(5). YUGOSLAVIA, Summer 1960

After finishing my Cambridge BA (which turned by magic into an MA with no further work 5 years later) I was ‘at a loose end’ until, as arranged, I was to meet my sister and her family who were returning from Australia to England  by ship. I do not now know the dates but it must have been in June or July 1960  that I left England by the Dover-Ostend ferry and set off hitch-hiking in a south-easterly direction, with maybe three weeks to survive before the rendezvous with the ship in Genova. I had cycled the first part of my planned journey several times, had hitch-hiked as far as Venice in 1956 and through five African countries (Pretoria to Kampala) in 1959, and expected no problems — and indeed had none, other than running out of money. (Was I glad to get onto that ship and eat some huge meals… but that was after several days of relative privation!)
          My destination
          I had ‘read’ (studied) what  was called “Modern and Medieval Languages” at Cambridge — a free choice of 5 from dozens of available final exams, and one of my choices had been ‘History of the Slavonic Languages,’ which required translation from Lithuanian (I simply learned the set pieces by heart!) and from Old Church Slavic [OCS]. The latter gave me an idea for a destination: I did not, as a Briton, need a visa for Yugoslavia, so I chose one of the locations where OCS was written in the 9th C., Ohrid (Turnovo (Bulgaria), for instance, being out of the question).
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The next few pages describe this solo adventure.

Yugoslavia (1)