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NOTES OF A PILGRIMAGE.
INTRODUCTORY AND CHIEFLY PRACTICAL.
In these prosaic days there is no very great degree of hardship involved in the notion of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, at least for a pilgrim who does not think it necessary to gratuitously increase the hardships of the journey, and who is able, more or less, to pay his way. Still, being an unadventurous person, I will admit to having felt a certain natural shrinking from an expedition which looked so tremendous on the map; and imagining that there may be some future visitors equally timorous, I think it as well to put down a few facts which may
reassure them at least, and be of some use in foreshadowing what they are to expect when they arrive in the Holy Land. To begin with, it is hardly necessary to say that the traveller in Palestine has no longer to encounter the dangers which are so delightful to read of in the fascinating pages of 'Eothen,' and must be so very disagreeable to encounter in reality, unless he wilfully goes out of his way to look for them. There are still brigands in the mountains of Moab, who live near enough to civilisation to get an additional touch of roguery over and above their natural predatory habits, who would be delighted to oblige any gentleman who has a fancy to go through the interesting experience of being robbed; inquirers of this class are, however, advised to travel with a very small train, for fear of frightening robbers away. It is usual to amuse travellers on their way to the Dead Sea with tales of possible Bedouin descents, and dragomans are always careful to make very ostentatious display of weapons on this expedition; I was even taken to task myself at Jericho — naturally by the last arrival from Europe--for openly wearing a gold watch-chain, which might excite the cupidity of neighbouring hordes, and bring destruction upon all of us. The traveller need take no account of such silly stories ; danger there may be for those who go off the beaten track, but no inexperienced person should do this without a perfectly reliable dragoman. I am, of course, not writing for those who have a real knowledge of the country.
With regard to the means of getting to Palestine, the most usual route is that by Brindisi, from which the Austrian Lloyd steamers go once a-week to Alexandria, Port Said, Jaffa, &c., and the P. & 0. ships weekly for Port Said, and fortnightly for Alexandria. The journey from Brindisi to Alexandria occupies about three days. A pleasant little tour in Egypt can be made in the few days elapsing between the arrival of one steamer at Alexandria and the starting of the next one from Port Said. This will give time for a glance at Cairo, the Pyramids of Gizeh—which are disappointing,—and the Sphinx—which is not. Of course, it is by no means fair to Egypt to try and see it in this way; but it is hardly a chance to be missed, and as there is no time to make one's way as