Burton was the first English Christian to enter Mecca and the first European to travel between the holy cities of Islam by the Eastern route. Having travelled from Cairo via Yanbu, Burton reached Medina on 25 July 1853. He remained there for over a month, devoting a whole volume to a description of the city and of the religious rituals in which he took part. On 11 September he reached Mecca where he performed all the rituals of the Hajj. He was deeply moved by the great sermon which concludes the Pilgrimage. ''I have seen'' he wrote ''religious ceremonies of many lands, but never - nowhere aught so solemn, so impressive as this spectacle''.
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