صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

(28. &d.) per day to 5 drachmas (38. 6d.), which is the usual price in travelling, though more is generally demanded. At Athens, however, the tval price for a horse per day for excursions in the vicinity is 6 drachmas (13. 1d.). It is in general not necessary to pay more than half-price for the horses on days when the traveller is stationary, as well as for their journey bome; for it must be observed that the number of days will be meckoned that they will require to return from the place where they are dismissed to that whence they were taken. The price for hire of mules is about the same as that for horses. It is an error to suppose that they are more sure-footed in mountainous districts than horses. In crossing a riser on a warm day, the rider should be always on his guard against the trick tbat mules have of lying down in the middle of the water, so suddenly as to give him no time to save himself from being drenched.

The feeding of the horses is provided for by the proprietor, who sends a sufficient number of attendants to take care of them. These men will be found useful, not only as guides, but also in procuring lodgings in private bouses in the villages where the traveller halts. It is usual to make them some present at the end of their engagement. A written agreement with the proprietors of the horses is the most prudent course to allopt.

To proceed with comfort on his journey the traveller should have an English saddle, as the saddles of the country will be found uncomfortable. He should also be provided with a saddle-cloth an inch or two in thickness, in order, if possible, to save the horse's back from being galled. The Greek peasant, in general, objects to the use of the kinglish saildle, tbe pressure of which, from the wretched condition of the horses, is almost sure to injure their backs. In order to obviate this difficulty, two large pieces of cloth should be sewn together and stuffed with a quantity of eurled hair, wool, or cotton, whichever can be most easily procured. When this is done with care, the pressure will be removed, and the Greek will base to offer any objection to the English saddle.

The necessary preparations for travelling in Greece bave been specified (c). Persons provided with all the requisites may commence their tour from any point; but they will find the horses indifferent everywhere ftrept at Athens; and often, as at harvest time, they will experience difficulty in procuring any at all. The traveller should make Athens his brand-quarters, and engage one of the regular travelling servants, long established there. These men can supply canteen, beds, linen, anti-vermin Dets, English saddles, and, in general, everything requisite for making a tur comfortable, as well as good horses, which are perhaps more important than all the rest. The arrangement which has been found most satisfactory is that of agreeing with one of these travelling servants for a fixed her, which is to include every expense, at a certain sum per day for each *Tson. The price varies according to the number of persons, the length of the journey, the number of articles supplied, and whether porter or foreign wines are required. A party of not less than three persons may be supplied with canteen, provisions, and, in fact, with every requisite, iurluding borses, and the services of the travelling servant and horseboys, fte about 30 drachmas per day each, or about 11. per head, if the party consist of 2 or 3 persons, and 268. for one person, if alone.

This sort of arrangement bas generally proved agreeable and advantareas. I'nder the head of Athens (Rte. 2), are given the names of one or tan couriers; others will be found at all the hotels. Travellers should

are the arrangement of their journey to the courier, merely mentioning the day and hour when they wish to start, and the places they intend to Dat; they have then nothing to pay, and need have no bargaining or ezsputing during the whole tour, as the original agreement includes every

possible expense, except the occasional hire of boats and carriages. Travellers who employ these men must not expect antiquarian knowledge from them, but must trust to books for all information except the sites and modern names of the most interesting localities. Their chief merit is, that they enable a stranger to travel with a degree of ease and comfort which it would scarcely be possible to obtain by any other means.

A traveller who may be possessed of a moderate colloquial acquaintance with the language spoken in Greece, or who may have in his service a native of the country, may in his excursions dispense with the presence of a professional dragoman, and make his arrangements from day to day, as he would in any other country,

One who may have studied ancient Greek, and who will give attention to the rules for pronunciation given later under the head of “ Observations on the Modern Greek Language,” will not, after a short time spent in Hellas, find any very great difficulty in making himself understood by the people of the country. He should bear in mind that modern Hellenic scholars have been, and are, endeavouring to raise, as far as possible, the language of their kingdom to the standard of ancient Greek. He should remember, too, that many persons in England and elsewhere are bent upon causing the pronunciation of Greek at our schools and universities to be, within certain limits, adapted to that of the same language where it has been spoken during so many centuries, and that in consequence the difficulty to an English university man in making himself understood in Greece is likely day by day to be lessened. Travellers need have no hesitation in endeavouring to make themselves understood in the language of the country. Hellenes will at any rate endeavour to understand what may be said to them, and are flattered by any one speaking their language.

The wages of a valet-de-place are 6 drachmas a-day, whether travelling or stationary; and half-price is paid for both man and horses for their return to Athens from any place at which they may be left. The arrangement, however, of one charge to cover everything, if made with a really good servant, is the cheapest and most agreeable; and for this reason the traveller, if he engages one at all, should endeavour to secure one of the best at Athens, even at some temporary inconvenience. As a general rule, he should bear in mind that the unavoidable discomfort of travelling in Greece is so great, that it is desirable to have as few unnecessary sources of it as possible. It will, therefore, be bis best plan to go straight to Athens before making a start, and there look about for a travelling servant, who can ensure him a certain amount of comforts during his tour. It is also to be remembered that, in a country where there are but few roads or inns to make one route preferable to another, people should make themselves acquainted from books with the places which most interest them, and be directed mainly by this consideration in the line they take.

