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Gives Fine Panorama of European Civilization, He Asserts--Gives Travel Hints to Prospective Winner--Tells of Wonder Places on Itinerary


"A fine panorama of European Civilization is given by your itinerary", said Mr. Burton Holmes, famous traveler and lecturer, when asked his opinion of the United States Line tour, which will be made by the winner of the CRIMSON essay contest, the closing date of which is March 24. "The tour", he declared, "is extremely well laid out. In fact, I'd like to win your essay contest myself.

Lucky to Go Stag

"The winner is lucky to be going stag", continued Mr. Holmes, who is married. "You can travel much faster that way. Another advantage of this mode of travel is that one can walk through the shopping district without having to buy everything in sight."

Mr. Holmes advises taking sightseeing busses through the cities visited. Most people fritter away their time, he said, because they do not know where to go. It is better for sightseeing purposes to be conducted about in a scientifically managed sightseeing tour.

"If the man who wins the contest is making his first trip to Europe, he is lucky", continued Mr. Holmes. "I envy the young fellow who is getting his first impressions of the continent. There is nothing like it." Mr. Holmes, who has been traveling about the world for 35 years, insists, however, that he is not yet tired of it.

Ignore Palaces and Churches

In discussing the United States Line itinerary. Mr. Holmes said, "At Genoa, the main thing is the situation of the city itself. The drive on the upper road above the city looking down is the most notable feature of the place. The general impression is the thing here. Don't be lured to the palaces and churches, as I once was. They may be important to the Genoese, but don't waste any time on them.

"In Pisa, the Cathedral, and, of course, the Leaning Tower are the things to see. I should like to get some motion pictures of them. On a recent visit to the Leaning Tower, reported to be on the verge of toppling over, I asked the old guard if there was any danger. 'Oh no, sir,' he said, 'this tower has been here for eight centuries.'"

Mr. Holmes has a feeling almost of reverence for Rome. "My feeling for Rome," he said, "is that it is something long, high, and deep. One reason for its fascination is that three or four civilizations are mirrored in its ruins. Be sure to see the catacombs. They are full of interest, as well as bones.

"Florence is a lovely place," went on Mr. Holmes. "The cathedral and tower here are well worth seeing, but perhaps the most attractive feature of the place is the magnificent villas in the country round about, many of them owned by Americans. Permits are usually necessary, but it is well worth the trouble to visit them."

Need Right Mood for Venice

Venice also has its charm for him. "You must arrive in Venice in the right mood, and at the right time of day, if you would fully appreciate her beauty," he explained. "In the sunlight she gives herself away light a worn, haggard old woman. The time to arrive in Venice is when the moon diffuses her mellow light over the city. To enjoy Venice best, one should take a gondola and be propelled slowly through the narrow canals. Don't take one of those motor driven gondolas, reported to be coming into use. If they are not done away with, they will totally destroy the charm of the city.

"By all means, make an excursion to Torcello while you are in Venice," he continued. "Torcello is situated on a little group of islands not far away. It is like Venice as a village, a rural Venice, a Venice not built up, as Venice is today, so that you can't see the canal from the house-tops.

Should Visit Gandria, Near Venice

"Another little excursion easily made from Venice is the walk to Gandria, a quaint little village on a steep slope. It is reached by a beautiful path along the shore called the Via Teodoro, after the man who built it.

"Interlaken is a great point of departure for excusions," he continued. "That is why there are so many tourist hotels situated there. One especially worth-while excursion from this point is the one to Murren.

"I wish more Americans could see Zurich. It is an example of how beautiful, yet practical, a city can be made. Shopping here is a real delight."

When asked what interesting things were in London, Mr. Holmes retorted, "What isn't in London? One could spend 20 years there and still not see it all. If I wished to see as much of London as possible in a short time. I should get on top of a bus and spend all the pennies I had just riding about."

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