PLACES TO SEE IN BRITAIN And Not-so-well-known Parts of Europe BY EXPLORATOI:
"Explorator " might quite justifiably be charged with unwarrantable neglect of England as a holiday ground in this column, and his only excuse is the interest shown in foreign resorts by his correspondents. But he would be the last to forget that holidays in England have many advantages that foreign lands cannot claim. Time wasted in travel is reduced to a minimum. Travel fares, too, are much tower-a very important item in the holiday budget.
There is no language problem and our unpopular climate is at least equable, and we are not likely to sutler from Arctic cold or torrid heat!
English Shrines There are, too, a number of places of definite Catholic interest. We have our own pilgrimages, after all, a fact all too often overlooked. There is Walsingham, whither more and more Catholics are flocking. There is Holywell, situated amongst glorious Welsh hills and within easy touch of Snowdonia and the coast. There is Carfin, not inaptly called the Scottish Lourdes.
Buckfast, of course, has long since been a star attraction for Catholic and nonCatholic visitors alike to Devonshire. Fort Augustus must, however, take the palm from the point of view of the glory of its surroundings.
The Benedictine Genius Other abbeys that well repay a visit include Caldey, Quarr, Farnborough and Belmont. (The Benedictines, somehow, have a genius for finding the world's loveliest spots for their retreats-ohl the memories , of Solesmes, Monte Cassino, Melk, Beuron, Maria Laach and Einsiedeln!) In fact, a holiday tour at home of places of Catholic interest, if carefully planned,
will bring the pilgrim-tourist to some of Britain's most glorious scenery and will
keep him in touch with the great debt that we all owe to the religious orders.
Less-Frequented Places Another attempt to remain true to the original idea of a travel column dealing with places that are different. Any paper, after all, will tell you of Rome, Paris and Berlin, of the dazzling Riviera sunshine or the joys of the Belgian coast. But don't forget that there are still some quite accessible places that are not. spoilt or over-run and are, notwithstanding, quite comfortable and up-to-dale provided Ritz standards are not expected.
Take the Baltic countries, for instance. Many people don't even know where or what they are. I am often asked whether they are inhabited by Russians or Germans. Yet, curiously enough, Lithuania, Latvia and Esthonia are inhabited by Lithuanians, Latvians and Esthortians, and very delightful races they are, too.
Lithuania Lithuania has a host of delightful (and
very cheap) seaside resorts. If you like vast forests, the keenest of sea air, endless clean sand, safe bathing and informality, they are yours at Palanga in old Lithuania or Nidden, Schwarzort and other resorts on the Kurische Nehrung, a long tongue of land stretching out from East Prussia into Lithuania.
Latvia has the same lovely seaside resorts. I know of a hotel with good food, hot and cold water in the bedrooms, and situated on the sea-shore, about ten miles from Liepaja, Latvia's second port, where you can live for 3s. 6d. a day (yes, it's quite true-l'm not having you on!) Riga, the capital, is a fine modern city, spotlessly clean and with great charm of its own. The nearby Riga Riviera caters for all tastes, and there are any amount of delightful resorts inland, too, such as Sie,ulda and Kemeri, all easily reached from Riga.