Schlagwort-Archiv: sightseeing

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).  

Niagara Falls, 4 October 1893

The sleep was again severely interrupted by the heavy blows during the switchovers. In the morning we could again note the loss of multiple wine bottles and the injury of one of our serving Negroes who had been thrown against the wagon wall by the impact.

We had barely left Chicago on the Michigan Central Railroad towards our next destination, the Niagara Falls,  when we entered the territory of the states of Indiana and later that of Michigan. Near Detroit we crossed in the railway train the Detroit river on a large traject ship. The Detroit River connects Lake Huron and the smaller  Lake St. Clair with Lake Erie. And we finally reached at Windsor the territory of the Canadian province of Ontario.

The day was beautiful and the area quite charming as forests and forest lots alternated with farms, fruit gardens and fields. The trees were already bearing their autumn dress that was much more intensively colored than in our hemisphere and showed itself in the numerous oak and maple trees in a remarkably beautiful red varying from a light vermilion to a dark crimson and effectively contrasted by thee yellow and brown of the poplars and chestnuts. The fruit tress, among them a scarlet Ailanthus, were bearing fruits.

Despite these pretty images of which we could never see enough, I regretted not to spend the 4th October as usual high up in the Carinthian mountains in order to breathe clear air in my small hunting lodge and to enjoy pure nature, surrounded by the calling deer and hunting boys and bloodhounds and let the eye glance upon the incomparable landscape of our Alps. Man is thus devoted to his habits and misses what he cherishes.

The sudden stop of the train tore me out of my thoughts and everything shouted: „the Niagara, the Niagara“. The railway administration had arranged a stop of a few minutes to allow the travelers a view upon the fall that disappointed and disillusioned me in the first moment. Since my earliest childhood I had imagined this natural wonder that stood in stark contrast to its reality. The river falls in a completely flat area out of which rise cities, hotels and smoking factory stacks from a rocky ledge that is quite similar to a giant dam. Nevertheless I can not deny that this mightiest waterfall of the world has a quite great character that however loses much in my eyes by the absence of a scenic landscape. The dignified frame is missing in this picture.

The Niagara River is the outflow of the Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie and descending on its 58 km length by 100 m it develops a torrential velocity. At the edge of the fall the river bed is split by Goat Island and thus two falls are formed, namely the 322 m wide American and the 915 m wide crooked Horse Shoe or Canadian fall. The border between the United States and Canada passes straight through the middle of the Horse Shoe fall. Both falls together send 425.000 m³ water per minute downriver. Below the falls the river narrows and forms roaring rapids that one can watch from the high Cantilever Bridge of the Michigan Central Railroad, a freely suspended bridge that crosses the Niagara without any supporting pillars. About 90 m further downstream the Railway Suspension Bridge hangs suspended, a chain bridge that also carries below the railway tracks another bridge for the road traffic.

The train stops after having passed over the cantilevered bridge into American territory outside of the city of Niagara Falls that owes its existence to the foreign tourists and not to the few industrial establishments. Every year more than 400.000 visitors are coming here.

Soon we reached Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park on the Canadian shore that, well tended with lush green lawns and ornamented with mighty trees, follows alongside the river for about 4 km and offers everywhere splendid views on the falls. Table Rock is the point from which the Horse Shoe Fall makes the most dramatic impression. With a deafening noise the water masses crash down while the fine water mist in which the sun weaves gorgeous rainbows is twirled up highly.

In a nearby house one receives a rubber dress that only leaves the face uncovered. Then one drives with an elevator down to the foot of the fall, passes first through a cave and then walks on a narrow runway between the rocks and the thundering water masses. It was a strange I might say constricting feeling to be in the midst of the roaring water and the rock wall. Our voices could not overcome the enormous noise. From time to time we received a douche coming down from a considerable height. The rocks here consist of sandstone and a very crumbly slate that was continuously shedding larger pieces so that the sense of security was much weakened while walking. On steps and ladders and frequent glitches on the slippery rocks we go down another 30 m,  and came again in front of the fall and could again enjoy the greatness of the spectacle greeted by another extended water baptism. Very effectively the rays of the setting sun produced a magic reddish illumination of the fall.

My name day was celebrated during dinner in the wagon and we then wanted to enjoy a pleasurable evening in the much praised Niagara Falls Music Hall. But the art on display was quite mediocre and the audience too of the lowest sort.

Links

  • Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
  • ANNO – on 04.10.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the comedy „Landfrieden“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing „A Santa Lucia“ and other pieces.

Chicago, 3 October 1893

A whole row of rail tracks, partly in parallel to our driving direction, partly divergent above or below it, indicated early in the morning that we were approaching Chicago. This colossal railway network is continuously extended. Broad tracks covered with rails are formed; on which the trains drive past one another at great speed, indifferent to whether they are passing through the vibrant city, cultivated land or the prairie. It is amazing that there are not more railroad accidents in view of the complete absence of railroad guards, barriers or other security features as well as a caste of officials who are seldom seen. At home, it would be impossible to send railroad trains at full speed through the streets of populated cities and limit oneself to the sign of the locomotive bell as the only warning signal. If on the one hand  there are sometimes made too many efforts at home in terms of personal security and the prevention of accidents and the traveling public is too much patronized, on the other hand, the system so popular here is still too „American“ to be worth copying.

Dirty suburbs, smoking factory stacks and impenetrable smoke clouds that hang over the city were the first impressions that we received during our arrival in Chicago. As I wanted to use the short time of my stay here fully and undisturbed to visiting the exposition, I deemed it necessary to leave the train without being recognized. When I saw a whole army of reporters with the necessary writing equipment in their hands walk towards my Pullman Car guided by an higher railway official in the arrival hall, I rushed through a few wagons and thus managed to escape without being noticed to get a carriage which would take me to the railway to the exposition.

Chicago was the first city of the North American East that I saw. Even though it is by far greater and mightier in its dimensions than the American communities we had visited up to now, I could, however, not find it pleasing. While the suburbs and the more remote districts very much resemble the already described cities in the West, in Chicago’s center, the wooden buildings are replaced by true monsters of houses that are, however, calculated for practical use only and also built without any expenses accommodating a sense of beauty. One house looks like the next one, only the number of floors is different. We saw buildings that had 15, even18 floors but without any ornaments or even the tiniest decorating detail. These giant apartment buildings that consist of a large iron frame with hollow brick fillings are sometimes very narrow in relation to their height which naturally precludes a harmonic effect from the first. Due to the smoke that emerges from the factory smoke stacks the buildings, the roofs and the streets have an unfriendly dark exterior that is still further reinforced by the dark red or brown paint of the buildings.

At the large Auditorium Hotel that forms the corner of Michigan Avenue and Congress street, we took the railway line that led alongside Lake Michigan to the exposition. A double pallisade wall filled in with stone blocks is tasked with containing the waves of the often quite violent lake at the shore but still the tracks of the railway specially built for the purpose of the exposition are often swamped to the height of one foot.

