Time Essay: Are Vacations Really Necessary?

When Rome fell, vacations and the tourist trade went into a slump that lasted in Western Europe for a thousand years. The medieval traveler making his way from one feudal barony to another navigated in hostile passages, always uncertain of refuge, as if a gargoyle Karl Maiden flapped after him, haunting him with visions of disaster. Some people setting off on vacation this season must believe that they have now arrived at a 20th century equivalent: a late Sunday afternoon on the American open road, the long procession of gas stations relentlessly shut...

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