Why Americans travel to Europe for what?

Why Americans travel to Europe for what?

Americans go to London for social triumph, to Rome for art’s sake, and to Berlin to study music and to economize; but they go to Paris to enjoy themselves. And there are no young men of any nation who enter into the accomplishment of this so heartily and so completely as does the young American.

Paris determined to see all that any one else has ever seen, and to outdo all that any one else has ever done, and to stir that city to its suburbs. He saves his time, his money, and his superfluous energy for this visit, and the most amusing part of it is that he always leaves Paris fully assured that he has enjoyed himself while there more thoroughly than any one else has ever done, and that the city will require two or three months’ rest before it can read just itself after the shock and wonder due to his meteoric flight through its limits. Paris, he tells you, ecstatically, when he meets you on the boulevards is “the greatest place on earth,” and he adds, as evidence of the truth of this, that he has not slept in three weeks. He is unsurpassed in his omnivorous capacity for sight-seeing, and in his ability to make himself immediately and contentedly at home.

The American visitor is not only undaunted by the strange language, but unimpressed by the signs of years of vivid history about him. He sandwiches a glimpse at the tomb of Napoleon, and a trip on a penny steamer up the Seine, and back again to the Morgue, with a rush through the Cathedral of Notre Dame, between the hours of his breakfast and the race-meeting at Longchamps the same afternoon. Nothing of present interest escapes him, and nothing bores him. He assimilates and grasps the method of Parisian existence with a rapidity that leaves you wondering in the rear, and at the end of a week can tell you that you should go to one side of the Grand Hôtel for cigars, and to the other to have your hat blocked. He knows at what hour Yvette Guilbert comes on at the Ambassadeurs’, and on which mornings of the week the flower-market is held around the Madeleine.

While you are still hunting for apartments he has visited the sewers under the earth, and the Eiffel Tower over the earth, and eaten his dinner in a tree at Robinson’s, and driven a coach to Versailles over the same road upon which the mob tramped to bring Marie Antoinette back to Paris, without being the least impressed by the contrast which this offers to his own progress. He develops also a daring and reckless spirit of adventure, which would never have found vent in his native city or town, or in any other foreign city or town. It is in the air, and he enters into the childish goodnature of the place and of the people after the same mariner that the head of a family grows young again at his class reunion.

The Château Rouge was originally the house of some stately family in the time of Louis XIV. They will tell you there that it was one of the mistresses of this monarch who occupied it, and will point to the frescos of one room to show how magnificent her abode then was. This tradition may or may not be true, but it adds an interest to the house, and furnishes the dramatic contrast to its present wretchedness.

Val de Loire: The land of the nobility, partisans and revolutionaries

Val de Loire: The land of the nobility, partisans and revolutionaries

The river Loire flows through the Chateau Country: five centuries of the history of France beautifully preserved in magnificent castles, fortresses and abbeys. Kings and Queens and the nobility, partisans and revolutionaries come to life again in the gorgeous son et lumiere spectacles.

Traveling south by car along the N10 highways, you will come to the fortress castle of Chateaudun; follow the same route and you will reach the Loire and the city of Tours, the center of this region. To the east, along the valley (upstream) you will find Amboise, in whose chateau Charles VIII died and where 1,500 Huguenot conspirators were massacred in 1560; Blois, where you will be shown the death chamber of Catherine de Medici; Chambord, which has 440 rooms, walled-in gardens and the largest estate in France.

Westward along the walley towards the Atlantic, you will come to Azy le Rideau, with one of the most beautiful castles of early Renaissance; Saumur, renowned for the Cavalry School and its Cadre Noir (Black Squadron); Angers, whose chateau with 190-ft high towers is surrounded with 30-ft deep moats and where you shouldsee the Cathedral Saint Maurice and the Museum of Tapestry. There are 120 castles to visit. You must see the vineyards of Vouvray, where some of the finest wines in the world come from, and the Cognac country. If you are in France on 7 and 8 May, go to Orleans for the annual festival of Joan of Arc.

Geneva: An international city in Switzerland

Geneva: An international city in Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland’s most international city, has 2,000 years of history behind it. Julius Casear was the first to mention it and Clavin preached reform and austerity here in the 16th century; it was the birthplace of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and saw the foundation of the Red Cross in 1864.

