Slip Into Something Victorian

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The Well-Travelled Victorian

I love to travel. I haven’t been to as many places as I’d like, and there are some I’d never go to for various reasons, but there are so many places in this world to see, how can you resist? Where did the well-mannered Victorian travel to? What part of the Empire did one see in the late 1800s?
1. London – Start with the center of the Empire, the capital city. Even if you’ve visited every season of your life, there’s plenty to do outside the social circle. If you don’t want to crusade for the downtrodden, there are those balls and soirees. Then again, if you do want to help your fellow man, I hear they’re offering tours of the local goals. Just remember: in 1889 they had a dock strike, so it’s best you avoid travel by ship. But then there were so many other means by then.

2. Edinburgh – Take the train up to Scotland to avoid the docks. Let’s face it, there’s plenty of things to see and do up there. If you’re not into history, there’s hunting. And if you’re not into that, mayhap a nice stroll about the countryside will refresh the spirits. Take a boat ride down the Caledonia Canal, then see the lochs that form 2/3 of the canal; Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy. I’d be wary of Loch Ness, however. I’ve heard of strange sightings there.

3. Cairo – Now that you’ve rested and relaxed, you want a little excitement! What better place than the bazaars of such an ancient city? With the Suez Canal is open, you can continue around Africa instead of safari-ing through the interior.

4. Interior Africa – The Dark Continent. It was called many things, and even in the late 1880s when explorers mapped everything and journalists and scientists spilled many secrets, there were still things left unexplored. I caution you, when traveling through Sudan – this is an Islamic State and the Sharia Courts preside.

5. South Africa – Natives of this beautiful tip of Africa include the Khoikhoi, San and Bantu. Their customs may seem strange to us, but what is this world if not diverse? Conditions are not what one would hope for when visiting a part of the Empire, but with the discovery of gold and diamonds, it’s hard to find luxurious accommodations. But then you opted for the world tour, didn’t you. I’m sure you’re prepared for this.

6. India – Magnificent architecture, spicy foods, history dating back thousands of years, and all wrapped up with the British Army looking after you. What more can a traveler want? It’s all here, the bazaars, the markets, the cooking that results in delicious food. Sure, there are a few malcontents, but what great colony doesn’t have them?

7. Burma – traveling overland might be harder than my sea, but it’s such beautiful country, everyone should experience it once. Railroads are hard to construct in this backland, but believe me, the Empire is working on that. Think of it this way, you can tell your friends you saw the colonies as they once were, not after all that newfangled construction. Magnificent Buddha temples, beautiful rivers, and lush mountainous forests please the senses and inspire the soul. Not to be missed.

8. Hong Kong – our final stop on the Asian tour is this once-small outpost in China. With their own grandiose buildings and outlandish costumes, this is a place guaranteed to bring out the poet in all of us. And the tea, oh heavens, the tea! And you simply must hire a (reputable) guide to take you to see the Wall. For barbarians, their building concepts are on scale with anything we could think of. One final word of warning – the Dens. Be very careful not to fall into the Dens. The stories I’ve heard…!

9. Canada – Tis a long trip to be sure, but that Australian territory is filled with convicts and their outlaw descendants. (Did you perchance read of Ned Kelly? Ask the steamship porter if they can find you a copy in the next port.) O’ Canada, a beautiful and vast place. I’d recommend at least 3 weeks to properly see the entire stretch of it. French upstarts or not. Try the fishing off Prince Edward Island, take the Canadian Pacific Railway to the beautiful and temperate city of Vancouver. It’s worth the time.

10. Caribbean – Our final leg of this Empire trip is the Caribbean. Your ship’s captain will know where to go, there are so many wonderful places to explore. Bahamas, Bermuda, The Virgin Islands, Antigua, Jamaica, even Belize on the coast of Central America. Bring your parasol, ladies, the sun is blinding bright, but expect phenomenal food and colorful natives.

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4 Comments

  1. Jennifer Ross says:

    What fun!

    As soon as I find a maid to pack my trunks (and a well-titled gentleman with the blunt to pay for it) I’m ready to accompany you.

    Jenn

  2. Susan Macatee says:

    Great tour, Christine!

  3. Georgie Lee says:

    I’d love to travel like the Victorians. It always seems so elegant, the trunks, the maids, the lazy riverboats and trains. The months of traveling because I’m rich enough to see the world would be nice too but for now I can only dream.

  4. Christine Koehler says:

    Get that maid, Jenn, and find yourself a nice rich titled gentleman. I’m sure your family won’t mind if you take a couple years off to see the world Victorian sytle. 🙂

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