Let’s go back in time for another Armchair Traveler journey. But not too far back …Let’s explore Europe, late 19th ~ early 20th century. And let’s narrow it down to royalty during this era. A marvelous book for just such a tour is “The Last Courts of Europe ~ A Royal Family Album 1860 – 1914.” Picture research and descriptions by Jeffrey Finestone.
The books’ well-written introduction by Robert K. Massie sets the scene for the reader. Each county or area has a very good overview of the monarchy plus fabulous photos, ranging from state funerals and family gatherings at marriages to candid shots. The books genealogical tables are interesting to note how all of the families were related.
The closing section, titled The Eleventh Hour, relates how many of the monarchies would not survive WWI. The age of royal pomp and splendor would end, tragically for some, but we can marvel at their unique world via beautiful photos and books.
Leafing through the book will transport you to another time and place. At the same time, it might awaken a desire to explore a particular country further. The internet is your starting point … pick a country or a royal family and explore. You may end up planning your next vacation.
As a start, here are my three favorite palaces in Europe. Each has a terrific web presence so that you can easily spend hours exploring … perhaps with a glass of wine from that country or a special dessert.
France ~ Versailles (a must visit!!)
Austria ~ Vienna ~ Schoenbrunn (a delight)
Should you journey to Vienna, definitely plan to visit Demel – the atmosphere and the desserts (think Sachertorte) are incredible
Sweden ~ Stockholm area (take the boat ~ beautiful palace)
Savor your journeys… real, imagined or virtual, near or far
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things ~ Henry Miller