A large crowd was moving to the exposition since the morning hours and was being transported there with steamboats, trains or finally in coaches. The latter are especially popular among the sons of Albion that thus enter the World’s Fair to the sound of the whip and trumpets. The railway sends a train every five minutes; the transfer takes 20 minutes and ends on a wooden viaduct that offers a good overview of the exposition with its sea of halls and galleries, cupolas and towers.

If I want to first present an overall impression that the exposition made on me during my one day visit, I can not deny that it was quite splendid both in extent and arrangement as well in the architectural construction of the main objects. They wanted to surpass all previous expositions which was also achieved in the aspects mentioned. The exposition area of 278 ha is enclosed on three sides by the city and Lake Michigan on the fourth one. The main buildings are imposing by their fabulous size. Likewise the water constructions, the avenues and the traffic installations within the exposition even though the whole territory had been a bare desert a short while ago. Like everything the exposition also had its negative sides: The objects on display do not always fulfil the expectations. The visitor is exposed to much that is unnecessary and old stuff he has often seen before and many things of quite dubious worth. At times one recognizes the desire to fill the enormous large halls at any cost. Thus I found for instance a considerable space filled with badly stuffed animals and anatomical specimens — a transplanted natural history museum here whose reason of existence at this spot was quite questionable. Guided by the intention to present everything in the grandest scale that would only possible to be shown to the astonished world in America, one has sometimes succumbed to impostures that is looking out from under the shiny exterior cover. It can also not be left out to mention that the audience makes a visit to the exposition often not very pleasant by the ruthless behavior, pushing and rushing.

As the already indicated circumstances forced me to devote only a day to visiting the exposition, I intended to see as much as possible but especially the most outstanding buildings, then the sections that interested me most that is forestry and agriculture, ethnography and natural history. Even though a day was insufficient in comparison to the extent of the exposition, we nevertheless were able to get a general impression and managed to see the most important more closely by devoting the necessary effort. Any form of guide I had refused in order not to be dependent on the guide’s will and having to stay in admiration in a soap and perfume exposition due to the guide’s wishes. I thus rushed with the help of a plan to those objects I regarded to be the most worth seeing.

In the children’s pavilion, a spawn of the American need for sensations that lies next to the end point of the train, children in all stages of development from the newborn child to children aged ten or twelve years were on exhibit and the treatment and care of the American child was demonstrated ad oculos. That the rows of babies in cradles not always offers an aesthetic view does not need to be mentioned. Involuntarily I thought about my visit to Moscow where I had to march past the front of 3000 babies and their attending carers in the state orphanage to general hilarity. Naturally I also viewed the exhibited band in Chicago with a bachelor’s view who has obviously different sentiments faced with children than a young mother. Fortunately the exposition committee had made sure that one could see the living objects in their rooms only through large windows and thus the various intimate processes of raising children could usually be kept away from the spectator. Despite of this one had still enough opportunity to study these details closely.

More inspiring to me seemed the garden and fruit exhibition. The garden part is however quite inconsiderable except for the interesting Mexican cacti that were on display in all their varieties and forms. The fruit on view, however, was very remarkable both in quality and quantity. In the matter of cultivating fruit America has done excellent work during recent times, especially California that supplies outstanding fruit is in the lead. Unfortunately the peach and pear harvest of this country was already past. Instead in this nice and neat section a series of the most splendid apple and grape species were on view.

Wooded Island presents a garden criss-crossed by numerous gravel paths whose arrangement seems artificial due to the exaggeration of the art of gardening and offers an impression of tastelessness. Petrol motor boats and numerous other vehicles among them a few Venetian gondolas are driving in the surrounding laguna.

Coming from between the long-winded buildings of the mining and electricity exposition, one enters the main square of the exposition that presents a captivating an imposing view. In the middle of the square is a basin ornamented with fountains and statues on which are numerous boats. Around it rise the mighty buildings of the exposition area that is in effective concord with the architectural structure and exterior ornamentation. It is sad that these splendid building have been designed for only the shortest of time and will outlast the exposition for only a few months, as one can already see some damage on them. Each of these buildings consists of a colossal iron frame with wood fillings that have been plastered over with a very effective looking white stucco-like mass called „staff“.  This material, Michigan gypsum with additions of lime and jute fibers was also used to embellish all decorative sculptural works that improve the facades and even for the colossal statue of liberty that is 22 m high.

The most remarkable building is the administration palace crowned by a cupola. In its front stands a statue of Columbus while on its right are the machine then the agricultural halls, to the left are the electricity and the industrial halls. The casino and the music hall complete the square on the lake side.

Out of the basin extend two arms crossed by two mighty bridges of which the Northern one is connected to the laguna and which offer by this branching-off a pleasant spot for the eye to rest. The mentioned statue of liberty whose pedestal is grounded in the basin does not really fit in its gilded decoration and the badly proportioned forms to the imposing surroundings but even seems annoying which not only those with a sense for artistic beauty but also the most enthusiastic republican to whom the Phrygian cap is a holy symbol will admit. More tasteful is the presentation of the Mc. Mounies fountain, a colossal fountain in the form of a triumphal vehicle on which Columbia thrones and allegorical figures guide the rudder. On both sides are illuminated fountains and the basin is enclosed with pillars with animal statues in larger than life dimensions.

The most beautiful view on this great work erected during the shortest of time one enjoys from the bridges over the side canals. Despite the pouring rain and the nourished prejudices I could not refrain from admiring the offered view that was lessened only by the realization that this splendor would exist only for such a short time and not be guarded for the future.

Using the agricultural hall as a covered walkway I went towards the anthropological exposition but saw much on the way there. Thus in the show hall of the extensive cattle and horse exhibition that, by the way, I had heard that it offered nothing exceptional. Passing by numerous wind motors I make a stop at a model of the dwellings of the early cave dwellers of America. A rock has been modeled like nature with all its clefts and fissures and in its interior was a settlement at a smaller scale of those strange humans who ha built homes in caves that are similar to our castles. The cave findings are on display in a nearby museum. Among them are cadavers and human remains in well preserved states of mummification, domestic tools especially pretty clay vessels and flintstone weapons from this prehistoric era.

In the anthropological section I was interested namely in two groups: the Indian exposition and that of the excavations that had been made in all parts of America.The most captivating in the latter group were the findings from Mexico and South America, proof for the high culture and artistic skills of the Aztecs.

Among the exhibited object from Australia and the South Sea islands I recognized many well known objects. Thus a large image of one of the villages of the Papuans at Port Moresby, which vividly reminded me about the eager trade with the natives there. A proof that the grouping of the exhibition objects is not always systematically correct can be seen by the fact that in the anthropological section there were also besides human skulls, arrow heads and other objects from the stone age a sanitary bodice and playing cards from all countries of the world. On the first floor of the building were houses mostly natural history objects among them the life-size model of a mammoth found near Stuttgart. Strangely there were also a few antler and fur traders doing business in this room.

