Iridescent travel sketches of some of the most romantic spots on earth: Fiji, Capri, the Basque country, Malta and Kashmir, Alexandria, Iceland and more. Morris, a former correspondent for the London Times and the Manchester Guardian, is one of those writers who is able to convey the aura of faraway places with a sensuous immediacy which simultaneously lulls and excites you. Whether he is describing the golden women of Fiji hitching their skirts in the mangrove swamps or evoking the rambustious activity of Dublin's O'Connell Street on a Saturday night, the sounds and smells are pungent and unmistakable. Always for him the present is informed by images of the secrets and splendors of the past: in blighted Alexandria the faint perfume of jasmine and pomade recalls the lyricism of Durrell even though now--""its sybarites long since banished or reformed"" -- Alexandria has become a squalid and seedy ghost of its former self. In Iceland the uninhibited bonhomie, the ""gargantuan toasts and awful hangovers"" of the easy-going populace brings back a more heroic age when Celt and Norse marauders laid the basis for the sagas that still stir their bourgeois descendants. But these glimpses of lost horizons summoned up by memory and imagination in no way diminish his involvement in the more hurly-burly street scenes of the present and he vivifies them as only one who has looked beyond the prepackaged local color offered by guide books can.