A Month's Voyage to Cuba and Mexico.
|Leave New York by Ward Line steamer via Nassau, for Santiago de Cuba, a voyage of nine days.
|Arrive Nassau, New Providence, Bahama Islands, one of the most popular West India winter resorts, with magnificent hotels, drives and the best of sea bathing.
|Arrive Santiago de Cuba, the oldest city in the West Indies, having been founded by Velasquez in 1514. The principal interest, however, is centered in the harbor, of which the entrance is only six hundred yards wide, flanked by frowning precipices crowned with forts, which protected the Spanish Admiral Cervera from Admiral Sampson's blockading fleet. Across this entrance Lieutenant Hobson performed the heroic act of sinking the "Merrimac," but brave Cervera refused to be shut in, and, like a true sailor, came out to fight and to meet certain defeat. Back of the city is San Juan Hill, scene of the only field fight of consequence in the Spanish- American war of 1898.
|Leave Santiago by rail for Havana, a distance of 540 miles (time, twenty-five hours). This journey will give the traveler a good idea of one of the most fertile countries in the world, the line passing through forests of mahogany, cedar, lignum-vitae, ebony and other hardwood trees. The parana and guinea grasses, covering most of the open spaces and standing from six to twelve feet high, testify to the wonderful fertility of the soil.
|At Havana, the Paris of the West Indies, and, thanks to American enterprise in recent scien- tific sanitary work, now one of the healthiest " cities in the world. In the Cathedral once reposed the remains of Columbus. The streets, shops and theaters are thronged with a cosmopolitan populace. The harbor is of special interest to Americans as being the scene of the blowing up of the U.S. battleship "Maine," early in 1898.
|Leave Havana by steamer for Vera Cruz, stopping at Progreso en route.
|Arrive Progreso, Yucatan. The steamer stops here from six to twenty-four hours, according to the amount of cargo to be landed or taken on. If the detention approaches a whole day ( and it sometimes does), the traveler has time to take rail to the capital, Merida, twenty-six miles distant, and see something of the Mayan ruins.
|Arrive at Vera Cruz, Mexico, the "city of the true cross," the first Spanish city in America, founded by Cortez, and now a thriving commercial city of 30,000 inhabitants.
|Leave Vera Cruz for the City of Mexico by the Mexican Railroad, via Orizaba and Cordoba (distance 339 miles, time fourteen hours). This is one of the finest railroad rides in the world, ascending a grade of over 7,000 feet to the Mexican Plateau and affording magnificent mountain views, the line passing within a few miles of Mount Orizaba.
|In the City of Mexico, one of the most magnifi- cently situated cities in the world, at an altitude of 7,350 feet above sea-level. Population, 370,- 000. From the towers of the Cathedral nearly 200 feet high, a grand view of the valley is enjoyed, including the snow-capped peaks of the extinct volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl. The Cathedral is one of the noblest and most sumptuously decorated of the churches on this continent. Other sights are the Castle of Chapultepec, Guadalupe, the Floating Gardens, etc. A two days' excursion should be taken by rail to Cortez's old summer palace at Cuernavaca, one of the most delightful spots in the country.
|Leave Mexico City for Pueblo, 129 miles, six hours by rail.
|Pueblo, founded in 1531 by the Spaniards, to-day ranks fourth city in the republic, with a population of about 40,000, although still preserving many of its old Spanish characteristics. The Cathedral is richly adorned with onyx, and has many fine paintings. About six miles out by tram is the famous pyramid of Cholula. On the summit is a church, dedicated to the Virgin. The view includes Popocatepetl (17,780 feet), Ixtaccihuatl (16,060 feet) and Orizaba (18,314 feet) . Travelers wishing to visit the interesting ruins of Mitla proceed to the ancient city of Oaxaca, twelve hours by rail, thence five hours by stage. At least four days should be allowed for the trip. This will, of course, shorten the stay in the City of Mexico.
|Leave Pueblo by morning train for Vera Cruz, via Oriental and Jalapa. The women of Jalapa are notable for their beauty.
|Leave Vera Cruz for New York by steamer, via Progreso and Havana
|Arrive New York. Travelers not pressed for time would do well to stop over at Havana for two or three days and take one of the large local Ward Line boards from Havana to New York.