The anthropological is followed by the forestry exhibition that attracted my attention by its varied assortment of wood that come from the various states of America and are demonstratively presented in raw, cut and polished condition. Many of the jungle giants had to die to be shown here as a cut section, and next to the gigantic trunks of spruces an thujas lay also mahogany blocks that have mostly been sent by Mexico. The forestry exhibition is actually not one according to our understanding and I want to contradict the catalogue, despite its audacious claim that there never has been a forestry exhibition of a similar completeness, as there is missing any proof that here reforestation is taken into consideration as a replacement for the plundered forests. Giant trees and likewise cuts alone are not a proof for a rational forestry cultivation. And in many areas it would be necessary, even though North America certainly still ha enormous wood reserves, to care for the regeneration of the mercilessly exploited and devastated forest. Very timidly some of the industries that work with the splendid wood materials are also presenting their objects.

In an open space in front of the pavilion are models of Aztec dwellings and tall, carved idol figures of the Vancouver Indians. Inscriptions describing the horrible deeds of the especially feared Indian chiefs lured us in many of the tents in which we expected to see these novel-like figures or at least the remembrance of them. Instead these inscriptions only served as advertisements for the Indians quite advanced in civilization who offered various goods for sale in their wigwams.

The freight to the exhibition must have cost a fortune for one exhibitor and that is Krupp that has united in a pavilion monster guns, giant ship screws, mighty armor plates, steel cast and forged pieces as well as railway material. Even the transport of these objects from Essen to Chicago is said to have sunk huge sums and now the railway and shipping companies are refusing to undertake the return transport at fair prices, so that Krupp presented the whole exhibit as a present to the city of Chicago. What the peaceful pig raising citizens namely will do with the horrible war tools is however not easy to predict.

The remembrance of Columbus is cared for in the whole exposition which is given proof by a faithful reconstruction of the abbey of Santa Maria de la Rabida where Columbus made a stop on his journey on foot from Palos to Madrid and made the plan there which received the permission of the two kings. The abbey then was owned by the Franciscan order and was under the guardianship of  Juan Perez, Queen Isabella’s confessor whose influence did provide important services for Columbus. The monks of Rabida blessed the fleet of the audacious navigator before the departure and blessed it again when the great man returned to the port of Palos after the discovery of America. In the narrow rooms of the reconstructed abbey were exhibited numerous images and reliquaries remembering Columbus but there was such a crowding in there that we could see but little being pushed along by the masses.

The world exposition's Santa Maria

The world exposition’s Santa Maria (source: Gutenberg.org)

On the smooth surface of a basin the model of the „Santa Maria“ was swaying that had been built in the arsenal de la Carracca in Spain and transferred to Chicago. The flagship of Columbus as well as the models of its two compatriots, „Nina“ and „Pinta“ were built according to their true scale and presented themselves as true Spanish ships of their period with a tower-like aft structure as well as a high fore that one is used to see in pictures of the Armada.

The courage of the great Colon who had undertaken the audacious voyage into the unknown sea with such small ships is no less admirable than the astonishing fact that the vehicles managed to withstand the long and stormy ocean journey.

What a contrast is formed by the „Illinois“, the model of a United States warship anchored in Lake Michigan! It had been made in natural scale and completely equipped and manned and armed with all its offensive and defensive weapons. There is also a navy exhibition of the government on board. A dishonorable game contrary to my feelings as a soldier were made here by producing a show every afternoon of the officers and crew on board demonstrating exercises of guns, maneuvering with torpedoes and boats to a gawking crowd that has to pay for attending it. This is not compatible with the earnestness and decorum of being a soldier but demeans it to the level of a rope artist or vaudeville actor. In this country, a soldier does not enjoy the exceptional position and respect that is still assured, God be thanked, in Europe, and thus one may not wonder neither about the public display of the navy nor that on the federal parade ground a larger detachment of the army of the United States performs daily exercised for the spectators.

To recover a bit from the visit of the numerous halls I mounted an electrical train that rushes from the exposition square on a wooden frame and forms loops at its end points. Even though one mostly sees the roofs of the various buildings during this journey, it still offered the opportunity to get a survey of the full giant extent of the exposition area.

At the fishery exhibition — it is housed in a large building of a Spanish-Roman style with a richly developed cupola — we left the train and could quickly see that the content of this beautiful building did not in any way match its exterior wall. Only the aquarium is exceptional, as well as a educative Swedish collection with its boats and fishing equipment. In a large tank of the aquarium were the most diverse freh and salt water fish from the carp to the salmon trout,  catfishes, sharks, grotesque devil fishes, lobsters, crawfishes etc.

In the mean time we had developed a giant appetite but had to search for a long time before we found a restaurant whose sign in large letters of „Restaurant francais“ unfortunately did not match with what was offered. At least this had the advantage that we were not at all captured by the culinary delights and could devote our sparsely allocated time again to the exposition.

The industrial hall covering  123.400 m2 is the largest individual building in the world. The iron roof of the hall has a height of 62 m and is borne by 27 main arches with a span of 116 m. In terms of construction material 7.700 t of wood, 5.450 t of steel and 900 t of iron were used. The cost of the building amounted to 1,700.000 dollars. I limited myself to visiting only the Austrian section that displayed much that was remarkable, namely glass, porcelain, leather fashion goods by Förster and other art-industrial objects; for many of our industrial companies however the distance must have been too great and the chance of success too uncertain which I regretted but without feeling resentful.

The rainy weather improved toward the evening and the sun was shining brightly so that there was much activity in the avenues and gardens.

My next destination was the gallery of fine arts, a large middle wing that was united by pillar halls with two annexes to an imposing structure and was decorated with rich ornaments. In the middle of the building rises a colossal statue of Augustus. The art of all European countries is richly represented here and namely Austria’s artists had sent excellent works which I most often greeted as old acquaintances — thus Makart’s „Five senses“, portraits by Angeli, Brozik’s „defenestration“, the well known captivating scene from the Austrian North Pole expedition by Payer, the beautiful deer by Pausinger etc. In one of the rooms stands Her Majesty’s bust in a good likeness. Austria can be proud about this part of the exposition. The art of many other countries is unable to match the works from our home.

The remainder of the evening until the departure of the train I dedicated to Midway Plaisance, the main attraction for every visitor who seeks recovery and entertainment, being tired and awed from the greatness of the exposition. Naturally, everything here too is in giant dimensions as this entertainment venue in the grandest style forms a 2 km long boulevard on whose sides are an innumerable variety of booths, theaters, vaudevilles and restaurants, homes of savage peoples, panoramas etc. I might compare Midway Plaisance to an enlarged and extended Viennese Wurstelprater in which the cosiness and natural humour is replaced by the size and originality of the attractions.

