Schlagwort-Archiv: Vancouver

Vancouver, 7 September 1893

We had to stay a day longer in Vancouver to give the hunting organizers time for their preparations for our expedition into the Canadian Rocky Mountains and I thus planned for today to hunt in the vicinity of the city with a hunting expert and kill a grouse or some other animal. The expectations about its results were very divided. Some said that we would encounter game, most however proclaimed that the right season for this was already over. My undertaking seems to have been enough to displease the heavens — already early in the morning it started to pour down and a cold wind blew and howled over the roofs  so that the hour of departure had to be delayed until the rain had begun to relent. Then we drove out of the city in a high light carriage with three of my gentlemen and the hunting expert who was dressed very impractical in an immaculate black salon dress and equipped with thin half-boots and a black hat.

Our path first led to a long wooden bridge across a sea arm, then continued along a gentle mountain ledge that at first was covered only by burnt dead forest but later was stocked with luxurious beautiful trees especially on the opposite side. Across a second bridge we reached a large island that carries the lovely name of Lulu Island and is settled rather densely by farmers. Between the forest lots were fields primitively cultivated with potatoes, oats and barley. Agricultural machines were buzzing everywhere, while cattle and horses were grazing on small meadows — the first true meadows we had seen for nearly a year. The farmers‘ houses were in no way different from those in Vancouver.

We had reached the scene of today’s action and the hunting expert advised us to range at the edge of the sea through the reed but stayed behind for good reason given his half-boots. The reed was not especially high but was difficult to cross due to the many intervening streams. Just at the beginning of our journey we saw, out of reach, some geese and ducks lift off from the sea but then the location seemed dead. A great bittern and three  common snipes constituted our total catch as we later only saw a single one of the promised ducks fly over our heads. Instead we encountered plenty of dead salmons with dark red meat that were partly floating on the water surface and partly had been swept on land by the high tide.

As it had started to rain again on this unsatisfactory expedition, returned to the hunting expert and asked about his further plans. A local expert was called and assured us that in the island region there would be plenty of grouse and pheasants. He indicated multiple fields and depots as the best hunting grounds. We went to these in the pouring rain after having eaten a snack in a barn. In a forest lot overgrown with tall ferns we found not a single living being — it was then said that the grouses must be in the fields as they were not in the forest. Thus we assiduously rushed criss-cross across the oat fields but also without results as before in the forest until finally the hunting expert explained that the farmer had apparently shot the grouse himself and we thus were unlikely to encounter such game. We thanked him very much with some winged words for this belated friendly information and mounted completely soaked into our carriages to return to Vancouver where we made preparations for our departure and ended the day with a truly bad dinner.


  • Location: Vancouver, Canada
  • ANNO – on 07.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Margarethe (Faust)“.

Vancouver, 6 September 1893

Vancouver is of a fully American vintage as the area now covered by the city had been dense jungle in 1885 that had to make way for the small but rapidly growing settlement. Six years after its foundation, the settlement could already be declared a city which now has 20.000 inhabitants and is besides the capital Victoria the most important city of British Columbia as the endpoint of the Canadian Pacific railway and starting point of the transoceanic steamer lines to  Japan and China continuously gains in importance and is in pole position in the fish and wood trade of the North.

The construction stages of Vancouver followed the often described American pattern: first roads, then electric lighting and finally domestic buildings. The latter, incredibly sketchy and for the most part built out of wood can be divided into two groups: They are either „practical buildings“ and thus nothing more than boxes for keeping humans and their possessions or they are „beautiful buildings“ that resemble with their turrets, bays and red paint, an output of a complete lack of taste and constructed in villa style, the houses children put together out of the material from the well known building block kits. These villas are often surrounded by tiny gardens of only a few square meters where the lawn is well tended and appears in a luxurious green. Cities such as Vancouver consist of a core of houses that contain shops and public buildings. Having passed through them, the regular rows of houses end as often only one or two buildings stand in a long-winded avenue with an overblown name. In between is land for sale and the roots of chopped giant trees and the remains of burned trees emerge out of the dense weed.

Such a community makes for a very chastening impression as it immediately shows that its inhabitants are only directed towards profit, the quick earning of money and organize their lives only according to this task and are bereft of the sense for beauty or comfort. What is not profitable, public structures, avenues etc, is mostly discarded. Instead the electric railway whizzes through the streets and many thousands of telegraph and telephone wires are hovering over our heads.  Everybody rushes to do business, urges and hastes. One does not see happy faces. Friends rush past each other without a heartfelt greeting as this would cost them time. Sometimes dubious figures or ragged Indians can be seen in the streets whereas the latter offer a disgusting sight in their degeneration totally ruined by the consumption of fire water and in nothing resemble their proud ancestors, the former owners of this land.

