Sir Herbert Baker's travel blog

A watercolour montage of images from Sir Herberts journey from India back home

This watercolour charts Sir Herbert Baker's journey back home, with each picture highlighting some part of his travel

The start of the journey begins with the iconic Taj Mahal, at Agra, near New Delhi in India. Overhead you can see the magnificent peacocks - the national bird of India - who symbolise grace, joy, beauty, and love. From here he travelled along The Ridge, part of the fertile Avarilli Range, illustrating the tents in the camp and the elephant transport. Upon reaching the ancient city of Nashik, you can see Sir Herbert's fascination with the use of oxen to haul water from the well and the women carrying the water on their heads back home. 


Leaving India

The last stop in India was Bombay (now called Mumbai), whose port was originally built on seven islands. From here he sailed across the Arabian Sea, arriving at Aden, a port city in the Yemen. Behind the city you can see the first of three volcanoes that Sir Herbert encountered. Afterwards, he journeyed up the Red Sea, past Mount Sinai and onto the Suez canal where you can see them dredging the canal. In Egypt, you can see the iconic Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx in Cairo, with camels alongside. 



Sailing across the Mediterranean, past Crete and then onto Sicily, you can see Mt. Etna with a small cloud of smoke.  At Messina, you can see the Greek mythological sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis. They were believed to live on opposite sides of the straight meaning sailors had to choose between two dangers, either of which could bring them harm. Upon leaving Sicily, you can see another volcano, Mt. Stromboli, spewing out smoke. 
Passing Corsica, the next stop was Marseille in France where you can see an illustration of the Transporter Bridge, which was built in 1905 and destroyed in 1944. Afterwards he journeyed to Paris, where you can see the Sacré-Cœr and the Iéna bridge. Overhead you can see an early form of flight, the airship, which were soon to be used during the war for aerial warfare.


Homeward bound

After crossing the English Channel, the white cliffs of Dover stand proud, with a line of railway wagons waiting to be loaded onto a ship. On arrival in London you can see Nelson’s column and St Paul’s cathedral, flanked by an equestrian statue of Wellington. On his way back to his wife and children, Sir Herbert stopped at Owletts to visit his mother and then back home to Nurstead.