At Sea to Steamer Point, 21 December 1892

Our national hymn, the Egyptian and the British anthem rang out from the afterdeck when we departed from the harbour at 8 o’clock in the morning and entered into the Suez Canal. The Northeast wind continued to blow; but the weather was fine and the thermometer showed 22° Celsius in the sun. The passage through the Canal does not offer beautiful impressions of the landscape but is interesting nevertheless because of its full desert character on both the African and Asiatic shores. On the right as well as on the left there is nothing but sand, glimmering yellow sand in which from time to time meagre grey-green bushes appear. On both sides a bare,  deserted plain continues seemingly without end, often the place of a treacherous Fata Morgana.

The first 20 kilometres one proceeds along Lake Menzaleh, separated only by a broad dam from the canal. Those who haven’t see it themselves will not be able to imagine the multitude of water foil that is milling around Lake Menzaleh during this time of the year: Thousands upon thousands of flamingos are standing immovable in the water, creating rose red walls; in between are flying large flocks of ducks and grebes while staid pelicans with imperturbable persistence watch for fish or fly lumberingly over the water. Most conspicuous are the huge number of sandpipers and plovers which appear, swift as an arrow flying from here to there, depending on the turns of their flights, as silvery glitters in the sun or as dark cloud and thus resemble a glittering silver band that flies in the sky.

Having reached the end of Lake Menzaleh, the ship continues at half speed between numerous buoys along the narrow Suez Canal, that modern wonder of the world created by human energy and endurance in a relatively short span of time. Every 10 kilometres, there are passing points and signal stations, small neat looking houses adorned with verandas and enclosed by little green gardens. Officials of the canal company are living there while guarding and policing the canal. Signals for the ships are hoisted on large masts. Large excavation machines are labouring assiduously during the whole year to keep the canal bed in order as the pressure from the bank and the drifting sands deposited from the desert verge to silting up. The natives carry the excavated earth with camels to a deposit farther away – and there are important restoration works going on without interruption which explains the rather high fees ships have to pay for passage. Our ship register was reduced by a fee of 13.000 francs.

The Suez Canal company offered the courtesy to considerably speed up our journey by ordering all approaching steamships by telegraph to moor at the passing points to let us pass. This will not have improved the moods of the captains of those ships, so that probably many a strong word escaped from the sailors’ mouth when we passed the impatiently waiting ships at full speed and disappeared out of their view. A large English steamship ran into ground while mooring and was working hard without success with his engine to free itself as long as we were watching.

In the evening, „SMS Elisabeth“ reached Ismailia where the pilot was switched only to continue the journey without interruption. Of Ismailia we only saw a few houses located on the bank and a little vegetation which supplied an agreeable contrast to the monotonous desert. The sun set in horizon colours typical for this place, dark saffron and crimson reds. The large electric projectors were activated and illuminated our route bright as daylight, so that one could distinguish every single buoy from a great distance. In the bitter lake we drove up on an English four mast ship and had to wait for the end of the small bitter lake until three steamships had moored at the next stop. I remained on deck until 11 ’o´clock in the evening as I found it interesting to notice the exchange of the different signals between the stations and the ships as well as observing the skilled pilot, a compatriot from Porto Rè, navigate the ship on its often tortuous course.

Links

  • Location: Ismaïlia, Egypt
  • ANNO – on 21.12.1892 in Austria’s newspapers. The Neue Freie Presse laments that there are no public but only religious holidays in Austria. While the English commemorate Guy Fawkes Night, the French their revolution and the Italian their constitution day, Austria-Hungary does not do so due to its strange composition of its member states. Still, on 20 December 1892, Austria-Hungary commemorated the 25th anniversary of its new constitution.
  • The k.u.k. Hofoperntheater is performing Luigi Manzotti’s ballet Excelsior.

Port Said, 20 December 1892

In the morning the lights of Damietta came into view. As we approached Port Said and could already discern the city, the pilot appeared to guide “SMS Elisabeth” into the harbor. We saluted the Egyptian flag with 21 rounds which was answered by a battery on land. The Egyptian artillerists looked splendid in their English tailored black uniforms with red trouser stripes (Lampassen).

