“Across Europe in a Vauxhall”
ANY mention at present of the Monte Carlo Rally is not at all inappropriate since that popular winter -event is due to come off in a few weeks’ time. Therefore, it is topical to deal -with a little publication of the above title which has been issued recently by C. C. Wakefield & Co., Ltd.
The author is Colonel P. T. Etherton -who as a world traveller is well-known, and his booklet forms a particularly lucid and bright account of his experi.ences en route from John o’Groat,s to Monte Carlo on the last Rally, and his return journey to Calais by a wide itinerary. Some of the incidents which befell .him when he reached Continental soil are particularly amusing, enlightening and quaint, as for example, the following :— ” . . . when motoring through Austria .and the lovely Tyrol, I came one night to .an old inn with great vaulted archways. It was cosy, and Lucullus could not have
given me a better dinner ; but there was no garage, and so I asked the genial landlord what we were going to do about it.
Bring it into my backyard, drive it through the front doorway,’ he said.. At first I thought he was joking, for I could see no other entrance except the massive doorway leading into the inn. “that’s all right,’ said the host, we will move the furniture in the smoking-room and the dining hall, and you can drive straight through.’ And so I did.” Then there is this, which should fill even the most hardened ” See-EnglandFirst ” advocate with a wanderlust” . . . on the way from Beziers to Carcassonne you are near the foothills of the Pyrenees, with their background of peaks. So you come to the fairy-tale city of Carcassonne, which has stood for fifteen centuries on its commanding hilltop. The Visigoths fortified this strategic point in the fifth century, for it commands half a dozen Pyrenean passes. It is said to be the most picturesque and perfect example of a medieval fortress ; with its
two encircling walls, numerous massive towers and battlements, it was considered so impregnable that it remained unbesieged for centuries at a time.
“Beyond Carcassonne are the gorges of the River Tarn. Here the road hangs on to the diffside, with tunnels hewn through the solid rock, and crags and precipices overhanging the track for almost its entire length of about one hundred miles. No words could adequately describe the beauty and charm of this paradise, where the motorist can enjoy a holiday at a cost that is a model in reckonings.”
But besides describing the innumerable places which are to be found in midEurope of historical interest and scenic worth, Colonel Etherton has much to say in the way of advice for newcomers to Continental touring, and for that reason alone it is well worth reading. Copies of his booklet can be obtained free upon application to C. C. Wakefield & Co., Ltd., Wakefield House, Cheapside, London, E.C.2.