At Sea to Bombay, 14 January 1893

The fourth hour of the morning meant it was time to hoist the anchor in Colombo and leave this paradise on earth. The days in Ceylon, its majestic tropical world, its hospitality and the pleasures the island offered will live on in our memories.

Not the angel in gleaming armor and a flaming sword who sent Adam out of the paradise but the prosaic figure of the journey timetable made us depart. Thus we left paradise, like our ultimate forebear, in a sad mood. With rather more equipment, however, than him, and also not to plow the acres but to pierce the ocean waves by the sweat of one’s brows. The piercing was truly not easy as in the gulf of Mannar, the sea was moving rather violently. In the afternoon, Cape Comorin became visible which lies southwest oft he so called Adam‘s bridge, a set of sand banks which connect India to Ceylon that constitute the Northern border of the gulf of Mannar, resting on rocky reefs. According to a myth the god Rama should have forced the sea god to create a connection between the island and India in order to recover Sita which had been kidnapped and brought to the island by Ravana. The sea god put stone upon stone until India and Ceylon were connected by a dam over which Rama and his army of humans and monkeys marched.

Towards the evening the wind became somewhat calmer so that we could have a quiet dinner on the afterdeck.

Those whom the god Neptune did not force to pay the maritime tribute were writing in their diaries during the afternoon, the diary had been badly neglected during the last days, or sorted and packed the treasures bought on Ceylon.


  • Location: near Cape Comorin, India
  • ANNO – on 14.01.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. In Paris, the Panama scandal is still raging. Chief topic is the identity of the anonymous owners of some Panama bonds which Ferdinand de Lesseps up to now is not revealing. A group of French senators has met the president to assure him of their commitment to the republic and the public order. Meanwhile, according to a further article in the Neue Freie Presse, the state of the Banque de France is not looking rosy either. The newspaper also includes a report about orphanages in Lower Austria which cared for 20.723 children in 1892. The mortality rate of children under one year was 43%, while the overall mortality rate in the orphanages was 13,9%. More children actually die in the orphanage than leave it annually alive.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is finally playing Grillparzer’s „Das goldene Vließ“, while the k.u.k Hof-Operntheater is also repeating the combo of „Cavalleria Rusticana“ and „Rouge et Noir“.

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