Travel for a modern person is an ordinary and quite frequent thing. Now almost everyone in the world can go online, buy a train, plane or bus ticket to go on a trip to get new emotions and impressions. Even if he has difficulties on the way or during his stay in another country, he will always be able to seek help from the Internet and find a way out of the situation.
But even 150 years ago, traveling to other countries was a risky occupation, which only brave people or sailors dared to do. The massive demand for travel among the inhabitants of Europe appeared during the Great Geographical Discoveries, when white spots on the world map disappeared with great speed. However, travels outside the homeland frightened and forced not only ordinary people to stay at home, but also cartographers who drew maps based on the stories of sailors.
The situation changed dramatically by the end of the century, when all new lands were explored along the coasts and inland, and many of them were colonized – the inhabitants of Europe for the first time had the opportunity to go to see the world in a relatively safe way. With the birth of international law and the establishment of contacts between states, the roads between countries became safer, and Europeans discovered a new favorite business – travel.
Methods of movement between countries
The XIX century was a time not only of geographical discoveries, but also of the active development of the industrial sector in the leading countries of the world. In 1804, the first steam locomotive was invented, which served to transport goods, but after 21 years for the first time they launched a public railway laid between the cities of Darlington and Stockton. And in 1819, the mail ship "Savannah" was able to cross the Atlantic using steam oars. It was ships and new trains that became the main ways of movement of Europeans between countries.
Residents of Europe positively met the idea of sea cruises, so they began to massively buy tickets for steamships to see the shores of other countries for the first time. Over time, primitive tourist ships turned into luxury liners, built with the latest technology and comfort, which made sea travel more interesting and popular.
The land transport system did not lag behind sea cruises. For several decades, the whole of Europe was shrouded in the web of the railway, and in a relatively short time people had the opportunity to move around the entire continent. The luxury of trains grew, dining cars appeared, the transport of the then business class was more like a mobile hotel with all the amenities. Of course, both for comfortable liners and for expensive first-class trains, tickets cost a lot of money, and the rich could afford to travel on them, but budget options also appeared. Inexpensive trains and steamships departed from individual stations and piers, and the functionality and service in the budget segment was more modest. But even a ticket for the cheapest train or ship was happiness for a European, because he finally got the opportunity to move not from city to city, covering a distance of 10-20 kilometers, but from one country to another, located thousands of kilometers from each other.
Horse-drawn transport in the form of carriages and wagons did not lose its popularity, but its speed was much lower, and the level of comfort could not be compared even with a third-class train. Air transport at that time had not yet captured the whole world, and the first passenger flight took place only in 1910, between Düsseldorf and Friedrichshafen.
What were the dangers of traveling?
Even now, many travelers worry that there may be an accident or other unpleasant difficulty in flying or moving between destinations, although modern planes and trains are considered the two safest modes of transport in the world. And 150 years ago, when the technology was imperfect, the fear was quite justified: the steamer could sink, the plane could fall, and the trains were often captured by bandits to rob rich travelers. Robbers were waiting for both horse-drawn travelers and their passengers in the carriage. Long journeys were considered such a risky and dangerous plan among Europeans that the family of a traveler who did not return 2 years after the beginning of the trip was considered orphaned, and the spouse received the right to find a new partner.
Although the railways were laid between the countries and the sea was secured, international law was at the nascent stage - a foreigner in the host country had practically no rights and guarantees of his security. For example, in France , there was a law according to which all the things in the possession of a traveler, in the event of his death, would be confiscated for the benefit of the French crown. The heirs of the deceased traveler did not get any of his belongings.
When the issue of the rights of travelers was settled, a new, more serious fear appeared before travelers: there were frequent cases when boiler houses in trains exploded from overheating and transport derailed. Sometimes the train schedule was poorly coordinated and two trains could collide with each other at full speed, which almost always led to human casualties. Water transport was not considered safer, because it sank no less often than trains exploded or collided. In 1852, there was a fire on the wooden steamer "Amazon", which killed 93 people. About the death of the legendary "Titanic", which claimed the lives of more than 1500 passengers, and it is not worth talking.
Why did Europeans go on long journeys?
Over the years, the goals of travelers who decided to spend their time living in other countries have not changed much, and the most popular routes are still relevant today. "Mandatory" places to visit were France, Italy, Great Britain (namely London), Spain.
Over time, such travels became accessible not only to close kings and emperors of the nobility, but also to wealthy merchants and artisans.
Also, Europeans often visited other countries for treatment and improvement of health. People suffering from bronchial diseases traveled to Switzerland or the Caucasus, where they could try to cure a serious illness. The local air helped to purify the lungs, and the atmosphere of calm prevailing in these places raised the mood and the belief that it was quite possible to get rid of tuberculosis and other diseases.