They are taking an all ‘inclusive tour of eight countries which includes England, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria and Germany. They will attend the Olympic games for several days while in Berlin. Hotel reservations and numerous sight seeing trips are all planned for them, leaving them free to enjoy themselves. They will return on the Ile de France, August 29.
PLYMOUTH – Arriving at this celebrated British port and continue by train through beautiful Southern England to London, the great capital of the British Empire.
LONDON – During the stay in London, there will be a special tour to visit the places of interest in the city including the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, etc. Also an excursion to Windsor and the Thames valley and another day trip to the Shakespeare Country visiting Stratford-on-Avon, Kenilworth and Warwick Castles, Ann Hathaway’s Cottage at Shottery, Guy’s Cliff, Leamington Spa, etc.
SCHEVENINGEN – Our stay in Holland will be at one of the hotels on famous Scheveningen Beach, with a special motor tour included to visit the places of interest in The Hague, and a grand tour of Holland by motor to visit Leyden, Haarlem, Amsterdam, Volendam, Isle of Marken, etc.
BRUSSELS – A special motor tour to visit the Palace of Justice, Menneken Fountain, Botanical Gardens, Museum Wiertz, Conservatoire, Kings Palace, Church of St. Gudule, Grand Palace and Town Hall, ancient Guild House and other places of interest.
COBLENCE – Through Southern Belgium and into Germany via Aix-la-Chapelle to Coblence, beautiful Rhineland town, surrounded by hills with their historic and picturesque ruins.
WIESBADEN – This day will be devoted to a trip by steamer up the Rhine River to Wiesbaden, celebrated German watering place and perhaps the most beautiful of all central European Spas.
HEIDELBERG – Sightseeing will include visits to the University, Castle with courts, Schlosskeller with the big cask, Town Hall, the Ritter, a fine Renaissance building, the Observatory and other places of interest.
LUCERNE – Grand de-luxe tour by motor boat on the Lake of Lucerne viewing the many charming hamlets dotted along its scenic banks, Richard Wagner’s House, the Belgian King’s Villa, Castle of the Hapsburg’s, Altstadt, etc.
MILAN – Over the St. Gothard to Milan where the famous Cathedral and picture of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, will be visited.
ROME – Down the Italian Coast via Genoe and Pisa to Rome, The “Eternal City” where special motor tours will be made to visit the many places of interest, including the Vatican, Forums, Collosseum, Catacombs, Temple of Neptune, Pantheon, Farnese Palace, Protestant cemetery (tombs of Keats and Shelley) Temple of Castor and Pollux, Temple of Julius Caesar, and other places of interest.
FLORENCE – Sightseeing *in Florence will include visits to the Uffizi and Pittl Galleries, the beautiful Cathedral, Baptistery, Tower of Grotto, Medici Chapel, House of Dante, Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia del Lanzi and other places of interest.
VENICE – A gondola ride on the Grand and Minor Canals to view the palaces, Rialto Bridge, Church of Santa Maria del Frari, Church of St. Giovanni Paolo, etc., is included.
MUNICH – Northward through Italy and over the Brennaro Pass into Austria via Innsbruck to Munich where the places of interest in this foremost city of art and beauty of Germany, will be made including (Old Picture Gallery), Royal Palace, Ludwig’s Kirche, National Opera House, Residenz Theatre, Residenz: Museum, etc.
BERLIN – An opportunity is afforded members to visit the Olympic Gaines. In addition, a special motor drive to visit the places of interest in the city will be made and a full day dedicated for a motor trip to Potsdam and Sans Souci palace the favorite residence of Frederick the Great.
COLOGNE – Visit the magnificent Gothic Cathedral in this city of turrets and towers, the second oldest town in Germany and one of the most interesting cities in Europe.
PARIS – A motor tour to visit the places of interest in the city including Place de l’Opera, Tuileries, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Invalides Dome with Napoleon’s Tomb, Champs Elysees, Place de la Concorde, etc., and a full day’s excursion to Versailles and Malmaison will be included during the stay in Paris.
We are glad to be able to present to our readers this week his first article written just before he left for New York.
AT HOME ABROAD
Possibly before this issue of the Free Press
comes rolling off the printing press, Katherine Rawls and Les McNeece, and our own Bob Dye, will be sitting down in a chair – somewhere in Berlin, Germany, reading their hometown newspaper – THE FREE PRESS. They’ll be reading about home – making themselves at home, abroad.
Last Friday afternoon special copies of the Free Press sport edition were securely scaled ‘in envelopes and taken on a special trip to the Post Office. There Postmaster A. G. Shand was consulted about the postage for mailing newspapers abroad. Three different stamps, dressed in three different and beautiful colors were placed on white envelopes – one was an airmail stamp and another of the three was a foreign stamp. The envelopes were then shoved into the out-going mail.
A quick trip by airplane, landed our three little envelopes in New York City Saturday, where they were immediately put aboard another flying ship and sent to sea.
Somewhere out there in the ocean, there rode on the waves of the deep – a steamship. It was the Bremen and had only left the New York harbor a day before.
Our three little envelopes came down on the sea (still in the airplane, however) and seamen on the Bremen took them in hand.
Being a faster ship than the S S Manhattan, on which the Olympic Team set sail last Wednesday, the Bremen landed on foreign soil the same day that the Manhattan docked. The Free Press reached foreign soil, too.
And by this time, Fort Lauderdale’s three foreign representatives have reached Berlin – only to be met by another representative from home.
News Fresh From the Incubator
Having promised the Free Press to write some notes while on a trip, I had as well start at the beginning so the readers, if I should be so fortunate to have such, may prepare for the worst.
The clever press agents who prepare the publicity for travel bureaus say that with a little imagination and ingenuity a person can enjoy a trip three times; once while planning it, once while taking it and again when getting back and telling the folks at home about it.
By just what mental prosess does a man convince himself that he wants to give up the comforts of a home, the most delightful summer climate and the best bathing beach in the world to exhaust his patience, blister his feet and flatten his pocket-book by taking a so-called vacation abroad.
