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The Caravan Route between Egypt and Syria   By: (1847-1915)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: JEBEL EL MAGARA.]

THE CARAVAN ROUTE

BETWEEN

EGYPT AND SYRIA

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN

[Illustration]

WITH TWENTY THREE FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

London

CHATTO & WINDUS, PICCADILLY

1881

All rights reserved.

PREFACE TO THE TRANSLATION.

The present work is by His Imperial Highness the Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria, by whom also the accompanying sketches were drawn.

By his numerous travels and scientific labours, the name of this Prince has become well known and highly appreciated among the geographers of all nations; and only a short time ago His Imperial Highness was elected an honorary member of the Royal Geographical Society, of whom there are but eight others, in a total list of some 3500 Fellows.

His works of travel comprising parts of America, Africa, and the Mediterranean coasts have also attracted so much attention, that their translation into the English language seemed to be justified.

The list of these works, together with some details regarding the life of their illustrious author, appeared in the translator's introduction to the first work published in English;[1] and in referring to it the translator of the present volume confidently expects a continuation of the friendly reception accorded to "Levkosìa, the Capital of Cyprus."

CHEVALIER DE HESSE WARTEGG.

GERMAN ATHENÆUM CLUB, October 1881 .

[Footnote 1: Levkosìa, the Capital of Cyprus, with an Introduction by the Chevalier de Krapf Liverhoff, Imp. and Roy. Austro Hung. Ministerial Councillor, etc. etc. London: Kegan Paul and Co. 1881.]

PREFACE.

Once more I had traced my way to Egypt to pass the winter there. Like every European who makes a lengthened sojourn in that ancient but renewed land, I was led to recall the great engineering and other achievements accomplished within our own time, and also to consider future projects of development for which the country seems to present so wide a scope. A great deal has been heard of late on the subject of improved communication between Egypt and Southern Syria. Proposals for the construction of a new harbour at Jaffa, for a railway through the valley of the Jordan, and for harbour works at Beyrout, exercised my mind in succession; and during my frequent walks in the beautiful Esbekieh my thoughts were more particularly occupied with the overland route between Syria and Egypt. Since the wanderings of the Israelites through the desert, and the flight of the child Jesus, of how many great events have these countries been the scenes, and what various recollections are awakened by their names!

Former travels had rendered me familiar with both Egypt and Syria, as well as with the different lines of communication between them, excepting the old caravan route over Wadi el Harish, the ancient Torrens Egyptii. Bearing in mind the bad harbours and dangerous anchorages of Southern Palestine, I speculated upon the feasibility of a railway connection round the coast, and, in view of that object, resolved personally to examine the ground.

Many obstacles, however, presented themselves to the execution of my intention. One of these arose from the circumstance that, since the opening of the Suez Canal, the greater part of the traffic between Syria and Egypt is carried on by the short water route viâ Jaffa and Port Said, in consequence of which the old highway, formerly so frequented by caravans, travellers, and pilgrims, is now deserted and forgotten. Even the cattle dealers now prefer to send their stock by steamer from the great export harbour of Jaffa to Alexandria, so that only a few camel drivers are to be met with on the once favourite route. I therefore found it more expedient to order a caravan of horses and mules from Jaffa to meet me in El Kantara, which I fixed upon as my starting point for the desert... Continue reading book >>




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