Author(s): Sarah Baxter
History is never more alive than when youre walking through it. The smell of earth long-trodden by pilgrims; mountain vistas unchanged for millennia; the feel of weathered wall, built centuries before...To hike amid such echoes of the past is as close as youll come to travelling back in time. This book will lead you on a grand tour of world events, from prehistory to the 21st century. Meandering along 500 historically resonant trails, A History of the World in 500 Walks is learned but light-footed and never pedestrian, combining inspirational and knowledgable commentary with practical detail. Starting at the very beginning, with hikes amid some of the planets most startling geology, A History of the World in 500 Walks strolls towards and presents, via the pathways of the Roman emperors, Mayan civilisations, medieval pilgrims and Second World War soldiers. In its beautifully illustrated pages, you can follow in the footsteps of Christians, convicts, communists, and conquistadores, Aboriginal tribes, high-seas explorers, gold prospectors, silk traders, Buddhists, Berbers, a bard and a barmy Bavarian. The tales are as varied as the terrain they cover -- and will likely spur you to lace up your own boots.
Sarah Baxter grew up in Norfolk, England (high point: 100m), which may partly explain her love of the mountains. Her passion for getting active outdoors saw her traverse Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. before settling into a writing career.Since 2002 she has worked at Wanderlust magazine, the bible for independent-minded travelers, where she is now Associate Editor. She has written extensively on walking and travel for Wanderlust and a diverse range of other publications, from The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Independent to Country Walking and Runner's World, and has contributed to more than a dozen Lonely Planet books. Mainly, though, she likes to put one foot in front of the other. Whether it be ice-axing up Italy's Gran Paradiso, completing all 1,000km of England's South West Coast Path, summitting Kilimanjaro, exploring Bhutan's only yeti reserve, completing New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing (by night) or strolling from her front door in Bath straight into the Cotswolds, she is never happier than when shes out on a walk.