Fourteen Months Abroad – Eisenach, Germany

July 1.—After dining yesterday at the Englisher Hof and after bidding Mrs. Liebeskind and the Fraulein adieu we walked to the station from Villa Liebeskind, Johann taking our trunks and baggage on a dray. We bade him good-bye and left Kissingen station at 2:21. Twice we were obliged to change cars, which made the journey rather tire-some and exciting, inasmuch as the second change was wholly unexpected. We had been riding only about nine minutes after the first change when we were obliged to crawl out of the car again with all our hand baggage and walk in haste to another train. The weather was pleasant and the landscape lovely and restful. We saw women in the Melds raking hay and loading it. There were most remarkable displays of wild red poppies which grew thickly in the clover and also in the grass. Fields were dotted with them. There were old fashioned flowers blooming among the vegetables which gave me a thrill of pleasure. There were tiny convolvulus blossoms (pink) growing thickly on the railway track. I saw two of the black birds I have learned to love hopping about in a field. There were antiquated looking towns, some of them with walls. Munnerstadt was one. It had queer old towers.

Mrs. L. gave me a lovely bouquet of roses yesterday as we were leaving. It was an affectionate goodbye from both her and the Fraulein.

We reached Eisenach at 5:30 yesterday afternoon and think it is most interesting to be in this ancient town where Martin Luther, the greatest of the Protestant reformers of the sixteenth century, when a school boy earned his daily bread by singing from door to door. This morning we visited Wartburg Castle which stands on a lofty eminence 565 feet above Eisenach. A gentleman and lady (Mr. and Miss Eichelbroth, father and daughter) went with us in a carriage from the hotel. They are Germans, but speak English. A guide conducted us through the castle. The last room shown was Luther’s room—the most interesting of all. We were told that it is much as it was when occupied by him. Here are shown Luther’s table, his portrait, his armor as “Junker Georg,” bookcase, letters, his bedstead, a green tile stove and his footstool, which is an enormous bone from the spine of a mammoth and is considerably worn. In this room he did his literary work. We were shown there what was left of the inkspot made when he threw his inkstand at the devil. The most of the plastered wall around it has been broken off and carried away by visitors. The larger part of the walls of the room and all the ceilings are of wood. We took special pains to look from a window in Luther’s room to see what he saw. It is a lovely view and must be much the same that Luther had. To Wartburg Castle Luther was carried by ruffians, as he supposed, but really by friends to save his life. As he had been declared an outlaw, anyone could have taken his life without receiving punishment, His friend, the Elector of Saxony, ordered his capture and confinement while this great man was on his way from the famous Diet of Worms. Here in this castle and forest Luther was concealed ten months from his enemies under the assumed name of “Master George.” Here in this place of retirement which he called his “Patmos” he translated the New Testament. We took short walks about this old castle on the borders of the Thuringian forest.

It was a lovely ride through the town and through the forest. From the castle we looked down upon Eisenach and upon beautiful valleys on both sides of us. When the German Emperor comes to this region to hunt he occupies this castle. A part of it is fitted up for the Grand Duke and his family. These rooms visitors are not allowed to see. A splendid banqueting hall was shown us.

While I have been writing, L. has been resting. He just started up and said: “Why, are you writing now?”

We have taken a lovely ride this afternoon in an electric car as far as it went. It carried us through Eisenach and through Marienthal which is lined on each side of the street with pretty villas and gardens. After leaving the car we walked a short distance. There was a pretty stream of water and on both sides of us were lovely woods and paths which looked inviting and led into dark, mysterious recesses which we should have been glad to explore. We re-turned by car to the stores and bought postcards containing views of Eisenach, of Luther’s room and of the castle. It rained and we took another car to the hotel.

July 2.—We must leave Eisenach at 1:40. This morning we have walked about the town and have been to the market. A great crowd of peasants was there—some women wearing very short dresses. Many things were for sale at the market. I bought a wee earthen pitcher for a souvenir. We saw the Luther House where Ursula Cotta lived when Luther was a school boy of fifteen and went singing about the streets for money. In this house she took pity on him and gave him food and shelter.

We purchased a pillow for four marks and more post-cards with views. The great rocks we saw when riding and walking interested us. We find considerable old German architecture here.