Fourteen Months Abroad – Berlin, Germany

July 8.-The journey yesterday from Dresden was rather uninteresting. The weather was not pleasant and the country was flat. Large patches of a low yellow flower attracted my attention, which a gentleman in the same car with us told me was rape. These masses of golden blossoms were beautiful to look upon. We arrived here at 5:18 yesterday afternoon and are stopping at Pension Daheim, 70 Tinter den Linden. A cab brought us here from the station. We left Dresden at 2:26.

In our room is a high, white porcelain stove in which we have a little fire this morning. Fran Schmidt, who is at the head of this pension, has a sister with her (Miss Kranz) who speaks English. Fran Schmidt does not.

For our dinner today we had tiny wild strawberries with whipped cream. It was just one week yesterday afternoon since we left Kissingen. It seems much longer. How much we have seen and enjoyed since then.

July 9.-The weather has been rainy and cold, and we have accomplished but little. Yesterday we rode through many streets to the Silesian Station and back. While we were in the car it rained hard. We crossed the river Spree and saw trains pass on the city elevated railroad, which has sixty-six bridges over streets. These trains were continually going, but often looked empty.

L. went out with Miss Kranz yesterday and bought while gone a cover (material) for my Eisenach pillow. He has gone for money and to get films for his kodak. Miss Kranz is from Weisbaden. She has been very kind and seems like a friend. There was some discussion last night at supper as to whether Berlin is the third or fourth city in size and in population.

July 10.-Although it rained and both of us have colds we have been to see the palace of Emperor William I. A lady guide conducted us through the rooms but could speak only German. We inquired of those who were with us if any one in the company could speak English and found a lady and gentleman who could and who very kindly interpreted for us what the guide said. They took special pains to do so. We passed through room after room on the first and second floors. On the second floor are the rooms that belonged to the Empress Augusta. We saw her elaborately carved piano. Everything in this palace is left as it was during the life of this beloved emperor. He occupied the ground floor and there he died March 9th, 1888. Three eights (888) and three emperors in one year—so a German lady remarked to me. The Empress Augusta died two years later. It was most interesting to wander through these rooms. The Emperor’s rooms are crowded with presents and souvenirs. It is quite touching to see how much this great Emperor must have cared for little remembrances. Easter eggs, for instance, which had been given to him he preserved carefully. The rich, costly gifts are there also. We saw large, handsome vases and two artificial bouquets of the Emperor’s favorite corn flower (centaurea cyanus). No one is allowed to touch these treasures. His workroom, his library and the Malachite room all interested us. Many things in the latter room are made of this green material. We visited the room where his first breakfast was served. This room contains the high circular stairs which lead to the room above, where he took his second breakfast. We looked with much interest upon the large corner window where the Emperor stood each day to see the guard changed, being unable in his latter days to leave the palace. As the white shade was down we could not look out of this window. Some of the walls in this palace are white, others are hung with a red material. We were much interested in the paintings. One is of “Little Vie—the Empress Victoria in her youthful days. The so-called portrait of Queen Louise on the staircase is there. I have cherished this at home as genuine. How surprised and grieved I was to be told by our lady guide that this is not a likeness of Queen Louise but of a beautiful actress who resembled her and who stood for her by order of her son—William I. The real portrait is in the same room with the false one and was pointed out to us by the guide. I failed to see much resemblance. She is represented in the true portraits of herself with a broad band about her neck. This was considered her style but was really worn, the guide told us, because she had scrofula in her neck.

The lady and gentleman who kindly interpreted for us in the palace followed us out to the street and wished to know who we were. We found that he was our American consul at Hamburg and that his name was Crane. He was much surprised when I told him that my maiden name was Crane and wished to know if I belonged to the New Jersey Cranes.