Official Views Of The World's Columbian The world exposition's Congress Of Beauty on the Midway

Official Views Of The World’s Columbian The world exposition’s Congress Of Beauty on the Midway (source: Gutenberg.org)

The first pavilion is dedicated to the fair sex and titled „The 40 most beautiful ladies of all nations“. The rush to this much promising building is quite considerable and thus we too took tickets to visit this gallery of living beauties. In small cage-like boxes on a stage sat, were lying or stood women dressed in national costumes representing the different countries whose names were written in large letters below the sections. Here were the Swedish woman next to the fiery eyed Andalusian, the Turk next to the Chinese, the German next to the Japanese etc. to be seen. I could not refrain in the first moment to laugh out loudly as the arrangement of the cages gave the impression of a — sit venia verbo — Menagerie and my hilarity transferred to all those present after even some of the ladies joined in. Some of the „40 most beautiful ladies of the world“ who deemed their task an earnest one and seemed to be infused with the importance of their mission sent scathing glances toward the mocker, the majority however smiled and seemed pleased to have some interruption to the boredom of having to sit quietly and be starred at for twelve hours daily. While not all the ladies, and namely not „Austria“ and „Croatia“, might be counted among the most beautiful of the world, nevertheless some had remarkably pretty faces whose owners certainly merited a better fate.

American Tobacco cigarette cards 1893

American Tobacco cigarette cards 1893

The Greek woman sitting in the dress of beautiful Helen and in full awareness of her Greek profile sat on an ancient pedestal was recognized as being a former flower girl from Freudenau. Her answers to our questions were true Viennese and filled with the desire of the girl to return soon to her home. Another lady was also from Vienna where she had acted the year before as a champaign serving girl in the music and theater exposition. The Turkish girl who lay with multiple colleagues in an improvised harem on bulging cushions and whose rich costume and the flashy diadem were to complete the illusion seemed to have seen the light of the world in England. The visible joy that the Viennese girls had seeing a compatriot moved me much, but I soon had to escape to be spared a looming spontaneous ovation.

In Hagenbeck’s menagerie, built in circus form, there are daily shows that present quite excellent demonstrations in animal training and therefore attracts numerous spectators without having to use the otherwise so popular form of advertising. Four adult lions followed their tamer like dogs who at the end attached them in front of a wagon and drove around the arena under vivid acclaims by the audience. Also a lion could be seen that was very good at cycling. Remarkable is the peaceful coexistence of various animals in one cage that would pursue and fight one another in liberty. Thus an ice bear with tigers and monkeys, lions with fat pigs, panther with dogs etc. were housed next to each other as neighbors.

We walked from booth to booth some of which we left quite disappointed as the content offered did not match the ballyhooed promises. I did not visit the exotic peoples who I had already personally met in their homeland such as the Papuas. In friendly remembrance of the stay in Java, I had a look at our friend Kerkhoven’s Javanese village that, to my regret, did not seem to offer much attraction.

The world exhibition's entrance to Old Vienna, on the Midway

The world exposition’s entrance to Old Vienna, on the Midway (source: Gutenberg.org)

The theater productions all started so late that I could not attend one. Unfortunately I could not visit the much praised „Old Vienna“ given the ambassador’s opinion about certain relations of the Austrian section and had to make do with a pair of the famous Wiener sausages and some rolls that a friend brought to  me. It is satisfying to hear that „Old Vienna“ is said to do very good business and that the elegant world of Chicago is meeting here thanks to the excellent productions of Ziehrer as well as the good Viennese cuisine.

To trump the Eiffel tower, a giant reel in the form of a colossal iron wheel had been built on which wagons the size of a Pullmann Car have been attached and go up and down in a vertical circle as soon as the wheel is put into motion by a steam engine. With electrical illumination the iron monster from whose top one can overview the whole exposition presents an impression of a gigantic specter. After a slide also recalled memories of the Viennese Wurstelprater, we felt enticed to see the Lapps who led a quite dirty life in their earth huts and were just eating dinner but seemed to be very pleased about the belated visit.

If the central square in front of the administration building had made a splendid impression during the day, this was the case to a much higher degree at night, as they have masterfully managed to increase the total effect by gleaming and rightly placed illumination.  Thousands upon thousands of electric lights that followed the architectural contours and are reflected in the pool have been fixed to the buildings. From the ridge of individual buildings mighty projectors send out their blinding rays into the deep, the gushing cascades and the jets of the spring fountains glow — everything is alight, gleaming and glittering like the decoration of a magic ballet. I did not deem the hard-nosed sense of the Americans capable of orchestrating such a refined and truly beautiful light spectacle.

Returning to our rolling domicile, I finally received the long expected mail that had reached Yokohama with delay and tried to catch up with me all across North America.

Links

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • ANNO – on 03.10.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the comedy „Ein Schritt vom Wege“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing „Wiener Walzer“ and other pieces.

Manitou, 1 October 1893

The day started with an icy cold, snow and storm. All the mountains were covered in fog and the outlook for the probability of the planned trip to the peak of Pike’s Peak reduced to a minimum. We did not have much luck with mountain excursions during our voyage in America.

In the morning, our ambassador in Washington, Schmit von Tavera, introduced himself as I had requested his presence here. He confirmed me the correctness of the unedifying circumstances of the exposition in Chicago and unfortunately especially the rumours about the Austrian section, so that I arranged to limit my visit there to only a few hours. He also developed a graphic survey of the conditions in the United States in all areas of public and private life that very much reinforced and enriched the impressions I have received up to now. Especially worth a mention is the changeover of the officials after each change of the presidency which precludes the necessary continuity in administration, quite apart from the crass excesses that this system promotes.

Furthermore in the land of the free public welfare for the working class seems to be seen as completely superfluous and to be substituted by the liberty to die of hunger if necessary. Economic disruptions have lasting effects given the completely insufficient support for the workers‘ interests. And especially the silver crisis is said to have caused great misery. Despite these dismal aspects the United States still exerts a great attraction to emigrants of which also from our country many thousands try their luck in the New World every year, only to all to often end up in a miserable state as they are not rarely exploited by scrupulous agents and left in a place to fend for themselves without rights and help, reduced to a miserable condition.

After a short railway journey we reached Manitou that is only 10 km distant from Colorado Springs and delightfully situated at the foot of Pike’s Peak and an attraction for sufferers and tourists. Climbing the high peak, that had been discovered and first climbed by Captain Pike in 1806, has since then been a very tempting enterprise so that it was decided in 1890 to build a cog railroad of the Abt system in place of the tiring riding path to the top of the mountain. The starting point of the railway opened in 1891 lies at 2013 m above sea level. The altitude difference to be surpassed amounts to 2318 m and the endpoint of the railway is thus 534 m higher than the peak of the Großglockner. I would have liked to undertake the trip to the peak of Pike’s Peak, whose altitude is certified by friend Baedeker to cause nosebleed due to the thin air, but unfortunately dense snow storm and extended fog prevented our undertaking, as the day before the cold temperature had been measured at the peak of 25 cool degrees. I thus stayed in Manitou that is picturesquely located in a valley basin and makes a friendly nice impression.

