PLAN OF TOUR.
till April. Among the mountainous districts, excursions are practic¬
able up to the end of June.
Companions. — Travelling alone in the East, at least for any
length of time, is wearisome, and from 1/3 to */4 more expensive than
for members of a party. Many of the items of expenditure which must
be incurred are precisely the same for a solitary traveller as for a
party; and, apart from pecuniary considerations, the advantages of
mutual support and companionship are invaluable in a country with
whose language and customs we are as yet unfamiliar, and with
whose inhabitants any social intercourse is difficult or impossible.
The traveller who is at home in every country in Europe, who at
every inn, in town or village, finds opportunity for adding to his stock
of information or for engaging in friendly chat, will speedily be
wearied in the East, however familiar he may be with the language,
by the stereotyped questions and artificial phraseology of the people
with whom he comes in contact. Moreover, if he be unaccustomed
to fatiguing and often uninteresting rides, he will stand doubly
in need of the refreshment and variety afforded by intercourse with
friends. Those who start for their tour without companions will in
spring have no difficulty in meeting with other travellers in the
same position, and parties may thus easily be formed; but caution
in the selection of companions is very necessary in a country where
arrangements once concluded are not easily altered, and where mu¬
tual confidence, congeniality, and forbearance are qualities of the
utmost importance. One of the chief points to be settled before¬
hand is, when and where days of rest are to be observed. In con¬
versation, religious topics had better, as a rule, be avoided, as ex¬
pressions of opinion on these subjects too often lead to serious
misunderstandings and even quarrels.
Conducted tours. — A number of tours of different lengths are
arranged every spring and autumn by Thomas Cook 4' Son, Ludgate
Circus, and Henry Gaze fy Son, 142, Strand, London. Cook's tours
are of two classes, personally conducted and independent tours.
Cook's personally conducted tours are undertaken at fixed
dates, in connection with the tours to Egypt and the Nile, and are
superintended by a conductor appointed by the firm. The fares in¬
clude first class railway and steamer throughout, riding horses and
English saddles, transport of 60 lbs. of luggage; tent and utensils,
breakfast, lunch, and dinner with tea or coffee; hotel accommo¬
dation at Yafa, Jerusalem, Jericho. Damascus, and Beirut; fees
for visiting the Mosque of Omar at Jerusalem and. the Great Mosque
at Damascus, and other fees to attendants and camp servants. Not
included are wines or other liquors, washing, the final bakhshish
to the. servants, at the end of the trip , and similar incidental per¬
sonal expenses. No responsibility is accepted for small luggage, nor
for damage or loss of large luggage.
Fares of the personally conducted tours. Tour I, including