This afternoon we visited the Aquarium. The interior, fitted up to imitate natural grottoes, bears very little re-semblance to the aquarium in Naples. First we entered the snake room. L. says he “thinks they beat any snakes he ever saw.” The serpents are fifteen or twenty feet long and very large around. We saw apes from the old and new world, fishes both large and small, including gold fishes with wonderful fins, so thin and transparent that we could almost imagine they were wings. In the crocodile grotto are several good sized crocodiles and in the turtle grotto one enormous turtle is swimming in the water alone. We think he is a yard long and nearly as broad. The salamanders, lizards, monstrous eels and queer looking crabs and lobsters interested us. A four-footed duck in the water greatly amused us with his four feet at one end of his body. The head can be drawn in so that at times he appeared to have none. The star fishes are beautiful—some of them a bright scarlet. We visited the large bird house where there are birds from all parts of the earth—some with very brilliant plumage.

July 11.—Much has been closed today that we wished to see because it is Monday, which they call cleaning day. However, it has been profitably spent. We visited first the Royal Palace of the present Emperor. A guide conducted us through the rooms. All of us were requested to put large moccasins, which were provided for us, on our feet. Some young American ladies were quite merry over them. Although the rooms are more richly furnished and might be considered more beautiful than those in the older palace they were not as interesting. Many fine paintings are on the walls. The Palace Chapel, the last room shown, “is lined and paved with marble of different colors and adorned with frescoes on a gold ground”— of evangelists and prophets.

From the palace we went to the old Museum and looked at the old paintings and statuary and then on to the new Museum where we saw more ancient statuary and sculpture. Afterwards in the National Gallery we found modern paintings and modern sculpture. It really was refreshing to see something modern. We much enjoyed the animal and landscape paintings and the statuary. We were obliged to walk home in the rain because the omnibuses were full and would not take us in. A long, long walk on Unter den Lin-den in the rain !

Later we rode in an electric tram through the Thiergarten to Charlottenburg. Before entering the Theirgarten we passed through the lofty portal of the Brandenburg Gate, which has five different passages with massive Doric columns and is surmounted by a Quadriga of Victory—four copper horses abreast. The two wings resemble Grecian temples. On this side of the gate are two fountains with old-fashioned lilies around them, which I enjoyed. On our way the grass was full of pink and white daisies.

First we visited the Royal Palace and Mausoleum in Charlottenburg. This Mausoleum contains all that is mortal of Queen Louise and her husband, Frederick William III, their second son, the late beloved Emperor William I, and the Empress Augusta. Through the blue glass these recumbent figures in white marble are beautiful. The face of Queen Louise resembles her true portrait and not the one on the staircase—the neck being large and swollen. While we were there a procession of school boys was brought into the Mausoleum; they gazed reverently upon these tombs.

We next visited the royal palace which Frederick I built for his Queen Sophia Charlotte, not long before her death.

Here we saw the apartments once occupied by Frederick the Great and also the wainscoted rooms of Queen Louise in the newer part of the castle. A very old piano, which be-longed to Queen Charlotte, was shown us. Also a room containing blue porcelain dishes—wedding gifts from the merchants of London to Queen Charlotte. Even the walls were decorated with this crockery.

It was like riding through beautiful woods all the way from Berlin to Charlottenburg. On our return to Brandenburg Gate we took the Ringbahn tram and rode an hour and a half, going around through many streets and returning to our starting point. Passed the splendid Imperial Parliament House and another large park called Frederick’s Woods. We returned with the feeling that Berlin is too large a city to see in a few days.

We are in a noisy location. Wagons are continually rattling over the stone pavements but of course it is pleasant to be on the noted Unter den Linden. Although it is said to be one of the finest streets in Europe we are greatly disappointed in the trees—some of which are small. We have walked the entire length of the street, which extends from the Brandenburg Gate to the monument of Frederick the Great, where its trees stop, and thence across the river to the palace gate of the present Emperor. It is about one mile in length.

July 12.-I have returned from a short walk on the Unter den Linden. Dropped a postcard into a letter box and picked some linden leaves from a tree. They were too high for me. A gentleman kindly pulled a branch down and I helped myself. I thanked him and he took off his hat politely. We saw one day the palace of the Empress Frederick. It is not shown to the public. I am told that she resides in a palace in Hamburg. While out I noticed carefully this famous street. Street crossings and sidewalks interfere with the long line of linden trees. I looked at the elegant Hotel Bristol which we have seen every day from our pension. We have enjoyed our stay of five days here. Both of us dread the journeys that are before us but we must press on.