Well, this is how it happened. I was passing the Tropical Travel Bureau one day and got some of those gaudy, passionate colored, intriguing folders. I drove out on Las Olas Boulevard to look at some lots I had been cleaning Australian pies off of and paying taxes on for the past fifteen years. I alternately looked at the lots and the folders. Sand-spurs on the one side; glorious days at sea; baths at Wiesbaden, Olympic games at Berlin, rare wines and hip flippers in gay Paree, on the other. I could exchange one of these lots for a ticket to the Isle of Capri. I could think of but two ways to finance a trip abroad. One was to get under the hide of a fellow named J. D. Camp, and the other was to save up for it. Each plan seemed impossible. I sold the lots.
I came back to the Travel Bureau. Don’t ever do that unless you mean business for Mrs. Herbert immediately unrolls a map of the world, shows you the best places to go, the best way of getting there, how long to stay and how and when to get back. What I needed according to Mrs. Herbert was a cruise to Europe, and by that time I was so weak and groggy I couldn’t deny it. My wife, of course, should go along. A great many wives insist on doing that, notwithstanding it is an acknowledged fact that men traveling on ocean voyages unattached get the best breaks.
In order to travel abroad you must appear before a goverment official, prove that you are an American citizen and that your existence here on earth is due to the ancient and honorable institution of matrimony and not a biological accident. Then you have a passport picture taken and make an affidavit that the picture resembles you, which ‘in this instance was a plain case of perjury for in the picture I looked positively handsome, and my wife had her mouth closed.
The trip we have planned is the beaten track of most all first offenders, the one which is simplest and easiest to make: Great Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. I shall not attempt any elaborate description of places visited. That has already been done by experts and their work is available in magazines and the public library. All I hope is at odd moments to give the Free Press readers the random impressions of an egg being hatched in the incubator of foreign culture.
We sail on the Normandie from New York on July 15th and return on the Ile de France on August 27th.
BOB DYE AFLOAT
Attending a couple of shows, went through R.C.A. Building, and ran across the Costellos and Arthur Griffith in New York.
On boarding the Normandie we were delighted to find messages, gifts, and flowers from thoughtful friends filling the room. The Normandie is a gorgeuous thing and its luxury is almost beyond description. There are a lot of unusual comparisons made about the Normandie.
Her engines bum oil which creates steam which generates electricity developing 160,000 horsepower. Any one of her three funnels is great enough in diameter to hold both tubes of the Holland Tunnel. The ship, if placed upright along the R.C.A. Building in New York, would tower 176 feet above the top floor. I don’t know why any nut would figure these things out unless he was trying to find a new work project for the P.W.A. The ship carries a crew of about 1,200 sailors who speak French and a passenger list of 1,600, about 50% of whom speak Hebrew. The Goldbergs outnumber the Smiths at a ratio of two to one, and the Cohens have the Jones family beat six to one. We have a daily paper published on board. There are three or four places for showing moving pictures, one of which is a real palace.
There is a beautiful church, three libraries, gymnasiums, swimming pools, gift shops, various deck sports, Punch and Judy shows, and play-rooms for children; also orchestras for dancing.
The eats are enough to drive the person trying to reduce to desperation. Every table is loaded at each meal with white and red French wines.
Forgot to mention as we came out of the harbor at New York we saw the S. S. Manhattan loaded with the members of the Olympic team ready to set sail for Berlin.
We arrive at Southampton, England, in the morning. Have had a smooth sea and pleasant trip.
There are some celebrities on board. Me and Marlene Dietrich and her daughter were out on the deck today. Several people took her picture. Her legs are still good enough to make the cameras click, but mine are a little teched with rheumatism.
There are twenty beautiful blonde French girls called the Glamour Girls on board. They have just completed a theatrical engagement in New York and are returning to Paris. I have read all the guide books on board, and about all they tell you is what to do for sea-sickness, how much to tip the employees, and not to gamble with strangers, but not a word of advice in a situation like this.
Every night the clocks are moved forward one hour, because we are headed East and moving about 675 miles a day. The Captain of the Normandie, who has been in the employ of the French Lines for about 40 years, retires at the end of this trip. There is some gossip among the passengers that he is attempting to break all records for speed on his last official voyage.
The days pass so quickly that most of the passengers are sorry that the landing is so soon.
Will try and drop another note soon.
From London, England.
Cheerio, old Chappie. We are having a topping time looking over this sub-division called London.
Spent the first day on a 200-mile trip through the country, taking in a large number of the buildings of the Oxford University’s most important and historical group. Went out to Stratford-on-Avon, to Shakespeare’s birthplace and the home of Ann Hathaway and all of the historical surroundings.
Rural England is beautiful beyond description. I had thought of London as a place where human
termites worked *in factories, and of the country as a place where small farmers eked out an existence on
hilly, stoney farms. I had thought of the and the general outlook gloomy. The weather
has been ideal and the whole country a not of green fields, wonderful trees and the most beautiful and
abundant flowers I have ever seen.
Our sight-seeing bus was filled with twenty-two American tourists, 21 women and myself. The women were largely teachers, the balance mostly traveling on alimony and life insurance. Let this be a lesson to some of you.
We visited Warwick Castle, Banbury Cross and many other places made immortal by English writers. Saw Hyde Park with its usual quota of radicals, crack pots, and soap box orators spouting the curious crowds.
On Wednesday we took a tour of the city, seeing St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, where the Crown Jewels are kept, and many other historic places. Went to Buckingham Palace where President Wilson slept and felt so cocky about it he came home and loaned the Englishers several billion dollars.
Changing the Guards at Buckingham Palace is a ceremony attended by thousands every morning. It takes an hour for one bunch of flat-feet to hand over the keys of the Palace to another bunch for the day. We inaugurate a President with less pomp and ceremony and tinsel trappings.
We visited Eton College, the church where Gray wrote his Elegy of a Country Churchyard and Hampton Gardens.
The highlight of the day was a visit to Windsor Castle, with its wonderful grounds, works of art, historic furnishings, and lavish settings for entertaining wealth and royalty. Six thousand visitors, mostly American, passed through the Castle today.
I have listened for two days to these English guides proudly tell of the religious persecutions, murders, beheadings, drunken and sensuous orgies of their Georges, and Charles, and Henrys until it seems these dissipated old gutter snipes never had a’decent or wholesome thought, and yet their memory is held sacred by millions of loyal subjects. Evidently some of our U. S. politicians have been able to extract a lesson from this.
