February 26, 2011

Grand Tour

Sophia asked me what "Grand Tour" meant. Frankly I really have no idea about it. Here is what I have found on the Internet.

In Google dictionary, it's a visit to the main cities of Europe made by rich young British or American people as part of their education "in the past".

According Wikipedia, the Grand Tour was the traditional travel of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some American and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden, and Thomas Cook made the "Cook's Tour" a byword.

Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised to see modern people use this term to describe their tours undertaken in Europe. I have seen some travel bloggers use it in their blogs.

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