IT was a sea captain who said that the greatest monument which the present age would leave to posterity would be the cinder tracks at the bottom of the sea, made by our ocean liners. And who shall say that the anticipation of this modern sea-going prophet will not be realized ? International commerce, the spread of education, the ever-growing desire for world travel in our time, each contributes to the enlargement of the submarine monument, and to the provision of safer, far pleasanter, healthier and more luxurious systems of transit over distances than preceding ages had provided for us either on dry land or across the oceans. The "tumultuous ocean" has been compelled; the science of navigation and the art of the engineer have so far advanced that our seamen can now hold mighty ships on unrailed tracks as straight to their destination, and almost as accurately to time, as the "Great Western" or " Pennsylvania" engine-driver can control a "special" on the permanent way of his railroad.
This opening up of the world has produced the " globe-trotter," as well as the man who desires to observe, to learn, to enjoy and not merely to "see." But few men have had time or opportunity to keep themselves informed on the constant changes and extensions of lines of transportation (difficult enough, indeed, to those who make this their special business), and, for guidance of the hitherto busy man who now desires to indulge in the pleasures of extended travel, the author has prepared this little book. A lifetime of practical experience with the greatest tourist agency in the world (Messrs. Thomas Cook & Son) enables him to suggest, in the selection of routes, etc., such needed information as will insure to the traveler confidence in the commencement of his journey and comfort in its course.
This volume is not issued as a guide-book in the strict sense of the word, but as a work which will show the traveler how to reach and to journey through the different countries of the world to the best advantage, with brief references to objects of interest in each place. The information has been collected from innumerable reliable sources, including much of the author's own observation and experiences. He has circled the world many times, yet the author does not assume to have been to every place he writes of, and so the traveler will still find good use for his Baedeker, his Murray or his Cook for more detailed description of some of them. The scope of the work is not to call attention to everything important or interesting in every place visited. To undertake this would need a dozen large volumes instead of this small one, and the world traveler, attempting to exhaust the "sights " of every stopping place, would himself be exhausted long before the end of his journey.
The traveler has to take into account the purport of his journey ( whether for business, for study or for pleasure), the time at his disposal, the direction of his tastes, and the condition of his health and strength, as well as of his purse, before he can decide on the measure of sightseeing he may allow himself to indulge in. The country guide-books and local informants will assist him.