top of page

Trip Around the World Part 2, 1909

Trip Around the World Part 2, 1909


S.S. Lindula, Straits of Malacca

Saturday, Jan 2, 1909

We got in to Singapore Thursday 6 p.m., and went right to the same hotel---not Raffles--- where we stopped before. The Raffles hotel is the best here, but we are put off in a second-class place. I guess that is a Cook trick. There were letters from Ella B. and Em, and postals from Bertha L and Nelle. I was disappointed at not getting some letters, but the next day brought the rest that I had expected.

Mrs. Foster and I had rooms together again, and we began the New Year by getting up at six o’clock and repacking our trunks. We had been so tired the night before that all we could do was to take things out of the trunks, throw them over chairs, and leave them to air until morning. There was a watch meeting at the Episcopal Church, St. Andrews, near the hotel, but we were all too tired to go. We had to take things out of the trunks or they would get mouldy and spoiled. My things were all right, but some found shoes and gloves covered with mildew. I think the basket trunk kept things aired and dryer. It is a nuisance to have to dig down into our trunks this way, but we are getting used to bothers. At 6 a.m. we were at it “tooth and nail” and before breakfast our trunks were packed and locked. Being New Years, all the European stores were closed, so we walked down the native streets a few blocks, and then got on a car and rode out about five miles to a hotel on the beach. Had a ginger ale on the wide veranda overlooking the sea (that we were leaving cheerfully! And then back to the hotel for lunch.

At 3 p.m. in a pouring rain, we started for our steamer, in carriages. My! But it did rain! And kept it up for two hours, but stopped just before we started from the pier.

There are about thirty passengers aboard and everything “full up”. There are three of us in our stateroom, but I guess we will get along all right as the room is quite large. It is an English boat, and it is a comfort to have waiters that we can talk to.

That clean Dutch boat developed a capacity for dirt that made us happy to exchange for anything that was offered. The sea has been very quiet today and we hope it will behave itself the rest of the trip. We are all quiet too, for Java had a subduing effect upon us.

There is a Chinese family on board with a little girl three or four years old. The child has on a heavy gold chain and locket, five gold bangles on each wrist, heavy gold anklets, and three rings. Two of them, big diamonds. The mother is loaded down with diamonds. The father is sitting near me here on deck in a white European suit, and is a big a man as anybody. They say he is a rich merchant.

Sunday, January 3, 1909

We anchored in Penang harbor, an English colony, part of the Straits Settlement, about 6 a.m., and after a hurried breakfast of coffee and toast, went ashore in sampans. We were pounced on by rickshaw and gharris men, and some went in one, and some in the other, and off we went, the rickshaw men trotting along and keeping up with the ponies that were on a gallop part of the time. We drove out to the Botanical Gardens that varied from the ones we had seen in being partly on the mountain side and having a pretty little waterfall, cascading down the mountain, and meandering off through the trees and shrubs. There were some very fine orchids and palms. One lady says she never wants to see a palm tree again as long as she lives, and another is particularly soured on rice fields. Don’t know what I am sickest of, unless it is trunk packing. We have to be prepared for so many states of weather that it keeps us changing our clothes about all the time, Penang is a large town, and has some fine residences and club houses, men’s, and we drove by a race course and golf grounds. At 11 a.m. we stopped at a very pleasant hotel, right at the water’s edge, and on the broad veranda had tea and sandwiches served. Then we came back to the Lindula and started on at 12 o’clock. We are on the Bay of Bengal, and everything quiet at present. I forgot to mention that we stopped at a Brahmin temple while on the drive. It is filmier and more tawdry than the Japanese, more like a Chinese Joss House.  Some of the finest residences belong to Chinese, and the same is true in Singapore and Java. They send their children to Europe to be educated, wear European clothes, and ride in the most stylish carriages and automobiles that are to be had.

I have the honor of sitting next to the Maharajah of Sikkim, a province in the Himalayas between India and Tibet. He is an inoffensive little fellow about 18 or 20 years old, and looks like a Jap. Looks something like George would have if his eyes and legs had been straight. He took the conceit out of me by not in knowing that he had been in California when he sailed from San Francisco on his way home from England, where he has been at school. He has an English tutor with him that is really the head boss of the Rajah and his domain. He works at his arithmetic every day, and told me at lunch that he is very stupid in mathematics. He has several cages of birds, a beautiful parrot, a mocking bird, some canaries, and some little red and brown birds.

Monday, January 4, 1909

Nothing much doing. Played cards and wrote a letter. Saw the doctor about my eyes ad he says the inflammation is from the heat and glare. His lotion has helped them already, and I guess I’ll follow his advice and invest in smoked glasses.

There are big brown beetles in the rooms and cockroaches and ants galore. These are part of the joys of travel in the Orient. I take my slippers to bed with me so there won’t be animals in them if I have to get up in the night.

Tuesday, January 5, 1909

This has been a repetition of the 4th. The doctor inquired about my eyes very solicitously, and was glad to find them better. Read, wrote, played cards, sewed a fresh ruching in waist, and slept in my chair. It is tiresome and will be glad to land tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 1909

This morning when I looked out my window, there was land on both sides and that meant that we were in the Rangoon River, and by eight o’clock so we were landed on the dock at Rangoon.

Friday, January 8, 1909

That was as far as I got the first night in Rangoon, for I was so tired I had to go to bed. Now we are started for Mandalay, and as I am alone in a compartment I will devote my time to writing up the last few days. I find we are in second-class cars. Some of the party are in first class cars and little Clary is on the warpath. We were to have first class according to the agreement. They say that everything first class is engaged. We went to Java and returned on freight boats, and although we are supposed to go to the best hotels, we have had second class at Singapore and Rangoon, and several other places. Well, I suppose the Cooks are not out for their health, but at $12 a day I think we might have the best this country affords, for that is poor enough. If anyone asks about traveling in this way, tell them that they can travel cheaper, and more comfortably independently. Our conductor is cultivating quite a foreign accent, and guess that ought to compensate for some inconveniences.

We had just landed at Rangoon, and now I will go on with my story. Holmes [Holmes is the Cook’s Travel representative on the trip] hustled us into third class carriages, which he used altogether in Singapore, but the native guide came along just then, and had us change to nice clean little victories, so it looks as if H. is responsible for some of the bad treatment. Instead of our going to the Strand, the best hotel, we were taken to the Royal, second-class. The rooms were dirty, and the food poor. In spite of all this, I enjoyed Rangoon, for there is a most wonderful temple, or pagoda, or rather a collection of pagodas, that it is simply impossible to try to describe. The central one is 370 feet high, and there are about 350 smaller ones built around it. The whole is on raised ground paved with stone, and covering, I should think, three or four acres. I’ll send some pictures that show the shape of them. The large one is solid, made of bricks covered with plaster, and is supposed to cover some of the bones or hairs of Kehomet, or some other sacred relic, and I couldn’t find out when it was built or by whom. Will read it up when I get time. They are all covered with gold leaf, or made of colored inlaid glass put together with some sort of plaster. There is carving on everything and all covered with gold leaf or in colors. There are Buddhas galore, some with beautiful jewels adorning them. It is tawdry by daylight in spite of the costliness, but we stayed to see the moonlight on it, and it was like fairyland. There is no use trying to describe it. If Lizzie B has Murray’s Handbook of India, Burma and Ceylon, you will find a good description on page 451.

Yesterday morning we were called at 5:30, had tea and toast in our rooms, and then drove to see the elephants piling lumber or logs. They were moving logs of teak wood and piling them in another place. Their strength and skill was really wonderful. I feel silly using that word, for one of the ladies in the party calls everything she sees “perfectly wonderful”, whether it is a grasshopper or a temple.

We were taken to the prison workshop where there was a lot of carved teak wood furniture that the prisoners had made. We had the privilege of buying but didn’t. There were some pieces I would have been glad to have at home if I could smuggle them. A bazar and market finished up the morning. They are really all together, and the one we went to must have covered at least two blocks. There was booth after booth of silks, then a lot with woolen goods. Then there would be dozens of places with nothing but cotton goods. One man might have white goods and the next figured sarongs. There were shawls, jewelry, vegetables, seeds, fish, and everything imaginable, and most of them occupying about 6 by 10 feet of space.

After lunch I repacked my trunks, for the clothes get so damp that they have to be aired every chance we get. Next time I’ll travel in a suitcase. You ought to see the dilapidation of my two hats, and I’ve worn each just once.

After lunch we drove out to the monastery gardens, or temple grounds. The priests sit in their cells and study and meditate and say their prayers.  They beg their food, but will not take money, unless it is a large sum for the church. Some boys were playing football with a funny openwork bamboo ball, and were quite expert at kicking it. There was no rough and tumble about it, but all nice and gentlemanly. A big pond in these grounds was alive with fish and turtles, and they tumbled over each other to get the bread the guide threw to them. Some of the turtles were nearly three feet long.

On our way over to the Park, we passed a house with large gardens, all gaily decorated with flags and draperies. Someone said it was a wedding, but it turned out to be the receiving of a 10 year old son of the family into the Buddhist church. Sort of a confirmation, I guess. We met two men who had been there, and they each had a plate of sweets, as they call them, tied up in a handkerchief, and two yard silk sash in an envelope, presents they had received.

The park was one of the prettiest I ever saw. There was a long irregular lake, and there were all sorts of boats on it. One sailboat was a beauty, and would have made Will’s heart palpitate with joy.

Dinner is at 7:20, so there isn’t much time for anything after it is over. We went up on the roof garden a little while, but it was quite chilly, as we had no wraps on.

Today we started early so as to stop off at Pegu to see another pagoda and a Buddha. I suppose we will chase up pagodas now, as we did temples in Japan. This, I believe, is the oldest in Burma, and it certainly is sadly out of repair. The Buddha was really a wonder, for it is 180 feet long, lying on its side, and at the shoulder it is 46 feet high. The town was destroyed in one of the wars 150 years ago, and this image was forgotten, and was overgrown with vegetation. A few years ago, when looking for material for the railroad bed, it was uncovered, and is now being restored. It is made of brick and covered with plaster. On the soles of the feet are patterns in mosaics representing the noise of slippers. It is a fine thing and I am glad to have seen it.

From my writing I suppose you can see that I am on the train, hurrying on to Mandalay. You will have to read Kipling’s poem. We have been going through rice stubble field all day. There is no water on the fields, and it all seems to have ripened, and been cut like our grain. There are bands of cattle on the stubble too, and with the hills in the distance, it looks quite like home. There were thousands of bags of rice piled at the stations to be shipped. The bags were like our grain bags. The houses out in the fields don’t look homelike, for they are thatched, both roof and sides. The funny little carts drawn by water buffaloes, and the turbaned, barelegged natives, and the women washing clothes at the stream by beating them on a board or stone, all look foreign enough. The women smoking long cigars don’t look homelike either

There are thousands of crows about Rangoon, and they begin chattering about 5 am and make such a racket that you can’t sleep.

We had breakfast at Pegu at 10 am and lunch there at 2 pm and took the train at 2:30. We will have dinner somewhere on the road at 7:30, and then for the joys of my second-class bed. The seats are about two feet wide, which make them uncomfortable as seats, and I fear not very comfortable as beds. We have our own bedding, a red blanket, a comforter, two sheets, and a hard pillow. You can spread them out to suit yourself, and there you are as happy as you choose to make yourself. If I live through this trip I will have a tale of woe to relate that will draw salt, bitter tears from a stone.

