July 25-29 Germany "News of War"

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July 26, 1914

Zurich - Heidelberg, Germany

Left Zurich at 8.14 for Heidelberg by way of Shaffhausen, Switzerland. We had a most exciting time. When the train started, we found that Mrs. G with the tickets and baggage had been left behind! We had a greatly excited time with the conductor until we found a very nice man - Ferd Steinmuller - 320 Beech St. Roslindale - Boston Mass - who understood German and helped us out. We stayed on the train - passing the Falls of the Rhine - until we got to Shaffhousen, where the conductor held the train for five minutes until a few minutes later the train arrived with Mrs. G. and baggage! He did not make us pay for our fare either.

The trip thru' the Black Forest was very interesting - queer little houses and barns built together with the roofs in the center and thatch on either end with very wide eaves. Passed thru' Karlsruhe where Princess Salm-Salm used to live. The railroad passed around the mountains and thru' many tunnels - at times we could see whole trains - some mountains were very high and thickly wooded.

Reached Heidelberg at about 3 o'clock and stayed at the Pension Flora which I would decidedly not recommend to my friends. Hotel Victoria & Hotel d'Europe both good-looking hotels. It rained hard and we did not go out at night. The town seemed very much excited over the news of war being declared between Austria and Serbia. There were troops constantly passing for some reason, and Sunday extras were printed for the first time in 30 yrs - which, alas, we cannot read!

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July 27

Heidelberg, Germany

Rain - rain - we walked thru' the shopping district but were not impressed with the stores.

Excitement has not abated. Rained hard in the evening - we did not go out -

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July 28

Heidelberg, Germany

Took a carriage in the morning up a beautiful drive past Bismark's Tomb across an old bridge across the Neckar River with an old gate to Hirschgrasse - the university duelling place - a little inn plain as could be. Here the students really fence? for enjoyment, and half the men you see have horrible scars. It seems to be their sport as football is in American universities. If we had been there a short time before we could have seen four duels. The university was still in session - the last week before closing I believe. Saw an old table which had been carved with students names - Bismark's son and other prominent men - saw V. Brewer (note: Brewer was Mrs. Halsey's birth name) - went to the university and saw classrooms and the assembly hall and most interesting of all, a prison where students are confined for punishment. While there they decorate the walls with pictures, poetry etc. - and leave their photos on the back of doors.

The castle is a very interesting quaint old place - dating from 13th century - the walls in some places are 19 ft thick. It has been added to from time to time, and is a jumble of different architecture. It has been destroyed and partially restored from time to time. In 1689 it was blown up by the French on the approach of the Germans, and in 1764 it was stuck by lightning. Otto Heurrchs said to be best example of Renaissance architecture in Germany. Part of the castle has lately been restored, but it looks new and ornate. A beautiful view of Heidelberg from the tower with river.

In the afternoon we went to the hospital - which seems very much like other hospitals - as Mrs. G. had been ill there with typhoid. We met the head nurse, Hannah von Weech who knew Winona J. - Princess Salm-Salm from Karlsrube - In the evening we went to a beer garden & concert - a typically German woman's orchestra. Bought an enamel pin at Heidelberg.

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July 29

Heidelberg - Cologne, Germany

Left Heidelberg at 6.05. Went to Mainz by train where we took the boat for the trip to Cologne - weather raining.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2017 20:09 )