Due to its carbon acidic and ferruginous water, it is a often visited health resort where much is done for the visitor’s comfort and well-being. This is exemplified by the numerous sites and plants that snugly enclose the houses and villas. Numerous hotels and guest houses await the tourists and also a casino has established itself here

The bad weather naturally did not deter us at all from having a look at the beauties of nature in the surrounding area clad in winter dress. Firstly, Williams Canyon is a quite narrow rocky gorge whose blood red rocks rising high on both sides of the road and are made up of sandstone rich in iron. We thus can observe the rocks closely and in leisure. Some of the rocks have been buttressed to prevent any danger to the passers-by.

Much more interesting is the „Garden of the Gods“, an area of about 240 ha distinguished by a number of fantastic isolated rock formations that carry names that, with a little fantasy, seemed to be not badly chosen. There is a „baggage hall“, baggage-like cubes piled on top of one another, then the „Garden of the Sponges“ where formations have been created by erosion that look very much like giant stone mushrooms; the „Balanced Rock“ is an about 200 t heavy conical rock on which rests a meter-wide pedestal. Outstanding are thin sandstone walls that are arranged one after the other like a backdrop on a stage and are displaying truly grotesque formations such as „Lot’s wife“, „elephant“, „bear“, „American eagle“, „buffalo head“ and finally the „kissing camels“.

In any case these nature spectacles leave nothing to be desired in terms of originality. They rise in their blood red color completely suddenly and are well worth a visit. In the „Garden of the Gods“ I saw an oak species again for the first time after a long period of absence, however only a small one similar to our Austrian oak, with strongly slit leaves.

While we were amply being fleeced by a merchant in his Curio Shop, the clouds lifted, the sun emerged, the mountain range deeply covered in snow and even the peak of Pike’s Peak became visible so that we infinitely regretted not to spend this moment at the top of the giant mountain and to look out over the Rocky Mountains and the endless prairie of Colorado and Texas. But the hour of departure to Chicago had arrived and I had to take the decision to go without having climbed Pike’s Peak.

Links

  • Location: Manitou Springs, Colorado, USA
  • ANNO – on 01.10.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the tragedy „Kabale und Liebe“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Mignon“.

Salt Lake City — Colorado Springs, 29 September 1893

A fertile valley features the cultivation of grain and fruit but most of all pumpkins and melons, but the ridges are as bare as those we passed on the day before. Soon we discovered the great salt lake that is 129 km long and 48 km wide and stands out by its high salinity of 22,4 percent compared to 3,5 percent of sea water. Only the water of the Dead Sea at 25 percent surpasses it. Just before Salt Lake City we came close to the lake shore and passed multiple bathing places such as for instance the sanative Beck’s Hot Springs. Vermilion bushes that cover the otherwise bare ledges added some variety into the quite monotonous landscape.

In Salt Lake City we at once got in a carriage to visit the „tabernacle“, the main sanctuary of the Mormons and the other sights of the city.

The founder of the Mormon sect was Joseph Smith who organized his followers into a congregation in the 25th year of his life on 6th April 1830 in Fayette, a small town in the state of New York. In the next year they relocated to Ohio and chased away from there in 1833 to Missouri. Evicted out of this state too, the Mormons turned by the way of Caldwell county to Illinois where they built in Hancock county the city of Nauvoo and a beautiful temple in 1840. But they came into conflict with the other inhabitants that led to its destruction four years after Nauvoo’s foundation and to an open fight in which Smith perished. Brigham Young, Smith’s successor in the prophet’s position, emigrated with 1500 men and trekked on trying roads over the Rocky Mountains to the Great Salt Lake where the congregation settled in 1847 and founded the state of Utah. After it had already been recognized as a territory after three years, the federal government appointed Brigham Young as its governor which led to a special boom time for the colony despite many conflicts. In our days, however, one remarks a decline. The number of gentiles — non-Mormons — has increased very much which seems to have markedly changed the social relations. Furthermore the legislative of the United States has condemned the Mormons‘ polygamy and forced them to give up this practice.

A tour of the city showed us what has been achieved here and how the Mormons have managed to turn the sterile ground fertile by untiring labor. In an agreeable contrast to Vancouver and Butte City we saw here avenues that line the streets and tasteful gardens around the houses with evergreen luxurious lawns. On the building’s walls various climbing plants are entwining themselves so that each house displays in a pleasant way the preferences of its occupants for neatness and their enjoyment of green ornaments. Trees and gardens make the chessboard-like structure of the city look less monotonous and some buildings are quite tastefully designed. Through the streets drawn straight as an arrow dashes a continuously ringing electric tramway but one also still sees many good trotters pulling light wagons.

The tabernacle is a giant elliptical building. 76 m long, 45 m wide and 21 m high. The roof carried by 44 slender sandstone pillars is constructed out of wood and covered with iron shingles. It constitutes one of the largest open vaults of the world. The large interior space that is intended for church service activities of the Mormons resembles a gigantic theater.  The floor and the wooden gallery contain 8000 seats, while there would be room for 12.000 persons in total. At the Western end is a platform with chairs for the president, the bishops, the twelve apostles and the speakers as well as the choir that is arranged a mighty organ. From the outside the completely unadorned tabernacle is reminiscent of an incredible large turtle.

As there is a festive church service only every Sunday at 2 o’clock in the afternoon we could not attend one which we vividly regretted. The acoustics in this huge building are excellent. Despite the length of the hall one hears every word whispered at the opposite end and can even hear the fall of a pin onto the gallery balustrade, an experiment our guide proudly demonstrated.

To the East of the tabernacle lies the new temple completed in 1862, a stately building of light-grey granite with three towers each on both narrow sides. The middle tower of the Eastward facing main façade is crowned by a colossal statue made out of richly gilded copper that represents the Mormon angel Moroni. As, in my view, the proportions of this building’s height to its width can not be brought into harmonic accord, I can not declare it beautiful. But due to its size it has a commanding look. In the temple religious acts are performed such as marriages, baptisms and consecrations of priests and bishops as well as sermons preached and special prayers held. The new temple did cost 4,000.000 dollars up to now and is said to be richly decorated in its interior. Unfortunately the entrance is permitted only to Mormons. That’s why we had to make do with viewing only its exterior.

Not far from the temple we saw the tithing storehouse where the Mormons have to deliver the quite considerable tithe in kind and for this purpose there were vehicles with goods to be delivered. Next to this prosaic building was a small district owned once by Brigham Young who ruled his congregation like a small tyrant. Here there are the hive house and the lion house ornamented with their respective symbolic emblems. They are worth mentioning as in these buildings lived ten wives of the prophet while his favorite wife owned a villa for herself alone on the opposite side.  Brigham Young had 42 wives and was blessed with children whose numbers according to different sources are said to be 56 to 76. Even if the former number is the right one, the unusual head of the family must have had not inconsiderable difficulties in providing food for his household and upholding domestic tranquillity.

Among the gentiles very drastically interpreted photographic caricatures are circulating about the marital life of Brigham Young which would in itself be a sufficient deterrent to join this sect. Currently three widows of the the much-married man are still alive as well as some sons. One out of this offspring we encountered in the streets.

