The Olive Route

The Olive Route

A Personal Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean

Book - 2006
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The Olive Route resembles both the Silk Road and the Spice Route in that the epic adventures involving the transportation of its produce are highly colourful, intriguing and sometimes bloodthirsty. They embody the entire history of the Mediterranean and its diverse peoples. From the Levant on the eastern coast of its ancient sea, to its western shores, the olive tree is farmed.

For many living around the Mediterranean basin, such as Carol Drinkwater, this silvery-grey evergreen is essential to their lives and diets. It has inspired painters and writers since time immemorial. For those who holiday here or dream of it, the tree evokes dusty fragrant seasons, an escape from urban life.

From Gibraltar to northern Syria the olive route's stretch is 2,200 miles. At its widest, between France and Algeria, the sea spreads 488 miles. Carol Drinkwater vividly unearths its ancient stories, travels its lands, crosses its shimmering, almost-tideless tranquillity. She meets its striking, often courageous, peoples and traces its venerable olive culture. Tracking the Cretans, Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, amongst others, she finds her way back to her olive farm in the sun-baked hills in southern France.

The Olive Route recounts a thrilling, heroic, sensual and entertaining journey by the bestselling author of the much-loved Olive series.

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson,� London : 2006
ISBN: 9780297847892
0297847899
Branch Call Number: ANF 910.91822 DRIN
Characteristics: 328 p. ; 24 cm

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capitalcity
Jun 07, 2013

This book chronicles the first half (eastern portion; see The Olive Tree for western itinerary) of CD's journey round the Mediterranean basin in search of the historical roots of olive tree culture. It's a rather exhausting compendium of dense detail, akin to reading a stenographer's transcription of a traveler's freely associated visual observations 24/7. Nonetheless, the encounters with inhabitants along the way are quite enlightening as regards the feudal state of everyday life, wherein the powers that be profit by making sure peasants remain just that ... peasants. Unexpectedly, it was an off-topic return to a southern fishing village in Crete (Matala) to recaprture, more than 30 years later, an experience from Carol's bohemian summer of '72 that a truism of life forcefully manifests itself, a core aspect of our being. This I will let the reader identify and acknowledge. All in all, an edifying tome.

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