صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

about his horse's feet, without having before his eyes the image of that sea-fight where so great a struggle was condensed into the narrow strait between the island and the shore, with Aristides and Themistocles fighting for the liberties of Greece, and Xerxes looking on from his golden thirode. No one can look down from the peak of Pentelicus upon the Crescent of pale level ground, which is the field of Marathon, without feeling that it is the very sanctuary where that battle ought to have been fought which decided that Greece was never to be a Persian satrapy.”— Quarterly Review.

The very mode of travelling will be felt by many to be an additional charm. Throughout Greece and European Turkey journeys are made only on horseback. “This is not a recreation suited to all men, and is trying even to those who are vigorous and indifferent to luxuries and omforts; yet there is none of that languor and feverishness that so generally result from travelling on wheels, but in their stead invigorated health, braced nerves, and elevated spirits. You are in immediate contact with Nature. Every circumstance of scenery and climate becomes of interest and value, and the minutest incident of country or of local habits cannot escape observation. A burning sun may sometimes exhaust, or a summer-storm may drench you, but what can be more exhilarating than the sight of the lengthened troop of variegated and gay costumes dashing at full speed along-what more picturesque than to watch their career over upland or dale, or along the waving line of the landscape-bursting away on a dewy morn, or racing 'home' on a rosy eve?

* You are constantly in the full enjoyment of the open air of a heavenly climate; its lightness passes to the spirits-its serenity sinks into the mind. You are prepared to be satisfied with little, to support the bad without repining, to enjoy the good as a gain, and to be pleased with all things. You are fit for work, and glad of rest; you are, above all things, ready for your food, which is always savoury when it can be got, and Derer unseasonable when forthcoming. But here it will be seen that no small portion of the pleasures of Eastern travel arises from sheer hardship and privation, which increase so much our real enjoyments, by endowing us with a frame of mind and body at once to enjoy and to endure. It is also from such contingencies alone that those amongst us wbo have not to labour for their daily bread can obtain an insight into the real happiness enjoyed three times a day by the whole mass of manhind who labour for their bread and hunger for their meals.”-Urquhart.

As the Hellenic Kingdom obtained, in the course of the year 1870, so unhappy a celebrity on account of the capture at Pikermes, and as the question of safety is, after all, the one of primary importance to the traveller, it is desirable to state, as clearly as may be possible, the present conditions in respect to it of travelling in Greece. The state of insecurity which for some years past has existed in that country may be traced to the measure of employing condemned criminals in aiding the insurrectionists in Crete in 1866, many hundreds of these having formed themselves into brigand bands on their return to Greece. In the fifteen months ending with March, 1870, no fewer than 109 acts of brigandage are officially recorded, but since that date the efforts which, in deference to European opinion, have been made by the Ottoman as well as by the Hellenic authorities have already produced a state of comparative security. Extremely few acts of brigandage have been recorded since April, 1870; parties of English travellers have made excursions in safety not only in the neighbourhood of Athens, but likewise in the Peloponnesus and other parts of Greece; and in April, 1871, the British Vice-Consul at Mesolonghi oficially reported that Ætolia and Acarnania, formerly the chosen haunts

of brigands, were now " safe,” whilst Her Majesty's Consul at Patras gave a similar report in respect to the whole of the Peloponnesus. We should take upon ourselves grave responsibility were we to advise travellers to under-rate the risks of journeying in Greece, but on the other hand it is equally our duty not to exaggerate them. Persons making tours in the interior should carry with them revolvers; the Hellenic authorities are always ready to supply escorts when asked to do so; but they require that a traveller should, before setting out on any excursion, give, through the landlord of his hotel, twenty-four hours' notice to the police authorities, whose duty it is to provide escorts, or, if necessary, to give warning of danger. For the present, no traveller should undertake any excursion, however short, out of Athens without having duly taken this precaution.

b. ROUTES FROM ENGLAND TO GREECE N.B.-The days of sailing, &c., given in the following lists, or elsewhere throughout these pages, are those fixed at the date of publication of the present edition of this Handbook. But as changes frequently occur in the arrangements of steam-companies, reference should be made, before starting, to the Continental Guide of Bradshaw or some similar monthly publication. The several lines of merchant steamers which have been established between various English and Levant ports give the traveller an extensive choice of conveyances by sea.

Many persons visit Greece on their return from the East, in which case they generally land at Syra; that great centre of the steam navigation of the Levant, whence there is frequent communication with Athens, Salonica, Constantinople, Smyrna, Syria, and Egypt. (For details see Section III., under head of Syra.) Again, many travellers proceed to Grecce from Italy, in which case they can meet the weekly steamers from Trieste at Ancona or Brindisi.

