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The most riotously un-PC travel guides ever!
The informed, detailed, authoritative and
unguardedly rude Baedekers

Daily Mail [UK], by Laura Freeman

Original Article

Posted By:Attercliffe, 8/24/2014 10:02:08 PM

An Englishman on holiday in Spain a century ago found a country with little to recommend it. Waking up on the first morning and consulting his guide book, he would have read the following description: ‘Spain is a bleak and often arid land, with few traces of picturesqueness.’ The towns, the guide continues, are wreathed in tobacco smoke and the cafes are ‘very deficient in comfort and cleanliness’. [Snip] In the Spanish countryside there is great danger of highway robbery, while in the cities the police will arrest anyone they can lay their hands on. The railway carriages and omnibuses are

Comments:
And I don´t believe things have changed that much, lol!

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: Shells, 8/24/2014 10:21:13 PM     (No. 9979457)

I´d pay a lot for copies of those guides.

A precursor to Bill Bryson.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: tomanderson61, 8/24/2014 10:24:18 PM     (No. 9979461)

The truth is, a lot of things HAVE NOT changed!

A good friend of mine is an avid traveler; he´ll go to places I would pay NOT go to just to do it. He is very un-PC, but is not a liar no prone to exaggeration. He said straight-faced that it is very hard to believe that they Egyptians built the pyramids, they are amazingly ignorant. There are a lot of escalators in the downtown Cairo district--almost none of the ones going up actually work.

My niece spent one year of her college as an exchange student in a large city in China. She was shocked to find out that the school, and the dorms, did not have heat. Did not exist. The kids wore parkas to school, stayed in them during class, and were in blankets to study. While she found it very interesting, it was extremely uncomfortable. Getting food had to be timed to when it was available, several times her timing was off, and she missed her dinner. There is no going out to get a bite anywhere around. Her boyfriend got a stomach parasite, saw a whole bunch of doctors and was prescribed a bunch of medicines, and only got better when he got back to the USA.

This was just a few years ago--I tire of the BS of US to China ex-pats claiming that these are all "stories" and that living in China is great.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: oh-heck, 8/25/2014 12:27:11 AM     (No. 9979536)

I used Baedeker guides to plan trips in Germany, France, Spain, and Benelux. I particularly liked the full size maps that showed scenic or historic attractions. I found many great places that were not in the immediate vicinity of a city.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Aria, 8/25/2014 1:20:44 AM     (No. 9979567)

I got sick in the middle of Africa. My advice, don´t do it! If not for the shocking find of a Dr from John Hopkins, after a frightening experience with a couple of locals, I´d have been in real trouble. I tried to pay the good Dr and he refused - his only request was "pray for us".

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Reply 5 - Posted by: jj1319, 8/25/2014 2:18:57 AM     (No. 9979584)

This reminds me of an exquisitely funny column by Marl Steyn. This was probably 15 years ago, or more, and was in his regular "Culture Vultures" column in TAS.

His English lodging facility offered rooms, either continental, or with a view. When inquiring about what he could expect to see from a room with a view, the hostess replied, "Why, the Continent, of course." (I hope my memory is correct). Good stuff.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: StormCnter, 8/25/2014 6:49:11 AM     (No. 9979648)

In Mexico, a woman stood outside the door of the restrooms at one of the Mayan sites. She was holding squares of toilet paper, available for a couple of pesos per square. That´s because there was no toilet paper inside.

In China, before the government became accustomed to tourists, my daughter and her college group found very quickly that every bit of a chicken or hog is cooked. Nothing is wasted. After two weeks of eating unidentifiable food, the kids requested only rice for the last two days.

In Wales, I found a very grumpy hotel attendant at the place my Fodor guide had specified was where to buy the tiny bottles of perfume made from wildflowers at a monastery on an island just off the coast. The woman never stopped frowning as she unlocked the case in the lobby and took my money. I think some establishments just get very tired of tourists and I can sympathize.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Doctor P, 8/25/2014 7:27:05 AM     (No. 9979678)

In the series, Don´t Panic is a phrase on the cover of The Hitchhiker´s Guide to the Galaxy.

The novel explains that this was partly because the device "looked insanely complicated" to operate, and partly to keep intergalactic travellers from panicking.

"It is said that despite its many glaring (and occasionally fatal) inaccuracies, the Hitchhiker´s Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words "DON´T PANIC" in large, friendly letters on the cover."

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