The streets in the most central part of the city of Vancouver are covered with tarmac, all others with much dirt. The sidewalks consist of strong planks of the most beautiful cedar wood. Public buildings have been constructed according to the local taste very quickly and in no less than pleasing form such as the  court of justice, multiple schools etc.

The largest landmark of Vancouver is Stanley Park, a reserve Reserve on a peninsula surrounded by sea bays which still has part of the gorgeous ancient trees that are protected here from profiteering utilization.

The path to the long wooden bridge that connects Vancouver to the park over a sea arm shows on both sides how the splendid jungle are cleared here. A ruthless war of annihilation is undertaken against these 500 to 600 year old cedars, thujas and Douglas fir trees that have reached a height of more than 100 m and a circumference of the trunk of 8 to 10 m and now have to make way so that space can be cleared. The most gorgeous wood that would represent a fabulous value at home is used here to almost exclusively as fuel for locomotives. In most cases a forest is burned down as the saw and the ax are not working fast enough. It hurts to see these mighty patriarchs of the wood be destroyed in vain and on thousands of hectares to see only the remains of former beautiful stocks as withered trunks rising into the sky that are charred at the bottom.

Fire kills these giants that are then, if necessary, cut down and completely burnt. The digging out of the roots means the final step of making the soil fit for agriculture. The cleared ground then remains fallow for multiple years before it is plowed and cultivated. In the whole surrounding area of Vancouver is full of smoke and glimmer. Everywhere one hears the ax strike and even there where there is currently no prospect of starting cultivation at the moment the wood is still burned down by fire in the mean time so that the obstacle is removed for all future eventualities.

After these images of destruction the eye refreshes itself by the sight of the splendid forest of the Stanley Park, the trunks full of ancient force that had set roots here hundreds of years before and under which only the elk and the bear moved while only rarely the steps of a redskin or the call of a wapiti interrupt the deep silence. Now there are everywhere beautiful paths and English inscriptions that prohibit hunting or any kind of destruction and announce the names of various parts of the park. Pale ladies drive around under the the trees for a stroll or arrange picknicks under the shady tree cover. Many of the tree giants has grown over-mature in time, its trunk foul in the interior and the tree top dead but it still remains standing for a human lifetime, imposing by its huge dimensions. One of these dead colossi has a circumference of 12 to 16 m, so that 12 persons can comfortably be accommodated in its interior. We see here cedars, thujas, Douglas and other fir trees, especially the beautiful balsam fir (Abies balsamea) with blueish-gray leaves on the lower side as well as spruces.

Even though the giant trees stand in rather close proximity and thus permit little light to penetrate, the undergrowth is extremely luxurious. We meet here  particularly tree and bush species that are common in Europe too such as maple, alder, hazelnut, poplar, willow etc. Noticeable is the mighty growth of the raspberry and blueberry bushes that form almost small trees and from which one could even make cuttings. Long moss and lichen hang picturesquely from the lower tree branches and the thick entanglement of the undergrowth. The park is enlivened by the numerous channels and bays where one can spot large salmons jump into the air. The mountainous mainland of Canada on the opposite side creates an effective background for the park.

As there was no game in the park despite the hunting prohibition, a zoo has been created at the exit — apparently as a replacement —  in which two American black bears (Baribal, Ursus americanus), two beautiful sea eagles with snow white heads and tails as well as a much harried monkey were living in their cages.

After this truly enjoyable excursion I returned to the city to watch for some time the  outstanding games of some members of the Lawn Tennis Club. I would have gladly joined the game but I lacked the courage given the skills displayed here.


  • Location: Vancouver, Canada
  • ANNO – on 06.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Aida“.


Vancouver, 5 September 1893

After the beautiful evening, a dense fog appeared as a herald of the close coast. Already at 4 o’clock in the morning fog signals of our ship given with the steam whistle and siren in five minute intervals. As one could hardly see from the middle of the ship to the fore, the commander did not dare to continue the journey but had the machine stopped and awaited the morning while continuously sending out acoustic signals. At dawn our identification signal was whistled and soon repeated by a fog horn of a signal station at the coast — a convincing proof for the precision of the navigation on board. At 9 o’clock in the morning we finally started moving again, an hour later veiled contours of mountains became visible and we now could drive again at full speed. In time, the rays of the rising sun pierced the fog so that more and more some contours of the coast, mountains and wooded slopes could be recognized.  Further signs of land was the copious driftwood we saw, among it mighty cedar trunks. Many white butterflies were fluttering around the ship and also small birds paid a visit to our rigging from time to time.