The main routes from England to Greece direct are as follows:

I. (1.) Liverpool to Gibraltar, Malta, and Syra (fourteen days) (about 161. to Athens). by Burns and Mac Iver's steainers (1, Rumford Street, Liverpool) several times a month; or (2.) Liverpool to Malta, Syra, Constantinople, and Salonica ; every ten days; or (3.) Lirerpool to Syra, Constantinople, and Smyrna. John Bibby, Sons, and Company's steamers, which sail at irregular intervals.

II. Across France to Marseilles, and thence to Piræus by French Steamers (Messageries). For the present erery alternate Saturday, at 4 p.in.

A variation of this route would be to go by steamer from Marseilles to Genoa, Leghorn, Civita Vecchia, or Naples, and then crossing Italy, to meet the steamers for Corfu at Ancona or Brindisi; or to go by Mont Cenis to Brindisi. A journey from London to Athens, direct, via Paris and Marseilles, costs about 211.

III. By the Austrian Lloyd's Steamers from Trieste. Perhaps the most agreeable route from England to the Ionian Islands and Greece is by railroad to Trieste; the traveller proceeding thence in the Austrian Lloyd's steamers to Corfu. The journey from London to Athens by this route can easily be accomplished in nine or ten days, and for about 251. (first-class fare, including living on the road, and all expenses). Corfu is reached by the same mode of conveyance in seven or eight days, and for about 201. The London agency of the Austrian Lloyd's Company is at 127, Leaden) all Street, where every requisite information may always be obtained. At present, the steamers leave Trieste

(1.) Erery Saturday, at 2 P.M., for Constantinople direct, touching only at Corfu and Syra. From Syra there is a branch line to Athens.

From Corfu a pleasant variation of the above route, and one which we can especially recommend to those who may not be accompanied by ladies, and even to ladies who may not to disposed to find fault with the imperfect arrangements of Levant travel, is by the Greek steamer to the Isthmus of Corinth, which leaves Corfu in connection with the Brindisi and Trieste bats, every Tuesday afternoon or evening for Lutraki. For the short joumey of six miles across the isthmus the Company provides carriages; and at Calamáki, on the Gulf of Salamis, another steam-packet will be found wherein to proceed to Athens (Piræus).

(2.) Once a week, for Corfu, by the coasts of Dalmatia and Albania. This is a voyage of about a week, but a large portion of that period is sent in port, and the traveller is enabled to see on his way, Zara, Spalato, Ragusa, Cattaro, Durazzo, Avlona, and other highly interesting places.

N.B. Arrivals from the Levant, Greece, and the Ionian Islands are admitted to free pratique at Trieste.

The Austrian Lloyd's steamers which leave Trieste for Alexandria direct, every Saturday night, call at Corfu both in going out and in returning.

. REQTISITES AND HINTS BEFORE STARTING; LUGGAGE; CLOTHES; Pre

SENTS; LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION; MONEY; PASSPORTS, &c. In Greece and the East generally, even more than in other countries, let the traveller bear in mind this important hint-he should never omit visiting any object of interest whenever it happens to be within his reach at the time, as he can never be certain what impediments may occur to prevent him from carrying his intentions into effect at a subsequent period.

We strongly advise those going to Greece not to encumber themselves with a canteen, nor to purchase in England other similar requisites for journeys in the interior of Eastern countries. It is infinitely better to proceed in the first instance to Athens, and there enter into arrangements with one of the regular travelling servants, who provide all such necessaries, Luggage should be packed in two portmanteaus or boxes of moderate size, or in two stout leather bags of equal weight,-80 as to balance easily on either side of the pack-saddle of a baggage-horse. A sportsman, will, of course, take his gun and cartridges. A tent, though requisite in many parts of Asia, is unnecessary in Greece.

Protection from Vermin.-Greece and all parts of the East abound in sernin of every description, each annoying the wearied traveller, and some kx their bite occasioning serious pain or illness. An apparatus for obviating this evil was invented by Mr. Levinge, and is thus described by Sir Charles Fellows, who used it in travelling in Asia Minor:-" The whole apparatus may be compressed into a hat-case. A pair of calico sheets, mine feet long, sewed together at the bottom and on both sides, are datinued with muslin of the same form and size, seved to them at their open end; and this muslin is drawn tightly together at the end of the tape. Within this knot are three or four loose tapes, about eighteen inches long, with nooses at their ends, through which, from within, a cane is threaded so as to form a circle, extending the muslin as a canopy, which in this forin is suspended. These canes must be in three pieces, three feet long, each fitting into the other with a socket or ferrule. The entrance to the bed is by a neck from the calico, with a string to draw it tightly together when you are within. It is desirable that the traveller

should enter this bed as he would a shower-bath, and having his nightshirt with him. When the end formed of muslin is suspended, the bed forms an airy canopy, in which the occupant may stand up and dress in privacy, no one being able to see him from without, while he can observe all around. To prevent accidents from tearing the apparatus, I have found that the best mode of entering it was to keep the opening in the middle of the mattrass, and, standing in it, draw the bag entrance over my head.”

