Symi proved to be delightful – its better preserved bits showing evidence of considerable past concentrations of wealth, but with a surprising number of buildings in various stages of dereliction. was struck here, once again, by the way that rackety scooters and motorbikes weave their way through people on the waterfront, and alongside the restaurants at night. Am sure this traffic has its charms for some, and is no doubt necessary, but would gladly do without the noise and risk to limb, if not life.
Meanwhile, keep plowing through books. In addition to Merlin, the story of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, books I have read during the trip include: Omar al Akkad’s What Strange Paradise; Mick Heron’s Bad Actors; Hervé Le Tellier’s The Anomaly; and Stephen Ambrose’s The Wild Blue, about the American B-24 crews in WW2, which I bought at the wonderful Le Flaneur rare book shop in Datça – where we went to have our passports stamped for entry back into Turkey.
Two books I have also been nibbling at are Ian Morris’s Geography Is Destiny and Antony Beevor’s Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921. And then two other members of the group passed on books they had read on the trip: Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone, a novel written from the point of view of elephants, and David Davis’s One River, an exploration of the medicinal plants and hallucinogens of Amazonia.
Then we sailed on to Knidos this evening.