European Travel Stories

Previously reviewed books and articles focusing on European travel:

Midnight Express, by Billy Hayes with William Hoffer Midnight Express Billy Hayes –  Is Billy an idiot, or a hero?  Caught at Istanbul’s airport in 1970, with 2 kilos of hashish taped to his body, the American backpacker is sentenced to 30 years in a Turkish prison.  This is the true story of his jailed existence; alternatively waiting for an appeal, or planning to catch the “Midnight Express” escape route home.  Refusing to accept the punishment (Billy is housed with rapists and murderers who are only sentenced to 10 or 15 years), he learns Turkish, practices yoga, and schemes over his secret flight.  Though it’s hard to sympathize with Billy’s drug-smuggling consequences, the trials he suffers – physical torture, emotional abuse, and a dodgy Turkish judicial system – it is easy to appreciate his realization of the blessings of Freedom.  **The 1978 film, Midnight Express, is a controversial dramatization of Billy’s exploits behind bars. **

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