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THE PYRAMIDS Why do you come to Egypt? Do you come to gain a dream, or to regain lost dreams of old; to gild your life with the drowsy gold of romance, to lose a creeping sorrow, to forget that too many of your hours are sullen, grey, bereft? What do you wish of Egypt? The Sphinx will not ask you, will not care. The Pyramids, lifting their unnumbered stones to the clear and wonderful skies, have held, still hold, their secrets; but they do not... more...

CHAPTER I A WINTER MIDNIGHT BEFORE THE GREAT SPHINX A night wondrously clear and of a colour unknown to our climate; a place of dreamlike aspect, fraught with mystery. The moon of a bright silver, which dazzles by its shining, illumines a world which surely is no longer ours; for it resembles in nothing what may be seen in other lands. A world in which everything is suffused with rosy color beneath the stars of midnight, and where granite... more...

TRAVELS IN THE FAR EAST MILWAUKEE, October 27th, 1907: The adieux have been said, the friends have departed, and the train is moving slowly out of the station; a profusion of flowers, tempting new books, and other gifts are visible proofs of the thoughtfulness of friends on the eve of a long journey in untried fields, and it seems as if I had lost my moorings and was drifting out on an unknown way.   Chicago is reached, and after a... more...

JOURNAL OF A TOUR FROM DAMASCUS COUNTRIES OF THE LIBANUS, AND ANTI-LIBANUS. September 22, 1810.—I Left Damascus at four o'clock P.M. with a small caravan destined for Tripoli; passed Salehíe, and beyond it a Kubbe,[Kubbe, a cupola supported by columns or walls; the sepulchre of a reputed saint.] from whence I had, near sun-set, a most beautiful view of the city of Damascus and its surrounding country. From the Kubbe, the road passes... more...

SOME years have now elapsed since two distinct portions of Burckhardt’s works (his Travels in Nubia and Syria) were offered to the public, and most favourably received; their success being insured not only by instrinsic merit, but by the celebrity of their editor as a scholar and antiquary, a traveller and a geographer. It must not however be inferred, from any delay in publishing the present volume, that its contents are less worthy of... more...


         As soon as they step into my house and see my strange collection of travel keepsakes, all visitors’ eyes are drawn to the Arabian saddle, which actually deserves credit as the inspiration and author of this story. It has Oriental-red velvet, richly decorated with gold embroidery. This Pasha saddle was fit for a tribal Turkish chieftain, having comfortable stirrups and an accompanying dreadful... more...

I WHY IS ARABIA TOPSY-TURVY LAND? On this big round earth there are all sorts of countries and peoples. Men walk on it on every side just like flies crawling over a watermelon and they do not fall off either. On the next page you can see how they travel all around the world; some in steamships, some in carriages or on horses, some in jinrickshaws and some in the railway coaches. In Topsy-turvy Land they have no railroads and not even... more...

EL KANTARA. One of the Suez Canal Company's tugs soon took us down the canal from Ismailia to El Kantara (the bridge), where we were to meet our caravan. Just as we were landing we observed the first few horses of the latter crossing by the ferry which plies between the two sides of the canal. The boat had to go over three times to get all our animals and luggage, and we found it no easy work on the other side to strap up all our things ready... more...

MANAMAH AND MOHAREK The first Arabian journey that we undertook was in 1889, when we visited the Islands of Bahrein in the Persian Gulf; we were attracted by stories of mysterious mounds, and we proposed to see what we could find inside them, hoping, as turned out to be the fact, that we should discover traces of Phœnician remains. The search for traces of an old world takes an excavator now and again into strange corners of the new. Out... more...

AL-MADINAH contains but few families descended from the Prophet’s Auxiliaries. I heard only of four whose genealogy is undoubted. These were,— 1. The Bayt al-Ansari, or descendants of Abu Ayyub, a most noble race whose tree ramifies through a space of fifteen hundred years. They keep the keys of the Kuba Mosque, and are Imams in the Harim, but the family is no longer wealthy or powerful. 2. The Bayt Abu Jud: they supply the Harim... more...