National Geographic : 1925 Mar
304 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE rhotograph courtesy Lignes "\eriennes Latecoere THE CATHEDRAL AT STRASBOURG PRESENTS AN IMPOSING VIEW FRO~1 THE AIR Among the articles of commerce which are sufficiently valuable to be transported by airplane express is pate de foie gras, for which Strasbourg is famous. This delicacy is shipped to Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and Bucharest by aircraft. rationally conducted in this hodgepodge of states jostling each other between the Black Sea and western Europe. Curren- cies that before the \Vorld War were counted in digits now have meaning only in multiples of thousands. Relative values painstakingly learned to-day may become obsolete overnight. To this welter of ex- change must also be added the confusion of a score of languages, a constant source of irritation and friction. * Small wonder, I mused, as our plane sped southward and the glitter of Buda- pest was dimmed by the haze on the ho- rizon behind us, that this corridor be- tween the Carpathians and the Alps should be the source of so much smolder- ing hatred and dispute. There is, too, an even deeper antago- nism here, for this is the meeting place of East and West, of indolence and secret privilege, with enterprise and aggressive- ness. As the :l\1oravian Hills are the * See, also, "The Dattle-Line of Languages in Western Europe," by A. L. Guerard. in THE GEOGRAPHIC for February, 1923. watershed dividing the streams that flow westward from those leading to the Black Sea, so somewhere across this broad Danube corridor lies an invisible, in- tangible demarcation between the domi- nance of Eastern and \Vestern ideals. A TURBULENT PASSr\GI~ THROUGH A STORl\1 A sudden severe jolting of the plane, followed by a painfully familiar sinking sensation, forced my attention to the fact that we were rapidly approaching a big rain squall. For some time the pilot had been gradually reducing his altitude and. as we passed beneath the cloud rim, the level floor of the Hungarian plain lay but a few hundred feet below us, softened in the deep shadow of the storm. Fortu- nately, the squall was traveling our way and raced us along at 120 miles an hour. But the turbulent air was full of "pockets" and "bumps," and caused me to wonder after a time if my hasty investment at the Budapest lunch counter had been perhaps ill-advised.