Flag of the Khedivate of Egypt (1881-1914)

Flag of the Khedivate of Egypt (1881-1914); Source: Wikicommons

Near our consulate we docked just in front of a large English East India ship at a buoy. In the harbor lay an English gunboat and multiple large, mostly English steamboats that replenished their coal stocks as fast as possible in order to continue their journey through the Suez Canal. Port Said is truly a harbor where no ship stays longer than necessary: Coal and provisions are restocked, the mail posted, the pilot embarked and on towards the next stop they go. During our arrival, there were all kinds of people on the dock who were interested to have a look at the mighty warship – English officers, seamen, Arabs, Fellahs, Indians, Jews and travelers from the East India ship.

Our consul as well as consul general baron Heidler who had come from Cairo greeted me. The latter reported that the Khedive had sent his nephew and also general adjutant, Prince Fuad Pasha, to welcome me in remembrance of the friendly reception in Vienna during his visit there, despite my traveling completely incognito. As soon as I had put on my gala uniform, the prince came on board to the music of the Egyptian anthem and offered me a welcome in the lands of the Pharaoh in the Khedive’s name. Prince Fuad Pasha displayed exquisite manners and a thorough European education. We talked for a good time and I later returned his visit at his hotel.

The rest of the day was to be alloted to a hunting expedition to Lake Menzaleh, organized by the consul and the pasha of Port Said. I have to admit that I had little confidence for the success of this venture as such hunts with intense participation of the locals tend to create much noise and cost lots of baksheesh but result in a very small haul. I have collected many experiences of such events during my first voyage to the orient. Fortunately, I was to be pleasantly disappointed this time.

The ceremonial boat transported us some distance into the canal where the pasha and a number of his supervisors of the communes around Lake Menzaleh received us. The handsome, strong men wore heavily pleated, colourful burnous. The good pasha made a sweet-sour face being rather downcast: The organization of the hunt would be his last act in office which was at an end because of his often called “oriental” ideas about debit and credit in the accounts.

Three skiffs were ready at the lake shore and we were soon swarmed by the locals who wanted to carry us the few steps to the skiffs. Four flamingos with wings were living a peaceful life near a small hut and were driven back there by a small boy every time they tried to escape. To my surprise, a local suddenly grabbed these flamingos and took them onto one of the skiffs. It seems they were intended to lure other birds to the skiffs.

The locals were shouting a lot, while we were finally being assigned to the individual skiffs. The placement of the pasha and his entourage proved to be difficult; riding on the shoulders of two Arabs, he proceeded from one skiff to the next until he finally found his place in the consul’s skiff. The consular kavass (constable/armed servant) Ahmed who had traveled with me through Palestine and Syria during my first voyage to the orient served as my interpreter. After much noise and cursing we were finally afloat. In the first skiff were I and Wurmbrand, in the second Clam and Prónay, the rear guard was composed by the gentlemen of the consular corps, the pasha and the rest of the hunting entourage.

Far away, near the horizon, we were seeing many hundreds of flamingos that were standing in the low brackish water in long lines glistering rose-red. Such a chain of flamingos offers the hunter as well as the ornithologist a magnificent view. At first, the eye only notices a light rose-red long strip until the observer, having approached close enough, distinguishes more clearly individual animals, their long, mostly S shaped neck, the long legs and the limber body, the crimson red males and the much lighter colored females as well as their offspring. If a whole flock of these magnificent birds lifts itself up into the air with a tempestuous sough, then the overall image is even more captivating as the flamingos stretch out their long necks and legs horizontally and the intensively colored plumage below the wings is shown to their fullest advantage. Such a flock resembles a red cloud. Besides the flamingos, multiple flocks of coots, grebes, pochards, ferruginous ducks and Northern pintails were swimming in the lake. Individual flights of sandpipers passed and harriers as well as falcons pounced gracefully upon the flocks of ducks that sought their fortune in quick flight.