Sunday, January 10, 1909

Yesterday was such a busy day that when night came, I had hardly energy enough left to get to bed. I had such an awful night in that awful car, that I had a very little sleep and got up and dressed at 5 o’clock. The train rocked and jolted so that it took nearly all my time to get dressed and things put away in my suitcase, so I hadn’t such time for meditation before we reached Mandalay at 7 o’clock. We came to Hotel Tenasserim, and had coffee and toast, and were given our rooms. As I didn’t run ahead and grab, I got the worst of the lot, which did not improve my state of mind. We were started on our tour of the town at 8 o’clock, and visited the gardens and palace of the former king, who was conquered by the English and banished to India. They showed us the veranda of a Summer House where he surrendered, which was impressive, of course. The garden was neglected, but there were weedy pond, with shaky little bridges and wharfs, and rocky walls made of bricks and plaster, and winking walks, weed grown and rough. The palace entrance was through a passage covered with pointed pagoda like roofs, and led into a red room with teak wood columns about 30 feet high. They called Mandalay (it was the old capital) the center of the universe, and this room was the center of Mandalay. There were three thrones, all gorgeous with wood carving covered with gold leaf and inlaid glass. The walls of the Queen’s rooms were all covered with inlaid pieces of mirrors, and there were four big mirrors in each room. The grounds were surrounded by a moat and wall.

We drove past the tomb of Mindos, one of the kings, and a white pagoda, near which was a smaller one for his white elephant. On each side, but outside the railing, were tombs of his wife and mother, showing how much more respected was the elephant.

We came back to a 10 o’clock breakfast and then were taken to the bazar, where there were silks, jewelry, etc., for sale, something like Rangoon only not so large. I didn’t by anything for the prices were pretty high, and anyhow, I don’t want to lug a lot of stuff around.

After lunch we went to a dilapidated pagoda with two enormous grinning brick and plaster lions guarding the entrance. There were frightful pictures on the walls o the first corridor, showing tortures of the wicked after death, people being boiled in kettles o oil, and being sliced up alive, and enjoying other pleasant performances. There was a big gold leaf covered Buddha, and walls still covered with gold. A bronze three headed elephant was shown as a special attraction, and a slimy green pond with enormous turtles, was another. And there were bells large and small, and pagodas too numerous to count. These pagodas, bells, etc., are given by the devout Buddhists, and they are supposed to “acquire merit” that help them on in the next world.

Our next stop was at the Queen’s golden pagoda. This was built before the King was deposed, but had not been dedicated; so on their way to the boat, as they were going into exile, they stopped and dedicated it. It is covered with gold leaf inside and out, and on one of the altars is a glass case containing relics, the central one being one of Buddha’s teeth. It is like a bear’s tooth, and an inch and a half long. He must have been a good, healthy size for the footprints they show are nearly three feet long.

We drove a long way around, by the Irrawaddy River, and saw the usual sight, buffalo carts loaded with hay and the frame reaching out over the cattle until you only saw their heads and legs beneath. Children ran about naked, or clothed airily in necklace, bracelet, nose ring, or anklet, or perhaps all of them.

It was funny to see the horses being managed. They seemed to like it, too. Wonder how Daisy would like it, or old Sally.

Sunday the 10th, we rested all day. I arrayed myself in the white linin dress I had made in Hong Kong, and felt quite civilized, in the evening some of us went to a Wesleyan Methodist church and get back in time for the 7:30 dinner.

Monday Morning the party went on a drive, 8 miles, to see the ruins of an old city. I knew it would be a warm, duty ride, and was dead tired anyhow, so stayed in bed, and heard the rest driving off at 7:30. I had breakfast about eight, sewed on some loose hooks and buttons, wrote a letter, and then walked about two blocks to the Wesleyan Mission School. I asked the if it was right for a woman to ride alone in a second class compartment, and they were horrified at the idea, and told me it was a very unsafe thing to do so I have it in for Miss Nancy Christian-Science Holmes.

The crowd got back at noon and told me in a quiet way, that I was wise to stay at home.

About three o’clock, we started out for a drive before going to the boat, and visited some more pagodas. They were the same old story, with a few variations. In one there was a large reclining Buddha, with his head resting on three chest of inlaid work, piled one on the other. In another were some very good white marble Buddhas, and another black one. They all had offerings of flowers laid on their hands, but the black one seemed most popular of all, if the flowers are counted for anything.

Then we were passing the barracks, the band was playing Dixie. It sounded mighty good, though a trifle strange in this far-away land.

At one of the open squares we stopped to watch some men playing football, and it was surprising how many funny capers they get in. They cannot touch the ball with their hands, but can use any other part of the body. They would strike with the head, back, or leg, but it was generally with the foot, whirling around and kicking from behind, or crossing one leg over the other, or cutting pigeon wings, and all sorts of antics.

Since we came on the boat, we have been told that that was one of the worst plague infected part of the town. I suppose Miss Nancy’s Christian Science is protecting us. The Missionaries told me that there are about twenty deaths a day from plague, but that Europeans do not get it here. Just the same, I am glad we are out of the place.

We are on the little steamer, “Ceylon”, ready to start down the Irrwaddy River in the morning. It only carries thirty first-class passengers, and a lot of freight and steerage passengers. They tie up at night, so we will be two days and nights getting down to Prome then 96 miles, where we take the train for another night’s ride to Rangoon. I do not expect to go second-class this time.

It is very entertaining to watch the natives on the shore, with their bright costumes, the priests all in orange shades, the carts with long-horned oxen, or buffaloes, and the whole lot wading through the dust and leaving clouds behind them. There are pagodas and Buddhas back on the banks. We can’t get away from them.

Mrs. Foster and I are rooming together, and we have one of the best cabins on the boat. Maybe they think this will pacify “little Clary”.

Monday, January 11, 1909

It was so foggy that we did not get started until eight o’clock and all day we have been passing villages with numberless pagodas. A person can “acquire merit” by helping to patch up some of the largest and finest of them, but when he wants to do the real up-to-date, soul saving stunt, he puts up a new one. It is rather too bad not to be able to use some of the old ones that are going to ruin, but they are not allowed to “acquire merit” in that way, so they go at it, and build another.

At about 5 pm, we came to a village where we tied up for the night. A few of us were silly enough to go ashore, and tramp through the dust to another village where the working people live. They and their oxen are in a much close neighborhood that it is hard to tell which house belongs to whom. The sunsets on the water are lovely, and when there are some along the banks and their oriental costumes gathered under them, it reminds me of Egypt and the Nile.

They take on boxes of tea and bales of cotton and bags of sugar and peanuts. They have a lot of jade on board, too, but as it is in pieces of 100 pounds or more, I see no chance to pick up a souvenir.

Tuesday, January 12, 1909

From my cabin window, this morning, I saw a most gorgeous sunrise, and it was just as we were passing the old city of Pagan with its pagodas of all shapes and heights outlined against the sky. The city extends nine miles along the river, so there was a continuous performance for some time. A little later, I saw in the distance some peculiar shaped pagodas on the top of a hill, which proved to be oil derricks. We stopped at a town near, and took on some oil.

The river is low now, as it is the dry season and they can’t carry all the freight, so they are towing tow barges or flats, as they call them. They took on one yesterday and another today. This is their winter and they have no rain for three or four months. During the rainy season the river is twenty or thirty feet higher.

The land all belongs to the English government, and the natives cultivate it and give one-tenth of the crop for rent. The Chinese, they say, buy up the crops as soon as they are planted, taking their chances on the results. The officer who told us said they were so shrewd that they seldom make mistakes.  The Chinese we have seen here are fine looking men, and they say that many of them are very wealthy.

When we stop at a place, there are no wharfs, so five or six natives dive off the steamer and carry the rope ashore. They tie up the boat, run a gangplank out to the sandy shore, and go on with the loading and unloading. The shore is alive with natives, some working but most of them enjoying the spectacle of seeing others industrious. Many of them have baskets of fruit for sale, or some cooked food. The crows swoop down occasionally and try to steal something. The men have been throwing pennies to the children to see them pile up like football players, in their struggle for the prize. I watched my ______, and threw one to a girl who was doing the family washing. You should have seen her smile. That was once when industry was good policy. She wet the clothes, rubbed them in the sand a little, and then soused them in the water once or twice, and wrung them out.

Wednesday, January 13, 1909

Yesterday’s record finished up the big tablet, which was to last through the trip, and I seem to have not run down yet. I wonder if you are tired of sunsets and sunrises. Just this once more I must speak of the one this evening. I think it was the prettiest thing I ever saw. The west was a blaze of light as the sun went down, and then it softened to rose color and half the sky was mottled with soft grey clouds tinged with pink. Then it all died out to a pale lavender and we thought that was the end of the show. But the afterglow came and all was lighted up again with red and gold, and then in a few minutes it was dark. There is no twilight here, and the sweet glow has not lasted as long before. It will be a pleasant memory of our last night on the Irrawaddy.

We have been passing villages, with numberless pagodas, all day. Sometimes we stopped for passengers that came out in boats, and occasionally we tied up and took on freight. The deck ,where our chairs are, is at the bow, and we sit there and read or write, or more often watch the scenes on the river. In many places there are long sandy beaches, and there will be people washing clothes or bathing, or getting their meal over a little fire.

There are all sorts of boats and rafts. Five men were towing two small boats along the shore. A long line of larger boats were being towed by a steam launch; two rafts went by made of big tea jars arranged in two tiers, about 150 in one raft. On one raft the men that were poling went up into the air about five feet every time they used the pole. Their almost naked bodies looked too comical posed in the air.

Some of the natives aroused my curiosity, because the legs, from the knee up, were so much darker than the lower part. On closer inspection I found they were elaborately tattooed. I thought at first that they had on tight fitting knee pants.

The river is very low and a man has to be sounding it all the time. About every quarter of a minute we hear his singsong voice calling out his report.

Miss Allen and I played 500 against Mr. Dempster and Mr. Lancaster, and got badly beaten. Just as our luck turned, the electric lights went out and we had to go to bed by candlelight.

Thursday, January 14, 1909

The trip today has been a repetition of yesterday, villages, pagodas, men and women beating and rinsing clothes, and drying them on the sand, men, women and children bathing, the children entirely naked. One man modestly threw a clean sarong around him, and let the other fall from beneath, and then waded into the water and washed the one he had taken off.

Friday, January 15, 1909

We got into Rangoon this morning at 6:30 and came to the Royal Hotel, and all have the same rooms we had before. The same crows, I’m sure, are shouting from the trees outside my window. Sometimes they come in if the window is left open and steal things, so we have to look out for them.

We leave for Calcutta at 11 a.m. tomorrow.


Saturday, January 16, 1909

I went out shopping after breakfast, thinking I might invest in some Mandalay silk, but could not find the silk store, so bought two post cards. I think the house will have to be enlarged to accommodate my cards, if I keep on investing in them.

At 10:20 we left the hotel and went on a launch that took us four miles down the river to our steamer, the Palatina. The river is so low that the larger steamers cannot come up to the docks. There was a barge fastened on to the side of our launch, that carried our baggage and the second-class and steerage passengers, and we amused ourselves watching the people. Fruit men would come around among them, and a man would buy a dozen or so of bananas, and eat them down without blinking. He would take two bites of a banana, and while swallowing the second bite, peel the next one and gulp it down without a pause. One man had his wife with him, a Mohammedan, and she looked like an escapee from a sheet and pillowcase party. The top of her costume was a round white cap, and the rest of the garment was plain straight muslin, plain across the face, with eye-holes, and gathered quite full at the sides and back, and falling to the ankles. There was net over the

(Missing page 102)

My roommate is a Mrs. Beach from Chicago. Her husband is with her, but they couldn’t get a cabin together. She is young and pretty and pleasant, so I have a change from the usual order of things. They have only been married a year, and she has some very pretty clothes.

Monday, January 18, 1909

Yesterday was calm and quiet, with a cool breeze, and everybody comfortably reading or writing on deck, and today has been the same, excepting that we did some mending, and a young Englishman sang to us, and some were playing cards.

Just as the sun was setting and was about half way down, a ship sailed across and for a moment was outlined against the red disk. It was a peculiar and fine sight. A little later a few of us saw the most brilliant meteor I ever saw. It looked about three inches in diameter, and was almost a flame color. It seemed to drop into the sea East of us. Toward evening the water was a little rough, but did not interfere with my dinner appetite. The fare is pretty bad on this boat, and the little red ants are in everything. My trunk is full of them, and I’ll have to get mothballs, or something, to keep them out when I get to Calcutta.

