A Trip to the Orient: The Story of a Mediterranean Cruise

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Peter Vickers and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net



The Story of a



Title image



Copyright 1907, by
Robert Urie Jacob.

Half-tones made by
The Photo-Chromotype Engraving Co.
Philadelphia, Pa.


“A Trip to the Orient, the Story of a Mediterranean Cruise,” by Robert Urie Jacob, has been written at the request of fellow-travelers who did not have time to take notes by the way.

One said, “Do not write a guide book nor a love story, but a simple narrative that will recall the incidents and delightful experiences of the tour.” Following these suggestions, but with many misgivings, the author has undertaken and completed the work, assisted in the editing and proof-reading by Miss Ruth Collins, of the Drexel Institute, and by Miss Anna C. Kauffman.

An interesting feature of the book is the large number of illustrations made from artistic photographs, all of which have been kindly contributed by amateur photographers. It contains nearly two hundred illustrations of views or incidents in Funchal, Granada, Algiers, Malta, Athens, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Cairo, Luxor, Naples, and Nice, reproduced from photographs taken by Mr. L. O. Smith, Rev. G. B. Burnwood, Mr. Charles Louis Sicarde, Mr. Franklin D. Edmunds, Mr. Roberts LeBoutellier, Mrs. Charles S. Crosman, Miss M. Florence Pannebaker, Mr. Walter F. Price, Mr. S. L. Schumo, Mr. George C. Darling, Mr. Howard E. Pepper, Mr. John W. Converse, Mr. C. Edwin Webb, and Mr. Edwin Alban Bailey.

The story was intended specially for voyagers who have visited the same places, but it may be almost equally interesting to those who are planning a similar trip. And those who must stay at home may in these pages be able to look through another’s eyes at the places described.

If the book should in any slight way deepen the pleasant memories of those who have made the trip, or if it should give pleasure to those who must picture those scenes only in their imagination, the author will feel that his effort has not been in vain.


I.  On The Ocean1
II.  Funchal10
III.  Gibraltar24
IV.  Granada and the Alhambra38
V.  The City of Algiers60
VI.  The Island of Malta82
VII.  Athens and the Acropolis97
VIII.  Constantinople and Santa Sophia128
IX.  The Selamlik and the Treasury154
X.  From the Bosporus to Palestine179
XI.  Jerusalem199
XII.  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre227
XIII.  Cairo and the Pyramids257
XIV.  Luxor and Karnak296
XV.  On the Nile327
XVI.  Naples and Pompei353
XVII.  Nice and Mentone378



“Have you decided to go?” inquired my friend. Before us on the table lay an illustrated booklet containing the prospectus of a cruise to the Mediterranean. Its contents had been under consideration for some days.

“Yes,” I answered, “I will write to-day to secure state room accommodations for our party. Nevertheless I am not quite sure that it is wise to take the trip.”


“For two reasons. First, are seventy days long enough to make a cruise of nearly fourteen thousand miles and visit so many places? Second, with five hundred passengers will there not be a crowd?”

“Well, those doubts never troubled me. Seventy days is all that can be spared from my business, and much may be seen in that time. As to the number of passengers, every steamer carries its full complement. At any rate, you are going, so think no more of your doubts. You will probably forget that you had any.”

So it was that at seven o’clock on the morning of the fifth of February, when the steamship Moltke left her dock at New York, we stood among the passengers lined along her rail. The hawsers had been cast off, whistles were blowing, and tugs were puffing in their efforts to push and pull the huge vessel into the stream.

At that early hour of a wintry day there was no crowd filling the pier, no sea of faces looking upward, no waving of handkerchiefs and flags, the usual sight when a great liner departs. The wharf, cheerless and dismal, appeared to be almost deserted. Its only occupants were a few scattered onlookers shivering in the cold, and the officials and employees whose duties required their presence. But on the Moltke, in spite of the chill air and the gray morning, all were animated and eager. The band played the “Belle of New York” while the ship was being warped into the stream, and the “American Patrol” while it was steaming down the river. The tourists, alert and expectant, viewed the panorama of the city as the tall buildings were brought into strong relief against the brightening sky, saw Liberty’s cap reflect the rays of the rising sun, then watched the incoming steamers, and the forts and lighthouses that seemed to approach and pass. Just outside of Sandy Hook our pilot with a satchel of letters descended the rope ladder to the waiting tug, and soon afterwards the low-lying shores became dimmer and dimmer until they disappeared from view.

The farewells had been exchanged on the previous day, when the promenade decks and saloons of the steamer were thronged with passengers, friends, and curious visitors, and the after-deck was encumbered with piles of baggage. Then, the tables in the main saloon were filled with boxes of flowers, baskets of fruit, packages of confectionery, and bundles of steamer letters marked to be opened on certain days after sailing.

Before the departure we had met the deck steward and with his assistance had located our steamer chairs; for in the places then selected the chairs were to remain throughout the long cruise. We had also interviewed the chief steward, had obtained from him a passenger list, and had arranged that our party should be seated together at one of the side tables in the dining saloon.


The passenger list contained four hundred and fifty-three names. Among these were thirteen preceded by the title Reverend, thirteen by Doctor, and a number by military or other titles of honor. Every state in the Union and several provinces of Canada had representatives on the list.

During the first three days’ sailing a storm, which had been predicted as approaching from the west when we left New York, followed but did not overtake us. We could not, however, remain on deck as long as desired, for the wind was chilly and the ocean rough. But each morning, laden with heavy wraps and rugs, we sought our steamer chairs. Then, settled comfortably under the wraps and rugs carefully tucked around us by the attentive steward, we defied the cold for an hour or two and inhaled the invigorating air.

As the vessel made her way southward, the temperature moderated and the sea became smooth. By the time the stormy weather had passed, the tourists, accustomed to ship motion and ship life, spent most of their time upon the decks. Then, to increase sociability and make the time pass pleasantly, self-appointed committees met and laid plans for card parties, lectures, concerts, and dances.

On the fifth night out the southern side of the promenade deck was curtained with awnings, cleared of chairs, decorated with flags and Chinese lanterns, and brilliantly illuminated with clusters of electric lights, for an impromptu dance. Music was furnished by the band, and Father Neptune kindly kept his waves in subjection, although an occasional roll caused some unsteadiness in the movements of the waltzers.

By that time we knew many of our fellow-voyagers. For, as we had similar plans, a common destination, and the same pleasures in anticipation, we readily made friendships. We chatted around the table during the luncheon and dinner hours, took a hand in euchre with men in the smoking room, or a place at whist with the ladies in the music room, and exchanged pleasantries and experiences with our neighbors while occupying the steamer chairs. Friendships grew rapidly under these favorable conditions. Sometimes chats with new acquaintances which began in a mirthful way changed to talks of a serious kind as some spoken word recalled home and friends left behind, and conversations when prolonged became almost confidential in their character.

One afternoon while we were sipping the tea which had been served, a lady who occupied a chair next ours, said:—”I enjoy so much my hours in the gymnasium. Each morning I take a gallop on the electric horse and get my blood into circulation. The first day I felt rather timid in the saddle when the custodian asked, ‘Fast or slow?’ so I said, ‘Start slow,’ but I quickly had him increase the speed, for I’m used to horseback riding.”

“We’re from Texas, you know,” spoke up a young woman sitting close by.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ... | Single Page