At first, I intended to go for the closest flock of flamingos. We were cowering in the skiff while two locals, wading in the water, pushed us in front of them. Rifle and shotgun were ready; slowly advancing with anxious alertness we were observing the closest flamingos that were acting like outlooks in front of their flocks. Finally a perturbation rippled through the flock; all necks were strained; the foremost birds started to advance a few steps and lift themselves into the air with heavy flapping wings. Now, there is no time to lose. Although we had approached to only about 180 paces, I tried a rifle shot that, too short, caught one flamingo in its leg but didn’t down it. With a great tumult, the whole flock started to lift itself into the air and took off in a long line. At this moment I saw a single beautiful male bird at around 300 paces high up in the air and dared, without hope of success, a rifle shot with a lead of around 1 m. As struck by lightning, hit squarely into its chest, the flamingo crashed down into the water. To my joy, an Arab brought the fine specimen to my boat and handed me the bird with a big grin. Two more times, we tried to approach the timid animals; once with two skiffs at the same time, firing a salvo which netted both Wurmbrand and Clam a flamingo each. Then the birds set out into unreachable heights; all flocks combined and departed eastwards over the canal.

Afterwards, we occupied ourselves some time with the rest of the water wild life. We bagged many ducks and grebes and then returned back to land as the sun was setting. We said good-bye to the doleful pasha and traveled back on board  “ SMS Elisabeth”.

Before the dinner we undertook a short stroll in the nothing less than attractive Port Said and did some shopping, mostly cigarettes and different oriental objects. The shopping mania that so easily captures the traveler in foreign countries is peculiar. He feels compelled to buy small things, whether beautiful or ugly or even cheap bric-a-brac, only to have something characteristic of the place in question to bring home, as if it was necessary to offer touchable proof of one’s visit of foreign countries. Such it arrived to us at Port Said where we gave in to our shopping spree. Laden with the most useless stuff, paid far too much over its value, we left the bazaars and filled our cabins that did not have much room to spare in the first place with the goods acquired.

Links

  • Location: Port Said, Egypt
  • ANNO – on 20.12.1892 in Austria’s newspapers. The Bregenzer Tagsblatt informs its readers that diamond thefts are on the rise. The Linzer Volksblatt is pleased to inform its readers that Steyr will install an electric power generator given that 3000 light bulbs have been subscribed to by the public as well as the capacity demanded by the local weapons factory.
  • The k.u.k Hoftheater is playing Goethe’s Faust, Part I.

At Sea to Port Said, 19 December 1892

During the night the northeast wind had stiffened considerably. “Elisabeth” was rolling strongly, in the cabins, some of the during the day improperly fixated objects were performing a true witches’ dance.

When I came to the bridge at 6 o’clock in the morning, the officer of the watch reported that the sea had been stormy during the night. The rolling continued during the full morning even though the wind calmed down. 22 degree Celsius.

Today, no land was visible, for the first time we saw but sky and water during the whole day.

Links

  • Location: at sea between Crete and Egypt
  • ANNO – on 19.12.1892 in Austria’s newspapers. The Neue Freie Presse mentions that the Emperor, Archduke Ferdinand of Tuscany, Archduke Leopold Salvator and Prince Louis of Bavaria spent Franz Ferdinand’s birthday on the train departing at 2.45 pm to a hunting retreat. They will return on the 21st December 1892.
  • Hunting is dangerous: The Neue Freie Presse notes that Baron Alphonse Rothschild has been hit in the eye by a piece of lead from the hunting rifle’s recoil on 18th December 1892 in France. A special private telegram from Paris informs that the eye is not fatally threatened. The doctors recommend 14 days‘ rest in bed to recover.
The Wiener Vivarium advertizes talking parrots and domesticated apes as Christmas presents.

The Wiener Vivarium advertises talking parrots and domesticated apes as Christmas presents.

At Sea to Port Said, 18 December 1892

Already while waking up, I noticed that the sea must be running high as rolling movements were felt strongly in the cabin. After having tediously dressed myself with the assistance of a marine servant, I went on deck where I met many a distraught face as Father Neptune demanded his first victims. A stiff breeze was coming from the North-East and wave upon wave crashed upon the deck. Otherwise the day was clear and the sky above us painted in an intense blue.