Today, Thursday, we visit Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, and other points of interest about the city. We leave tonight for Holland.
From Scheveningen – Holland.
When I wrote you the other day we were preparing to do Westminster Abbey in London. There is no denying, its a swell dump all right, and if you are a little rusty in your history as I was, I hope you will dig up your encyclopedia, and read about it.
I walked around there for hours enjoying the beauty and seeing the statues of the dead, and most every step you would take you would be standing over the ashes of some great person, until I got to feeling cold and clammy.
Well, we got out of here and took a train for Harwich and from there a night boat across the North Sea and had breakfast at the place mentioned in the date line. As I have already spelled it once, you can pronounce it.
Holland is a little country, all below sea level, with a big dyke built around it to keep the ocean off. It is a beautiful, productive country, tilled by a good-looking, clean and prosperous people. It is literally a nation on wheels. With 8,000,000 people, there are 3,000,000 bicycles in use, which are licensed like autos at something over $2.00 per year. When a stop light changes here, a solid block of bicycles back up like cars ‘in Flagler Street and when the “Go” comes on they are off like a swarm of bees.
We visited Volendam and the Isle of Marken, a tiny speck of land out in the Zuider Zee, containing about threefourths of a square mile of territory and 1,400 people, who have retained the old style of living and dress of Holland. They did this for their own pleasure for years, but now they do it principally to amaze the tourists, thousands of whom visit there every season. I have never seen a racket so commercialized, but it’s worth the money.
Now, I want to tell you a little about this town of Scheveningen, a little seaside resort in little Holland. We stay at home and brag about what we have and other people kid us about our great and wonderful beaches. But if all the ocean front improvements and casinos and all the ocean front hotels from Jacksonville to Key West were grouped together, it would still be second rater compared to this resort.
We visited the Peace Palace at the Hague, and at Amsterdam, a modem and beautiful city. They have a wonderful art gallery at Amsterdam and the tourist would be committing Lese-Majeste if he didn’t visit it. It seems this town once had a citizen named Rembrandt, who although he died ‘in poverty, could be elected mayor if he came back to earth now. This guy, Rembrandt, slung a wicked paint brush ‘in this museum and there are dozens of his original paintings, ‘in describing which, the guide would go into raptures.
Over ‘in Windsor Castle the other day there was another guide who favored a non-union painter named Van Dyke to win the finals, so I’m not going to take sides till I get out of this blooming country. Thus, it is my friends, that we absorb foreign culture and are broadened by travel. Be seeing you in Brussels tomorrow.
Gossip Flashes of the Week – Brought to You As It Strikes Us
Bob Dye is wandering around foreign countries having a big time. He writes of his travels for the Free Press and we even have his telephone number if anyone wants it. However, in Holland telephone is spelled “Telefoon” and the number is 553702. Here’s his latest address and we’re thankful we just write it – not try to say it! Hotel Rauch N. V. Scheveningen-Holland, Strandweg Hoek, Keizerstraat 2.
Brussels, Belgium. Primitive Mind Unfolding
Flash! Lost twelve of my women at London. Touring through Holland and Belgium there were nine of us: five school teachers from Montana, one school teacher from South Dakota, one from Wisconsin, my wife and myself. All I have to do is relax, listen to the school teachers fire questions at the driver or guide, and simply absorb the information or mis-information.
Leaving the Hague we passed through Holland, and the most intensely cultivated and best kept country I have ever seen. Holland has two million milch cows, practically all of them Holstein. We entered Belgium after passing custom inspection. The capitals of these little countries are only about 150 miles apart, and traveling across borders is almost as difficult as it was to get through Florida during our reign of Prohibition and Mediterranean Fruit Fly autocrats. Our stay in Brussels was limited. Our guide was a wash-out. The meals were terrible. The crowd all left with a very unfavorable impression. However, it is a beautiful city with wide boulevards, imposing monuments, and many places of interest. We visited a lace factory, the Palace of Justice, Grand Palace, Church of St. Gudule, and the Museum Wiertz. This museum is filled with paintings by Derby, Monseur Wiertz. There were many beautiful paintings and the home town is solidly behind him, but even his most ardent admirers admit that at times he was a little teched in the head. One of the pictures that the French guide struck a posture and looked at with eyes like a dying calf, looked to me like Laurel had thrown a plate of colored spaghetti at Hardy and it landed on a canvas. Anyway the guide explained that it represented the horrors of war, or something like that, and I didn’t give him any back talk. After all, his guess was as good as mine, and I don’t want to get mixed up in this painting fuss.
The citizens of Belgium speak and have papers published in two languages, Flemish and French. The Flemish population do the farming and the French operate the stores and factories and trim the tourists.
You can have enough Belgian money in your pocket to choke a slot machine, and it isn’t enough to buy a postage stamp.
We passed through German territory at Aix-la-Chapelle after passing customs inspection and having a careful check made of any money or traveler’s checks we might have concealed about our person.
Coblence was our over-night stop – a beautiful town on the Rhine, surrounded by hills with their historic and picturesque ruins This was headquarters for the American Army of Occupation after the war. I had the good fortune to talk to several German veterans of the World War who told interesting anecdotes of the period. There was apparently a friendly feeling for the Yanks. You can’t find out anything about it by asking the guides. These Old World guides consider it sacrilegious to ask anything that happened after the tenth century.
Twenty more U. S. and Canadian rubber-necks joined our party at Brussels, and we are now twenty-nine. Believe it or not, Mr. Ripley, four men, one an eligible young bachelor attorney, which gives the school-marms a thrill and the chase is on.
Everyone ‘in the party likes the German cooking, especially those who came over in French ships and got so tired of the rich and highly seasoned foods of the French.
All over Europe we have found flowers everywhere. Their motto is “a flower in every window” and it is literally true. Most every hotel has a window box under every window and on every ledge where one can be placed. The commonest flowers, geraniums, petunias, larkspur, etc, but the most gorgeous colors and the most wonderful effects by their abundance.
