Passing by Greece


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 nine.

Tuesday, 2 February
Appeared at breakfast at 9 – nearly all the others ready. Afterwards mounted on deck and now sitting – at least the ladies on comfortable cane chairs with arms, where we shall be all day, too rough to walk about on deck and afraid to lose our seats if we move. Six of us all in a row sitting under shelter of skylight to saloon. Passed during the day Corfu, Kephalonia and Zante. 2 porpoises followed us playing most prettily. Table d’hote at 5 – afterwards we came on deck again and some Italians – I imagine professionals, sang from the operas for two hours. Tea at 8, and afterwards I read Lloyd’s Oriental Guide for Egypt in saloon, lamps suspended brightly – went to cabins early.


After the hard slog of eight days of swapping trains and carriages the sail across the Mediterranean sounds blissful – although the Italians sound a nuisance. I have never seen any other reference to a Lloyd’s Oriental Guide but I’m guessing it might be something put out by the German Lloyd’s shipping company, which operated services to Egypt.

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