Constantinople To Burgundy
Bertrandon left Constantinople on 23 January 1433 in the company of Benedict Folco of Forlì, the ambassador of Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, heading to the court of the Ottoman sultan Murad II at Adrianople, where they arrived late in February. Bertrandon records in his Voyage the sumptuous reception accorded the ambassador. On 12 March Bertrandon and Benedict left Adrianople. They visited Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, and Bosnia, which were all under Ottoman rule. He also visited Serbia and was well received by despot George Brankovic. Bertrandon records in his Voyage of this time that he found the Turks more friendly than Greeks. He and Benedict arrived in Belgrade on 12 April. It was there that Bertrandon began to think strategically about the conquest of the Ottoman Empire. He describes Turkish armies, armour, administration, and military system. In his Voyage he presents a plan to unite England, France, and Germany against the Turks. He says the conquest would be easy, but it is the Greeks—not the Turks—who do not trust the Westerners; the possibility of an alliance with the Greeks is slim. Murad, he writes, could conquer Europe with his resources, but he includes a copy of the report of the Venetian John Torcello in his Voyage, to buttress his claim that the Westerners are better armed. He and Benedict then traversed the Great Hungarian Plain and stopped in Budapest, where they parted ways.
It took Bertrandon five days to get to Vienna from Budapest, and there he was cordially welcomed by Duke Albert V of Austria, cousin of Philip the Good. Albert presented him with the first opposition to his plans. From Vienna Bertrandon took six days to arrive at Linz. He took the route through Bavaria and Swabia to Basel, where he attended a meeting of the Council of Basel. He reentered Burgundy at Montbéliard. At the abbey of Pothières in the Côte d'Or early in July he reported to Philip the Good. He gave him a copy of the Koran and a life of Mohammed translated into Latin by the chaplain of the Venetian consul at Damascus. He also gave him his clothes and his horse, both acquired from the East. The duke gave the Koran and the vita to bishop John Germain, the chancellor of the Order of the Golden Fleece, but kept the robes.