Geneva is nowheadquarters of over 200 international organiationa and the European HQ of United Nations; as a result it is a polyglot, cosmopolitan city with excellent restaurants, shops and entertainment facilities. The Petit Palais (2 terrase Saint Victor) shows modern art from Renoir to Picasso. The Art and History Museum (11 rue Charles Galland), the Ariana Museum (10 avenue de la Paix), for porcelain and pottery and the Voltaire (25 rue des Delices) and J-J Rousseau (Promenade de Bastions) museums are especially interesting.

There is the annual Fetes de Geneve every August and other exhibitions include one for watches and jewelry in September, and the Auto Show in March.

Rhodes: Rich in archeological treasures and tourism

Rhodes: Rich in archeological treasures and tourism

Capital of the Dodecanese, Rhodes is an island of suberb natural beauty. It is famous as a holiday center. Rich in archeological treasures, with ruins covering the Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine periods, its main attraction is the walled medieval city of the Knights of Dt John.

The 15th century hospital is now an archeological museum containing the Aphrodite of Rhodes. Other points of interest include the ancient city of Lindos with the Temple of Athena; the Monastery of Philerimos and the excavated town of Kamiros. There are excellent sports facilities and duty-free shops. From 1 Jun – 30 September is the Annual Wine Festival and at Halkis religious festivities take place on 15 August.

From Rhodes you can visit the small islands of the Eastern Aegean. Kos is a fertile green island with golden beaches; good for fishing and small-game hunting. Birthplace of Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, it has a temple to Aesculapius, God of Healing and a museum. Nearby Patmos was where St John wrote down his Revelation; the 11th century monastery has a rich library. Lesbos was the birthplace of the poetess Sappho. It is the third largest island of Greece with enormous olive groves and a petrified forest.

Rhodes: Rich in archeological treasures and tourism

Corfu is the most beautiful of the Ionian Islands. Its spectacular scenery and sophisticated tourist amenities make it an internatioanl holiday center. There are beautiful villas, romantic Venetian castles and early 19th century Georgian architecture dating from the British occupation. The 16th century Cathedral is dedicated to St Spyridion, the island’s patron saint. Marvellous water sports facilities and an 18 hole golf course. Daily flights from Athens take less than two hours.

Mykonos is the most popular tourist island in the Cyclades and attracts many artists and international celebrities. It is a maze of winding streets, sparkling white-washed houses, domed churches, windmills and sun-drenched cliffs rising sheer from the sea. It is 5 hours by boat from Piraeus. Delos is five miles across the sea from Mykonos.

A small, arid island, it was important as the legendary birthplace of Apollo. Acres of ruins and statuary attract archeologists, and precious relics are preserved in the museum. Thira (Santorini); clmb up above its cliffs to the crater of the volcano whose mighty eruption buried Minoan civilization. Milos, where the Venus de Milo was found, and Paros, famous for its white marble, are also in the Cyclades group.

William Tell – The legendary national hero of Switzerland

William Tell – The legendary national hero of Switzerland

The legendary national hero of Switzerland, whose deeds are based on a Teutonic myth of widespread occurrence in northern Europe.

Fable has it that Tell was the champion of the Swiss in the War of Independence against the Emperor Albert I (slain 1308). Tell refused to salute the cap of Gessler, the imperial governor, and for this act of independence was sentenced to shoot with his bow and arrow an apple from the head of his own son. Tell succeeded in this dangerous skill-trial, but in his agitation dropped an arrow from his robe.

The governor insolently demanded what the second arrow was for, and Tell fearlessly replied, “To shoot you with, had I failed in the task imposed upon me.” Gessler now ordered him to be carried in chains across the lake and cast into Küssnacht castle, a prey “to the reptiles that lodged there.” He was, however, rescued by the peasantry, and having shot Gessler, freed his country from the Austrian yoke.

This legend is the subject of Lemierre tragedy Guillaume Tell ( 1766), Schiller Wilhelm Tell ( 1804), Knowles’ William Tell ( 1840) and Rossini opera, William Tell ( 1829).

Saxo Grammaticus tells nearly the same story respecting the Danish Toki, who killed Harald, and similar tales are told of the Scandinavian Egil and King Nidung, of Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, William of Cloudesley and Henry IV, Olaf and Eindridi, etc.