Thursday 28 October 2021

Book Review: Wanderlust Alps by Alex Roddie


This big book arrived a couple of weeks ago and I've been browsing through it on and off ever since. It's a companion volume to Wanderlust Europe, which I reviewed last year, and has the same format. That book covers the whole of Europe, this one just the Alps, if you could use the word 'just' about Europe's main mountain range. 

Divided into five sections - Western Alps, Swiss Alps, Eastern Alps, Italian Alps, and Slovenian Alps - the book describes walks of all lengths, from multi-week treks like the 608km GR5 Alpine Traverse to half-day strolls like the 8.9km Val Gardena's Ridgeline. There's an enticing description of each walk then a useful information page or two. The latter includes information on seasons, accommodation, what to bring, flora and fauna, and more but not the maps and guidebooks needed. You'll have to find these for yourself. There's no general introduction and the introductions to the different sections are no more than a couple of sentences. 

The book is written by Alex Roddie but the only mention of this is on a page of publishing infomation at the back of the book, where it says 'Text by Alex Roddie'. He's not mentioned on the cover, the spine, or the frontispiece. I think he should be. Without his words there'd be no book. As a fellow author I protest on his behalf!

The book is profusely illustrated by colour photographs, many spectacular and mouth-watering, by twenty-plus photographers including Alex Roddie and with two from myself. 

This is a book to dream over and I've been doing just that, though a little more seriously than I might have done a few years ago. After my GR5 Through the Alps trip in 2018 I became interested in more long walks in the Alps, walks I could reach by train, as I did that walk, rather than by flying, and so reduce my carbon emissions. Wanderlust Alps has given me many ideas.


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