Next to Greek, Italian will be found to be the most useful language throughout the Levant. French, however, is more spoken in society at Athens, Constantinople, and in the large towns. In the interior of Greece both French and Italian are unknown; hence, unless the traveller is to some extent master of modern Greek (and, in northern Albania, of Albanian also), it is indispensable to take an interpreter, even on the shortest excursion.

No one should ever insist on proceeding on his journey in mountainous districts in opposition to the warning of his guide. Many a traveller has been caught in storms, unable to find shelter, and exposed to much difficulty and even danger, from obstinately persisting to proceed when warned by his guide to desist. One should also bear in mind that danger from

brigands is chiefly, if not solely, to be apprehended in hilly districts, or in the vicinity of mountains.

No scholar in Greece should be without Pausanias, that Herodotus of topographers, Colonel Leake's works, and Dr. Smith's ‘Dictionary of Ancient Geography,' which embodies so admirably the results of all preChling investigations and travels. There was no good map till the survey of the French Scientific Commission (1832). Aldenhoven's map, published in 1838, is, in a great measure, based upon this survey, as regards the Peloponnesus and part of Attica, to which alone the survey extended. It is on a large scale, with the names in Greek and French. Wilberg, a German bookseller at Athens (street of Hermes), has since published a small map, which is tolerably accurate and convenient. It costs 6 francs. He also sells the best map of Ancient Greece-that of Kiepert (Berlin); and his map of Modern Greece (4 francs).

g. SHOOTING; FIRE-ARMS; ANIMAL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS, &c.

There are several good seasons for shooting in Greece. In April and May the turtles and quails arrive in their annual migration northward from Africa, returning southward at the close of summer. In some of the islands, and on parts of the coast, quails may be killed in vast numbers at these seasons. In Laconia, especially, they are salted by the inhabitants for winter consumption. In September and October, red-legged partridges afford excellent sport in all parts of the Levant, and particularly in some of the islands of the Ægean Sea. In November, December, January, and February, there is an abundance of woodcocks and wild-fowl of all kinds, from pelicans to jacksuipes. Pheasants are to be found in Ætolia near Melonghi, in Macedonia, near Salonica, in Albania near Alessio, and elevhere; flocks of bustards are often seen in Bæotia, Thessaly, Argolis, and other level parts of Greece. Indeed, one of the many attractions of a jorney in Greece is the variety of birds unknown, or seldom seen, in England. In the interior, the horizon is rarely without eagles, vultures, or other large birds of prey, circling majestically in the air; while rollers spread their brilliant wings to the sun by the side of the path; bearcoots and orioles flit through the trees above one; gay hoopoes strut along, opening and shutting their fan-like crests; and now and then a graceful $110w-white egret stalks slowly by. An almost endless variety of waterfowl haunts the lakes and rivers. In the Turkish provinces, storks annually szórt to breed in all the towns and villages; but they have generally disappared from the kingdom of Greece, so much so that the Ottomans taurtain a superstition that these birds follow the declining fortunes of Islam. The truth is, that the Christians often kill or annoy them; whereas the Moslems, thouyh often reckless of the life of man, are very truder-hearted towards all other animals.

The wolf, jackal, lynx, fox, wild-boar, wild-goat, red-deer, fallow-deer, me, &c., inhabit the wilder and more inaccessible parts of Greece and Turkey; bears are still sometimes met with on the higher mountainTanges. Hares are numerous, both on the mainland and in the islands. Mais, porpoises, and dolphins frequent the coasts. So many Greek rrers are merely mountain torrents, dried up at certain seasons, that there is not much inland fishing; but large and delicate cels are found in the Copaic lake; and mullet, tunny, and other fish, abound in the Grock sas and lagoons : leeches are plentiful in many places, and form an article of export. There is excellent trout fishing in some of the rivers and lakes of Albania. Tortoises abound everywhere; poisonous vipers and serpents infest certain localities. The insect tribes of Greece

include several Asiatic and African, as well as European species. The vegetable products are, for the most part, similar to those of Southern Italy. The country may, in this respect, be considered as divided into 4 zones or regions, according to its elevation. The first zone, reaching to 1500 feet above the sea-level, produces vines, figs, olives, dates, oranges, and other tropical fruit, as well as cotton, indigo, tobacco, &c.; and abounds in evergreens, as the cypress, bay, myrtle, arbutus, oleander, and a multitude of aromatic herbs and plants. The second zone extends from 1500 to 3500 feet perpendicular, and is the region of oak, chestnut, and other English forest-trees. The third zone reaches the height of 5500 feet, and is the region of beech and pine. The fourth, or Alpine zone, including all the surface above 5500 feet in height, yields only a few wild plants. In Walpole's "Memoirs of Turkey' will be found a very complete account of Greek plants by Dr. Sibthorp, author of the · Flora Græca. Acarnania, Elis, Messenia, and the western parts of Greece generally, are the most richly wooded ; the eastern provinces and the Ægean Islands, except Eubea, are mostly bare.

