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X HINTS TO TRAVELLERS IN PORTUGAL
How to get there.—By railway the direct route is by the Sud Express, which leaves Paris twice or thrice a week, according to the season, for Oporto and Lisbon, via Bordeaux, Medina, and Salamanca, covering the distance from Paris to Lisbon in thirty-five hours—the cost from Paris, single fare, first-class, being 222 francs. The journey is naturally tedious, as well as costly, and for tourists and pleasure-travellers who are not absolutely averse from sea-voyages the journey by steamer is much preferable. The Royal Mail steamships from Southampton and the Pacific Line from Liverpool both have splendid steamers, which run fortnightly to Lisbon or Oporto (Leix?es), the voyage to Lisbon usually occupying rather under three days, the fare being £8 single and £12 return on both lines. But for those who wish to visit Portugal either for health or pleasure, and desire to see something of the 309country under favourable conditions the steamers of the Booth Steamship Line offer much greater facilities than either of the previously mentioned companies, combined with considerable economy. I have travelled to Portugal by all three lines, and can find little to choose between them; the newer vessels especially of the Booth Line being in all respects as comfortable and well served as the others, whilst the fare is lower. It is, however, chiefly in the organisation of tours through Portugal that the Booth Line offers the greatest advantages to travellers, the arrangements being such that most of the difficulties of travelling in a foreign country are obviated by holders of through tourist tickets. The system provides for the meeting of travellers on board the steamers and at railway stations by representatives of the hotels, and advice is sent forward of the travellers to be expected. The tickets issued include coupons for hotel expenses, carriages, and all the necessary outlay of the journey from place to place, and, speaking from my own experience, I may say that the portions of my journey that were covered by Booth Line tickets were much easier and less troublesome than those which were undertaken without them. 310I found, moreover, that the people at the hotels were, if anything, more anxious to show attention to travellers accredited by the Booth Line tickets and forward advice than to visitors arriving unannounced. Some of the Portuguese tours of the Booth Line seem extremely moderate in price, including, as they do, hotel expenses as well as travelling by sea and land, and, so far as my experience went, everything possible was done for the convenience and pleasure of ticket-holders.

Hotels.—We English are not particularly popular on the Continent as travellers, though we are better liked in Spain and Portugal than elsewhere. Nor is the reason of our lack of popularity far to seek. We are apt to assume a demeanour and tone towards foreigners in their own country which imply a belief in our superiority, and a claim to assert priority for our own needs and pleasures over those of others. This attitude is worse than useless in Spain and Portugal, for not only is it ineffectual, but it turns otherwise polite and civil people against us. In Portugal an honest desire to please and serve will be encountered by travellers everywhere, almost without exception. But tourists must repay this, if they wish to travel smoothly, 311by cheerfully accepting the best that the people know how to give them, and must not claim to establish a new standard for themselves. The hotels in the smaller towns of Portugal do not exist for tourists. They live almost entirely upon commercial travellers, and residents, business, professional men, and officials, who board at the hotel table by contract. A tourist arriving at such an hotel will be civilly received, but no fatted calf will be killed for him, nor charged for, and the fare and accommodation considered satisfactory by the regular customers of the hotel must be good enough for him or he must go without. Generally speaking these are fair, even in the small towns, the beds being usually clean, if hard and skimpy of pillow; and of the dishes offered, some, at all events, will be found palatable, even to an untravelled Englishman. In any case, it will be useless to ask for others. These remarks are not applicable either to the hotels in Oporto and Lisbon, nor to those which specially depend upon visitors in search of health and pleasure, like those of Bom Jesus, Caldas, and Bussaco. In Oporto the Grand Hotel is said to be the best, but it still leaves much to be desired in many respects. The cuisine, however, 312is good, though there is a tendency to charge unduly high prices for extras, such as wine, table water, &c. The same may be said of the Hotel Central at Lisbon, where the cuisine is excellent and the rooms generally good, but the extras are charged too high. This hotel has been greatly improved of late years, and especially since the reclamation of the foreshore has done away with what formerly was its principal objection. It is very central for all the tramway routes, and for a stay of a day or two may be convenient. The noisy, self-assertive German commercial element is, however, too conspicuous and demonstrative to be agreeable to most English people travelling for pleasure, and personally I much prefer the Hotel Braganza, which stands on high ground overlooking the river, and is quieter than the Central. The Grand Hotel at Bom Jesus, in its way, is excellent, th............
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