In the morning, the assigned meeting of the staff and the mass in the battery had to be canceled due to the strong rolling motions; only at noon, when we arrived near Crete, was the sea calming down. We changed our course slightly and navigated alongside the coast of Crete and between it and the island of Gavdos. Crete offers picturesque scenic sights. The peaks of Mount Ida at up to 2457m crowned the view, while steep rocky sides fall off towards the sea. The island seems to be almost as poor in vegetation as in human settlements, despite their numerous markings on the map. Only on a few prominent spots were visible small white buildings, apparently monasteries or churches. The snow on Mount Ida, reaching far down, the violet-red illumination of the mountains and the deep blue sky united into a powerful panorama.

After lunch, a raffle (tombola) for the crew was arranged as a Sunday distraction for which all the off-duty crews had assembled on the middle deck. Our good boatswain – the good old school type, with a certain animosity against all modern maritime fixtures – called out the numbers in the manner that he combined each number with an Italian joke word what caused much amusement. Wine, cigars and other trinkets served as prizes.

In the evening, a procession in honour of my birthday was organized by the sailors. The procession was very successful and amusing, attesting to the humour and imagination of our peoples. With the simplest means such as flax tow, grime, broken belts, fish hooks and so on, they managed to achieve the funniest effects. Behind the music band marched in first position an Italian choir that produced a number of well-tempered songs; then followed a Bohemian music band, dressed in various uniforms borrowed from the cadets, that played the known song „Nejde to“ in the most audacious modulations. At the same time, an animal tamer lead a large group of lions, apes, elephants and camels. The elephants were especially imaginatively constructed: a two-man team had covered themselves with a tarred gun cover and used the barrel protection as its trunk. A very uncanny beast with a moving mouth studded with teeth, a crossbreed between a marabou and a crocodile had been born in the shoemaker’s workshop. A Schrammel quartet filled the air with real Viennese melodies. In conclusion a magnificent chieftain led a horde of jet black Zulu kaffirs who shivered in the cold faced with the stiff north east breeze dressed only in their swimming trunks and a coat of grime. The savages carrying a banner with my name roared “hurrah” and danced lustily. Their lively movements warmed them somewhat up in their skimpy dress. As the music incidentally used the common rhythm of a jolly polka all the sailors were dancing pair-wise in rounds.

The easy gaiety of our sailors made a favourable impression. Given the severe even harsh and dangerous demands of the service, this can be seen as a proof of the physical and psychological sanity of the crew and also attributed to the good influence of a well-regulated military lifestyle. It is good to see how the members of the most diverse nationalities and countries share a common bond. Germans from Lower Austria, namely from Vienna, from Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria and from other countries, Slavs from Bohemia, the Croatian coast and from Dalmatia, Italians and Hungarians are fully intermingled. Notwithstanding the individual nationality, the polyglot crew feels to be joined together to form a part of the service under one proud and glorious flag. This nurtures and strengthens the awareness of the union of all nationalities under own ruling family and in one common fatherland – certainly an educational outcome of military service that can not be cultivated and promoted too carefully enough.

Links

  • Location: Gavdos (Greece)
  • ANNO – on 18.12.1892 in Austria’s newspapers. This being Franz Ferdinand’s birthday, the newspapers naturally congratulated. The Wiener Salonblatt opened with a portrait of Franz Ferdinand and informed its readers about Franz Ferdinand’s departure from Trieste and announced his predicted arrival date at Port Said in Egypt on 20th December.
Title page of the Wiener Salonblatt with a portrait of Franz Ferdinand

Title page of the Wiener Salonblatt with a portrait of Franz Ferdinand as a Major General: Se. k. u. k. Hoheit der durchlauchtigste Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este

At Sea to Port Said, 17 December 1892

During the night, the strong Bora wind made the sea rise: the heavily rolling ship dislocated many objects that hit the walls. The noise made us get up at 3 o’clock in the morning.

The morning weather, however, turned out beautiful and the sea was calmer but still choppy from a North-eastern wind. At 8 o’clock, we had arrived alongside Corfu and saw the wonderful Albanian mountains in the distance. In the afternoon, we passed Kephalonia that had never played a historical role but still had its own moving history. Only a small canal was separating it from Ithaka, known to classicists. We could make out the distinct shape of Kephalonia despite the distance of several miles from the coast; later appeared Zante, the flower of the Levant.

