Landfalls – Tim Mackintosh-Smith

The end of the road for IB, and Tim Mackintosh-Smith, his 21st century shadow.

“It isn’t the end, of course. As long as people read, and travel, and write, as long as readers take to the road then go home – whatever it is that home has become – to tell their stories, the journey never ends. It is both circular and linear, a double helix inscribing itself back into the past and forward into the future.”

Tim Mackintosh-Smith, p350 link: Landfalls: On the Edge of Islam with Ibn Battutah – Tim Mackintosh-Smith

The Hall of a Thousand Columns – Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Marvellous sequel to Travels with a Tangerine, with Tim and artist side kick Martin Yeoman, following in Ibn Battutah‘s footsteps through the Sultanates and Kingdoms of 14th century India.

Spendid travellers’ tales told with many a lovely turn of phrase, and plenty of context – present day, historical and geographical.

I can’t believe I have let The Hall of a Thousand Columns sit unread on my bookshelf since receiving it as my leaving present from Norton Rose, way back in 2005!

…and googling for Martin Yeoman has revealed:

“The third and final part of Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s trilogy on the 14th-century Moroccan traveller Ibn Battutah will be published by John Murray in July 2010. Landfalls: On the Edge of Islam with Ibn Battutah follows the Arab wanderer’s eccentric route from the Maldives to Andalusia via China and Timbuktu.

As with Tim’s previous books, Martin’s drawings will accompany the text, and the jacket will feature one of his paintings. Martin himself will make a guest appearance in the Chinese and Spanish chapters.”

I can’t wait! link: The Hall of a Thousand Columns – Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land – Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Superbly readable set of highlights of Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s 13 year residency in Yemen, taking you to the highlands and lowlands, oases and deserts, mountains and coast, mainland and islands, cities and villages, and providing historical and cultural insights throughout.

Now, who runs trips there…..? link: Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land – Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Travels with a Tangerine – Tim Mackintosh-Smith

The first of my post-holiday reading (so watch the rate of consumption drop off!), and I decided to continue the travel theme. I’ve long been interested in the life, times and travels of Ibn Battutah, but I was put off by the rather dry academic texts which were all I could find……. until I discovered Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s tales his own 20th century travels in the footsteps of this travel-bug from Tangiers.

Starting from IB’s Moroccan homeland, in the far west of the arabian, muslim lands, Tim follows his trail to Mecca, with a short excursion to the Crimea. This sidetrip within the then muslim world made for interesting reading as H and I head off to Yalta at the end of September. In particular it highlighted the fact that the Crimea spent a substantial chunk of time as a Khanate, having been settled by a segment of the Mongol Hordes that converted to Islam. Not what you expect of part of the Ukraine….

Fascinating stuff, told with human insight by Yemen-based Tim Mackintosh-Smith. I’m very glad I’ve got Norton Rose’s leaving gift, Hall of a Thousand Columns: Hindustan to Malabar with Ibn Battutah , ready and waiting on the bookshelf to provide coverage of further voyages, ever eastwards.

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