Even in the poorer places ‘in the tenement districts the yards, however small, are a riot of color. It is impossible to conceive what Florida might show if the people took one small fraction of the interest in simple means of beautification that these people do.
Tomorrow we are going up the Rhine from Coblence to Wiesbaden. To go up the Rhine you go South. Many are looking forward to this as the highlight of the trip. So far the Rhine is indescribably beautiful.
I promised to attempt no elaborate description of places visited, but rather to give random first impressions and intimate glimpses of a primitive mind unfolding like the petals of a flower under the influences of foreign culture. But if I had the eye of an artist and the pen of a poet I could not adequately describe the beauty of the Rhine from Coblence to Wiesbaden. I had a vague vision of Castles on the Rhine, but thought they were built in the imagination of some sentimental dreamer. But there are castles on the Rhine, dozens of them perched high on the tops of the hills. Although mostly in disuse and decay they are things of rare beauty and architectural magnificence. They were, I understand, the homes of the Hohenzollerens and their poor relations.
The Rhine is a region of history and legend and romance, and one of productiveness and rare beauty. It is a wide, winding river from which a miniature mountain range rises abruptly on each side.
These steep mountains are terraced with rock walls to hold the soil for thousands upon thousands of vineyards and every available bit of fertile space is utilized for the production of grapes, for the Rhineland is the wineland. Towns and cities are built along the banks, the sole business being the production of rare wines and champagnes. Other towns of magnificent hotels and flourishing health resorts; and always little valleys leading off from the main river, giving charming views of mountain, wood and stream.
One of the romantic spots looked upon by travelers is the rock of Loreley which, as you approach it, seems to completely close the channel of the river. The legend is that a beautiful girl with golden voice appeared on the ledge and sang as vessels were approaching, and that the pilots were so enchanted they wrecked their vessels upon the rock. Loreley got a good publicity break by living in her day, for now the world is covered by Laurels occupying the front seats of cars and distracting the pilots attention so that our highways are strewn with wrecks.
We stayed overnight at the famous German resort of Wiesbaden. It is a city of wonderful hotels, baths, stores, parks and many points of interest. Today we are in old Heidelburg, and have spent most of the day visiting the University and the ruins of old castles. A german guide will drive you forty miles to show you some old building the French destroyed ages ago. I believe I have the average individual’s appreciation of beautiful things, but when they charge me admission to view the wreck of an old building and tell me with tears in their eyes of the degenerate scions of royalty whose worthless bones were planted there, I begin to rebel.
If the American tourists were as gullible at home as abroad, I could take the old Croissant Park Hotel, build an old stone wall around it, put in a few nude Plaster of Paris figures, get Bill Reed to give a lecture, and make a fortune. Tomorrow we go to Lucerne, Switzerland.
OUR GIRL FRIDAY REPORTS
Since you put me on a news beat I have done a lot of foot work. Gee, but things are quiet around town these days. Looks like everybody is visiting their kin folks in Georgia.
A party asked me where all of Bob Dye’s school teachers had gone. I said, “what school teachers?”
“Well,” he said, “in London he had 24, and by the time he got to Italy he didn’t have any.” I told him that we had our hands full to keep track of things at home, and that theFree Press depended upon its reporters to look after things wherever they are; and that I was sure Mr. Dye could do just that. Did I answer him night, Boss?
I believe I left you in old Heidelberg, where we visited the University and some more fallen arches and dismal ruins. Leaving there we came down through rural Germany. There we saw hundreds of teams of oxen, and men and women harvesting the grain with hand scythes, gathering it in their arms in bundles and tying it up and putting it in shocks. The women greatly outnumbered the men ‘in field work, for Germany has not yet recovered from the great man loss in the World War. It is surely a thrifty and prosperous looking country, and they are not drowning any pigs or plowing under every third row.
We crossed the Germany-Switzerland boundary with little ceremony. We ran along the Black Forest and into the city of Lucerne, Switzerland. It was a trip of continuous delight. If Switzerland has any ruins to show, they don’t say anything about them. There is too much bewildering beauty there to waste time on the Dark Ages.
We took a half day’s boat ride on Lake Lucerne, viewing the many beautiful hamlets, chateaus, and country estates dotted along its scenic banks. We saw the home of Richard Wagner, the composer of music, now a museum; the Belgian King’s Villa, and the castle of the Hapsburgs. These were not the high lights of the trip, however, but merely incidents ‘in a trip of constantly unfolding beauties. One of the school teachers, who has a degree from two colleges and who had exhausted all her expletives, exclaimed as we rounded a bend ‘in the lake: “Well, isn’t that the berries! “
At Lucerne we stayed at the Montana Hotel. We went there in a bus from the depot and it seemed miles in the country. We soon learned that by taking a tram railway which ran from the interior of the hotel down the steep mountain we landed right down in the business district. It was near Lucerne that the late William Tell, a Swiss national hero, was compelled to shoot the apple from his son’s head with bow and arrow to punish him for being too cocky with the Hapsburg royalty.
The people of Switzerland speak, and their papers are published, ‘in three languages. Lucerne is a German town. About 70% of the people of the country speak German, about 20% French, and about 5% Italian. Practically all the business and hotel men of Lucerne speak the above three languages and, ‘in addition, the language of the U.S.A. When I say that I mean they are much easier to understand than the English, as spoken in England. A lack of knowledge of foreign languages is not much of a drawback when traveling with a conducted tour. The people in our party who have a smattering of French or German or Italian and try to make themselves understood generally get along a lot better when they stick to their English.
Beyond the Alps lies Italy. But ‘instead of coming over the Alps, we came through them. From Lucerne to Rome we passed through over 200 tunnels, one taking eleven minutes at 50 miles an hour. Seventy per cent of railways of Switzerland, and also a large proportion of those of Italy are electrified.
We stopped overnight at Milan, where we saw the famous Cathedral. It is one of the finest ‘in the world, and its architectural beauty is beyond description. We also visited the old Cathedral containing the original painting of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci. At night we attended the opera “Aida,” given in a large open air theatre with an orchestra of seventy. The staging and costumes, and the actors and singers were wonderful. I’m leaving it to you if that isn’t enough European culture to absorb in one day.