The setting sun created colorful effects that reminded me of the southern sky on the stony mountains on whose flanks little hamlets with olive orchards and vineyards were situated. In the evening I was surprised by a premature birthday celebration. A tattoo was beat. The crew shouted „Hurrah“, an improvised firework started. Rocket upon rocket went up into the star spangled sky straight as an arrow, while signal lights illuminated the deck clear as day.

Links

  • Location: Zakynthos (Greece)
  • ANNO – on 17.12.1892 in Austria’s newspapers. The Neue Freie Presse hotly discusses the government’s initiatives regarding certificates of proficiency (first introduced in 1883). In Paris, the Panama Canal Company scandal is in full force. Charles de Lesseps and his co-defendants were escorted to the Mazas prison on the evening of 16 December 1892. Ferdinand de Lesseps, staying at Le Chesnay Palace, will stay at liberty, for the moment. It is announced that Vienna’s first grand Hofburg ball will take place on 9 January 1893.
  • Vienna’s K. und k. Hof-Burgtheater offered a comedy “Gönnerschaften” (Patronages). The K. und k. Hof-Operntheater played the comic opera “Gute Nacht, Herr Pantalon”.

At Sea to Port Said, 16 December 1892

We were greeted by a wonderful day and a completely quiet sea. The stronger force of the sun was already noticeable. In the morning we viewed the landside mountains with Monte Movar at Rogoznica: around 9 o’clock we were passing between Lissa and Busi and saw the little island of Pelagosa in the distance: a few hours later the high mountains of Bocche di Cattaro appeared.

Barely visible with the eyes, a sailing warship appeared on the horizon which we thought might be one of our winter squadron, either “Nautilus” or “Albatros”.

In the morning a battle stations exercise was completed for all hands. The guns were also maneuvered. Exercises our navy completed with its own special precision. During the journey the Italian coast became visible above the tender blueish contours of the sea. After a wonderful sunset we were regaled by a clear starry sky, a spectacle we enjoyed to the fullest on the afterdeck to the music of our felicitous band.

Links

  • Location: Lissa (now: Vis, Croatia)
  • ANNO – on 16.12.1892 in Austria’s newspapers. The Neue Freie Presse informs its readers about the riches of fertile Africa. A German expedition of 120 persons marched 3000 kilometers from Cameroon to Chad. It also notes that Maria Antonia, widowed Grand Duchess of Tuscany, arrived from Gmunden for her winter stay in Abbazia. Meanwhile, 360 persons of Steyr, on their own will as duly remarked by the paper, departed to Genoa for their emigration to Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Emigration fever is spreading.
  • Vienna’s K.k. Burgtheater offered a comedy by Gustav Freytag, „Die Journalisten“ (The Journalists). The K.k. Hof-Operntheater played Giuseppe Verdi’s „Un ballo in maschera“ (Ein Maskenball).

Trieste – At Sea to Port Said, 15 December 1892

Vienna’s sea of houses disappear on the horizon: a last salute to the beautiful city – only after a long journey around the earth will I see her again! My parents, my younger sisters, Otto and my sister-in-law accompanied me to Trieste. On 14th December we arrived there in the evening. Just after my arrival, I embarked upon the ram cruiser “Elisabeth” where I was welcomed on board by its commander, Captain of the Line v. Becker and his staff. Not far from “Elisabeth” lay moored “Greif”. My parents and my sisters passed the night on board of that ship.

Today in the morning my family – Ferdinand had also arrived – came on board of “Elisabeth” to while away the last hours before my departure.  After the belated arrival of Admiral Baron Sterneck and finally of Count and Countess Thun as well as Prince Starhemberg a thorough visit of the ship in all its parts and all its equipment for the long voyage was undertaken. The batteries, the torpedo installations, the colossal machines of 9000 horse powers, the giant 24 cm tower guns, the officers’ mess as well as the magazines with the munitions and supply depots were duly admired.

