European Journal of Charles K. Landis
Founder of Vineland
Tyrol, Sept. 11, 1874.
Rose early. Called Grohman. Read Macaulay's comic dramatists of the restoration. Breakfasted with Grohman. The hotel we are stopping at is the same as when we visited Schwarz with Mrs. Grohman. After breakfast, we climbed an eminence to the castle and church of Freundsbergh. The situation was high above Schwarz, commanding a magnificent view of the surrounding country. The castle is now owned by the people of the town. There is an old church chapel and tower. The tower is about all that is left of the ancient castle. It is in charge of a peasant. On the register, I read the name of Sir Walter Scott. This was the last journey he ever made. He went home to die. It was fortunate that he saw the grand scenery of the Tyrolese Alps at the end of his life, otherwise he could never have felt the same enthusiasm about Scotch scenery. When we descended the hill, we visited the place of a dealer in second-hand articles. Grohman found several old things that he bought, and some old furniture that he intends to bring Mrs. Grohman to see. I found a beautiful pair of old candlesticks, upon chamois horns and eagle claws, which I bought. Afterwards left the hotel and walked to Vomperbach, a little inn mill upon a stream in the mountains. About 1^2 hours walk. The river and scenery around are very picturesque. There is an old smithy and mill at the place. Grohman and I went rummaging around for old things. He found an old iron lock for Matzen, and I found an old iron lamp, hundreds of years old. Dined, and then ascended the mountains with Grohman, about 1000 feet to a level plateau. Here the chapel and peasant's house were located, which contained the old pictures he was after. I left Grohman to proceed upon his business alone, and after remaining in the mountains a while, enjoying the fine views, returned to the inn and played with the baby of one of the peasant women at the inn. A fine chubby infant of 18 months, and playful as a kitten. Grohman returned and informed me that he had secured two of the pictures and thought he would get the two others, but could not get possession of any of them until November. I sincerely hope he will get them. Walked down the stream where there was an old chapel in a grotto, with statues and pictures of saints. Returned and had supper. Grohman cooked a dish which is made by the hunters in the mountains. Flour and water are mixed together with a little salt. A pan is placed upon the fire, and some lard thrown into it and melted. The batter is then thrown into the hot lard and is allowed to cook from 5 to 10 minutes, according to heat, until a crust is formed at the bottom, then it is quickly turned in the pan and crust is formed on the other side. In the process of cooking it is broken up in moderately sized pieces. I expected this would be what is called a mess, but upon trial found it very good. On account of the coolness of the weather we took supper in the kitchen. There I noticed a large sheet iron cooking stove for wood. It was quite elaborate. Had an oven and a copper boiler on top. All very light. They are said to sell in Innspruck for a few florins. After supper returned to my room and read Macaulay's essay and smoked cigarettes. Grohman occupied himself in my room letter writing. Raining hard. Retired at 10 o'clock.
Sept. 12, 1874.
Awakened at 3 o'clock in the morning and could not sleep, owing to thoughts of home. The rain was pouring in torrents, and the Alpine stream near the house was making a roaring noise. These streams often do great damage. Got up at the break of day and walked about. Called Grohman early and had breakfast. We hired a boy to carry our packs across the mountains. About 7 o'clock we were ready to start, when the widow, a good-looking peasant woman who kept the house, expressed a desire to take the excursion with us. To this we readily consented. Many of these people are simple-hearted as children. As we ascended the mountains we had fine views of the Inn valley and the rocky peaks of the Alps. We stopped at an Alp hut occupied by a man who takes care of the cattle and makes butter and cheese from the milk. On some of the mountains women do this, and on others, men. They go up in the month of May or June, and have a long fanciful procession. The cattle are crowned with wreaths of flowers and the line is proceeded by music. When they come down at the end of September, it is the same. It is said to be a most beautiful and interesting sight. This shepherd or herdsman was a rough but intelligent man. We had some milk, cheese, bread and butter. We then moved on and crossed the summit of this mountain, about 3000 feet above the plain, and descended on the other side. In the valley we stopped at an inn, and had our dinner under an arbor of trees. Most all of the country inns have outside tables, under pretty arbors. The widow stood the fatigue like a man. As we were at dinner a bevy of peasant women returned from the fields, carrying their implements of husbandry. After dinner we had a walk along a beautiful road to the railroad. At a cross-road we parted with the widow and boy who went to Vompersbach, and we took the train to Matzen, where we arrived at 7 o'clock. After we had passed through a large gateway and were walking up to the castle, we met Mrs. Grohman and her pretty daughters, who had come out to meet us. We went in, had a good supper, and over the table recounted the story of our travels and what had been secured in the way of old things, and after a pleasant evening retired to rest.
Wakened up at 3 o'clock this morning, thinking of home. After breakfast, read the story of Psyche and Cupid, by William Morris. Had his poems sent from London, to present to Mrs. Grohman. Regard them as marvels of beauty. Had a hot bath. Remained in the water a long while. After dinner, visited the ruins of Kropsberg with Grohman and Mrs. Grohman. Went through the house or habitable part. It is small, but convenient. I could make a beautiful thing of it. Threw some small coins down the deep well. The sound gave forth sadder voices than usual. Returned to the castle. Major Kroft and his wife were at tea. The Major is in the Bavarian army, and was through the war in France. It is curious to think how long these soldiers will tell of the time they were in France to children now unborn. After they were gone, retired to rest. Mrs. Grohman gave me something to make me sleep, as she saw the effects of nervous exhaustion upon me. Impossible to get a full night's rest, but will hereafter relieve and recreate my mind by reading.
(to Be Continued)