In most of the countries we have visited there has been little construction, most of the work in progress being to keep the ruins ‘in repair to show American tourists. Sometimes I think it would be better to let some of the old walls crumble and put a few bathrooms in their hotels. In Milan there are numerous large and modem buildings being constructed.
Coming down to Rome from Milan we skirted along the Mediterranean Rivera, dodging through tunnels to come out either along the water or in the interior. After having viewed the perfectly kept fields of Holland and the vineries of the Rhine, there was little thrill left in seeing the rural part of Italy, although there would have been plenty had we seen it first. There are miles and miles of olive groves, vineyards, and every crop imaginable and ox teams and men at work everywhere.
We stopped a short time at Genoa, where Christopher Columbus, now deceased, used to live. Chris talked Queen Isabella into pawning her jewels so he could discover America, but if the good Queen could come back and see what a mess the Government Alphabetical Agencies have made of it she would feel that the jewels were wasted.
It is remarkable the amount of territory one can cover on a conducted tour. There is no lost motion; no wasted time. You are called in the morning in time for whatever trip awaits you. If you are moving, your baggage is taken from your room and you next find it in the train compartment which is already reserved for you. You arrive at your next destination and your hotel room is already assigned. Your baggage is brought to it. Before the ‘independent traveler can get a chance to register, you are in a bus which is waiting for you and making an intelligent tour of the places of interest in the care of a local guide.
Tonight, August I st, we are *in Rome, the Eternal City, and are trying to do as the Romans do.
Guest of 11 Duce
Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t see it in three days, but if it’s ruins you’re looking for they’ve got what it takes.
Yesterday, Sunday, we were on our own. No sightseeing trips arranged. So what did we do? Got up and went to mass at St. Peters where they hold confession in every language of the world. But as luck would have it we wandered around until we found the ceremony of High Mass being performed with the greatest pomp and ceremony. I didn’t exactly understand what it was all about, but it was a beautiful and impressive ritual. After attending the highest rites in the largest and greatest Cathedral of the world, I felt that I had taken care of my spiritual needs handsomely for the trip.
All of these great Cathedrals have but a few seats, wooden benches, seating possibly a few hundred. In the rest of the vast space tourists and sightseers roam about at will while services are being conducted. It took 120 years to complete St. Peters, and Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael and many other immortal painters, sculptors and architects left their impression of work on the building.
hi the afternoon we went out to Ostia, where Mussolini has constructed a modern resort near the site of the ancient city, which is being excavated. He has constructed a wide boulevard for motors and electric railway lines, so that the people of Rome might have a seaside resort on the Mediterranean. I went swimming, and while I am a guest in 11 Duce’s city I regret to make odious comparisons. But the sand was black, the water dirty and cold – so cold, honestly, I wouldn’t put a brass monkey in it.
Today, Monday, we took the forenoon and afternoon motor trips, taking in the high lights of Rome – St. Peter’s again, The Catacombs where St. Peter and St. Paul lived and were buried, The Colosseum where the Roman sports were held, built 79 B.C., and although ten other massive buildings have been constructed from the marble and masonry taken from this ruin it still stands a massive piece of architecture.
We visited the Pantheon, pronounced the finest and most perfect monument of ancient Rome, built B.C. 27. Its history is one of despoilation and reproduction, but much of the original still stands. It is lighted only by one circular open skylight 28 feet in diameter in the roof We drove down the Appian Way, and visited dozens of temples, forums and palaces. Many new ruins are being excavated by Mussolini.
We visited the Vatican, a sovereign territory of 93 acres ruled by the Pope, with its nine museums of priceless treasures of paintings, sculpture, and literature. We saw such original master pieces of statuary of Apollo, Belvedere; and Moses by Michelangelo in the Vatican museum, and such paintings as Coronation of the Virgin by Raphael, and the Last Judgment by Michelangelo. I’ve listened to the ravings of these Italian guides till actually I’m afraid I’ll lose my amateur standing as an art critic and go high hat on you.
The whole history of Rome is one of bickerings and jealousies and persecutions between Jews, Catholics, and Protestants. Wholesale murders and killings are only prevented today because outside not inside of the church. Both in Milan and here women in our party have been refused admittance to churches and Cathedrals because they wore short sleeves, although inside those Cathedrals there were hundreds of absolutely nude statues. Just why it is good taste or good morals to exhibit such works of art and why it is bad taste or morals to wear short sleeved dresses is one of the kinks of European “Culture” that I absorb slowly.
It is my opinion that the church today is just as inconsistent, bigoted, narrow and intolerant as when the Christian Martyrs took refuge in the Catacombs two thousand years ago.
Tomorrow we go to Florence, Italy, where the ladies will buy cameos and we will continue our study of art galleries in a big way. This is the first day since I left New York that it has been really warm enough for a Floridian. I have worn coat and vest constantly and often a top coat. It is ideal for sight seeing
Of all art yields, and nature can decree,
Even in thy desert, what is like thee?
Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste
More rich than any other clime’s fertility;
Thy wretch a glory, and thy ruin a grace
With an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced
Lord Byron may have been publicity man for the Chamber of Commerce, but his sentiments hit the spot. Italy has the charm of natural beauties, of mountains and valleys and lakes; an ideal climate and skies that are really blue.
But it is its historic associations with a glorious past; the fact that at every turn you come upon the original and actual handwork of the most illustrious men that ever lived; that scarcely any great epoch in history that did not find here its scene of action and its heroes, and that for centuries it produced and preserved the most notable monuments, and the most impossible architecture, and the priceless treasures of sculpture and painting that makes Italy really a Land of Wonders.
Yesterday and today we are visiting Florence, the World’s centre for rare works of are and where the student of art could find enough to do for a lifetime. It was the city of Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Galileo. Here you see Michelangelo’s masterpieces in sculpture, Raphael’s most famous works in painting.
<>The sublime was almost made ridiculous when we were shown through these sacred galleries by a ”wop” with a cleft palate whose jargon was unintelligible. If he had stuck to straight Italian we might have understood a word there and here. The intelligentzia of our crowd, the school ma’ams, are going over some of it today with a guide book and I am sure they will get a great enjoyment out of it.
Florence is where everybody shops; mosaics, cameos, laces, jewelry, leather goods. Lots of beautiful stores.