The last hours together with my family passed away all too quickly and now it was time to separate! To the salute of the guns and cries of “Hurrah” I accompanied my parents and siblings back on board of “Greif”, took my leave with a heavy heart and returned to “Elisabeth”.

At 2 o’clock the ship was unmoored; the anthem was sung, a hundred times the officers and sailors shouted “Hurrah”  – majestically, “Elisabeth” went into action. We drove past “Greif” and two Lloyd steamships “Arciduchessa Carlotta” and „Danubio“ packed tightly with ladies, officers and gentlemen. On all ships, the people’s hymn rang out; kerchiefs, caps and hats were swung as greetings. In a plethora of languages they shouted to us “Farewell” and “happy voyage” which were answered with “Hurrahs” and a flag salute. It was a touching moment!

The tender ship „Büffel“, the two Lloyd steamboats and „Greif“ went along with us. Our two ship bands added patriotic color to the air of departure – the sounds of the Radetzky march and Prince Eugene march, the glorious “O you my Austria” (O, du mein Österreich) were drifting across the sea. Home seemed to want to imprint itself as a beautiful image into my memory, as the sun was beaming out of a clear sky, reflected in the deep blue fair Adria and from afar, the snow covered mountains were offering their salutes with their glistering peaks.

But the separation has to happen at last! A few miles out of Trieste, level with Piran, “Greif” signaled on the mast top “Good journey, good bye and good hunting”, then it turned about sharply to starboard; a final salute from the bridge and we were on our own on a southern course into space. For a long time, I was observing “Greif”. The distance kept growing, the homeward bound ship grew smaller and smaller till it was but a point swimming on the horizon where the blue sky and the water seemed to flow together. Then it disappeared from my view. In my thoughts a feeling of eternal longing for my home and my dearest welled up, it was homesickness which I didn’t know before. Just a moment ago, it was wanderlust that had capture me with all its magic and now, only a few moments after the separation from my country, my parents and my siblings, it was homesickness that constant fellow of the home centered traveler which appeared unexpectedly out of the thought that I would be living abroad for a year.

Never did I experience the power more strongly that a nation can hold over its sons than when I was leaving it behind with every second.  The thought comforted me that distance does not equal separation. Hope about a fortuitous return home was building a bridge to a joyful reunion.

Willingly, I humored my mood and lost myself in the thoughts that had triggered it for a few moments. Then I banned them. It was expedient for everyone to make one’s stay on this floating piece of home as comfortable as possible. In the cabins, photographs and pictures were hanged, the books of the large travel library sorted, weapons unpacked and checked. Soon the work was completed and I went again on deck. The well-known coast of Istria with its spare rocks and the nice white hamlets was passing by: from afar, the peaks of Monte Maggiore were glistening. A glorious sunset completed the day. In the evening, we met in the lunch room, and the approaching night met us writing the first letters home.

Links

  • Location: Trieste (Italy).
  • ANNO – on 15.12.1892 in Austria’s newspapers: The morning edition of the Neue Freie Presse opens with a report on the German Reichstag discussing contentious military issues. In Vienna, too budgets are discussed in parliament.
  • Vienna’s K.k. Burgtheater announced Ludwig Fulda’s new play „Das verlorene Paradies“ (Lost Paradise), while the K.k. Hof-Operntheater played Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.
Scharf's diamond imitations, of world renown. Christmas presents for travelers by Herman Waizner, 1. Vienna.

Scharf’s diamond imitations, of world renown. Christmas presents for travelers by Herman Waizner, 1. Vienna.

Stuttgart — Vienna, 17 to 18 October 1893

In Stuttgart was finally realized what I had dreamed about in the hunting camp at Tandur1 to hold my sister in the arms as a new wife in her freshly constituted home. But understandably I wanted to return home and thus the next day I rushed on home.

When the train reached the marking of the black and yellow boundary posts at Braunau and knew to be once again in Austria, my heart was filled with joy that increased all the more the closer the Orient Express approached, flying through the well known beautiful regions of Upper and Lower Austria, to the heart of the homeland.

In St. Pölten I celebrated a happy reunion with my parents and siblings and arrived in their company in Vienna at last.