At the spot where Brigham Young and his band of Mormons ended their long trek and divided the surrounding terrain and organized the planning of the city rises a not very tasteful statue showing an eagle that sits like a brooding hen on four plump iron arches. The grave of Brigham Young who died in 1877 and those of many of his wives are covered only with an unadorned stone in a lawn surrounded by poplars and a wrought iron gate.

The most beautiful view upon the city and its surroundings to the wide area of the salt lake is offered from Prospect Hill. With pleasure the eye is resting on the numerous poplar, acacia and maple avenues as well as the gardens over which the temple and the tabernacle are towering in their huge bulkiness. From here one can also see Fort Douglas that „Uncle Sam“ has built after the Mormons had come into too much open contradiction of the laws and institutions of the United States.

Our talkative driver, who seemed to have been a very intimate friend of „Whisky“, then guided us across the whole city and showed us the houses of the most important Mormons and the most beautiful hotels, among them the Templeton Hotel where I took the elevator to the fourth floor to enjoy the panorama from there too.

Finally we visited some curio shops in which very pretty objects, especially minerals from the numerous mines in the vicinity, Indian objects and furs were offered. The Mormons with which I spoke during this encounter made no secret about their feeling much pressure from the constant increase of gentiles and that the polygamy was still continuing despite it being no longer recognized by law.

The remaining time of the afternoon I spent writing in my rolling home, the Pullman car while my gentlemen drove again into the city. Towards the evening a bad tempest unloaded itself in pouring rain with thunder and lightning which escorted us out of the city during our departure  to Colorado Springs.

Links

  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  • ANNO – on 29.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the comedy „Pitt und Fox“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Die Walküre“.

Livingston — Butte City, 28 September 1893

The train led on a branch line of the Northern Pacific Railway in a Southeastern direction across a bare and sad area, through uncultivated hilly terrain and only in the distance the peaks of the Rocky Mountains were visible. Everywhere we saw cattle in great numbers that seemed to be well nourished despite the poor soil. One and a half hour before Butte City the land turned mountainous. The train crossed deeply cut valleys and gorges on tall wooden bridges. Numerous round rock blocks of considerable size were laying around everywhere allowing only sparse tree growth in the few open places.

At many points we could see clear signs of mining that is very actively undertaken in this Rocky Mountain district rich in ore and centered on Butte City. This mining city in the purest sense of the word is situated in a bare valley surrounded by mountains and is recognizable from afar by its smoking stacks. In the middle of the surrounding area of the city rises a hill rich in ore whose copper and silver deposits are extracted by several mines. The attached machine houses, various laundries and large heaps of dead rocks covered the surface of the hill. Small tracks on which wagons and sledges with the mined ore moved led from site to site. Everywhere there was smoke, hammering and knocking.

Around this hill are arranged the city and some settlements that have in time become suburbs, so that Butte currently has 40.000 inhabitants. If American cities in general are known to have been built without taste and present a chilling sight, then Butte City must count to be among the worst.

One should imagine a community of a considerable extent where not one tree, not one spot of green, the motley houses are built on clay or sand and in the more distant roads are reminiscent of gypsy wagons. Everywhere the Non plus ultra of tastelessness is achieved. The roads are bumpy like a miserable country road. And still there are millionaires living in the city but they do not indulge in any luxuries here and do not embellish their sad homes and only amass dollars.

A dense network of wires extended over the roofs and bright boards with obtrusive ads covered the front and side walls of all buildings. In a two-hour tour I have never receiver viler impressions than here but am still satisfied to have seen Butte City as my opinion that one has to see for oneself and not let one’s judgement be formed only by descriptions was confirmed once more.

I was interesting in visiting one of the mines and thus I drove to a mine where I was informed that the officials and workers were at lunch and the mine at rest which made me conclude that a European shift organization that prevented the interruption of the work flow was not possible to install in this „free“ country here. After longer discussions, one worker was ready to show us the mine which was said to go down 335 m and we entered as seven on a sledge intended for four persons. Fortunately we stopped already at the second level and, each equipped with a flickering candle, followed a gallery until we arrived at the work place after we had climbed over multiple ladders. Here the copper and silver veins in the rock were visible in a strange clay mass.

Mining is done in terraces that lie one above the other and are supported by wooden pillars and as elsewhere, they do use plenty of the cheap wood here. The profit  of the mine seems to be small as only 60 workers were employed and everything looked quite shabby. I thus refrained from visiting the likewise resting laundry and smeltery and returned to the station.

Then started an extended period of shifting our wagons in which they were pushed together so forcefully that only their excellent construction prevented damage, as we often had had the opportunity to observe this.

Light-heartedly we parted from Butte City and drove up to dusk to the South towards Salt Lake City through a bare valley with numerous small stations. Alongside the tracks numerous herds were mingling. Some beautiful light effects were produced by the setting sun in the mountains and compensated for the strong monotony of the area.

Links

  • Location: Butte, Montana, USA
  • ANNO – on 28.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the comedy „Das Heiratsnest“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the ballet „Die goldene Märchenwelt“.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel — Livingston, 27 September 1893

As the mail still had not arrived on the morning train, I used the time up to the departure to Cinnabar to pay a visit to Captain Anderson, commander of the cavalry detachment stationed here in order to have a look at the menagerie he had assembled which was to be sent to Washington. Captain Anderson had sent me into a fit of despair the evening before when he assured me that he could have arranged for a permission to hunt some predators in the park if we had announced our wishes a few days earlier. How easy it would have been to kill one of those tin-loving bears!

The captain was living in a nicely equipped log house and knew many interesting details about the affairs in the park. His squadron has a very demanding job as it requires many guards and patrols that mainly have to look out for poachers and who have to overcome many dangers given the audacity of the poachers. A poacher was just recently relieved of a nice pony that was standing near the log house.

The menagerie was small but counted among it many remarkable pieces, thus a porcupine, a young buzzard, a badger-like animal unknown to me, three rather tame beavers that could be taken out of the cage and wandered around freely. In an iron cage sat a black bear that had been caught only a few days before and was to undertake a journey to Washington. Four delightful wapiti calves were totally tame, and came running on call, sniffing us curiously, while a fox fled into its artificial cave only to peek out of a tube with a cunning glance from time to time but immediately retiring at every approach.

During the morning some caravans of „sour dough tourists“ arrived which refers to the families that move through and now out of the park with a fully packed wagon, with their children and their stuff. We had encountered several of them already on the first day of our tour. The vehicle, their baggage and the passengers showed clearly visible marks of their gypsy-like roaming. The way these nature lovers visit the park is without doubt a very strange one and a hardly comprehensible way for us to enjoy the summer time. Any demands for comfort these travelers may have to forsake, and whether they find compensation for their many deprivations of their exhausting journey in their boundless existence is dependent on the favor of hazard and the weather’s caprices and thus can not be predicted but seems to be the case.