The city is divided by the river Arno. A number of bridges connect the two sides of the city. The oldest, build in the 14th Century, is lined on each side of the driveway with notion shops. Above these buildings is yet a corridor connecting two art galleries.
We are enjoying a splendid hotel here, the Anglo-American. English is spoken and there is a library of English books and American and English magazines and daily papers.
Nearly all buildings here have wood shutters but no screens. The beds are covered with canopies of fine netting to keep out the insects.
Our crowd is getting tired of visiting two or three old churches ‘in every stopping place. Having now seen St. Peters at Rome, St. Pauls at London, Milan Cathedral and the one at Cologne, four of the five greatest ‘in the world, no small imitations are of much interest. I’ve spent so much time climbing through catacombs, excavated ruins, and standing around in damp churches, that I’m developing muck itch in the feet and rheumatism ‘in the knee
At the cinema (mo’on picher show to you roughnecks) is the House of Rothchild, starring Geo. Arliss. It is all in the Italian language.
Our party now consists of twenty-four, some having diverted for side trips.
If you’re a foreigner you can’t just walk up to a hotel register and sign John Smith and wife and get away with it like you do in America. Here in Italy at each hotel we stop we have to show our passports, have the picture compared with our mugs, and an entry made of the number of passport, etc.
Tomorrow we go to Venice.
Venice, Italy, August 7
I just saw a cartoon in a magazine of an American couple who were taking a guidebook tour of Europe. They were consulting a guide book and an itinerary and looking up and down a strange street. She said, “Well, if this is Tuesday, this is Paris.”
But there is no mistaking this city. There is nothing like it in the world. This is Venice. Imagine running out in the Adriatic Sea to a city of 280,000 inhabitants. A wonderful city build on piling driven into the bottom of the sea. A city without an automobile, truck, taxi or even a bicycle. No horses, carriages or traffic lights. The city was started by refugees who escaped to little half-submerged islands and grew to be one of the most powerful republics in ancient Europe.
All of the heavy traffic of the city is carried on in the great canal, a wide and deep waterway, two miles long, which is shaped like a letter “S” dividing the city into two parts. There are frequent bridges over the great canal and many lateral canals, connecting with each other and with the main canal. You can walk ‘in Venice. The houses are built so close together that there is a maze of winding narrow streets and you can walk for hours trying to get someplace a boat could take you in a few minutes. The motor boats, carrying about 75 persons, are the street cars stopping every few blocks to take on and discharge passengers. The gondolas are the taxis.
There is something about most every city you have got to do before you can say you have really been there, like going up ‘in the Empire building in New York. In Venice, you must feed the pigeons ‘in St. Marks Square and take a ride in a gondola. We did both. We took a moonlight ride in a gondola over the Great Canal and many laterals. Everywhere there were pleasure seeking crowds, and the song, “O Sole Mio,” led by the gondoliers, added the local color which made it romantic and memorable.
We visited the famed Lido Beach and went in swimming. As a swimming place it came nearest Fort Lauderdale Beach in perfection of any place I have seen.
We visited the glass blowers factories where they produced more beautiful things than I have ever seen in any one place before. Also visited shops where they produced Mosaics and Lace, which gave us a new idea of the value of such trinkets. I went up to the top of a tower to get a bird’s eye view of Venice and saw a city with every building built on piling and not a house except brick, stone or concrete construction with a tile roof
We saw the famous Rialto bridge where the Merchant of Venice and the Shylock of Shakespeare’s time operated and I believe their progeny are still there, especially the Shylocks. I cannot tell you about Venice, but I wish everyone would go to the library and get the history of this wonderful place.
On the Continent of Europe, we have what is called a continental breakfast. It consists of a hard biscuit, which requires blasting to open; butter and jam and coffee. This is the only meal with which butter or drinks are served unless you pay extra, enough to buy a good meal ‘in the U.S.A. In Italy you leave the key to your hotel room hanging on a hook outside your door. If you carry the key away with you, or leave it with the clerk, they are peeved. Just why you should lock your room is a puzzle to me. Another thing, which solves the tip problem, if you go to a restaurant or cafe and buy anything or hire a cab, they add 10 percent to the bill for tips.
We visited the famous Santa Mania del Fran Church, centuries old, a beautiful piece of architecture built with stone and marble and granite; over fifty varieties gathered from every known part of the world. The old piling under it keeps sinking and the marble floor looks like an ocean wave, but they keep repairing it and I’ll guarantee it will be kept ‘in a fair state of preservation as long as there are American suckers to pay admission.
And now children let us not neglect our aesthetic nature. They have art galleries and many priceless gems of painting and sculpture in their old churches. The Dizzy Dean of Venice seems to have been old man Titian. This guy used red headed girls for models in most all his feminine portraits. The girls were so scantily dressed, they died of pneumonia, but he lived to be a hundred and did some of his best work after eighty-five. If there is any moral to that, figure it out and govern yourself accordingly.
We left Venice with regret and came by train over the Bavarian Alps into Austria. The part of Austria we passed through is equally as beautiful as the finest in Switzerland. Every moment of the trip was a thrill. Most every fanner drives a team of oxen, but the homes although small, are as well kept as a Miami Beach millionaire’s estate.
Munich, Germany, August 9:
As I have said before, things are seldom what you expect. It’s like the young lady who saw a fig tree for the first time and said she expected the leaves to be larger. Well, to me Munich on our itinerary was simply a place to stay all night and save Pullman fare. But it was one of the most interesting places we have visited. Munich was the capital of old Bavaria, before it became a part of Germany. It was here that Herr Hitler got his start. He staged a little demonstration here and sixteen of his compatriots were killed, but Adolph ‘in his triumph came back and gathered up their bones and erected a beautiful monument over them which is guarded as carefully as the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Munich is the center of beauty and art in Germany and one of the greatest ‘in the world. It contains over fifty museums and galleries devoted to art, sculpture, science, medicine, geology, mechanics, everything that adds to the pleasure and progress of mankind.
These thrifty Germans, when they have an old palace left on their hands, don’t merely patch it up to show tourists for an admission fee. They make some practical use of it. We never saw a park or playground of any consequence in Italy, but here there are great parks of beauty and wide boulevards. And I noticed in coming from Italy, that as the Cathedrals grew scarcer and smaller, the farm houses grew larger and better.