Tuesday, January 19, 1909

We anchored at the mouth of the Hoogley River last night, where the pilot came aboard, and this morning did not get started until 10:20 on account of the fog. The river is hard to navigate, and they must have clear weather, and the tides just right, or they must anchor and wait 24 hours longer. The Hoogley is one of the branches of the Ganges River, and was fifteen miles from where we anchored. We went on until nearly noon, and then the tide was running out, and the water was so shallow that they had to anchor, and at 3 o’clock we all went ashore in a rowboat, and took the train for Calcutta. It was forty miles, and we were three hours getting here. It was dark when we got in, and we could not see the city, but this hotel, the Grand, is fine, and I have a very good room. The meals on the steamer were very poor, but the dinner tonight was good, so we will get fed up some. We are all losing flesh, and most of us are rather glad of it so long as we keep well. We leave here for Darjeeling Thursday pm.

Wednesday, January 20, 1909

I have just had lunch, and now have a half hour before we start for another drive. We went out at 9:30 and drove to a beautiful Hindu temple that was built by the king’s jeweler, and hear it is the man’s house and garden. The temple is entirely of mosaic, and is the most gorgeous thing you can imagine. There is no use trying to write a description. Will try to tell about it when I get home. I’ll send Clara a postal.

The street scenes are more in my line. The people are dressed very much as they were in Burma, at least they look so to us, but every tribe, or casts, or whatever it may be, has its own style. The marks on the forehead distinguish the caste, but there are so many that I think life is too short to try to remember them all.

The children are often naked but for a bracelet, anklet, or necklace of silver. Some women have bracelets to the elbow and the ears are covered with earrings, or several rings in their noses. Everybody goes barefoot, and some have rings on their toes. Some of the people gather up the manure on the street, pat into nice little flat cakes with their hands, stick it on a tree trunk, or side of the house, and when it is dry use or sell it for fuel.

The next place we stopped was at the burning ghats, where the dead are laid on a pile of wood, and more wood put on top, and then the whole burned. It was perfectly awful, and I only stayed long enough to see them lay the body on the wood, and then I fled. My breakfast would have come up in another minute. Most of them stayed for the whole performance. The relatives of the corpse stand around and poke up the fire. This is the etiquette of the occasion.

This afternoon we started for the zoological garden, but as we passed the cathedral, we saw the crowd there, and the soldiers, and found that it was the marriage of the viceroy’s daughter, so we all piled out and joined the crowd. We waited about half an hour, and then they came out and drove by where we were. She is a sweet ____ young girl and was dressed in white, with a veil and orange blossoms. We saw the Viceroy and several officials and two rajahs, but Lord Zitchener, whom we were all tiptoeing to see, went out the side door, and was off in his automobile before we knew it. After all the uniforms and fine gowns had gone, we resumed our journey to the zoo. It didn’t amount to much. Have seen better animals at a circus.

Thursday, January 21, 1909

We are just hurrying to get off for the train. Saw the Botanical Garden and an enormous banyan tree this morning. No time to write a letter.

After breakfast we drove out to the Botanical Gardens, four miles from town. We have had good carriages, Victorias, with two horses here in Calcutta, and have enjoyed the rides. Have a good room, too, only it is up two flights of stairs of forty steps each. There is an elevator, but it got out of repair as soon as we arrived. The gardens were about like the others we have seen, with palms and other trees, and fern and orchid houses, but the main thing was an immense banyan tree, the largest in the world. The branches reach out and have dropped their roots for 500 feet around. It is 139 years old and 85 feet high.

After lunch, and the finishing of the packing, of course, I went out and bought a new veil for my hat and then was too stingy to use it. Will keep it until I get to some town where I want to put on some style. These helmets are neither beautiful nor comfortable, but we have to wear them on account of the heat. My big trunk, with most of my clothes and hats, has been forwarded to Colombo.

We left Calcutta at 4:30, so saw very little, as it grew dark in about an hour. We passed some vegetable gardens, and places where they were burning charcoal, and on the banks of a stream about a hundred people were washing great piles of clothes. At eight o’clock, we reached the landing where we crossed the Ganges River. We went on the boat and had dinner, which was all ready, soup, fish, two or three courses, pudding and fruit, cheese, crackers and coffee. We must have gone up the stream quite a little way for we were nearly an hour crossing. They had a search light on the water ahead all the time, and we could hear the man calling the sounding, so the river must be quite shallow.

We went to our sleeping car as soon as we landed. Miss Allen, Mrs. Foster and I had a compartment together. Mrs. Foster took the upper berth, because she said she knew neither of us could climb into it. She must be eight or ten years older than either of us. The cars are not Pullmans by any means, but we were very comfortable, and every compartment has its own toilet room. The seats are about 2 feet wide, leather covered, and the bedclothes are whatever you choose to carry. We each have a comforter, a single red blanket, two sheets and a pillow, and a big bag to carry them in. By putting the comforter under me, and using my steamer rug with the blanket, and keeping on most of my clothes, I was quite warm. It is cold here nights, like home, and as we came north, we nearly froze.

Friday, January 22, 1909

We had to be up and dressed at 6 a.m. to change cars. Of course, the train had to be forty minutes late, and we sat and shivered that long after we were ready for the change. Then we reached the place, we had breakfast, and then got into the car reserved for us. It was open at the sides, and held just twelve people. There was a long seat across each end, and two rows of chairs of three each across the center. We left about 8 a.m., all muffled up in our warmest clothes and steamer rugs, and by 10a.m. we were up 4000 feet. At 10:30 we had another breakfast, and were hungry as bears. At this place the natives were out with all sort of barbaric jewelry for sale, but I did not invest.

  • Page of pictures (“The Himalayan Mts dimly outlined. Picture taken 6 am, Jan 24, 1909”,  “Buying trinkets from Gertrude, a Tibetan girl.”)

  • Picture of Clara in hand carried conveyance.

  • Picture of men selling items, train in the background

From there on for the next hour, we zigzagged up the mountain, made four loops, one of them twice around, and did three switch stunts, like on the Skagway railroad. At the highest point we were 7,5000 feet altitude, and then cam down 500 feet to Darjeeling. The scenery was grand all the way and the saucy sputtering little engine pegged away seven miles an hour, and turned the loops, and switch backed, and snorted and puffed, and got us here for lunch, 1:20 p.m.

We are at the Woodlands Hotel and Mrs. Foster and I are in a fine big room, after making a “kick” against a couple of dark, dirty, back rooms that were given us at first. We find that we fare better if we room together, so we are going to do it when we are put in rooms we can’t stand. I’ve had some awful rooms, but the Bates and Layton’s, somehow, always have the best. Cooks Co. ought to treat us better for $13 a day, but of course if we will stand it, we will be imposed upon, so the only way is to begin to scratch and claw and howl, and we are getting that art down to a fine point.

After lunch we were taken to a Tibetan temple. There were not rickshaws enough for the party, and the courteous gentlemen grabbed them first, so I took a “dandy”. To be honest, I wanted to take it, for it was something new to try. You will see one among the cards I send. The best of it was, that it was more comfortable than the rickshaws, for they were low and awfully jolty. And then I was high enough to see things better than they could. I bragged some, too. The men are selfish pigs, all but Mr. Dempster. The temple was a shabby old place, but interesting for having some old Tibetan manuscripts, and some tapestries and things that had been made as offerings to their Buddha. They have a big prayer wheel that a priest keeps turning, and every turn means a thousand (I believe that was the number) prayers. I have bought a small one and will pass it around for family prayers. We had a fine view of the canyon in which the city lies, but the snow covered Himalayas were hidden by the fog.

  • Include Drawing

This is a diagram of our suite and some of the furniture. There are more chairs and tables and bric-a-brac, and pictures. It is so cold that we have a fire in the grate all the time. There is frost at night, and we use our car bedclothes to keep warm. This bedding is to go with us all through India.

Saturday, January 23, 1909

The men got up at 3:30 and rode seven miles to Tiger Hill to see the sun rise over the Himalayas, and with the fond hope of seeing Mount Everest. They saw the sunrise, the snowy Himalayas, and beautiful sun-tinted clouds, but Mt. Everest modestly stayed behind a cloud. We were mighty glad we stayed at home, for we caught glimpses of the mountains several times during the day, though Mt. Everest can’t be seen from here.

  • Picture (“The Himalaya Mts. Dimly outlined, Picture taken 6am, Jan. 24, 1909)

  • Picture

We walked down the street, and everywhere were besieged with people with things to sell. I could not resist, of course, and have some truck to cart home. Hope it will look better to me when I get home than it does just now. The Dempsters and I went out in dandies this afternoon, and would have had some fine views, only the fog came rolling in, and not only spoiled the scenery, but nearly froze us. Our boys got to racing coming back, and though it was fun for them, we were nearly jolted into jelly.

At 6 p.m. we had a lecture on Tibet, with stereopticon views, to improve our minds, and after the 8 o’clock dinner, had a Tibetan dance to improve our morals and manners I guess. Anyhow, neither amounted to much, so I feel no change either mentally or morally. The men capered around fixed up as animals, and the whole thing was pretty fakey.

Sunday, January 24, 1909

This morning I was awake at six o’clock, and looked out the window, and there was the whole snow-clad mountain range without a cloud to hide them. I called Mrs. Foster, and we watched them as the sun rose and threw a pink glow over the snow. It was a beautiful sight, and the men say it was as good as they saw from Tiger Hill. So we were gladder than ever that we did not take that hard ride.

Sunday was the great market day here. Those who have anything to sell, or to buy, come to the market in the morning, and there are crowds of natives in all sorts of costumes. They have everything to sell, fruit, vegetables, dry goods, jewelry, etc. All but the jewelry is in little stalls. It is worn by the men and women, and anything you want they will take off and sell you—and generally you are sold.

We walked on our own to the Botanical Garden that was a very ordinary park on the hillside, and to the museum that had nothing in it but stuffed birds, snakes, flying squirrels, and a very fine collection of butterflies. The butterflies were beautiful and paid for the long walk.

This afternoon, just as I was sitting down for a quiet time, word was sent that all who wanted to could go out to a tea plantation and see how tea was cured. Of course I had to go, and we went about a mile in dandies, to the other side of the canyon or valley. There must have been a hundred acres of the mountainside in tea plants. They have just been pruned and were not more than eighteen inches high, and two or two and one-half feet across the top. The man took us in to the drying room and explained the process to us, but I didn’t listen much, for I am getting more information than my brain will hold. They were not at work, for the tea picking doesn’t begin for a month or more. I helped myself to a white blossom and a small branch, and will press them if I don’t forget.

There is a lecture tonight on the Himalaya Mountains, but I was so cold I decided to stay by the fire and try to get warm.

Monday, January 25, 1909

We are all packed up ready to start for Benarea.  Will be on the train two nights. Haven’t time to write any letters, but as all right and will write when I get time. Don’t expect any mail until we get to Bombay. My, but that is a long time!  Am sending more postals. Suppose Henry is hustling to get off by the First.

Tuesday, January 26, 1909

On train going South.-- We left Darjeeling at two p.m. There were swarms of natives around with their jewelry for sale. One woman offered me a silver charm for three rupees ($1). I didn’t want it, and told her so, but she kept after me, so I said I’d give her one rupee. She howled in derision. I thought I’d got rid of her, but pretty soon she came back again offering it for two, and when I said one again, she said “all right, I lose money, but you take it.”  As it is only 33 cents, it won’t break me. They had some beautiful brass and copper jars and kettles that I’d like to have if it were not for the trouble of carrying them.

We had a fine ride down the mountain, and enjoyed the scenery as long as there was any light, and after dark the headlight, which was a torch on top of the engine, lighted up the gorges and jungles for 50 to 100 feet on either side. We went over the loops and switchbacks and along the edges of gorges 1000 or more feet deep, with rivers at the bottom looking like mere threads.

There were banana trees and great bushes of poinsettia and bougainvillea, and whole mountainsides of tea plants, and terraces with what looked like young wheat. One of the gentlemen exclaiming over the wonders said, “And just think of bananas growing up here 5000 feet high.”  We laughed of course, and I told him that that would make a good California Story.