On the small square I then inspected a cavalry detachment, about half a squadron that performed exercises to an officer’s command. The troop exercised developments and movements that were a bit more complicated than those used at home. The development of a skirmish line where the carbine is grabbed while mounted seems to be one of the most important evolutions. The horses were noticeably tall, strong and also good, mostly white horses. The riding of the soldiers and the rough treatment of the horses I found less sympathetic. The riders wore standard dark-blue uniforms with yellow lacing on the pants and gray slouch hats and tall heavy boots. The armament consisted of saber, revolver and carbine. The latter and the saber were attached on the saddle.

To Cinnabar we came faster this time than the outward journey as the route was in a better condition and was mostly downhill. In this place we had to wait for a long time for the departure of the train of the Northern Pacific Railroad which would take us to Butte City by the way of Livingston. We then intend to travel on to the center of Mormonism, Salt Lake City, our next destination.

During the waiting time in Cinnabar we spoke with an old Saxon who had run away from his homeland to lead a free life in America as a hunter and trapper that apparently pleased him very much. Currently the man engages in a very brisk trade in bear furs and fossilized wood. With special enthusiasm he told us from his hunting expeditions on which he shoots the game emerging from the park but became very agitated when I asked him whether he was married and professed himself as a confirmed bachelor (Hagestolz).

Due to a happy coincidence, I was able to see the most audacious female rider of the area who is able to tame even the most intractable and wild horse, but has been quite neglected by nature as far as beauty and female grace are concerned.

In Livingston we had to use our Pullmann Car also as our night’s lodging as the train to Butte City was only to arrive towards 4 o’clock in the morning. The former city is a known trading place for furs and hides. In the shops one may buy the following: puma, bear, wolf, fox, cat and marten furs, buffalo hides, numerous antlers among them capital ones from wapiti and black-tail deer as well as from mountain sheep. Furthermore a lot of Indian curiosities such as weapons, jewellery and various products of the local industry.

The prices demanded by the merchants were completely outrageous. Furthermore we had to accept it as a kind of grace that they sold us the desired piece for our good money or even receive some sort of packaging. A simple Indian shawl cost 10 dollars, a badly stuffed buffalo head 600 dollars and a pair of wapiti antlers up to 200 dollars. Still our shopping craze was great as we had found many beautiful objects.

When I sent two of my gentlemen with all the necessary attestations and certifications to the post master in the evening and asked him to hand out my mail here in Livingston that had arrived at almost the same time as we and was addressed to Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, I had to experience another proof of American unfriendliness that was very detrimental for our mood. Even though the gentlemen also presented a letter from the post master at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in which he asked his colleague to hand us out the late-arriving mail which was just then laying on the counter so that individual addresses could be read and one could note that among the letters there were also some whose quick reception was important for me, the impolite post master did not want to give us our mail at any price and insisted to send it on to the place of address despite all our means used to change his opinion.Finally he put on his hat and left his office without a word.

Links

  • Location: Livingston, Montana, USA
  • ANNO – on 27.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the drama „Der Meister von Palmyra“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Romeo und Julie“.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, 26 September 1893

As I wanted to see the wonders of the Great Canyons again, I rushed at sunrise to another viewing point called Look-out Point. The sun was shining brightly into the color labyrinth and made the yellow tones stand out especially intensely. In the gorge an osprey was flying up and down and above us on a steep peak one could once again see an aerie. From Look-out Point I went up the very steep path with my quite unsuitable urban half-boots  to the great waterfall to the cliff that lay above it and offers a good overview of the rapids and the fall’s cauldron in which tree trunks were swirling.

As the coach was not yet there in place, we decided to undertake a small hunt for the most lovely striped squirrels that were scurrying around on the trees and the ground. There were many of them but we managed to bag but one as sticks and stones were our only weapons.

The drive soon after this frowned upon entertainment went in a Western direction through wooded undulating land and offered little variety. Just when we reached the Norris Hotel and returned to the already familiar road, we saw basalt rocks of adventurous forms in a gorge, among them an eminent big block called the „devil’s elbow“.

At the funny Irishman’s we ate breakfast again in the tent with numerous flies and continued the morning’s hunt for squirrels, with as much cover as possible from the watchful eyes of the soldiers, as the coachmen declared that they had to rest their horses here for at least one and a half hours.

An immense number of fallen trees and wood pieces under which the very fast animals disappeared lightning-fast and into their burrows with wide-ranging passages that served also as hiding places made our start more difficult. After we had bravely run around for some time, we had finally bagged five pieces one among them still alive as it had fled into an empty tin box when it was pursued hard.

While we had seen the road between Morris Geyser Basin and Mammoth Hot Springs in winter dress and in considerable cold weather, the landscape now offered a very different picture: The snow had given way to the warming rays of the sun, so that the colors of the broadleaf trees that were changing between red, yellow and green were put on display to the fullest, especially the prairie-like high plateau and the ledges around Swan Lake. At Beaver Lake, none of its inhabitants. the industrious beavers, showed up while just before the Golden Gate another rare representative of the American animal world, namely the pronghorn, an especially notable strong male, became visible at shooting distance from the wagon and ran across the open area and repeatedly stood still without any sign of timidity. This antelope — America possesses but this one species — reminded me in gait and behavior of both our deer and the chamois. Very original are the hook-like crooked strong antlers.

Shortly afterwards I saw another strange animal move through the low bushes to the prairie at about 200 paces. At first I considered it to be a beaver due to its color and gait, but I soon recognized that it was a porcupine that had noticed our presence and had already turned around to flee. Quickly we jumped from the wagon and stormed after the animals using our lungs and legs to their fullest capacity and cornered it after an extended run. When the distance between us and the porcupine became to small, it jumped into a ditch where it was killed with a hunting knife. The American porcupine is quite different from the Indian one: The pines are considerably shorter, the front part of the body has long bristly hairs and it is of a darker color.

So we nevertheless bagged, without breaching the „No Shooting“ in the Yellowstone Park, a skunk, a porcupine and six squirrels as well as an innocent finch that had been hit by a projectile during the squirrel hunt. We still lifted, even though the hunt could not be called a noble one in honor of St. Hubert, our last and most interesting catch into the wagon with joy.

Towards the evening we arrived at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel where a major disappointment awaited us as the long expected mail had not yet arrived despite it being firmly promised.

Links

Grand Canyon Hotel, 25 September 1893

Chattering from the cold we left the camp early in the morning to do once more some fishing under the cloudless sky. The owner of the steamboat who is living next to the hotel and who was one of the few polite Americans whom I’ve met loaned us the necessary fishing equipment. With it we made a short crossing of the lake and soon were again in the river. This time everybody fished alone in a boat and I had myself rowed further downriver as I expected it to be a more promising location.

During the crossing I could observe numerous species of the bird world present at the Yellowstone River. Flocks of ducks were flying up and down, geese were flapping with loud cries, seagulls flew around in elegant flight and swift as an arrow. Buzzards, harriers and ospreys were circling above the boat whose movements had caused jays at the shore to take to the air accompanied by hoarse sounds.