On Sunday afternoon we drove out to a lake resort, way up in the Bavarian Alps, where hundreds of Bavarians were dressed in their native costumes, which are as picturesque as those of the Swiss, and worn because they like them and not for benefit of tourists. There were races, hurdles, boat and swimming races and thousands of people sitting around drinking beer, eating, and listening to an orchestra. The spot was almost as beautiful as Lake Lucerne and the people surely believe in enjoying themselves.
Yes, we visited the Hoffbrau House. Not to have visited this famous drinking place would be as bad as going to Havana and not seeing Sloppy Joe’s.
We visited the Alte Penakothek. You can skip that one. I don’t know what it means either, but it is called, “The Old Picture Gallery,” and is one of the most famous in the world. We were shown through by an intelligent guide and it was really a pleasure. These Germans have a way of showing their wares that delights an American crowd after listening to the unintelligent jabber of the gesticulating, excitable Italians and French.
This art exhibit embraces original masterpieces of all the famous schools of ancient and modem art. There are whole rooms devoted to the painting of Rubens. He must have been a rounder in his time, because he couldn’t paint a picture of a girl unless she was naked anymore than Van Dyke could paint a man without spiked chin whiskers.
I wish some of those old buzzards had gotten their minds out of the gutter long enough to paint a good looking girl with her clothes on. It would have been a novelty in any European Art gallery.
And That’s Europe Berlin, Germany:
Our stay in Berlin has been altogether too short and although we tried to prolong it and cut the time short in Paris, we failed.
Berlin is a blaze of color with its Swastika flags, interspersed with flags and bunting representative of all the fifty-two nations competing in the Olympic games. It is a dignified and fascinating spectacle.
For four years, the German goverment has been preparing the greatest stadium and making the most elaborate preparation for this great event and have truly made the world Olympic conscious.
Everywhere Americans are treated with the greatest consideration. Their motto is “The foreigner is always night.” If you cannot purchase a seat for the Olympic Stadium, an American passport will admit you without charge, and you get standing room and a chance to see the great show. All the guides and hotel men and merchants will tell you that they want the people of the world to have a friendly feeling and a better understanding of Germany. They will tell you that they desire only peace with the world, and that had the other nations lived up to their solemn pledges at Versailles, they would have no desire to increase their defenses. Whether it is true or not, they put it over ‘in such a clever way they make you believe it, and send you away with the kindliest feeling for Germany. It is in direct contrast to the treatment accorded in England, where American tourists receive the shabbiest sort of treatment. It is true with nations as with ‘individuals. Loan money and you lose both the money and the friend.
We had a day of sightseeing about a most clean and interesting city. The famous Unter den Linden, the parks, palaces, Zoological Gardens, Tiergarten, and dozens of places of beauty and historical interest. We spent a full day visiting the beautiful open air bathing establishment of Wansee where 80,000 people gather daily and on to the palaces and parks of Potsdam and Sansouci with its thousand acres of natural beauty and landscaped gardens. This was the favorite home of Frederick the Great. We also visited the palace of the late Kaiser, a gorgeous place.
Got back from Potsdam in time to see the ball game at the Olympic Stadium with Les McNeece and the American team winning a victory. I doubt if baseball becomes a part of the Olympic contest. The great crowd didn’t understand it and I have heard Boyd Anderson and Louis Oliver make more noise at the West Side Ball Park, than a hundred thousand spectators did at this game.
After the game there was a field drill of all the bands and musical units of the army. At least one thousand musicians marching and creating formations in perfect unison. At the end of one of the drills, although I was blocks away from the press gallery, it was so quiet I could hear the typewriters clicking away. It was just that breathtaking.
I visited the swimming events and although I did not get to see our Katherine in any event I did see Elbert Root and Dick Degener doing some practicing on the diving board. I tried to contact some of the home folks, but trying to make these foreigners understand what I wanted was like a lone Frenchman trying to crash the Hindenburg line. As every moment of my time was scheduled I gave it up.
On the afternoon of the 13th, however, we did have the thrill of visiting the main stadium and seeing the stars and stripes raised and the national anthem played six times in succession as three American boys, Dick Degener of Detroit, who visited Ft. Lauderdale at the swimming forum last winter, Marshall Wayne, of Miami, and Albert Green, receive their medals, and Margorie Gestring, Katherine Rawls and Dorothy Hill of the U.S. receive theirs for winning the diving contests. You can be sure we high hatted the rest of the people in our tour party as one hundred thousand hands were raised ‘in the Nazi salute and Katherine received her medal.
I did not get to see Herr Hitler, although Matthew Epstein had entrusted me with a message to deliver to him ‘in a few well chosen words.
I would like to write a lot more about Berlin, but not only lack of energy and time forbid, but getting a sheet of writing paper from a European hotel clerk is like pulling teeth from a hen. We start homeward tomorrow, stopping overnight at Cologne, which we had already visited a short time on our first trip, and where we visited the great Cologne Cathedral. Then on to Pan’s.
Paris, France – August 18th
We left Cologne, crossed the Belgian border twice and into France. Many magazine articles have appeared ‘in American magazines lately, describing the underground mines of explosives planted all along the French frontier. Hundreds of miles of an underground inferno to be touched off by an electric switch. Inasmuch as the United States loaned the French several billion dollars, which they never intend to pay back, it is at least interesting to an American citizen to see what they did with it. Some French statesman is reported to have said that the American troops were not entitled to any credit for winning the World War, because they arrived too late. Well, if they think we were a little tardy the last time, they will be surprised how late we get there for the next war, for which they are making great preparations.
On our tour through Europe, we encountered hundreds of American tourists who had made Pan’s on the beginning of their trip. Almost without exception they warned us to make our stay in Pan’s as short as possible. The city was dirty, the people, hoggish, uncivil and inconsiderate. We were prepared for the worst and found much they said to be true. Nevertheless, we enjoyed Pan’s.
