European Journal of Charles K. Landis
Founder of Vineland
Matzen Castle, August 20, 1874.
Cloudy weather. No letters for me in the mail. Fear that they neglect to send my mail from London. At breakfast we planned a trip to Innspruck and the Dolamite mountains. From the flowing description of Mrs. Grohman, I dubbed them the beautiful mountains and their valley the delectable valley. We have pleasant talks at meal times, with the almost poetical cigarettes. Went with Mrs. Grohman where the men were at work, as she had orders to give them. Whilst there, a poor, mean, common little dog came up, that Mrs. Grohman used to own, but gave him away when a pup. She said some caressing words to him, when he was delighted, but when she told him to go home he went down on his back and stuck up all four legs in the most abject humiliation. This she could not withstand, and allowed him to stay. We all then prepared for our trip. I went over to the baths and took a delightful bath. Returned, wrote to my sister and Clive. Gave him a long description of Matzen. After another most agreeable dinner, we took the cars for Innspruck. Mrs. Grohman, William Baillie Grohman and myself. After the ride of an hour and a half along the Inn and past many high mountains covered with clouds, we arrived at Innspruck. At the R. R. station we had coffee. Grohman kindly volunteered to get some money changed, and as time was short, Mrs. Grohman and myself did the town whilst he got a hotel and attended to the finances. We went to the old church and saw the tomb of Maximillian and the old statues around it. Life size bronzes of old dukes and duchesses. Only two were handsome men. The rest were ugly, but no doubt true to nature. Placed here in the fifteenth century. We saw the tomb of the beautiful Philippa, and her statue lying upon it. This resembles her picture in face. Her hand is also well formed, showing that she was as beautiful in person as in face. She died at 50 years of age, in 1580, beloved of all people for her goodness. She was only a merchant's daughter, but the Duke Ferdinand, Lord of the Tyrol, was passing through to Augsberg, and fell in love with her. After many difficulties he married her and tho not of noble blood, she afterwards proved the noblest woman of the house. Went to photographer's and bought her picture. Also one of Matzen and of Krofsberg, which I was glad to get. Wanted Mrs. Grohman to accept a beautiful picture of the Countess Philippa, handsomely framed, but she refused. We then crossed the river and ascended the side of a mountain to an old Chateay, where a fine view was to be obtained. She knows all the beautiful spots. When we got to her seat, as she calls it, we had a glorious view of Innspruck, the River Inn, the mountains, eight or nine thousand feet high, the old churches and convents, and the palace of the lovely Countess Philippona. Whilst gazing upon these beautiful scenes in the quiet of the evening, we talked over some of our experiences in life, and she told me of a dreadful misfortune she had suffered, and which had produced a stroke of paralysis. Thoughts of her children revived her, and yet the misfortune she mentioned, like a dark shadow still exists. Who would have expected this, from her bright and happy face? One striking thing about it was that she decided to combat it, not only by devoting herself to her children, but the pursuit of knowledge. This indicates a heroic soul and accounts for her fund of information. May it not be that Providence, out of fire and ashes, helps make jewels?
In returning, we again walked over the town, and to the hotel, where we had supper. Mrs. Grohman here introduced me to the Baron and Baroness Harsdot. We went to our room and talked until lOj4 o'clock to prepare for the morning start to the beautiful mountains.
August 21, 1874. Innspruck.