At seven o’clock we reached the place where we had dinner, and changed to our sleeping cars. We have three cars, with two compartments each, and a dining car. Miss Allen, Mrs. Foster and I have a compartment together. I said I would take the upper berth, so when we were ready, up I crawled. There was no ladder, and I had to climb from the lower berth. I would have done it if it had broken my neck, for Mrs. Foster was so sure I couldn’t. When I got up at the end of the berth I had to crawl on my stomach, like a snake, for there wasn’t room enough to go on my hands and knees. As the train started it began to rock and jerk, and I hung on for dear life. The shelf is barely two feet wide and has no sideboard and every lurch of the train I expected to land on the floor. So I cautiously slid, feet first, to the foot of the berth, and down to the floor. The others laughed at me, and when I said I was going to sleep on the floor, Mrs. Foster insisted on changing places with me. She pretends that she like it just as well, and as Miss Allen won’t sleep there, and I can’t. I guess she will have the opportunity of enjoying the privilege. The lower berths are the seats for the day, so we are giving Mrs. Foster the whole of one during the day, to make up for what we insist that she suffers at night. She says she slept all right, but I can’t believe it.

The compartment is about nine feet long and seven wide, the whole car like this:

  • Drawing

There are no locks on the doors, but there is a burglar alarm that can be set, and rings if the door is opened. Twice during the night some one opened the door, and I yelled out first “What do you want?” and then Mrs. Foster, in a war whoop voice, yelled, “Get out of here”, and we were left in peace. Miss Allen had a dream, and whooped it up once, but it was a false alarm. We had a lot of fun, and managed to get some sleep.

Wednesday, January 27, 1909

We had to get out of the car to go to the diner, so changed when we stopped at a station. We had coffee and toast, fried fish, 1st course. Bacon and eggs, 2nd. Mutton chops, potatoes and cauliflower, 3rd. Jam and toast, 4th. You see we needn’t starve, but it is best not to look into the kitchen.

We are in a flat country now, and there are fields of wheat and patches of vegetables. There is a bush pea that grows about four feet high. There are lots of red peppers out drying, and we begin to see naked children again. In the mountains they had to wear clothes, though many of them were barefooted. There are fields of castor beans, tea.

Lord Minto’s daughter and chaperones were at our hotel in Darjeeling, and they had two Indian servants dressed in long red, gold trimmed coats, white and gold turbans, and white trousers, but their feet were bare. Lord Minto is the Viceroy, and this was the older sister of the girl that was married while we were in Calcutta.

There were thousands of cranes about the ponds along the road, some white, some blue, and some black and white.

About noon we stopped at a station where they were celebrating a Hindu festival, and there must been 2000 people there, all in their bright colored costumes. They were paying their respects to an image of Buddha by throwing water, brought from the Ganges, over it. There were hundreds of people at the station, and they gawked at us as hard as we did at them.

The native houses now are nearly all mud with thatched roofs. The people are scantily dressed, and the palm trees are everywhere, also mangoes. There are tobacco fields occasionally, and bamboo plantations.

Two men were irrigating by lifting the water from a pond. They used a long shaped bucket, about like a coal-oil can, with ropes at the ends, and the men swung the bucket by holding the other end of the ropes and scooping up the water. It looked easy enough, but I wouldn’t like to have to do it. There are well sweeps too.

It has been pretty warm, and we feel like shedding the extra clothes we put on for the mountains. We still get to Banares early tomorrow morning and will get out thin clothes then.

At one station, a Mahommedan got off to change cars, which was on his way to be married. He had on a long red blouse with red stockings and red velvet slippers trimmed with gold. He wore a high crown-like structure made something like those paper flower hanging baskets that the Chinamen give us. He was not more than 17 or 18, and did not wear a very joyous air.

They say we ought to see some wild monkeys in the train as we come through the woods, but so far have seen none. The sun has just set and the birds are singing, and we are whizzing along quite merrily. We will have dinner and then go to bed, as we have to be up early in the morning.

Arrived at Banares 7 a.m. and came to Hotel de Paris. It is a one-story building with rooms opening on a corridor, and bathrooms at the back of each room. The bedrooms and baths are about alike, only the ones for two people are a little larger. I have a room alone this time, for which I am thankful.

After breakfast, we went in carriages to see the sights. First there was the Juggernaut car, a gaudy structure, with 16 wheels and a canopy on top where they carry their idol in the processions. It is drawn by four elephants, and is a very sacred object. People used to throw themselves in front of it to be killed, and thus take a shortcut to heaven.   The English Government doesn’t allow that any more. We went to the palace of a Maharaja, who only occupies it during the religious festivals. There was nothing remarkable about it. While there, a gaudy crowd of natives passed by with music and some of them dancing, some had flowers, and they all wore loads of jewelry. They were going to celebrate somebody’s birthday.

The next was a temple with a name I have forgotten, but as there are hundreds of sacred monkeys there they call it the monkey temple. It is the dirtiest place that I have seen, and I was glad to get away from it. There were monkeys perched about everywhere, and running about after you, begging for something to eat. We gave them popcorn and crackers.

  • Picture - Ruins at Old Banares

At the Holy Man’s tomb, there is a big garden with fine roses, and they were building a beautiful white marble tomb for him. These monks live in poverty all their lives and beg enough to live on or their disciples beg for them. This one had 300 disciples and they had raised 100,000 rupees, and are putting up the tomb. It will be a place for the devout to come and worship.

We walked through more mud. I forgot to say it had rained in the night.

(Page is blurry, unreadable)

  • PICTURE:   Bathing Ghat at Banares

  • PICTURE:   Boat on which we went up the Ganges.

  • PICTURES:  Boat on which we went up the Ganges, Bathing Ghat at Banares

It was a large city on the banks of the Ganges, but the river changed its course, and the people followed the river. This happened 1000 years ago, or perhaps 2000. I’m not very well posted as to dates. The excavations show carved stone buildings, stone Buddhas, animals, figures of all sorts, and smoothly polished columns. It was really very interesting, and if I ever get old and lame and helpless, I’ll read up about it, and improve my mind.

In the evening a juggler entertained us and he did some very good tricks. Mr. Layton reminds me of some other men I have known. He stood around and did most of the talking, but slipped away just as the men started to take his collection. That is his style.

Thursday, Jan 28, 1909

I suppose Henry is chasing around, forgetting where things are, and losing his tickets, and having a high old time getting ready for his trip. I rejoice over every day that brings me nearer Cairo.

This morning we left the hotel at 7:30, and drove two or three miles to a landing on the Ganges, and took a boat for a ride up the river. The boat was a queer, high junk, with a deck above, where we all sat, and two men paddled it from below. We went by the bathing ghats where all good, high class Mohamadans come to bathe and pray in the morning. They walk into the water with part of their clothes on, and wash their heads and mouths, and go through all sorts of motions, and no two seemed to perform alike. They would wash the clothes they had on, and come out and put on dry ones. There were priests or holy men, under these umbrellas, whose part in the performance was to put the caste mark on the foreheads of the men after the bath. These marks are of many varieties and colors. Sometimes a red spot, sometimes red and white, sometimes white streaks, and so on. It all means something, but is Greek to the uninitiated.

  • PICTURE:  Sundial in front of Home of Warren Hastings, Benares.

The burning ghats were further on, but our guide told us that the “dead boy business is very dull now”. There were only two burning. We could see only the smoke and wood, so I didn’t mind it. When we came back, they were raking up the ashes in baskets, and picking out the sticks that were not burned up. I suppose they can use them for preparing the family meal.

There were stones where they used to burn the widow with her dead husband, but that is not allowed now.

We passed a palace that belonged to Nena Sahib, who betrayed the English, and massacred them at the time of the mutiny. The property was confiscated and is now used as a refuge for pilgrims, for many pilgrims come to this holy city, as Mohamadans go to Mecca. Our guide became greatly excited as he told us of him, and said that “He went straight to hell”.

I would like to write more about this for there was so much that was interesting, but I am too tired. Of the scene from an observatory, the people washing and drying clothes, men being shaved or massaged, women picking something out of children’s heads, the awful lepers, the naked holy man, the snake charmers, the beggars, the palaces, and a hundred other things.

Coming back, we drove by a new park, the Viceroy’s house, a school where we could hear the boys studying aloud, the fine buildings and grounds of Queen’s College, the out-door market, and native shops, the ox-carts and the funny little carts that the people ride in.

  • PICTURE:  An Ekka Cart, Banares, India

This is a very rich city they say, and the “400” build their houses behind the high walls. They have beautiful gardens, but we never get a glimpse of them. They ought to give us that much pleasure to make up for the dirt we have to take in when we breathe.

On train from Banares to Ducknow.

Left hotel 10 a.m., and train left station 11:20, 20 minutes late. A boy at the station pestered us to buy brass-ware, and I finally got ten little jugs and plates that he charged two rupees a piece for, for ten annas. I guess I paid all they were worth, but I had my moneys worth in fun, getting them cheaper than the others. We go to lots of trouble to get a little amusement.

The fields we passed were sometimes bare, and looked as if they had been irrigated, but most had wheat or some kind of vegetables growing. There were a great many trees, but most of them were a kind of acacia. You would think they would plant fruit trees. We saw some camels on the road, the first we have seen on the trip, and there were lots of goats, and some cattle. I rather think the butter we get is made from goat’s milk. The butter has been so poor that I’ve almost got out of the way of eating it. The lunch on the train was the worst we have had, excepting once in Japan. It was a sight for sore eyes to see me eating cold corn beef, and half cooked cabbage. I had eaten so little breakfast that I just had to have something. I thought regretful of the good things that I have turned up my nose at, at home. A good cup of coffee would make my heart, or rather my stomach, glad.

We arrived at Lucknow at 4:30, and drove out to the “Residency”, the scene of the Siege of Lucknow at the time of the mutiny in 1857. It is a beautiful location on an elevation, and is kept as a park and show place. The buildings are in ruins, and there are great holes in the walls where the shells went through. A veteran of the war explained the siege to us, but he was pretty shaky and won’t do it many more years. There is a cemetery near where the heroes of the war are buried, and there are old cannons and various relics to be seen.

Friday, January 29, 1909

We have done the town pretty thoroughly today, and tomorrow we are to have a rest. Monday morning we go on to Agra. The time is passing quickly now, and six weeks from next Tuesday we will be in Cairo.

We visited several tombs today where the dead and gone Rajahs are buried. They are beautiful buildings of plastered brick, or stone, and gorgeously fitted up inside. In the center of two of them the burial place was enclosed with a fancy fence covered with silver. One had his two favorite wives buried, one on each side of him.

We went through the old palace of the Rajas of Ouhd. One, the last one, of them had 350 wives, but when he went to Calcutta he only took 250 with him. Each wife had a set of rooms to herself, and the

(Page 122 is missing)

We went to a school for boys, founded (the Martiniere) and built by a Frenchman, General Martin whose tomb is in the chapel. Of course, we went and gazed at it. There was a garden with beds of snapdragon, flox, nasturtiums, and petunias, and some fine roses.

I believe there were more tombs and mosques, but my poor brain refuses to recall them. A drive through the native quarter completed the day. There were the usual variety of costumes, scantily clad children, and veiled Mohammedan women. The little shops on both sides of the street had everything imaginable for sale, and some of the merchants had their wares spread out on the street. A woman frying some kind of doughnuts was in one hole-in-the-wall, and next to her was a blacksmith shop, about 6 by 8 feet, and a dry goods shop in the next place.

Monday, February 1, 1909

Lucknow, 8 a.m.

We had a rest yesterday, and I made the most of it. I read some, and wrote some letters and postals, and did a little mending, and took my time to it all. It is such a relief not to have to hurry. Some went to the English church, but I stayed in all day and loafed. Mrs. Foster walked two miles out to the Residency, and mooned around all afternoon, and walked back again. Today she is half sick, but not from the walk. She won’t own up to it, anyhow.

