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Chapter 1
Travel arrangements : Departure from Munich via Vienna to Trieste

America, this new part of the world unknown until only a few centuries ago, has been, from the time of its discovery, the object of European admiration and predilection. It is in a happy situation where the fertility and richness of its soil attracts both settlers and traders, as well as scientific researchers. It was quickly populated and thus the new land was developed, through the active trade with the motherland and thanks to the work of the sages, who went on long journeys seeking to know it. Brave were the efforts of many hard-working early explorers, especially in the last decade, when North and South America became known, more than many of the other parts of the world, except Europe.

However, despite the great advances in the knowledge of this part of the world, America still offers a vast field to the enterprising spirit of research, in order to extend, with the discoveries, the circle of the human science. More than any other nation in South America, Brazil, is the most beautiful and richest, and although it is the heart of this new continent, it is, however, sparsely populated and little-known.

His Majesty, the King of Bavaria, a distinguished patron of science, convinced of the advantages a more intimate exploration would bring to America and, above all, to humanity, in 1815 transmitted to the Academy of Sciences in Munich an order to arrange for a scientific trip to the interior of South America. Among those chosen for the trip, we find both Dr. Spix the professor for zoology and Dr. Martius the professor for botany. It was then the plan to go from Buenos Aires to Chile, land north, travel to Quito, and through Caracas or Mexico, then return to Europe.

With obstacles to overcome, however, the royal government was forced to postpone the expedition for some time. Shortly after, His Bavarian Majesty repeated his desire to undertake