Alone - though he was just married - and on foot, Nicholas Crane embarked on an extraordinary adventure: a seventeen-month journey along the chain of mountains which stretches across Europe from Cape Finisterre to Istanbul.
With only an umbrella for company, he tramped along the Pyrenees, and crossed the Cevennes in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. In winter he climbed over Mont Blanc and the Alps, then through the forested Carpathians and Balkan ranges, surviving storms, a drought and one-hundred-year-old maps. Shepherds, cheesemakers, gunslingers, an anti-social brown bear and a prostitute who couldn't take 'no' for an answer were among the characters he encountered on an epic walk which revealed some of the darker legacies of Europe's history. This classic account is both an astonishing tale of endurance and a celebration of the people and landscapes that exist on the periphery of the modern world.