During the day one may read and write within it free from the annoyance of flies; and in the evening, by placing a lamp near the curtain, pursue one's occupations undisturbed by gnats. It will even supply the place of a tent, as a protection from the dew, if a night be spent in the open air. The price of this apparatus is trifling. Messrs. Maynard and Harris, 126, Leadenhall Street, have prepared it under Mr. Levinge's instructions, and furnish it complete, of the best materials, for 11. 58.

Clothes should be such as will stand hard and rough work. They must not be too light, even in summer; for a day of intense heat is often followed by a storm, or by a cold night. It would be ridiculous in an English traveller to assume the Greek or any other Oriental dress, unless he is a master of the local languages and manners; and even in that improbable case he will still find an English shooting-jacket and wide-awake the most respectable and respected travelling costume throughout the Levant.

A comfortable English saddle and bridle will be found a great luxury.

A portable india-rubber bath, with a bellows to distend it, is an immenso comfort, especially as it is next to impossible to procure any means of ablution in the interior of Greece.

A large and stout cotton umbrella is required as a protection not only

from the rain, but also from the sun. A white umbrella should be purchand at Corfu or Athens in hot weather.

A green ceil, and blue or neutral-tinted spectacles, are very useful as a safeguard against the glare of the sun. A pocket-telescope, a thermowater, draring materials, measuring tape, and the like, are luxuries to be provided or not, according to the tastes and pursuits of each individual tourist.

Trarellers starting from Corfu for a tour in Albania, however short, or piating the interior of Greece, without engaging the services of one of the Athenian couriers, should pay strict attention to the following sensible Thommendations of Mr. Lear :-“ Previously to starting, a certain supply of cooking utensils, tin plates, knives and forks, a basin, &c., must absolutely he purchased, the stronger and plainer the better; for you go into lands where pots and pans are unknown, and all culinary processes are to be performed in strange localities, innocent of artificial means. A light mattress, same sheets and blankets, and a good supply of capotes and plaids should not be neglected; two or three books; some rice, curry-powder, and carenne; a world of drawing materials—if you be a hard sketcher; as little dress as possible, though you must have two sets of outer clothingOde for visiting Consuls, Pashas, and other dignitaries, the other for rough every-day work; some quinine made into pills (rather leave all behind than than this); a Buyourouldi or general order of introduction to governors or pashas; and your Teskereh, or provincial passport for yourself and guide. All these are absolutely indispensable, and beyond these, the less you augment your impedimenta by luxuries the better; though a long strap, with a pair of ordinary stirrups, to throw over the Turkish saddles, may be recommended to save you the cramp, caused by the awkward shovelstirrups of the country. Arms and ammunition, fine raiment, presents for Datives, are all nonsense; simplicity should be your aim. When all these things, so generically termed roba by the Italians, aro in order, stow them into two Brobdignagian saddle-bags, united by a cord (if you can get leather bags so much the better; if not, goats' hair sacks); and by these hanging on each side of the baggage-horse's saddle, no trouble will ever be given from seceding bits of luggage escaping at unexpected intervals. Until you adopt this plan (the simplest of any) you will lose much time daily by the constant necessity of putting the baggage in order."

Presents.-It is no longer customary in Greece and Turkey to exchange presents, as formerly; and the ordinary traveller cannot encumber himself with unnecessary luggage. Those, however, who remain some time in the Levant, who travel en grand seigneur, or who sail in their own yachts, often wish to leave some token of remembrance with officials, or others from whom they may have received assistance or hospitality. For this purpose the best articles to provide are English pistols, knives, pocketbliscopes, pencil-cases, toys for children, and ornaments for ladies. Prints

the Queen, the Ministers, &c., are always acceptable. New books, periodicals, &c., from London are most prized by English residents in the

East.

Letters of Introduction. These may advantageously be procured for site of the following functionaries :- The British Minister, and the Consul * Athens; the Ambassador and the Consul-General at Constantinople; the Consuls at the chief towns which it is intended to visit, such as Corfu, Patras, Salonica, Yanina, &c.

Should the traveller be unprovided with letters, he will do well, nevertheless, to call on his countrymen holding official situations in Greece and Turkey. From them he will obtain full information as to the actual state of the countries in which they reside; and how far travelling is safe and

« السابقةمتابعة »