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journey is performed in sixteen days, allowing two at Paris, and sleeping every night at some town. The proprietors furnish lodgings and provisions. The carriage is roomy and convenient—the passengers are limited to six. One cwt. of luggage is allowed to each, and the charge is only twenty guineas, English."
And then begin the stages.
“Route from London to Paris, by Brighthelmstone and Dieppe
To Kennington, Surrey, I mile.
To Streatham, 5 miles.”
No wonder travellers on the Continent were only the wealthy ones in days gone by. But now as much, and a great deal more may be seen in sixteen days; allowing time for going, exploring, and returning, and the cost less than the bare journey out.
In these pages it is not the object of the writer to point out every shilling that may be saved, nor to recommend how money may be made to fly fastest, but simply to point out the different routes, the principal objects of interest to be seen, and the easiest and pleasantest way of making a holiday. The question of ways and means can be discussed by the tourists, and all information to help them will be found in the copious quotations which form the appendix to this volume. And now for a few
I. What to take in the way
As little as possible will ensure the greatest amount of comfort as a rule.
For a lady.—A good holland costume is recommended for summer travelling, and a sensible silk for “occasions.”
For a gentleman.-An ordinary tweed suit, and a black frock coat for “occasions.”
For both ladies and gentlemen the most essential article, demanding the most consideration is Boots. Take a stout easy pair, for walking. Not new boots, but a pair you have taken into training, and have had soled and heeled specially for the tour. Also a light pair, and a pair of slippers. Remember to keep the latter in the outside pocket of your portmanteau, where you can get at them easily. It is a great comfort to slip them on in long railway journeys.
Let not the lady take her best head-dress, which is misnamed a bonnet, but rather a comfortable hat; and let not the gentleman be persuaded to carry with him that abomination of civilization-a chimney-pot hat.
Be sure and take a cake of soap with you, or buy it en route. It is a commodity not supplied by hotel keepers on the Continent.
It should always be borne in mind that the greatest comfort in travelling, especially in Switzerland, is to have no more luggage than the traveller can carry in his hand. Among the things which take small space and come in usefully are, a small pot of cold cream, a pair of scissors, an opera glass, a small case with needles, thread, and buttons, a little glycerine, and a few seidlitz powders.
If of necessity a considerable quantity of baggage has to be taken, be sure and have it registered, as that will save all the trouble and expense of landing and shipping it, and conveying it between the train and boat. The baggage may be registered to the destination named on the ticket, or to any town at which you may wish to break your journey.*
You must show your ticket when you register, and should attend in person to claim the luggage on arriving at your destination.
II. CUSTOMS' EXAMINATIONS. You must be present at the examination of your baggage. See that you have your keys handy. Examinations are as a rule not very strict; but if you have anything liable to duty, it is easier and better to make a “clean breast of it,” and declare. Silks, scents, tobacco, lace, and spirits are principally looked after.
Are happily not essential; at the same time, if you happen to have one it is well to take it, as it occupies but a small space, and may perchance prove of service. But.“ Anglais” from you is sure to draw out“passez-passez" from French, Swiss, or Italian. The cost of a passport is now only 25., and
may be obtained through Messrs. Cook and Son.
The Decimal system of Money which is established in France is rapidly extending to other parts of the Continent, and it is a great convenience to travellers in Switzer
Sixty-six pounds weight of luggage is allowed to be carried free on all French railways, but on other Continental lines a charge is made for everything save what the passenger can carry in his hand.
land and Italy that the same system prevails. Accounts, however large, are represented by francs and centimes, and all the coins or notes in use are estimated by these primary calculations. A franc is equal to 100 centimes, and 10 centimes represent the value of an English penny. Onc sous, a copper coin about the size of an English halfpenny, is equal to five centimes, and the two sous pieces are very similar to the new penny coins of England. The most common silver coins are half-francs, francs, two francs, and five francs. The gold coins are five franc pieces, ten francs, and twenty francs, or Napoleons. There are also gold pieces of the value of four or five Napoleons. Paper notes are issued of various amounts. The English moneys most approved in France, Switzerland, and North Italy, are sovereigns, halfsovereigns, and Bank of England notes. It is difficult to pass English silver coins even in Paris, and coppers are quite at a discount. The rate of exchange varies, but the hotel keepers, as a rule, give twenty-five francs for an English pound, whether in gold or paper. Sometimes the bankers and money changers will give as high as twenty-five francs and twenty-five centimes, but they are regulated by the fluctuations of the exchanges by which the value of money is controlled. It is well to go provided with a small amount of French money, and then to get sufficient changed for payments of accounts and other disbursements in the proper money of the country. In changing sovereigns, mistakes are often made by their being treated as Napoleons, only twenty francs being obtained for them. The copper coins of France will not pass well in Switzerland, nor the Swiss coppers in France; but the French now accept the silver coins of Switzerland, and French silver is freely taken in Switzerland.
To purchasers of tickets at the office of Messrs. Cook and
Son in London small amounts of French money are frequently supplied.
It will be worth while to study the following table before starting, or it may beguile an hour on the journey ; for if you are unused to travelling abroad, foreign money will be sure to perplex you.
France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy. 10 centimes about id.
Italy— 10 centesime=about id. 100 centimes
100 centesime=1 lira. i franc 93d.
= about 9 d. 5 franc-piece 4s.
4s. 20 franc-piece
1 lira 5 lire
V. POSTAGE OF LETTERS.
To France from England. Mails made up in London twice daily, morning and evening (Sunday excepted).
Every additional } oz. 3d.