Rose early. Found that Mrs. Grohman, who occupied the next room to myself and Grohman, was up, as she called out to her son. I proposed a little walk, to which she obligingly acceded. We went into the town again, and here I bought another picture of the Countess Philippina. Mrs. Grohman bought some nice fruit. She gave me no chance to buy anything. Saw some old buildings, and made a hasty return to our hotel, where we found a substantial breakfast waiting. After breakfast, we went to the R. R. depot, where we again met the Baron. He stuck to Mrs. Grohman during the whole time her son was attending to the baggage. This lady, on account of her beauty and attractive manners, must have an immense number of votaries. She has an art of making people feel happy with themselves. We all bid the Baron good-bye, and took the cars for the Dolomite mountains, away off beyond the Brenner pass and upon the road to Corenthia. The scenery was of all kinds, wild, beautiful, picturesque, passing snow-covered mountains, green valleys, little towns with old castles and churches. At Zuen Brenner Bad, we got out and walked down a steep declivity, until the train should catch us, which made many detours on account of the grade. We took the train and were soon over the famous Brenner pass, where the water divides and flows into the Mediterranean. Dined at Franzenfeste. Changed cars there on the road to Corenthia. On this road we passed several beautiful towns and castles. At the town of Brunnecken, Mrs. Grohman pointed out a large square white house, well situated in the village and commanding a view of the mountains which she was offered for 50 pounds, or $250, only. Also to an old castle where there was to be a sale the other day, but no one bought anything, and there was no sale, for want of bidders. At Weiderdorf we left the cars to take post. We got some refreshments at this place. Young Grohman, who had telegraphed ahead, secured the only carriage, much to the disappointment of some English people. All the girls, and everyone else, appear to be glad to see young Grohman. Here he is a hero, being a great climber of the highest and most dangerous peaks. From the Railroad we soon passed to the valley of Ampezzo, which was altogether upon the order of the terrible and sublime. The Dolomites were now in full view, over 10,000 feet high, and running up into high peaks and serrated ridges. The sun bathed them in colors of red, violet and ash, and then the^ moon rose, tipping their tops with silver. We got to the hotel and found it very full. But here again young Grohman's influence was all powerful. His mother was offered the only available room. It was arranged by her that she should have another room, and in this way young Grohman and myself found quarters together. She seems to be able to manage well in traveling. The house was filled with German tourists. In Germany, men smoke in the dining room and everywhere; whilst some where drinking beer and smoking, others were taking supper. We had a very good supper. A young lady was in the room who had a sprained foot. The landlord rubbed it in presence of all the people, with a cure liniment. "Heni sir qui mal y pense." Mrs. Grohman prepared bandages. Young Grohman came in and informed us that he had arranged with a guide to climb one of the highest mountains the next morning. I was much afraid that the fear of danger would destroy all the pleasure of her trip, but she remarked that while she knew it was dangerous, she did not consider it so much so as London. About night, we all returned a little after ten. At the village of Schluderback took some grains from an ear of Indian corn which was hanging at the foot of a Christ as a votive offering, which I will take to Vineland and have planted. We are now very near the boundary of Italy. We see notices in Italian at the Inns. Mrs. Grohman has remarked the contrast in names. The town on the German side in Schluderback (dreadful) and on the Italian side the solftly sounding name of Cortina. Schluderback, at the foot of the Dolomite Alps.
August 22, 1874.
Breakfasted with Mrs. Grohman. We decided to take a carriage and drive through the Alps, by the carriage road of Cortina and the pass of Ampezzo, in Italy. We had a magnificient drive and in this way had a full view of the mountains. People were mowing grass on the way. As we neared Italy we saw wheat, not ripe. It was interesting to notice the change from the German to Italian. Arrived at San Vita at 1 o'clock. Dined and went into two old churches. The place is not much. One of the churches is old. Left San Vito, Italy, at 3 o'clock. Stopped at Cortina and ascended the tower and went into the old church. This is a small place. Left in half an hour and returned to our hotel at Schluderbach. Had supper. Some Bohemian musicians and singers were playing. Mrs. Grohman, during the day, enjoyed her drive very much; but by night was fatigued. Grohman was at the hotel, much to my joy, as I thought there was danger on account of his being out of practice. He ascended the Peak Dreizennen. All retired early, lO 1/2 o'clock. Saw a woman hauling load of hay on a hand car, with a man on top of it, being hauled by the woman. Thought that a good horse-whip would be a valuable medicine for him. One sad thing about this country is to see how the women have to work. It must be contrary to nature and prevent their having the necessary strength to bear healthy children. Many of the people around this country are very inferior looking, much to my surprise. This may account for it.