So many Englishmen visit Greece and the Ionian Isles every winter for the purpose of shooting, that it is necessary to point out some of the best stations where they may combine good sport with safe harbours for their yachts. Such directions will be found under the heads of .Corfu,' * Santa Maura,' and “Ithaca,' with regard to the coasts of Albania and Acarnania. Corfu is, on the whole, the best head-quarters for a shooting party. Here supplies of all sorts are to be procured, and the best information about all kinds of game in Albania. Farther south, there is capital wild-fowl shooting on the lagoons of Mesolonghi, and excellent cockshooting in the woods near Patras. Recommendations had better be obtained from the English Consul at Patras to some of the native proprietors, who will provide beaters, &c. In these countries every one may follow bis game unmolested, if he avoids doing mischief to the vines or crops. But in Greece it is necessary to have a certificate to legalize the possession of fire-arms, whether for sport or for self-defence. The traveller had better procure this from the local authorities of the first town he visits. The fee amounts to only a few shillings, and he is liable to arrest and fine, and to have bis arms taken from him by the police, if he be without it.

h. YACHTS, Boats, &c. The number of Englishmen who visit Greece and the Levant in their own yachts is considerable. Moreover, a facility exists of visiting a great portion of the country, and making excursions to the islands, by the boats which may be hired at most of the sea-ports, either by the day, week, or month, according as may be required. The price of boat-hire varies according to the size of the boat. A good-sized boat, which will accommodate two persons and their attendants, may be engaged for 3 dollars a day, though often much more is charged. It is always better to have a written contract with the captain, stipulating that the contractor is to have the absolute command of the vessel, and prohibiting the crew from entering any port whatsoever, carrying on any trade, or putting anything on board, without permission. If this be not done, delays will ensue from the captain's running into all the small ports, and endeavouring to prolong the voyage, especially if the engagement be by the day.

The traveller in Greece in the summer months will find it well to establish himself in a boat for a month or two, and sail round the coast, visiting the islands of the Ægean, with little annoyance from custom-house or police-officers; see the towns and some of the most beautiful parts of the country; and defer his excursions into the interior until the great heat subsides. His first care should be to select a good, and, if possible, a new, boat, as more likely to be free from vermin, belonging to some person known to an English Consul, or to some respectable raident merchant. There should be three or four able-bodied sailors on bard, and the after-deck should be covered with an awning, to remain spread day and night. This, in the Greek climate, is preferable to a close cabin. Provisions and stores must be laid in to last from one large town to another. Formerly, from the prevalence of piracy, these excursions were impracticable; but now there is little danger; however, it is advisable to obtain information on this point previous to undertaking any such expeditions,

It is always interesting for a classical scholar to find himself among Greek sailors; he will soon remark numerous instances in which they retain the customs of the earliest ages, and the old modes of expressing them in language. The navigation of a people so essentially maritime naturally affords frequent examples of the preservation of ancient manners. The peg furnished with a loop of leather or rope (TporwThp), by which Greek boatmen secure their cars, instead of using rowlocks, and other omtrirances and tactics of the ancients, may be observed in daily use among the moderns. So too the broad boat (evpeia oxedin) built by Ulysses in Calypso's isle, seems to have closely resembled that now generally employed by the fishermen and coasting-traders of the Ægean and Ionian seas. The narrative of a voyage by Homer would be a not inaccurate account of going to sea in a boat of the country at the present day the putting up the mast before starting, &c., are all portrayed to the life. So also the fascines which often envelop the gunwale, and protect the crew from the waves, and from the danger of a sudden heel, are exactly described in the Odyssey (v. 256). The Greek seas are still as fickle as ever;

* Calm as a slumbering babe

Tremendous Ocean lies,” op else there sweep over its surface changing breezes, or wild and sudden storms.

i. ACCOMMODATION FOR TRAVELLERS; PROVISIONS, &c. A khan is a species of public-house inhabited by the keeper, or Khanji, and his family ; and is open to all comers, though provisions are not always found there. In towns, the khan is generally a large building enclosed in a court-yard, consisting of two floors, the lower a stable, the upper divided into unfurnished rooms, opening into a wooden gallery which runs all stund the edifice, and to which access is gained outside by stairs. The old “Tabard Inn” at Southwark, and similar ancient hostels in England, were probably constructed much on the same plan, with the addition of a 6 tamon room for meals, which rarely exists in a khan. In unfrequented districts, the khan is usually a single room, or shed, "with a raised floor at one end for humanity, and all the rest devoted to cattle-sometimes quadrupeds and bipeds are all mixed up together."

The Turks erected khans at convenient distances throughout their kaninions, and still maintain them for the reception of travellers in all parts of the Ottoman Empire. In Greece, they were nearly all ruined during the Revolution ; but since the restoration of tranquillity, some of them have been repaired by poor Greek families who reside in them, and

« السابقةمتابعة »