Women On Adventure is a blog by K.L. Webber exploring our rich shared history of women's adventure writing. This curated collection of quotations showcases the opinions and experiences of influential female travellers in their own words.

"We drank to my safe return to my country, in real old Cyprian wine."

We drank to my safe return to my country, in real old Cyprian wine.  Shall I ever see it again?  I hope so, if my journey progresses as favourably as it has begun.  But Syria is a bad country, and the climate is difficult to bear; yet with courage and perseverance for my companions, I may look forward to the accomplishment of my task.  The good doctor seemed much annoyed that he had nothing to offer me but Cyprian wine and a few German biscuits.  At this early season fruit is not to be had, and cherries do not flourish here because the climate is too hot for them.  In Smyrna I ate the last for this year.  When I re-embarked in the afternoon, Mr. Bartlett came with the English consul, who wished, he said, to make the acquaintance of a lady possessing sufficient courage to undertake so long and perilous a journey by herself.  His astonishment increased when he was informed that I was an unpretending native of Vienna.  The consul was kind enough to offer me the use of his house if I returned by way of Cyprus; he also inquired if he could give me some letters of recommendation to the Syrian consuls.  I was touched by this hearty politeness on the part of a perfect stranger—an Englishman moreover, a race on whom we are accustomed to look as cold and exclusive!

Ida Pfeiffer

Rhodes, Greece, 1842

Source: Ida Pfeiffer, Henry William Dulcken, trans., A Visit to the Holy Land, Egypt and Italy, Ingram Cooke & Co., 1852 

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"You know that he hates you, from the moment you first walk round him..."

"You will not wonder at my desperation when I tell you that half-way down, a person called to me, “Mauna Loa is in action!”"