Jose Rizal in Singapore to Colombo
Jose Rizal departed from Singapore on board of the ship Dyemnah, a French streamer, on May 11. Majority of the passengers were French-speaking. He tried to converse in French using what he learned from Ateneo but to his dismay he was not understood. He spoke instead mixed Spanish-latin supplemented with gestures and sketching on paper. By talking to them daily, he gradually improve his knowledge of French language.
On May 17, they arrived at Point Galle, a seacoast town in southern Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He described the place as quiet, lonely and sad.
After a day of stay, the ship continued its voyage towards Colombo, the capital of Ceylon. He was impressed of its scenic beauty and elegant buildings. It was more beautiful and elegant that Singapore, Point Galle, and Manila as he compared.
Passing Through Suez Canal
The Dyemnah continued crossing the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Guardafui, Africa. When he sighted the barren coast of Africa, he called it “inhospitable land but famous”.
In Aden, Jose Rizal went ashore, it was hotter than Manila but what attracted him most were the camels, for it was his first time to see them. Then they went to the city of Suez, the red sea terminal of the Suez Canal. It took them five days to traverse the Suez Canal. It was again his first time traversing through the canal, which was constructed by Ferdinand de Lesseps (French diplomat-engineer) and inaugurated on November 17, 1869. They also had a stop over at Port Said, the Mediterranean terminal of the Suez Canal. He was fascinated to hear the multi-racial speaking inhabitants.
On June 11, Jose Rizal reached Naples, an Italian City, where the castle Mount Vosuving of St. Telmo is located. On the night of June 12, the streamer docked at French harbor of Marcilles. He stayed at the place for two and a half days. He visited the chateau d’If where Dantes, character of his favorite novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ was imprisoned.
He resumed his travel by train on June 15 and arrived on June 16, 1882 in Barcelona, Spain.
Jose Rizal was not impressed to Barcelona, the greatest City of Barcelona, second largest city of Spain. At first, he considered the place dirty, ugly an inhospitable residents. He happened to stay at a dingy inn situated in the towns most unfavorable side. Later, he changes his bad impression and came to like the city. It was a city with an atmosphere of liberalism and freedom, and its people were openhearted, hospitable, and courageous. He loved visiting Las Ramblas, the famous street in Barcelona. He was welcome by friends with a party at their favorite café in Plaza de Cataluna.
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