The fog lifted, blue spots became visible in the sky and we saw, even though there still was a layer of fog on the sea, quite clearly the quite high coast of the American continent and could perceive even with the naked eye mighty spruces, cedars and thujas whose high trunks rose straight up. Small white houses of settlers were gleaming under the dark green of the trees.

„Empress“ steered into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca that separated the British island Vancouver from the mainland of the United States, Washington state, so that we had at the same time territories of two states in front of us. The sun provided agreeable warmth and after a number of cool days the passengers were comfortably sunning on deck.

Towards 2 o’clock in the afternoon a trumpet signal announced that Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, had become visible and soon we anchored in the harbor. The city is situated on the South-east coast of Vancouver island and Victoria harbor entertains vivid trade and shipping as a mutual place of exchange for ocean and river steamers with the harbors of the Strait of Georgia and Fraser river. The bay offers a quite friendly view. Around the bay the city is built on a ring of green hills and islands. The city reveals at first glance its modern American character: the streets run straight, the houses are mostly built out of wood in a tasteless fashion, painted reddish and covered by a forest of pillars that carry a network of telegraph and telephone wires as well as the cables for the electric lighting. In the harbor, the masts and parts of the aft of the sunk steam boat „San Pedro“ protruded sadly out of the sea.

Our stay in front of Victoria lasted but one hour that was spent for the medical examination by the harbor administration and the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers. For this purpose the giant harbor wheel steamer „Yosemite“ whose beam engine towered over the deck approached the „Empress“ closely. Apart from the passengers embarking to Vancouver there were also a whole crowd of nosy persons on board and long before the steamer had docked, a lady shouted from it who among the travellers was the prince. But I did not grant her the pleasure of my appearance and thus she had to return on land without having seen me.

Right from the first approach to America we had be exposed to one of the plagues of this country —  reporters who are notorious for their unavoidable aggressiveness and wanted to interview us immediately. The departure of „Yosemite“ shut off this fruitless undertaking and we too hoisted the anchor, steering through a number of smaller islands that presented themselves quite picturesque with their beautiful trees breathed upon by the blueish mist of the evening air. In a small channel we encountered the maneuvering English Pacific Squadron, — consisting of the flagship „Royal Arthur“, a mighty armored ship of 7700 t, a corvette and two gunboats — intended primarily to protect the fishing industry in the Bering sea and which is stationed in Esquimalt, about 48 km South-west of Victoria.

In the Strait of Georgia we enjoyed one of those rare beautiful sunsets. The sun showed itself almost in a Nordic way as a  crimson ball in the foggy air before it disappeared behind the mountains of Vancouver island. The purple contours of the islands created a sharp contrast to the evening sky.

To recover the delays from this morning caused by the fog, we drove at full speed on all boilers so that we managed up to 18 sea miles per hour. The second captain told me with a smile that the the commander and the first machinery engineer had only recently been married and where doing their utmost to reach their home in Vancouver as quickly as possible. I found this marital bliss very touching and very agreeable for all passengers as we thus could expect to land already in the evening. Quite many maritime journey would come to an end more quickly if the ship captain only had been married recently.

We still had to pass through a narrow channel. Then we saw many electric lights that indicated the presence of a harbor nearby. At 10 o’clock in the evening the „Empress“ moored at a mole, on which I immediately, despite the darkness, discovered Imhof who was expecting the arrival of the ship and whom I was to meet here. What a joy to meet a good friend, after such a long absence from home, who comes directly from there to us! No wonder that Imhof still had to answer our questions deep into the night and had to give us all kinds of news. That he also brought the mail, made him doubly welcome.

The hotel we stayed in which was also owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company instantly showed the discomforts of American hotels we were already expecting: The bad or better said non-existing service, the annoying ban on smoking and the lack of salons and smoking rooms where one could while away some time after dinner. Finally the cooking. I am certainly no gourmand and count eating among the least of life’s pleasures. Anyhow I can not become friends with the English way of cooking that is used in America too. All roasts are prepared in the same manner „à Ia roast beef“ and are notable for their one and only taste, the vegetables are only boiled with water and another dessert than the inevitable pudding seems to be totally unknown.


Wiener Salonblatt No. 37 notes the safe arrival of Franz Ferdinand in Vancouver.

Wiener Salonblatt No. 37 notes the safe arrival of Franz Ferdinand in Vancouver.