Safe and secure I returned home after a long voyage around the world. Thankful to providence in my heart, I saluted again after a year’s time  — the old eternally young Imperial city.

Links

  • Location: Stuttgart, Germany and on 18 October, Vienna, Austria.
  • ANNO – on 17.10.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the comedy „Ein Nachtlager Corvins“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing „A Santa Lucia“ and the ballet „Die verwandelte Katze“.
  • The Neue Freie Presse reports that Franz Ferdinand did not meet anyone in Paris and stayed in the Grand Hôtel under the incognito of Count Wartholz.
Franz Ferdinand visits the Eiffel tower in Paris.

Neue Freie Presse reported that Franz Ferdinand visited the Eiffel tower and stayed at the Grand Hôtel in Paris.

Neue Freie Presse reports about Franz Ferdinand's reunion with his family at St. Pölten. He apparently has lost weight - lanky ("schmächtig") is not a favorable descriptor.

Neue Freie Presse, 18 October 1893, reports about Franz Ferdinand’s reunion with his family at St. Pölten. He apparently has lost weight – lankier („schmächtig“) is not a favorable descriptor.


  1. While he already mentions the marriage of his sister at Tandur, it is the next day in Hyderabad on 24 January 1893 that he mentions the planned reunion in Stuttgart. 

Paris, 16 October 1893

The fog that had been pursuing us on the Atlantic Ocean still had an obnoxious consequence in Paris, as the „Bretagne“ failed to keep to its time table so that we were unable to make it into yesterday’s Orient Express. He thus had to accept the inescapable fate and stayed in Babylon on the Seine, whose charms known to me were not captivating me this time. In the evening we were to depart towards Stuttgart.

In Paris too the preparations for the reception of the Russian officers were in full swing everywhere. A hasty tour of the city to revive some memories was concluded with visits to the Louvre and the Morgue, the ascent of the Eiffel tower, a breakfast at Bignon’s and a drive through the Champs-Elysées and the Bois de Boulogne — that is the most that is possible in such a time frame.

Links

  • Location: Paris, France
  • ANNO – on 16.10.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the comedy „Bürgerlich und romantisch“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Margarethe (Faust)“.
  • The planned arrival of Franz Ferdinand by train is reported in the Neue Freie Presse.
Franz Ferdinand's arrival in Le Havre and Paris is reported in the Neue Freie Presse, 16 October 1893, p. 5.

Franz Ferdinand’s arrival in Le Havre and Paris is reported in the Neue Freie Presse, 16 October 1893, p. 5.

Havre — Paris, 15 October 1893

We steered into the channel and again in the thickest fog but — „a good ship in its dark yearnings is well aware about the right way“1, so that „Bretagne“ managed to find her wet path and, using the steam whistle almost continuously, advanced without danger past the numerous approaching vehicles of all types crossing her route. Among them was also her sister ship that had set course for New York and passed „Bretagne“ very closely. Finally, finally — it had become lighter around the ship — in the distance appeared a white strip out of the ocean — „Land, land!“  we said to ourselves. The coast of France stopped the ocean waves and Havre welcomes the newly arrived in a friendly manner.

At 3 o’clock in the afternoon the anchor was dropped and shortly afterwards we stood on solid ground, European ground. One has to have travelled around the world for nearly a year to appreciate the joy that filled me at that moment.

The city was already dressed in festive bunting in honor of the officers of the Russian fleet that was anchoring at Toulon. The foreign sailors were excepted to arrive in Havre from Paris as the guests of France. Soon after the arrival we undertook a drive towards Trouville in the company of our consul Grosos and attended a dinner in the evening in Grosos‘ hospitable house whose wife gave us the honor in the most kind manner.

From Havre we went to Paris.

Links

  • Location: Le Havre, France
  • ANNO – on 15.10.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the drama „König Richard II“ in the afternoon and the comedy „Die kluge Käthe“ in the evening. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Die Rantzau“.

  1. A quip on a Goethe quote substituting ship for human: Ein guter Mensch in seinem dunklen Drange ist sich des rechten Weges wohl bewußt.“ (Faust: Der Tragödie erster Teil, Prolog im Himmel).