Tuesday, 17 February 2009
What I did on my holiday
Paul do Mar Madeira
My recent two week absence was due to a holiday on the island of Madeira. The wife persuaded me that we needed a break from living in a small village on the coast and doing nothing all day. So we went to a village of 800 people on the coast and sat around in the sun all day doing nothing. Just what the doctor ordered!
A hotel, three bars a couple of village stores and a splendid cake shop. Together with some very scary cliff walks that was plenty to keep me occupied for two weeks.
I had intended that I would have a complete break including no military history. However one of the books I packed was a rather good novel about Dracula.
Apart from being a very entertaining read, the story moved across Istanbul, Bulgaria, and Romania through several centuries and a beautiful landscape of forests meadows and castles.
As a result, I spent far too long pondering the geography of my imagi-nation.
I am now fairly clear that following the Thirty Years War Bohemia emerged as an independent state of some power. Her Eastern neighbour Moravia is a Bohemian client state, though an independence movement and religious differences cause a state of tension between the two. On Moravias Eastern edge is a mountainous and forested area which will be named shortly but for the moment can be called the wild wood.
The Wild Wood contains a shamanistic branch of ancient steppe dwellers. It also contains Serb Orthodox monasteries and some castles not completely unlike Transylvania. The geography of the wild wood is vague, indeed its almost a magic wood in that exiting it can bring the traveller into unexpected contact with the Russian and Ottoman empires in addition to an uncharted inland sea containing Venetian trading ports, and numerous pirate and other fleets.
I would have got more detail on this but I kept dozing off in the afternoons.