In a small bay that looked well suited for a catch I anchored the boat and started my task with great patience. To my joy the first trout bit after about an hour, to be followed by four more in longer intervals. Each fish weighed about a kilogram. Some other trouts that I had already believed to have caught I lost again as it was at times not possible to take in the lightning-fast moving fish hanging on the rod on board.  One could clearly see that the fish were only taking the lures with reluctance due to the cold as they often played with it without biting. In the right season, fishing here must be a very entertaining sport as during that time one could catch a hundred pieces in a very short time.

After no trout wanted to bite any more and my efforts in another place proved futile too, I reunited with my gentlemen who had also made some catches and returned to the hotel where seven skunks captured and killed during the night were on display. They have a badger-like body and soft black and white speckled fur. As they befoul the whole area where they are living with their penetrating odor, they are keenly hunted.

In the afternoon we took the route to the Yellowstone Canyon in our coach, first alongside the lake shore, then alongside the Yellowstone river. Soon the closed forest stopped and changed to an open area with Artemisia plants that were surrounded by trees and presented an excellent terrain for feeding game. Probably many a buffalo herd must once have visited these places.

At the halfway mark of the journey next to the road was one of the strangest formations in the park called Mud Cauldron , a deep mud funnel geyser out whose side opening emerged a constant blue-greyish boiling foam with an accompanying strong steam and dull humming, which looks quite  uncanny. Every object that is thrown into the funnel disappears in the horrible opening forever, only wood pieces reappear from time to time on the surface but already quite decomposed.

Hayden Valley in the North is a completely treeless waste valley with undulating ridges with a small stream winding its way through it. A still visible beaten path shows the trail where a complete Indian tribe with wives and children had used to retreat from the Southern regions to the North after they had incurred considerable losses in the fights against other tribes. Nowadays, Indians are prohibited to enter the territory of the Yellowstone Park.

Just after we had driven over a bridge I saw a skunk run past. Shouting „Stop“ to the coachman, we grabbed sticks and jumped out of the wagon and now began a happy hunt in which we also threw stones. The skunk did not want to go into the water even if it was cornered but kept running up and down the shore until it finally faced us and made lavish use of its last means of salvation, its horrible perfume. This, however, did not inhibit us to slay it. Thus we had achieved a hunting trophy in the park even without using the rifles. I gave the order to store it in the second wagon and then we drove on, talking about the happy skunk hunt.

As soon as we had arrived at the Grand Canyon Hotel where we would spend the night, Hodek brought a message that the coachman of the second wagon had refused to bring along the skunk. Hodek had tried to tie it to the axle but the coachman jumped down from his seat and threw the skunk far away which led to a big commotion between the two. The skunk had been left behind. I, however, did not want to let go of this catch made with great effort and we held a war council to decide what we could do, taking into consideration that we would not be allowed to take the animal with us into the hotel. Finally a considerable amount of dollars won over the missgivings of the coachman who rode back with Hodek and soon the hide of the skunk lay well packaged in an iron tin between the other baggage pieces.

The greatest landmark of the park is without doubt the great canyon of the Yellowstone river that alone would warrant a visit to the park. Armed with experience I had very much kept my reserve during the praising of this natural beauty, but must gladly admit that my expectations have been surpassed by far.

We arrived just at the right moment as the evening shortly before sunset is the best moment for visiting the canyon. We drove in a small wagon from the hotel. Due to the bad condition of the wood path this trip imprinted itself unsparingly into our memory. Passing by multiple viewing points that let us already guess about the splendor of the valley, we finally arrived at the foot of the Inspiration Points rising 460 m above the Yellowstone river. There the gorge lay in front of us falling more than 300 m down with steep almost vertical walls that had fantastically formed protrusions with wildly jagged peaks and rock needles, while the river was meandering in a blue band through the valley bottom. The rocky peaks that rose next to each other like a backdrop showed the most audacious forms too and enclose small gorges as well as scree slopes filled with dropped off stones. Rhyolith out of which the rocks are made up is also very much exposed to weathering and decomposition so that without interruption individual pieces separate themselves and the jaggedness is continuously increasing.

The most beautiful and strange of the canyon by far are the various colorings in which the rocky stones and especially the scree are gleaming. All the colors one might think about are represented here in various shades but yellow, red, pink and white are predominant. Especially red is present in all nuances from the darkest blood red to the most delicate pink in a range hardly any well equipped paint-box will match. The few dark spots are formed by the not very numerous crippled pine trees that are enduring in the rock clefts.

Even if a painter’s brush managed to create an exact and realistic rendering of all the colors we were seeing here in all their shades and in their glazes and bizarre forms of the rocks, everyone would still believe that the image was unnatural and something close to it could not exist in nature. Even the most detailed description by a master would be insufficient to give a good representation of the surprising variety of the pomp and splendor developed here. Who wants to see it in all its great majesty needs to have stayed here at a beautiful fall evening to have a dream of the most audacious imagination turned into reality.

At the entrance to the gorge one the Great or Lower Waterfall of the Yellowstone becomes visible and falls at this spot foaming and thunderous  over a vertical rocky wall of nearly 100 m, while the Upper Waterfall lies in the far distance and appears only as a silver-white point. To the other side, the gorge loses itself into the wooded mountains that take on a dark purple coloring in the evening, while behind them a snow-covered mountain giant concludes the composition in an effective manner. This gorgeous view can only be placed on the same worthy level as the few moments when the fog parted in Darjeeling and revealed the Himalaya’s peaks in their virgin majesty.

Inspiration Point,  a rocky peak in the middle of the canyon and not very difficult to reach for those not suffering from vertigo, is the most favorable panoramic spot. All the more I was wondering why there were no safety measures installed for the visitors and there were neither railings nor steps to make the ascent easier on the quite dangerous path of whose outermost point I would like to warn everyone who is not a mountain climber.

The deeper the sun sank below the mountains the more diverse became the game of colors so that we, lost in admiration, could not separate ourselves from the spectacle for a long time, until the repeated warning of the coachman who feared to make the return trip in darkness forced us to leave Inspiration Point. Some large stones that we pushed down, jumped from ledge to ledge and fell down from the enormous height in a few seconds and disappeared with a thud in the river.  On one of the rocky needles, glued to its highest peak, we discovered a large aerie whose builder selected a probably inaccessible spot.

In the evening three bears, apparently an old female with two young ones, were rummaging through the heap of tins barely 200 paces distant from the hotel. They were discovered by gentleman who had hidden himself nearby. When the whole swarm of visitors, among them we too, however descended there from the hotel, the bears unfortunately disappeared never to be seen again as the hotel guests, especially the ladies, were very noisy, chatting and giggling, which would have driven away even a tame bear.

Without the implacable „No Shooting“ I certainly would have taken up position in this not very poetic place, convinced that I would have had an opportunity for a shot during the night.

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