In the evening we went to the masques and palaces to see the illuminations, and it was very fine. The first was full of lamps and chandeliers, and the inside was a mass of colored lights. The silver and gold embroidered banners, and silver railings around the tombs, and the figured of men and horses in gold and silver and red, all made a fine picture. The two others were equally gorgeous, though the lights were not so massed together. The grounds of all had rows of lamps zigzagged along the walks, and as the wind blew the flames, they scintillated like stars. We though it was a festive occasion but found that it was the celebration of the death of one of the grandsons of Buddha.

This morning we took the 9:30 train from Luckhow, and reached Cawnpeer at 11. We rode out to the places where the massacres took place at the time of the 1857 mutiny, and spent a cheerful three hours listening to the guides explaining it all in their broken English.

First we went to the place where Nana, the leader of the rebel forces lived, the man that our guide in Benares said had gone straight to hell. We were taken to an enclosure where a large cross has been built over the well where the dead were buried during the siege, to the pier on the river where the first massacre took place, and then to the monument over the well where the bodies of the women and children were thrown after the second massacre.

There has been quite a mound built up, and a large beautiful marble “Angel of the Resurrection” stands, with folded arms, and a palm leaf in each hand. It is on a marble pedestal, and around the edge is the inscription “Sacred to the memory of a great company of Christian people, chiefly women and children, who near this spot were cruelly murdered by the followers of Nana Dhunda Pant, and were cast, the dying with the dead, into the well below, on the 6th of July, 1857.

There is a memorial church, with tablets all around the sides, in memory of the different regiments, or individuals, killed at that time. It has beautiful stained glass windows.

There is a fine dark granite statue of Queen Victoria in the park here and one of white granite at Lucknow.

We drove back through the native streets and saw the usual sights. Shop keepers and their wares in the holes in the walls, street peddlers, naked children, cows and goats on the front steps, all sorts of fruit, cakes, etc., for sale on the street, exposed to sun, dust, and flies: oxen and carts with immense loads, camels ambling along, and occasionally some monkeys perched on a wall.

Tuesday, February 2, 1909

We had tiffin at the depot at 3 p.m. yesterday, and after that rested until train time, 4:30. Some one told Mr. Holmes that the train was an hour and 17 minutes late, so he and Mr. Dempster went off to take pictures. As the train was on time, they got left and we came on without them or our tickets. The three servants took care of us, and when we got to the station, a man from the hotel met us, and we came right to our rooms. It was 11 p.m., but there was a fire in every room and a pitcher of hot water in every bathroom, and we were tired and cold and dirty enough to appreciate both. Our hotel, Lawries Great Northern, is all on the ground floor, with the bedrooms all opening on the outside corridor. Back of each room is a dressing room and a bathroom. The tub is a big oval tin pan, and there is no hot water, but they bring it in buckets, and you are thankful to get even that. The table is very good but not as good as it was at Lucknow. Mr. Holmes and Mr. Dempster got in at 3 o’clock this morning, and looked rather sheepish at breakfast.

After breakfast we drove out to the tomb of one of the old kings, Akbar, who reigned 400 or 500 years ago. This tomb is a four-story building of stone and brick, and at the base is 320 feet square. Akbar is buried in a vault under the structure, and you can go through a darkish corridor to this cheerful spot. Then you come out and climb four steep, stone stairways to the four terraces, and at last come out on the top of the building in the center of which is a beautifully carved sarcophagus of white marble, about 3.5 feet high, 2.5 feet wide and 7 or 8 long. The carving is the 99 names of their God, but the characters are something like the Chinese, and make a very effective pattern. This platform is walled in by a high latticework of marble, carved in various patterns. There are domes and mosaic work, and tombs and tablets, and all that sort of thing, on and in the structure that it is impossible to describe. There is a high brick wall about twenty feet thick, around the place, and on all four sides there is a great gateway, with domes and minarets, and inlaid with marble. I wish I could tell how beautiful the blue and gold mosaic work is, and the marble carvings, but I am not a success in that line.

On our way back to the hotel, we passed cemeteries and tombs, until it seemed as if most of the country was given over to them. We stopped at a factory where they were making marble things for sale, and there were some fine pieces of carving, and inlaid work. I did not invest as my funds had got down to ten annas and the banks were closed today, so I could not get any money. It is a holiday, it seems they keep up the festival of the death of Nahomet’s grandson for ten days, so we have been getting the benefit of it. This afternoon we went out to see the end of the ceremonies, for it was the last day. The people were out in their Sunday best, and there must have been 100,000 there. They wear reds and bright greens and purples and yellows, and it was a great sight. They had sort of floats, or pagodas, or whatever you might call them, made of paper over bamboo frames, and all trimmed with gold and silver and tinsel, something like Chinese decorations. These they carried down near the river, and with due ceremony, tore off the paper and buried it in holes dug for that purpose.

Wednesday, February 3, 1909

Our morning was spent inside the fort constructed by Akbar and his son. Inside the thick stone walls are new soldiers barracks, and the necessary arrangements for defense. But the great attraction is the wonderful palace where he had lived with his numerous wives. They all had separate suites of rooms, and everything was on a most magnificent scale. There are stone and marble floors, and everything so beautiful that you can’t remember anything. Of course, some of it is very much out of repair, but you can see something of what it once was. Descriptions are useless, even if I could describe things.

I must read Lalla Rookh again, for the rooms that were built for her are here, and are a dream of a carved and inlaid marble. The carving looks like lace work. We went through dozens of rooms, all differently decorated, and in various stages of decay, for the palace is not occupied now, but there was enough left to see in what splendor the old Emperors and their wives had lived.

After lunch we went to a great mosque where the floors were inlaid marble, in the shape of prayer rugs, pointing to the West and to Mecca. After this we drove out to the Taj Mahel, the most beautiful tomb in the world. It was built nearly 200 years ago, for the favorite queen of the Emperor Jahan, and cost about 20,000,000 rupees. It is on a marble platform 18 feet high and over 200 feet square. The tomb itself is 180 feet square, and white marble with beautiful carved panels, and inlaid designs of Malachite, lapis lazuli, agate, bloodstone, turquoise, and colored marbles. The inscriptions around the doors, or arches, are in Persian letters, and inlaid with black marble. There are so many pictures of this tomb that I think the friend and relations will have more patience to look it up somewhere, than to read my poor attempt at description of it. We saw the sunset and then a glow over the mass of marble, and the reflections in the river below, and then waited to see it by moonlight. It was one of the loveliest things I ever saw.

We drove home by moonlight and got in in time for our 8 o’clock dinner.

Thursday, February 4, 1909

This morning we all went in automobiles to Fatehpur Sikri, (don’t ask me to pronounce it); to see the remains of a city built by Akbar and then abandoned after he had lived there twenty years. Water was scarce, and other disadvantages decided the change of the capital to Agra, and the building of more palaces and mosques. These Emperors were frisky old chaps, and thought nothing of squeezing a few million rupees out of the people to build a new palace, or temple, or tomb. At this old city everything was made of red sandstone, beautifully carved and painted. There are towers and domes and outlooks and marble latticed balconies, and everything that extravagant taste could suggest, and there were more rooms than you could visit in a week. One room was all of carved sandalwood. It was for the favorite wife.

The buildings were fine, but the ride out and back was what we enjoyed the most. The Dempsters, Mrs. Foster, Mr. Holmes and I were in an auto-bus, and we did not get any dust and were protected from the wind, and we went tooting along ahead of the others. The road was fine, with trees on both sides. We passed grain fields, and patches of vegetables and patches of bare ground, and villages of mud houses, and herds of goats and oxen and buffaloes, and women with big loads on their heads, and other donkeys, with loads on their backs, and loaded camels, and women smoking long pipes, and monkeys in the trees, and various other object of interest, including the little naked boys. One of Akbar’s rooms had a raised stone platform, on beautiful carved pillars. This was his rest room on hot days, and they could let water on the floor to keep the place cool.

There are lots more things to relate, but I am as tired as you are, we will leave the rest until I get home, Maybe some day there will be time to talk it over, but I have my doubts.

Tomorrow I shall haunt the shops in the morning, and at 2:30 p.m. we start for Delhi, and will get there about 9 in the evening.


We had a pleasant trip from Agra up here. Left at 3 p.m. and got here at 7:30. We have been very fortunate as to weather for it has been cool all through India. It is about like November at home. This is the coolest place that we will be, for we go south from here, and will have plenty of heat and dust after we leave Bombay.

We came through a flat farming country, with occasional patches of woods. Some of the grain and vegetable patches were already well started, and other places were just ready to plant, while others were flooded from the canals, to be drained later. I call them patches, for there is seldom what we would call a field of any one thing.

There were great flocks of white pelicans, and black and white cranes, and geese, and we saw wild monkeys and antelope, and peacocks in the woods, and some claimed to have seen wolves and jackals, but they were the ones that always have to see more than the rest of us, or the day is utterly lost to them.

Wood is scarce here, or else they want posts that will last, for they are cut out of stone, with holes for the wire to run through. They have big scales that they use the rough stones in for weighing their produce. They are on a post five or six feet high, with a cross piece, with wood or mental plates, about 1 ½ feet across, hanging by ropes or chains from each end. That is an idea for the ranch. It would be so picturesque. The boys could wear turbans, the ladies wind sheets around them, and Donald could array himself in his mothers gold beads.

We had a fine sunset, and a full moonrise at the same time, but I’ll spare you the details.

I have a big room, with two net canopied beds in the center, two wardrobes with glass doors, two dressing tables, two tea tables, two other tables, a writing desk, five chairs, two sets of shelves in the wall, a fireplace, and two bath and toilet rooms. I will now go to bed quite at peace with the world.

Saturday, February 6, 1909

They brought our tea and toast at 7:30, and I am becoming so oriental that I take it in bed. Then I dress, or have a bath first, if I feel inclined that way, or if the room or water is not too cold. And read or write until 10 when they have breakfast. From breakfast until tiffin, R.P.M., we go sightseeing, and from 2 to 5 or 6 more sights.

Today we went to the fort and palace built by Shah Johan, (palace building was his strong point), and saw the beautiful marble lace-like carvings and mosaic work. The marble columns and panels that were not carved were in patterns, generally flowers, made of fine stones—bloodstone, agate, jade, etc. – and the centers, or most conspicuous places were real emeralds, rubies, and other precious stones. When the Persians conquered the country, they took the stones, and also the wonderful peacock throne, that you can read up if you cant a description of it. The Pearl Mosque also, within the fort walls, is of white marble, and has tall minarets at the corners. Some of the party climbed one of them, but I was content with about forty steps to the top of the wall of the fort. Some don’t climb at all, some go to the top of everything, and a few of us try to strike a happy medium. The height of my “happy medium” usually depends upon the limberness of my limpy-go-fetch-it-knee. Just now it is on the warpath, and I am giving it a rest.

There was a large mosque, and a Jain temple outside the walls. The mosque was of red sandstone and white marble, and the floor, black marble inlaid with white, in the prayer rug pattern. The temple was all white carved marble and gold. It is perfectly marvelous, the amount of work these heathen (?) put on their places of worship. The Mohammedan Sunday is our Friday, and we are told that they crowd this courtyard, which looked about the size of the Alviso Schoolyard, until there is hardly standing room.

After lunch we drove over the grounds that were occupied by the English troops during the mutiny of 1897, and visited the cemetery and monuments, and tombs, and such like, and heard the history of it all from the guide.

Near here was the palace built for Lord and Lady Curzon, when they celebrated the coronation of King Edward. Lady Curzon furnished the house herself, and nearly everything was sent from Chicago. I think we will drive out and have a look at home products Tuesday evening.

After we had done up the battlefields, we went back through the native city and visited the shops. Mrs. Bates and Mrs. Layton had dozens of beautifully embroidered silk and cashmere dress patterns spread out for their inspection, but as they ranged from 500 to 2000 rupees a piece, I slipped away after the first dozen, and looked for silver parasol handles, that Josephine asked me to get for her.

They have some beautiful old jewelry here, but the prices are pretty high, and I am not a judge of these things, so I am not investing very heavily. Also my bank account is growing beautifully less all the time, and there is a long stretch between here and Henry’s money belt. It is just as well, for if I had the money I’d be loading up my trunk with all sorts of trash.

