Land of Marvels
A little more than half a century ago, there lived a man called Richard Halliburton, a man who lived his dreams. When he was a child he promised himself that one day he would travel the world, and when he became a man, he did.
He went to see awesome waterfalls, mountains, rivers, statues, castles, cathedrals, temples, cities, and other amazing sights around the world. His life was one of adventure. He climbed the Matterhorn, the beautiful volcanic Mt. Popo in Mexico, the rock of Gibraltar, and the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral. He swam the Panama Canal, witnessed the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to the ‘ornament and honor of France,’ Reims Cathedral, the place in which Joan of Arc witnessed the crowning of Charles VII.
He not only dived 70 feet into the Well of Death in Mexico to see what it was like to be a sacrifice, but he dived into it twice! He went to Christophe’s Castle in Haiti, the Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, (see picture above) and Carcassone, the French city of romance. He crossed the Alps on an elephant to see how Hannibal must have felt on his way to attack Rome, and he went to see the ancient Parthenon in Greece. He visited the ruins of Pompeii, under the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, and he explored the unearthly fairy caverns of the Blue Grotto. He traveled to many other places also that I do not have the time to mention, but the places I have mentioned are only a few.
In 1937, he published his adventures in a book called the Occident, or the Book of Marvels. Occident means west, because the places he spoke of in the book were the places he had been to on the western side of the world. I read it this year, and his glowing description of the world’s wonders was truly breath-taking.
But he did more than that. The Occident was only half of his travels. He wrote another book called the Orient. Orient means east, because this book covered his adventures on the other side of the world, the oriental side. Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to read it, but I am sure it is worth reading! I recommend both of them!