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Mark Twain's "A Tramp Abroad"

Every wonder what being a European tourist was like 135 years ago? This memoir will show you just how much has changed and how much hasn't. Basically it covers from Heidelberg University, Neckar Valley, Black Forest, Luzern, Berner Oberland, Zermatt, Geneva, Chamonix, with a few quick chapters on northern Italy.
Twain is, of course, his usual wise-cracking self, but was quite a keen observer.
It is available to read on-line as it is now public domain, or check it out at the library.
It would be pretty interesting trip to retrace. With modern transportation, you could probably do it and stay under the 90 day Schengen rule.

Posted by
12936 posts

The Zermatt chapter is particularly funny. He mocks the British in their expeditions. The walk to Riffelalp that he describes with much fanfare actually only takes two hours.

Posted by
16436 posts

Yes, there were a few fictional chapters like the satirical "expedition" to Riffelalp. Also the trip down the Neckar on a raft of timber logs was made up.

Posted by
14777 posts

Add to that Innocents Abroad, Clemens first trip to Europe. From the Azores, past Gibraltar, and round the Mediterranean (with a side trip to Paris). See Notre Dame and St. Peter's (and his American tourist companions behaving much as tourists still do) through his eyes.