Burja, by the Italians the Bora, sweeps over the plateau from the north-east, sometimes attaining a velocity of up to 130 mph and in the past upsetting heavily laden ox-carts and even halting trains on the railway line from Trieste to Ljubljana, although it now rarely blows with such ferocity, possibly because the plateau is being protected by the reafforestation. The early part of the year is particularly beautiful. The grass is fresh and green and
men with the loss of only 40 of their own side, an action which the Allies broke off and never resumed, having failed to clear the minefields. The High Command therefore decided to force the Straits by landing on the Gallipoli peninsula. British, Australian, New Zealand and French divisions were landed in April and August but the casualties were appalling and the expedition was abandoned at the end of the year. We walked uphill from the lighthouse to the Cape Helles Memorial, a tall obelisk