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Ups and Downs along the Black Sea in the Reverse Footsteps of Xenophon

Penny Young.

Book Details

This is an account of a journey by bicycle in 1997 heading eastwards from Istanbul. Xenophon and his Ten Thousand Greek mercenaries followed a similar route in reverse around 2,500 years ago.

‘ ... and when they had all got to the top, the soldiers, with tears in their eyes, embraced each other and their generals and captains.’ That’s what Xenophon wrote with deep retrospective emotion in his account of his own epic journey. What a moment it had been. Sadly there were no Greek soldiers or Xenophon to kiss me. What I had to deal with instead was the longest road tunnel in Turkey at the time ... I emerged blinking into a glorious and transformed world. It was as if I had made a magical journey through space and time. I had left behind the claustrophobic closeness of the damp grey valley, the heights on either side obscured by low cloud, and entered into a world of dazzling sunshine and beauty. Behind me, the huge pine-forested amphitheatre of the Zigana Pass, the tunnel a small troll-like gateway in. Before me, a stupendous panorama of the eastern Black Sea mountains, the Pontic Alps, proper mountains, inaccessible savage rocky peaks, soaring high and capped with snow. The Turks called this range Kalkanlı Dağlarıthe Shield Mountains. It was a truly uplifting sight. All the previous agonies of the day were worth it for this moment.

'An epic journey and a personal achievement. Far too few people write as lovingly and as honestly about Turkey as you do.' Ian Sherwood

' ... a book that reminds us of travellers of an earlier age, a personal tale, told with humour and humanity, by one with a well-stocked mind.' Peter Clark, author of Istanbul, in the series 'Cities of the Imagination'.

'Just to say how much I am enjoying Ups and Downs, my boat-time reading these past two weeks. Congratulations!' John Scott, Cornucopia

'We have been competing to read it, but careful not to tear it in half down the spine by fighting over it.' The Walkers

UpsAndDownsCoversUps and Downs along the Black Sea in the Reverse Footsteps of Xenophon

Penny Young

Published by Twopenny Press

Designed and produced by Gilmour Print, Stewarton, Ayrshire, Scotland

ISBN 978-0-9561703-1-6

234 pages with map.

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  • £12 to all other European addresses
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