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A Midsummer Drive Through the Pyrenees   By: (1860-1911)

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First Page:

A MIDSUMMER DRIVE THROUGH THE PYRENEES

by

EDWIN ASA DIX, M.A.

Ex Fellow in History of the College of New Jersey at Princeton

Illustrated

New York & London G.P. Putnam's Sons The Knickerbocker Press

1890

[Illustration: A DIFFICULT BIT ON THE ROUTE THERMALE.]

"How comes it to pass," wondered a traveler, over twenty years ago, "that, when the American people think it worth while to pay a visit to Europe almost exclusively to see Switzerland and Italy; when in 1860 twenty one thousand Americans visited Rome and only seven thousand English; so few should think it worth while to visit the Pyrenees? It is certainly the only civilized country we have visited without finding Americans there before us. Is it accident or caprice, or part of a system of leaving it to the last, which 'last' never comes? The feast is provided, where are the guests? The French Pyrenees form one of the loveliest gardens in Europe and a perfect place for a summer holiday. 'La beauté ici est sereine et le plaisir est pur.'"

The query is still unanswered to day. The stream of summer journeyings to Europe has swollen to a river; it has overflowed to the Arctic Ocean, to the Baltic, to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The Pyrenees a garden not only, but a land of sterner scenery as well, almost alone remain by our nation of travelers unvisited and unknown.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

IN PERSPECTIVE

CHAPTER II.

A BISCAYAN BEACH

CHAPTER III.

BAYONNE, THE INVINCIBLE

CHAPTER IV.

SAINT JOHN OF LIGHT

CHAPTER V.

THE CITY OF THE ARROW PIERCED SAINT

CHAPTER VI.

AN OLD SPANISH MINIATURE

CHAPTER VII.

AN ERA IN TWILIGHT

CHAPTER VIII.

"THE LITTLE PARIS OF THE SOUTH,"

CHAPTER IX.

THE WARM WATERS AND THE PEAK OF THE SOUTH

CHAPTER X.

THE GOOD WATERS OF THE ARQUEBUSADE

CHAPTER XI.

OVER THE HIGHWAY OF THE HOT SPRINGS

CHAPTER XII.

MIRRORS AND MOUNTAINS

CHAPTER XIII.

A COLOSSEUM OF THE GODS

CHAPTER XIV.

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW

CHAPTER XV.

THE VALLEY OF THE SUN

CHAPTER XVI.

THE INTERLAKEN OF THE PYRENEES

CHAPTER XVII.

OUT TOWARD THE PLAIN

ILLUSTRATIONS.

A DIFFICULT BIT ON THE ROUTE THERMALE, FRONTISPIECE

BEACH AND VILLA EUGÉNIE AT BIARRITZ

"HERE TOO ARE THE FISHERMEN'S CABINS,"

EN CACOLET

A BAYONNE ARCADE

A CONSPICUOUS ENTRY INTO ST. JEAN DE LUZ

THE CAMERA AT THE CUSTOM HOUSE

A DISILLUSIONIZING LEGEND

THE LEGEND AS REFRAIN

A BÉARNAIS MARKET WOMAN

A SYMBOL OF VENGEANCE

DULL PROSPECTS AT GABAS

CAILLOU IN COSTUME

THE BELLES AND DAMES OF GOUST

ROAD MENDERS ON THE PASS

"ACCOUTRED AS SHE IS, SHE PLUNGES IN,"

"THE TOWN IS WAITING FOR THE DILIGENCE,"

A CAFÉ CONJURING SCENE

LAC DE GAUBE AND VIGNEMALE

ONE CORNER OF THE OMNIBUS

THE CIRQUE OF GAVARNIE FROM THE CHAOS

THE INN YARD AT GRIP

"THERE IS NAUGHT OF THE PRETENTIOUS ABOUT THE HOTEL D'ANGLETERRE,"

PIC DE LA PIQUE, AND PATH TO THE PORT DE VÉNASQUE

THE EVENING FÊTE AT BIGORRE

MAP.

RELIEF MAP OF THE CENTRAL PYRENEES.

CHAPTER I.

IN PERSPECTIVE.

"In fortune's empire blindly thus we go; We wander after pathless destiny, Whose dark resorts since prudence cannot know, In vain it would provide for what shall be."

A trip to the Pyrenees is not in the Grand Tour. It is not even in any southerly extension of the Grand Tour. A proposition to exploit them meets a dubious reception. Pictures arise of desolate gorges; of lonely roads and dangerous trails; of dismal roadside inns, where, when you halt for the night, a "repulsive looking landlord receives the unhappy man, exchanges a look of ferocious intelligence with the driver," and the usual melodramatic midnight carnage probably ensues. The Pyrenees seem to echo the motto of their old counts, " Touches y, si tu l'oses !" the name seems to stand vaguely for untested discomforts, for clouds and chasms, and Spanish banditti in blood red capas ; to be, in a word, a symbol of an undiscovered country which would but doubtfully reward a resolve to discover.

Yet there is a fascination in the project, as we discuss a summer tour... Continue reading book >>




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