A bit over a year ago I completed the first half of a research tour planned so as to follow the footsteps of the protagonist in my current novel in progress, The Perfect. That portion took me through the castles, fortifications, caves and Pyrenean mountain passes of the Languedoc region of France, the Catalan province in northern Spain, and along the Mediterrean coast to Provence, winding up in Avignon, for a brief time the site of the Holy See. I had plans to push northward; but on August 27 I recieved the news that my 95-year-old mother had passed away, so I took a train to Paris and flew home to be with the family for Mom’s memorial service.
Tomorrow I go on the road again to continue where I left off. The break was appropriate. While the French portion of the journey focused on the Cathars in the 13th Century, this leg through Germany, with a jog into Austria and Switzerland, will feature the 1930’s Nazi era. In the book the two do come together (you’ll have to read it to find out how), but as history sees it, they are worlds apart.
I land in Munich on Wednesday morning, and my first event will not be Oktoberfest but a visit to the Dachau concentration camp north of the city, a critical site in the story. I imagine my first on-the-road post and photos will relate that experience, which promises to be eerie.
Many have voiced their envy that I can just take off like this. Some have begged to come with. Yes, it’s a good way to live, and I’m grateful for the opportunity, one I hope to share with many through the magic of technology on this blog.
New York City 10/3/11