Miss Riggs visits the Louvre


In January 1869, exactly 150 years ago, Miss Riggs joined Thomas Cook’s very first tour to Egypt and the Holy Land. Travelling overland, the journey would take three months, there and back. Miss Riggs kept a diary of her adventure and I am going to be posting from it over the coming weeks. This is day three.

Wednesday, 27 January 1869
Went to the Louvre with Miss Porter – pleased with Murillo’s Holy Family = lost our way, just back in time for table d’hote. Broke blue parasol – had it mended in arcade close by. This hotel a few minutes from the Madeleine through Rue du Havre and Rue Tronchet – hotel in place du Havre. Table d’hote at six – much going on to make our grand start. Several more of our party arrived. Took large omnibus 1 fr. each – and started at 8 for terminus – luggage weighed. Mr Cook guaranteed 60 lb weight, the rest extra. Mine a little over on account of saddle. Left Paris 10.15 –.


Yesterday Miss Riggs arrived in Paris, today she leaves. That’s some tight schedule. But then this is a tour of Egypt and the Holy Land that she signed up for and Paris is just an overnight halt between trains. Happily the hotel is very central (marked in red on the map above), so she does manage a little sightseeing. Below is the Murillo painting that ‘pleased’ her.


I don’t think Miss Riggs and I would get along when it comes to art. As well as being a tyrant on time, the tour leader Mr Thomas Cook is similarly severe when it comes to baggage. His party is allowed just 60lbs per person, which is just under 30kg. That is nothing. Most holidaymakers these days travel with that for a week in Marbella, and Miss Riggs and her colleagues are heading overland across Europe and to Egypt and back, a journey that is advertised to take three months. Although why she would want to drag a saddle with her all that way is a mystery.

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