Sunday, February 7, 1909

This has been a quiet day. After breakfast Mrs. Foster and I started out for a walk, and found a place where they had post cards for one anna (2cents) a dozen. We immediately invested in two dozen apiece. Then the man showed us beautiful carved ivory things and printed medallions, etc. One elephant, with saddle and all the trappings on, about 2 ½ inches high, was 600 rupees ($200). I didn’t buy it.

Monday, February 8, 1909

We left at 10:30 and drove eleven miles out to a town, the Kutab Kimer that you will find described in the booklet I will send, if you care to read about it. The old city of Delhi extended from here in the town and beyond. We stopped at tombs and mosques, all the way out and again on the way back. There were many of them in ruins, but parts showed the fine carvings and mosaics. I haven’t time to describe them, for which you may be thankful.

We had lunch at a place near the town, a Dak Bungalow that the government built for the benefit of travelers. The lunch was fine and we had the best fried chicken I’ve tasted since I left home.

We left Delhi at 10 p.m., Tuesday, February 9th, and were on the train all night. Mrs. Foster, Miss Allen and I were crowded into a little compartment about 6 by 7 feet, with a narrow berth on each side, and one across the end above them. Mrs. Foster said she preferred the upper berth, so up she climbed. The road was rough, and we all had to hang on for dear life, and no one slept much. We got to Jeypore early in the morning, and went to Kaiser-i-Hind Hotel. It was pretty bad, but we stood it for a day and night. After breakfast we were taken to a museum and the zoological garden. The museum was interesting in some ways, and the animals unusually fine. As a rule, I dislike caged creatures, but these looked very well fed and comfortable. The birds were particularly fine. We went to the Maharajas stables, and saw a lot of rather ordinary looking horses, and carriages of all sorts and kinds, and servants standing around at every turn. One of his young sons, about seven years old, was out to see the robbering band of Americans go by. Our guide said this boy could not succeed his father because he was the child of one of the “step wives”. In the back of the Rajas garden was a big pond or lake where there were three or four crocodiles. One came when the men called him and crawled up several steps after some meat. He opened his great jaws, but none of us accepted the invitation to throw him a leg or arm for his dinner. There were some enormous turtles in the pond, too. We didn’t go in the palace, as we were not invited. It is a seven-story building, with the three upper stories painted yellow. Here is where the wives live. The Raja’s apartments are on the 4th floor. There were balconies around every story.

The houses of the city were nearly all painted dark rose color with white decorations, and were meant to look like red sandstone and marble. The street scenes were the most interesting. The little shops opened on the street, and the goods were half way out on the sidewalks. There were elephants and camels, and donkeys, and goats, and natives in all sorts of dress. The vehicles were of all varieties, ox carts, and ox wagons with the load extending nearly to the necks of the animals, and the next thing might be a gorgeously attired Mohammadan rabob, with a silver trimmed carriage and high-stepping thoroughbreds.

We went to see the Raja’s elephants, but a disease had broken out among them and they had all been sent out into the country. We saw his caged tigers, large, fierce and wicked looking.

Thursday, February 11, 1909

This day was the culmination of our foolishness. We were given the choice of going out to the old city of Amber, now deserted, to ride in a bullock cart, or on an elephant. Two women chose the cart. The rest mounted the elephants, four on each animal, and started on the two-mile jaunt. Talk about snails. They couldn’t hold a candle to these creatures for slowness, and every step was like the upheaval of a young earthquake. The sun was hot, and so were the rest of us. When we got out to Amber. There was an old palace that had been gorgeous in its day, which we walked up hill over a rocky road to see. It was such fun with the sun red hot over our heads. But we “seen our duty and done it”, and then ambled back to our steeds, and rode our two miles back to the carriages that had brought us out to the old city walls. We are well pleased with ourselves, for we have now done all the “stunts” planned for the innocent tourist. Next time we can cut them out.

  • PICTURE:  At the animal Hospital, Ahmedobad, India

There were monkeys and peacocks running wild in the ruins and along the walls, and we met camels with heavy loads on their backs, or a fine saddle with a much be-turbaned gentleman riding along. At 5 pm we took the train for the night’s ride to Ahmedabad. We three lone bodies had a compartment together, and it was the best we have had yet. There are three lower berths, and plenty of room between, and a toilet room connecting. It was from this train my bag was stolen.

Friday, February 12, 1909

We rode all the morning through patches of grain and pasturelands, and small trees about like our willows. At 1:30 we reached Ahmedabad, where we had tiffin, and then began the tomb-temple-mosque chase. There was some fine carving in stone and marble, and some mosaic work, but we were all too tired to care for it. The city is mostly made of Jaine, who do not believe in taking the life of any animals, excepting what they use in their sacrifices. They have what they call an animal hospital, where all the lame, halt and forsaken animals are kept until they die. They were a forlorn lot, and looked as if they would be better off if safely chloroformed.

At 9 p.m., took the train for Bombay, and I had to take an upper berth. I had an idea in my head, so informed Mr. H. that I would take it that one night, but never again.

Saturday, February 12, 1909

Arrived in Bombay 7 a.m., and went to a fine hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace. It took all the morning to get rested and cleaned up. After lunch we had a fine ride up on a hill where we had a view of the city and harbor. They do not bury their dead here; -the Parees who are the predominating native sect, -but put them on a high tower for the vultures to devour. We went out there and saw the vultures sitting on the tower, waiting for a body to be brought out. They were having a funeral service for a little child in the temple, but we were not allowed to go in, and left before they took the body out.

  • PICTURE:  In Harbor at Bombay (two Photos)


  • PICTURE:  In the Harbor at Bombay

We stopped at a Jain temple where they were having a service, and it was very interesting. They all sat on the floor, the men on one side, and women on the other, and a priest chanted the service, while another played on a sort of organ, the men all joining in at times. The women had no part in it, but they enjoyed the privilege of gazing at the foreigners, and seemed as much entertained as we were. Some of them had beautiful, embroidered gauze veils on. We all turned green with envy.

The park and animals finished up the day.

Sunday I washed my hair, as we have a fine bathroom and plenty of hot water. It took me all day, for the air is damp here, and I had neither fire nor sun to dry it. After all my pains it is sticky and filled my comb and brush with dirty fuzz.

Today, Monday the 15th, we took a launch ride over to Elephants Island, and saw the caves. It is really a great temple dug into the solid rock hillside. The supporting columns were left in the digging, and were elaborately carved. There were alcoves with images carved in the rock, and other interesting things that I can tell you when I have more time.

We got back for lunch, and I have been packing this afternoon.


At 10 p.m. the party leaves for Madras, but Miss Allen, who has been sick, and I, are going by steamer directly to Colombo. We will be four days, starting tomorrow, and will avoid the hot dusty ride across Southern India, and also a lot of mosques and temples. They will be out six days, so we will be in Colombo a day ahead of them. It will give me a chance to interview my relations without the whole gang gawking around.

The reason I washed my own hair was that one of the ladies had her hair done in Singapore, and had to use a finetooth-comb for some time afterward.

Saturday, February 20, 1909

Galle Face Hotel, Colombo

Miss Allen and I arrived here in port at 8 a.m. this morning. The medical inspector came aboard, looked at our tongues, and felt our pulse, and then sent us on our way rejoicing, which means that we came ashore at 10 o’clock, and after a skirmish with the customs officers came to this beautiful hotel, with its courts filled with tropical plants, and a fine reading room overlooking the sea. We have back rooms, of course, but it is such a lovely place we don’t mind. The first rooms they offered us were pretty bad, but we made a fuss, and they offered us these that are a little better. They have such beautiful jewelry and laces that I want to buy the whole collection.

We had a quiet, but delightful trip, on the S.S. Macedonia from Bombay here. At this season most of the travel is toward England, and there were only thirty first-class passengers, as we had separate cabins, and were so comfortable that we hardly recognized ourselves in our peaceful amiability. This is my birthday, or would be if I hadn’t stopped having them.

Sunday, February 21, 1909

The rest of the party got in at 8 a.m. They say it was a hard trip by land, and we did not miss much, though there were some fine old temples, some of them different from any we have seen. We are not lamenting over the deprivation, for we enjoyed every minute on the sea.

Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon

Wednesday, February 24, 1909

Things have been rather quiet, and my mind is not quite clear as to where I left off in my thrilling tale. I think I wrote about Colombo, its peasant location on the sea, its fine buildings and wide clean streets. There is not much in the way of ruins there, or temples or mosques, but Mr. Holmes manage to find two or three for us where we saw some Buddhas, both new and antique, and relics of various kinds. What interested me most was a nutmeg tree in the yard, and the nutmegs that were drying in the sun. At the public gardens we saw the cinnamon shrubs, and tasted the bark and leaves. Then at the museums there was a glass case with a green tree branch in it, and on it were crawling the leaf insects. They were the shape and color of small oak leaves, and when quiet we had to look very closely to see which was leaf and which insect. Some were green and some brown, and some mixed. The largest were about this size and shape.

  • DRAWING at bottom of page.

There was a fine collection of stuffed birds, and butterflies, and the usual collection of other things.

The drives about Colombo are very pleasant, for they are generally shady, and the roads, as in all the English possessions, are in fine condition. They have rickshaws here, and we had one fine ride, though they are not as comfortable as some we had in Japan.

When we were riding through the gardens, a small boy about six years old, with a small sarong enveloping his nether limbs, appeared on the scene and with his hands against his shoulders, flapped his arms and recited “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, without a pause of inflection. But he kept perfect time, flapping his arms against his bare brown sides with a resounding smack. It was comical sight, and we nearly all fell out of our rickshaws laughing, but he never cracked a smile. He began at the first rickshaw, and went down the line reciting for each one. Of course he reaped quite a harvest of small coins. We are so disgusted with the miserable lazy beggars, that we were willing to give to anyone who was willing to do anything for his money.

Tuesday morning we were called at 5:30 to make the 7:15 train for Nluwara Eliya, and had an all day’s trip, arriving here at 5 p.m. We had breakfast and lunch on a diner, and things were clean and nicely served. The day passed comfortably enough, for we were coming through a beautiful country and getting late in the mountains. This place is 6000 feet altitude, and is so cool and pleasant after the heat of Colombo.

There were rice fields, with the crop at all stages of growth. In some places they were plowing the land, or mud, and in others cutting the ripe grain. There were beautiful wild flowers, pond lilies, and poinsettias, and sunflowers, and dozen of others. A little purplish pink blossom on a low vine, Mr. Holmes said was the sensitive plant, but as it was not near the station I had no chance to test it. There were palm trees of several descriptions, banyans, mango, Jak fruit, papaya, bananas, cocoa nuts, and acacias, and cinnamon shrubs, tea plants, tapioca, etc. As we came higher up, the mountains were more and more tea gardens, until whole mountainsides were covered. Men and women were picking tea. Every one had a big basket on the back and put the leaves in it. In the places where the picking was finished the plants had been trimmed back, and every leaf stripped off, so that they looked as if they were all dead.

The men here wear the sarong, the same as in Burma, and generally a jacket, all of white – that is, it was white originally. The hair is long and combed back and done up in a knot at the back. Then they wear a tortoise shell round comb, with the two ends pointed, and sticking up in front. All are barefooted. The women dress about the same, and generally have a thin shawl, or an end of the sarong thrown over the head.

They have a Salvation Army here, and at one of the stations, two of the “lassies” were selling the Warory. They were native girls and quite pretty. One had a black sarong trimmed with red and white, and the other a redone trimmed with white, and both wore red jackets.

The women carry everything on their heads.

This morning, Wednesday, the 24th, we drove six miles down the mountain to a beautiful botanical garden. It was the finest we have seen yet, and we saw roses almost equal to our California ones. There were orchids, begonias d violets, pinks, and loads of our common garden flowers, besides many new ones that we didn’t know the names of. There were all sorts of trees, too, and fine tree ferns, and all the smaller varieties.