We arrived here on the evening of the 15th. You can educate and cultivate and refine, but the primitive instincts still prevail. Did we hunt up a Cathedral or Museum of Art on arriving? We did not. The entire party, including the minister and his wife, went to see the filly follies at die Folies Bergere. As a leg drama, it was a complete success and I’ll have to admit if the girls in the show had taken anything more off, somebody would have had to go to Jail.
Next day we visited the marvelous palace of Versailles, which excites the admiration of the world. It was here, I believe, President Wilson attended the making of a treaty, which gave the other victorious nations every part of the world they wanted, but kept his fourteen points, which were very conveniently scrapped later.
We visited Malmaison, the favorite home of Napoleon, and his first wife, Josephine and where she lived after her divorce, until her death. The apartments have been restored as they were during her life. It was here Napoleon began his career, returned after his defeat at Waterloo and from here he finally left for his exile to St. Helena.
We visited the Grand Trianon, the summer home of Louis XIV with its beautiful apartments, occupied by Napoleon who arranged them as they are now seen. Also, the Petit Trianon where Louis XV and Louis XVI spent their playtime and the latter gave it to his wife, Mane Antoinette, who conducted a little farm and played the milkmaid It was around these places with their magnificent parks and gardens that the Louies entertained their wild women, dissipated and pitched their wild parties until the people of France ended their reign by cutting off the worthless head of the sixteenth Louie.
We visited the church, Notre Dame de Pans, the Louvre Art Palace, Place de la Concorde and up and down the beautiful wide boulevard, Champs-Elysees.
Of course, we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, 1000 feet high. You haven’t seen Paris until you’ve seen it from the Eiffel Tower. It’s just one of those things you have to do. We saw the church where the shell from the German Big Bertha dropped a bomb from seventy miles and killed one hundred people.
Pan’s above all places, is a place of hero worship. Every foot of it is sacred ground and the squares, places and streets are adorned with statues erected to the memory of famous men and others, commemorating famous military victories.
Many of the old palaces and grounds have been restored by the generosity of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and other wealthy American and English philanthropists, and are being maintained by the fees paid by American and English tourists.
After a month of sightseeing and being on the jump early and late, it takes something unusual to arouse the curiosity. Some of the crowd would hardly walk a block to see Hitler and Mussolini do a tap dance. It exhausts the patience of the guides, when about half of the tourists refuse to get out of the bus to enter some musty church to see where they have planted the ashes of some beheaded ancient ruler. But there is now a wonderful exchange of confidence among the ladies about the results of a glorified shopping tour of Europe. The guide will say, with an impressive wave of his hand, “We are now approaching the Invalides Dome, containing the tomb of Napoleon. ” And while he waits for the importance of this to sink in, some female voice will pipe up, “What did he say the gentleman’s name was? I got the prettiest pettit point lace reticule in Berlin for ten marks.” “We are now at the church where Joan of Arc had her king crowned ” With a casual glance a lady says, “Did you see the lace bridge set I got in Brussels? I’m going to give a bridge party as soon as I get home.” The guide tries again, “This is Etoile, and here is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. ” And some teacher from the dust storm country, whose mind has been broadened by foreign travel intones, “I wonder if his mother lives here? I got the prettiest cameo in Florence for two hundred lire. How much is that in American money? Well, I don’t know, but he asked three hundred for it, so it must have been a bargain.”
I do not claim to know all about the night life of Pans, but we have visited most of the advertised and better known clubs and others in the party more inquisitive, or at least less efficiently chaperoned, have spent nights with guides looking for the hot spots and failed to find them. Although this is the height of their season, very few places have music, practically none have public dancing, but thousands of people sit around in chairs, without music or entertainment, sipping wine or beer until they get drousy, then home to bed. In Florida, we wouldn’t call that a gay night life. We’d call it a hangover. It is my opinion that during the season ‘in Florida there is more and better entertainment, music, dancing and laughter in Miami and its environs in one night than there is here in a season.
And now my children, I think you know all you should know about European Art, politics and culture. Friday we go to Le Havre to board the Ile de France for New York.
I COVER THE PACIFIC by M.A. Hortt
With no intention of detracting too much from the interest of the reading public from the columns of Bob Dye and Arthur Brisbane, but having promised the Free Press to report to the best of my ability my journey from Ft. Lauderdale to Honolulu, and to cover the Pacific, as Bob Dye covers the Atlantic, ‘in an attempt to make the Free Press as eagerly sought as the fatherhood to the Palm Beach triplets, I am closing my eyes and taking my first dive into the cold waters of journalism.
Having been a partner with Bob Dye in the development of Idlewyld, I naturally owned some lots also. For the past 15 years, the chief indoor sport of the city has seemed to be to send notices asking that the lots be cleaned and taxes paid. Having listened to Mrs. Herbert’s oration on what the tired businessman needed, and glanced at one of those colorful folders of Honolulu and the South Sea Island, with pictures of the Hula girls, Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, and the surfboard riders, I determined not to be outdone by Bob, 1, too, exchanged a couple of lots for the same number of tickets, one to Australia and the other to Honolulu. Here is where I put one over on Bob. Having had the same tip that he had, that traveling men on ocean voyages unattached, get the breaks, I sent my wife on ahead. In regard to the picture on the passport, he got the breaks. Instead of mine looking like a handsome gentleman, it looked like Public Enemy Number One. If it were not for the fact that some of my friends said they could see a resemblance, I would still believe the photographer gave me the wrong prints.
R. E. DYE AND M. A. HORTT ON VACATION
R. E. (Bob) Dye and M. A. Hortt took us to far off lands and showed us the beauty and the interesting things we had known little or nothing about. Their descriptions are in many a scrap book in this town, besides having left impressions on our minds that will last for a long, long time. As a certain man expressed, A never really knew Europe before I read Bob Dye’s letters in the Free Press. He certainly knows how to describe things in an attractive way.”
And Al Hortt showed 3 000 readers the beauty of the Hawaiian Island and the life there ‘in a way that will never be forgotten.
These articles have been praised by newspaper men, professional writers, and hundreds of home folks, also by many on our mailing list.
Mr. Dye and Mr. Hortt were away on vacations, and they unselfishly shared what they saw with those who could not go, and we thank them for it.
|Robert Emmett Dye
1879 – 1953
|Annette Orne Dye
1882 – 1960