A few necessary
observations, before you begin . . .
Innocence Abroad has been published only in a small author's
edition which was quickly sold out. Since I have not the time for
being a small publisher, nor the patience to pound on doors seeking a
larger one, I offer it here to one and all. Be it merely remembered
that the book is mine, and not for anyone else's profit. So stands my
'copyright' as of April 14, 1996, my three-score-and-nine
Except for the first chapter, which employs a flash-forward motif,
the tale develops in chronological format, within four clearly
- The preliminaries to going abroad (chapters 2-3)
- The winter in London (chapters 4-5)
- The early spring circuit of Britain (chapters 6-8)
- The mid-year journey through central and east Europe (chapters
Several of those chapters (4, 6 and 7) seemed too long for an easy
online read, so they've been split in two, accounting for the
variance in their chapter numbering. Illustrations and maps were
plentiful in the print version, and I will eventually get around to
putting them up here, too. A preface in the original edition has been
omitted from the online version, but may be added later. In its
place, and immediately following these preliminary words, is an
introduction especially designed for web readers not familiar with
the trail that both led to this journey and enabled it.
While I recommend a sequential reading of the chapters, I shall
facilitate a more random selection by providing the necessary chapter
links, here, together with a brief summary of each. I think there are
just three things you need to know, to make the tale understandable
if you choose your own routing.
- GN stands for Good Neighbors, the pseudonym I use for
the international friendship organization that provided much of my
lodging while on the road - at no cost except friendship and 'good
- It was critically necessary to remain within a budget of $100
per week during the road stages of the journey, and as close to it
as I could while in London. Traveling 'light' in financial terms
is a fine art, so I make frequent reference to budget matters, and
share what I can of how it is done.
- I also speak often of "angels" along the way, by which I mean
someone who popped up with the right bit of help at the right
moment -- seemingly out of the blue. It happened often enough that
I began to think of them as real and true angels.
You may proceed directly to the
introduction and then follow the chapters in sequence, or
. . .
Here are the chapters of Innocence Abroad
for your selective choice:
- 1. Three
Mutineers and a Warden's wrath. In Delphi, Greece,
October 5, 1991, a closure adventure at the end of an incomparable
- 2. Everything
sprouts in February.
Sprouts and visions, doubts and problems...how it all began.
- 3. California
vagabonding. Getting my feet on the road again . . .
rediscovering the magic of a hitch-hiker's way.
- 4a. London
high: dodging for lodgings. Getting to know London . .
. not exactly your typical tourist exposure.
- 4b. London
high: yearning for earnings. On the prowl for a job,
until . . . my moment of truth arrives, and there's no turning
- 5. London
lowdown The joys of a
nitty-gritty London winter, as my finances rumble down toward
ground-zero. And the quite amazing last-minute rescue.
- 6a. Footloose,
foolhardy and freezing in Britain (heading west) Off to
make a circuit of the Big Isle, by thumb and rail: a first week
that starts and finishes in the rain.
- 6b. Footloose,
foolhardy and freezing in Britain (heading north)
Through Wales and into Scotland, to the limits of my endurance,
and then beyond. A magical quest in Hawick, and an angel's rescue
- 7a. Scotland,
from Tongue to Nose... How to use a Scottish Rail Rover
Pass as it was never intended: eight days of travel out of four,
instead of four out of eight.
back to London Completing
the circuit of Britain, with barely the time left to prep for the
challenge of the Continent.
- 8. Week
knees at the pit stop A brief linking chapter to the
main stage of the great adventure.
- 9. All
the way out on the limb Alone and afoot on French soil
. . . damn the language problem, let's go for it! St. Malo and
Rennes, Vitré and Chartres.
- 10. Parisian
dalliance A full week in
Paris, with three (very) different hosts . . . too much of the
Eiffel and not enough of the Musée d'Orsay.
- 11. Navigating
between disgrace and disaster I couldn't possibly miss
the First European Earthsteward Gathering . . . and couldn't
afford the cost of it, either. An angel-finish to a harrowing
- 12. Broken
Dreams in Amsterdam A second 'quest' challenge, some
neat people encountered, and hitch-hiking once again, toward
- 13. The
banana peel route to Berlin An unintended detour deep
into east Germany (Leipzig), with barely enough negotiable funds
to get me on to Berlin.
- 14. Bumming
Poland with backpack and chauffeur I get serious about
seeing eastern Europe . . . assisted by what practically amounts
to a private chauffeur, who can't stop turning up along the way.
The unsuspected charisma of Krakow, plus a rarely adventurous
night in Prague.
- 15. I
didn't know I hadn't been invited Dresden: discovering
the charms of a 'bombed-out' city. With added and sundry wonders
in Weimar, Erfurt, and Kassel, where I pursue the last and best
- 16. The
perils of high summer (I) Hitching on the autobahn
again . . . into the angst-ridden days of summer's crest.
Wurzburg, Darmstadt and Frankfurt: mixed blessings, one and
- 17. The
perils of high summer (II)
Nürnberg, and some brief relief from summer's woes . .
. until I find myself enmeshed in a tachycardia attack on the
autobahn! But Providence intervenes, and I go on to visit with a
young pen-pal of many years, but never personally met, in
- 18. My
Holy experience in Domazlice A little man who goes far
out of his way to get me settled in a rural town. Then a return to
Prague, and sundry unsettling adventures thereabouts.
- 19. Abandoned
on Freud's doorstep
Pushing my luck about as far as it would go, in Vienna . .
. but still, things manage to work out. And then, on to Budapest,
to meet a longtime behind-the-iron-curtain friend, for the first
- 20. "Hey,
Irv!" ... Recognized in deepest Romania
Difficulties aplenty, getting into Romania, but I must
visit my GN friend, Georghe . . . and it proves a visitation to my
own past world. The chapter title references another of those
absurd, in-the-middle-of-nowhere occurrences.
- 21. The
Great Train Robbery Truly,
one of the great adventure passages of my entire life: through
Bulgaria with my finances cut to the quick, a mid-city night
without shelter in mysterious Sofia, and a railroad ride that I
didn't pay for to the Aegean port city of Thessaloniki.
- 22. Island
hopping on the Aegean The search for an affordable
place of winter settlement, which carries me to the islands of
Lesbos, Chios and Oinoussai.
- 23. Becoming
a Lesbian That's right! I never thought it could happen
to me, but I became a Lesbian for that winter. This is the book's
closing chapter, and it reports only on how that finally came
about . . . a tale of exquisite serendipity. You'll also find,
here, some closing philosophical observations.
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