When I came back, I found that Mrs. Syons, our English cousin, had been here to call. So as it was an hour to lunch, I took a rickshaw and rode over to their place. They have just moved into a new bungalow, and were not settled yet. They have some fine Japanese carved furniture, also about a dozen little pet dogs. Mr. Symons is a dyspeptic-looking, gray mustached man of about 65, and Mrs. Symons is gray-haired and about 60. They are nice pleasant people, but I was rather glad that I had an excuse not to take tea with them this afternoon. I don’t think they cared much either. She looks a little like Em. They have five sons, all grown up, some in the army and some in business. I am to go in to see her a little while tomorrow morning before we start for Kandy.

This afternoon we took another ride in carriages, but it got foggy, and we did not enjoy the scenery very much. The roads are so fine that riding is a pleasure, and the tropical vegetation is lovely, but it was cold and we were glad to get back and have our 5 o’clock tea. I’m getting the tea habit pretty bad.

Kendy, Ceylon

Thursday, February 25, 1909

We left Nuwara Eliya about 11 a.m. and came back over the same winding mountain road with the beautiful scenery on both sides, down from over 6000 feet to this place, only 2000 feet above the sea level. We had a cool comfortable ride, and about 4 o’clock there was a heavy shower. We got to Kandy about 5:20 p.m. and I have a pleasant room facing the lake, at the Queen’s Hotel. It seems clean and comfortable and the dinner was very good. It is quite warm after Nuwara Eliya, and I suppose I’ll perspire off a few more pounds. Am down to 138 now, and am willing to stop as the wrinkles are becoming decidedly conspicuous. Hope I won’t be like the fat girl that reduced, and couldn’t stop reducing and finally faded off into thin air.

Thursday, February 25, 1909

We had a lovely drive this morning, to the Botanical Gardens, and for the first time new the real thing in spice trees. There were clove, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon trees, and vanilla vines, and Brazilian nut trees with leaves over a foot long. There was immense bamboo, and rubber trees with roots four feet high on top of the ground. There was a plant from which cocaine is made, and the flycatcher vine. The guide opened one of the blossoms and there were a dozen dead flies in it. I wish we had a few vines around Jim’s kitchen. A boy, for a little baksheesh, scared the bats out of the trees. They were as big as ducks and looked like them flying overhead. There was one tree, the sand-bark, that had leaves that were like sand paper on the back. Mr. Layton rubbed the stain off his umbrella handle with one. There were lots of other curious things that I don’t remember now.

It was so warm that we did not go out again until 5:30. Then we had a rickshaw ride around the lake about two miles. It was beautiful with tropical vegetation all the way, and trees shaded the road, so it was cool for this place. We would call it warm at home. We stopped at a Zindu temple where we could hardly see anything for beggars that swarmed around us. It was an old temple, with some good carving in stone, and some queer old painting on the walls of one of the corridors. They illustrated the punishments for various sins, and were not exactly what you would call cheerful. Some showed the victims with spikes run the body, others writhing in flames, or wriggling as the end of spear, or being devoured by wild animals. Such scenes ought to encourage good morals. Inside the temple, in the innermost holy of holies, in a beautiful gold pagoda shaped casket, with real rubies and emeralds and diamonds on it, where a tooth of Buddha is kept. It is only taken out for a few minutes once a year, or by getting a permit from the governor. We didn’t see it, sad to relate. There is an octagonal corner room, where some rare old manuscripts are kept, and we were allowed a glimpse of them.

Saturday, February 27, 1909

This morning I started with Mrs. Foster to look at laces, which are said to be very cheap here, but it was so sultry that we came back to the hotel and tried to keep cool. I don’t know much about lace, and am not such tempted by it. The moonstones do tempt me, for they are very pretty and so cheap that they are not likely to be imitations. They have other stones, rubies, emeralds, etc., but as I can’t tell them from glass, and don’t think the others know much more than I do, I leave them severely alone.

It rained in the afternoon, but we drove around the lake on the road winding up the mountain, and between showers enjoyed the scenery. This is surely a garden spot, and one need not go to Java for tropical sights. We saw some elephants bathing in the river. They rolled on one side and then on the other, and spouted water over their backs, and enjoyed it hugely.

Sunday, February 28, 1909

It was very warm this morning, so warm that though we went to one or two shops we hadn’t energy to buy anything. We left Kandy at 2:30 p.m. and returned to Colombo over the same road that we had traveled to Nuwara Eliya five days ago. It was a warm trip, and hot wen we reached Colombo at 6 o’clock. Instead of going to the Galle Face Hotel, we were taken to one downtown, the Grand Oriental, and given rooms under the roof.

Thursday, March 4, 1909

We are on the P&O (Pacific & Oriental) Steamship Kooltan, one of the finest on this route, but we are put down in the depths near the engines, and it is very close and uncomfortable. Fortunately there is a broad deck, and we have our steamer chairs, and can spend our time there or in the big social hall. The passengers are nearly all English.  Of the 400 in the first cabin, only about twenty are Americans, which includes our thirteen Cook-yites. One young lady from Albany is so desperately English that she is perfectly outrageous. I heard her telling some English ladies how rude and uncultured American men are. She didn’t seem to make much impression on these ladies, I am happy to say. I wanted to box her ears and take some of the affection out of her. We were very glad to get away from Colombo, for we were so uncomfortable at the hotel, and the weather was so sultry that there was no pleasure in going out. One of the Native porters at the hotel had a few hot words with a rickshaw man who was overcharging one of our party. When he had done up the man, he turned to the lady and calmly remarked, “That fellow is a damned, dirty, thieving bugger”. Sometimes we fell like quoting him to express our opinions of Thos. Cook & Son.

The weather is warm now, but the motion of the boat gives us a little breese. We left Colombo at 7 am yesterday, and came out to the steamer in sampans. This steamer is from Australia, and goes to London.  There is a big crowd aboard, and more to get on at Bombay. Mrs. Foster and I have a cabin together. There is a couch, besides our two berths, so we are likely to get another roommate at Bombay.

On the Red Sea

Thursday, March 11, 1909

It has been much warm, lazy weather that I have not made any unnecessary exertion. The young people on board dance nearly every evening, and there are the usual flirtations going on. The young Englishman who sits next to me at the table, said with the some pride that he has been told that he dances like an American. He says the Americans are the best dancers and the Australians rank next, while the English dance very poorly.  He claims to be related to the Bronte family and says his people have some of the family relics, and invited me to come and see them. As I have neglected to get his address, I fear I’ll never see the proofs of his greatness.

The English and Australian ladies dress elaborately for dinner—low necks (sometimes extremely low), and no sleeves. They have beautiful necks and arms, but somehow, I like our plainer styles better for traveling. However, that is their affair, and it makes that much more show and entertainment for us. A Mrs. Rich, an English lady, is sharing our room since we left Bombay, and with three of us to dress for dinner, our little cabin is rather crowded. We have some fine exhibitions of selfishness frequently, and I must say that Americans are no match for a sweet-faced, mile-mannered little English lady, in that line.

There are some good singers on the steamer and one young lady plays the piano beautifully, and another the violin, and one gentleman flutes, so, we have plenty of music. I believe they are to have a concert tomorrow night. There are some good singers in the second cabin, too, and we can hear them from our deck. They have dancing some evenings and seem to have more fun than we do. There are bridge games going on, and all play for money. I wonder that it is allowed outside the smoking room. The usual games of shuffleboard, quoits, and cricket, are in progress. I don’t see how they have the energy to keep it up. The phosphorescence in the water has been beautiful, rising in great balls along the side of the vessel, and we have had some fine sunsets.

We reached Bombay Friday, the 5th, and nearly all the passengers went ashore to spend the night at the hotel. Some of our party went, for we had seen Bombay all we care to, and it was quite a long launch ride to get there. At night, the search light from a war vessel was thrown on the city and about the harbor, on the vessels, lighthouse and sailboats.

After we left Bombay, everything was quiet and war, and the Arabian Sea smooth as glass. Last evening, about eight o’clock, we came in sight of the Arabian coast, and at ten anchored near Aden, where we took on coal. We were quite a little way from the shore, and only a few of the men went to the town, as there is nothing there to see. We could see the lights of the place, and mountains in the background. While they were coaling all the ports had to be closed, and our cabins were so close that we could not stay in them. We were on deck until after 12 o’clock, and took our farewell look at the Southern Cross. This morning when we came out, we were sailing up the Red Sea, and so far it has not been very warm. We had been told all sorts of scare tales of the unbearable heat of this part of the journey. We have passed barren, rocky islands, with lighthouses on them, and occasionally see stretches of the African coast. The sea gulls are flying about, proposes play in the distance, and flying fish skim over the water.

This morning they had American hash on the menu, and although it was a reminder of “home and mother” I did not tackle it. On one of the steamers they had a kind of vegetable hash called “bubble and squeak”, but I didn’t try it either.

Sunday, March 14, 1909

We are anchored here near Suez, waiting for the pilot, or something, to take us through the canal. We entered the Gulf of Sues about 6 a.m., they said, and did not get here until after lunch. There was land in sight on both sides, and sand hills stretching off in the distance. We passed a great many eastbound vessels, flying the colors of various nations. We received our mail here, and I enjoyed the collections of 18 that have been gathering at Cairo to greet my coming. My, but I was glad to get them.

Two of our party, the Markleys of Cincinnati, left us here, and are to join a party going up the Nile, and will then travel through the Holy land and perhaps go to Constantinople. It wearies me to think of it.

Later-- We started through the canal at 5 p.m., but there is nothing thrilling about it, and my poor brain is too weary to enthuse much. It is a great wide ditch with stone-walled sides, and sandy plains beyond. There are occasional settlements with natives and loaded camels and donkeys along the banks. We pass vessels and dredges and beyond the walls sometimes a lake is seen. It is getting late and we cannot see much. Will reach Port Said sometime tomorrow morning.

Monday, March 15, 1909

Steamer anchored at Port Said this morning, and we went ashore in small boats about 10 o’clock. There was a strong wind blowing, and sand and dust in the air. We had our baggage examined at the Custom House, and then boarded the train for Cairo. It was so windy and disagreeable that we did not stop to view the town, and I only remember now the de Lessep Monument at the entrance of the canal. We had a sand-storm nearly all the way to Cairo, and were a black dirty lot when we got there.

What I saw of the country impressed me as being quite changed from nine years ago. More land seemed to be under cultivation, and the houses in the villages better, and things generally cleaner and in better shape. We all came to Shepherds Hotel, and have back rooms, as usual. One of Clarks excursion parties is here, 700 strong, and the place fairly swarms with Americans. They are very good to look at, and yet they take away the foreign air of the place entirely. Henry came this evening from his Nile trip, and life seems quite worthwhile now. Home doesn’t seem nearly so far away.

There is a garden fete here this evening, and lanterns are strung all among the trees and shrubs, and the place is full of people promenading the walks. As the garden is behind the hotel, a third-story back room is not a disadvantage, for we can see the whole show from my window. Henry and I have sat here and talked all the evening and watched the people below. We went down for a little while and got confetti in our hair and down our necks.

Sunday, March 21, 1909

Tomorrow we leave Cairo, I’m to go with the Dempsters on the P&O Steamer Egypt, to Spain and Henry to go to Suez and take a steamer to Naples. He goes to Suez to have the trip through the canal.

We have music in the dining room every evening, and tonight they played the Star Spangled Banner. I suppose they thought they made a great hit with the Americans, for of course we all had to stand up.

We have been sight seeing all the week, and trying to dodge Clark parties. We visited the Pyramids and found them and the Sphinx quite unchanged since my visit in 1900. As I knew it was a case of “now or never”, I screwed up my courage, mounted a camel, and rode over to the Sphinx. One boy led the camel, and another, seeing how scared I was, walked by my side and assured me that he would not let me fall, even offering to hold my hand to inspire me with confidence. His attentions had to be rewarded with a shilling, but it was worth it for he gave me a good half-hour of choice fabrications, principally tales of his interview with Mark Twain.

