Into the Unknown Region

A unique chronicle of a perilous journey reminds us of the need to reach beyond the horizon.

Pilgrims going to Mecca, by Léon Auguste Adolphe Belly, 1861.

International travel has been off the agenda for most during the pandemic, even the brief city breaks that are so easy to take in such a well-connected, diverse and compact continent as Europe. Yet, though some claim to have experienced a revelatory new relationship with the local during lockdown, the desire to look beyond our own horizons is unlikely to wither. Not so long ago, in what seems like another world – that of the 1960s and the Hippy Trail – westerners could make an uninterrupted journey from the UK to India, passing through countries – including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan – which are now largely off limits. 

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