We have been in several mosques, old churches, the Citadel, the Museum, and all the show places. One morning we drove out to Heliopolis, through grain and clover fields, and saw the obelisks like the one in Central Park, given to the United States by the Turkish Government. On the way we stopped to see an old tree, half dead now, under which Mary and Joseph are said to have rested with the infant Jesus, during their flight into Egypt.

On the way back we stopped at an ostrich farm, the largest in the world they claim. I tried to buy some feathers, but could do quite as well at home. At one place on the road, we had to wait about twenty minutes, as the Khedive was in the Mosque near by, and was just ready to come out, and the way had to be kept clear for him and his suite. Some soldiers came first, and some officers, and then the Khedive, a dark whiskered man in European clothes, excepting that he wore a fez. He bowed right and left, and was driven off in a carriage with fine horses. One man, an American, of course, waved his cap over his head, and said his Highness looked at him and gave him a special bow. I suppose he will brag about it the rest of his life. It would have been a joke if he’d been arrested for a bomb thrower.

Yesterday we went on a launch down the Nile to a barrage, which is a great dam across one of the branches of the river. We rode over the dam on funny little cars pushed along by natives. There was just room for four on a car, sitting two in a seat, back to back with the other couple. We visited a native village with its mud huts, scantily clad children, donkeys, dogs, and dirt. In contrast to this, was a beautiful garden with lawns and tropical plants, kept up by the English Government. I must get to bed now, for it is late, and we will have to have our trunks ready by nine o’clock tomorrow. Our conductor left us last evening, and no one shed any tears. We are free to do as we please, and we are rejoicing over our emancipation.


Monday, March 29, 1909

I have been too weary to write this last week, and kept quiet, on my back in my berth. We have had a rough trip from Port Said, and the ship is very smelly, and the table poor. Fortunately, I have not been hungry, and have not cared, but now, with a calm sea and perfect weather I think I could eat if things were not so stale and moth-eaten. We had heard that the Egypt was such a fine ship, but it is anything but that. We had a fine railroad journey from Cairo to Port Said, with Henry, the Dempsters and myself in one compartment. Henry left us at Ismalia to go to Fues, and we went on to Port Said everywhere we took a launch for our steamer. I had the lower berth in a good cabin, but alas two other women were in the cabin, and that made it too crowded. They were English and lovely women, but they co-opted all the space dressing so that if I had not been in an uncomfortable state of health, I think I would have had to keep to my berth anyhow, as there would have been no place for me to dress. They left us at Marseilles to cross by land to Paris and London, so now I have my cabin all to myself.

We had a day in Marseilles, and took a drive about the city. Things were too modern to be very interesting, but it seemed good to be in civilization again.

Since leaving Marseilles, the weather has been fine, and we are enjoying ourselves in spite of the mustiness of the surroundings. We are in sight of land, the coast of Spain, all the time now, and tomorrow we will be at Gibraltar, where we start out on our own responsibility. I wonder   will know how to behave. The Captain says the trip from Port Said to Marseilles was the roughest he had experienced for sixteen years, so we were excusable for secluding ourselves in our cabins. I have spent my time reading, writing and sleeping.

Tuesday, March 30, 1909

Arrived at Gibraltar 10 am, and landed and got trunks through customs in time for lunch. We are at the Bristol Hotel, and everything is so clean and homey. We have done some shopping, and we did so enjoy doing as we pleased, and not having to be herded around like a lot of sheep.

Thursday, April 1, 1909

9 a.m. We are on the real Spanish soil now. We came over by boat to Algeciras to take the train for Granada, and off across the smooth bay, we see the great rock of Gibraltar, the “Crouching Lion” form showing at its best from here. It doesn’t seem right to have it face toward Spain, when all the preconceived ideas were of it lying there, facing the African coast, ready to spring on any strange craft that tried to pass through the straits.

Yesterday we drove about Gibraltar all the morning and crossed the half-mile of isthmus, the neutral ground between the English and Spanish possessions. Sentries patrolled both sides, and customs officers stood at each gate, waiting whom they might devour. We got out of the carriage at the Spanish gate, and almost walked over the officers in our anxiety to be searched, and they paid no attention to us whatever. We consoled ourselves with the hope that the British officers would be more exacting, but they disappointed us too. We did see some native working people searched as they returned from Gibralter. They seemed to take away even loaves of bread. Tobacco and liquors are what they look for particularly. A decrepit old dago took us through the little town of Linea, on the Spanish side, and showed us the bullring. It was all in fine shape, as the bullfights will begin soon after Easter. This ring was large, and looked as if it might seat two or three thousand people. The upper half of the seats were covered, and I suppose were for the better classes. Am glad we are too early for the fights.

The beggars pestered us to death. One boy was leading a blind man, and begged for his poor blind father; and when we came back he called his “this old blind fellow”. We gave him a penny, and instead of getting rid of him, he ran after the carriage until we had to drive him away with an umbrella.

Gibraltar was interesting, and we enjoyed the shops. The laces nearly proved my undoing, but remembering the bogymen in the N.Y. customhouse, I reserved my coin for home consumption.

No one can visit the fortifications unless he is a British subject, so we did not see them, but we rode around the rock, past the barracks and parade grounds, the Governor’s house, and his summer some on the Mediterranean side of the island. Some soldiers were practicing signaling, and the “awkward squad” seemed to be having a hard time to make the proper motions with their arms. There were two parks, or gardens, as they call them, the Alameda, and Victoria. There was nothing remarkable about them, but it did seem good to see some English flowers—geraniums, marguerites, pansies, heliotrope and other home reminders.

We were at an English hotel, and we nearly disgraced ourselves eating. We just gorged ourselves for everything was so good. We nearly starved on that old steamer, Egypt, for it was so smelly and sickening. The only thing that really tasted good on the boat was asparagus, as a salad, and I think it must have come from California, probably from the Beard Ranch. This Bristol Hotel faced the bay of Gibraltar, and the Spanish town of Algeciras across on the other side, a cluster of white houses on the green hillside. The sunsets were fine, and we could see them, and the view of the bay, and the African coast, from our their story window.

We got up at 6 a.m., had breakfast at 7, and took the boat for Algeciras at 8. It took half an hour to cross the bay, and by the time we got through with the custom officials and tickets, it was 9 o’clock, and time for our train to start. The cars are short and each one had three compartments holding eight passengers each. We four thought we had a compartment to ourselves, but at the first station, four Spaniards came in, a lady, gentleman and little girl, and a young man. They are very nice, but cannot speak English. With Miss Allen’s French, and my few Spanish words, and various signs and gestures, we manage to make some wise, or otherwise, remarks.

At Algeciras, they claim to have one of the finest hotels in Europe. We thought of going there, but it would have taken a whole day, and there was only the hotel to see. From the train it looked something like Del Monte, with a large park-like garden around it.

We came right out into a rolling country, with grain fields, and patches of horse beans, and adobe, thatched-roofed houses. There were a few good stone buildings, haciendas I suppose, with tiled roofs, and some old castles, romantically perched on the hilltops. There were our of tan-bark at some of the stations, and along the road were trees that looked like oaks, with the bark taken off. The denuded trunks were red like madrones.

There were gorgeously uniformed policemen, native women in bright colors, loaded donkeys, goats, sheep and cattle, wild flowers, woodsy places, ox teams plowing – 15 in a row – and stone walls and cactus hedges. The better class of people all wore ordinary European clothes, and are not so interesting as the real sons and daughters of the soil. Then we got into the higher mountains, with olive orchards and vineyards on the lower slopes, and the upper part barren and rocky, so looked like volcanic rock. We went through 15 tunnels, some long and some short, and between were mountains, valleys, streams, viaducts, and cassadee. On this side were more olive orchards, orange groves, fruit orchards in bloom, and vegetable gardens. As far as the weather goes, this might be an April 1st in California, and one tree-covered ten miles made me think of San Mateo County.

Every time we went through a tunnel, the Spanish lady and child crossed themselves and said their prayers. Among their baggage was a roll of military clothes and a sword, so Mr. Dempster told us not to be too “Spread-eagly American”, as the older man was probably an army officer and might not view us with friendly eyes.  They left us at a junction where we all changed cars, and a delightful Spanish gentleman got in who couldn’t understand a word, but he and Mr. D. carried on a lively pantomime all the way, and he pointed out various interesting things. One was a great rock like the face of a man with a big hooked nose and prominent chin. It was something like this:


It looked as if it had been cut in the rock, but I suppose would be rough and shapeless at a closer inspection. We were coming up grade all the way, as Granada is nearly 2200 feet altitude. There were fine large grain fields, and horsebeans, and orchards in bloom.

We changed trains at Bobadilla, and our way was through hilly country, with beautiful valleys of grain fields and orchards and vineyards. The vineyards are not in leaf yet and many of the trees are still bare. There are lots of wild flowers. In one place there were red poppies along the side of the road. Off on the hillsides we saw the white villages, and often the big low circular building that meant a bullring. Away beyond were the snow covered Sierra Nevada mountains that look like our own Sierras. The snow is on them all the year.

We did not get to Granada until nearly 8 p.m., so we had a late dinner, and went to bed very soon. The Washington Irving Hotel, where we are, is on the terraced side of a mountain, and our rooms, though on the second floor from the office, open on a little terrace of the court, planted in flowers and shrubs. On the other side of the court the ground is level with the office floor, and there are steps leading down to it, and several trees growing there.

Friday, April 2, 1909

We spent all of this morning at the Alhambra, that I will not try to describe, as Irving, Longfellow and a few others have given somewhat more interesting and intelligible accounts than I “could if I would, or would if I could (?). There was a tower to climb and of course I climbed. It was all right though, for the view was fine. Mountains behind us, and a beautiful, green, home-dotted valley before and the white tipped Sierras beyond. On the hillside back of us was old Granada, and the Gipsy quarters. We drove over there in the afternoon to see the Gipsy homes. They are carves in the side of the mountain, with doors, and sometimes house fronts, or even a room, built in front. The women and girls run after us with brass things to sell, and offered to dance for us, to lure our coin away. We are so hardened that we escaped without parting with more than a few pennies.

As for the Alhambra, we were greatly pleased to find that we were not disappointed in it. Of course, where the palaces and tombs of India were marble, this is all stucco and wood, but it was beautiful in its way, and the architecture fine. We saw the Hall of the Embassadors, where Queen Isabella received Columbus when he went to see her with his voyage of discovery scheme. We saw the house where Irving lived while here, the bull-ring where the nobility had watched the gory amusements, the chapel that Henry V (?) had changed from a Mohamedan Mosque, some of the gold leaf still on the wall decorations, and the fine tiled and inlaid and stuccoed Turkish bath room of the Sultans and Sultanas. In one room we whispered against an arch, and the person o the other side of the room, with ear to the wall heard distinctly what was said. It was all interesting and we were glad we came.

After lunch, we rode out again, to an old monastery where there were some handsome old cedar doors, inlaid with silver and mother-of-pearl, and a fine chapel and sacristy. There were also some paintings of the tortures of the early Christians, that made the chills run down your back, and gave food for a month of nightmares.

From there we went to the Cathedral, that covered the whole block. There were great stone columns inside, six or seven feet through, beautiful stained glass windows, and a large double organ. The royal chapel, with the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabelle, and their daughter Johanna and her husband King Philip, is carved marble, was very fine. There were a great many fine paintings, but the gem was a copy of Mirillo’s “Holy Family”,  by one of the early Spanish Artists whose name I did not catch. I thought some of the rest would get it, but find that we all were indulging in the same fond hope. (The man’s name was Bocanegra, if any one cares to know. It means nothing to me.)

After the drive to the Gypsy quarter, we went down the principal street, through the Alameda which did not show up very well as the trees are all bare. We stopped at some shops, but did not buy anything, as the prices were ridiculously high. It seems highly improbable, but is an honest fact, that I have visited a city and bought absolutely nothing but post cards to send to my afflicted victims.

Saturday, April 3, 1909

11 a.m. We are now on the train going back to Bobadilla where we change to go to Seville. Have just come in sight of the profile rock. But we will soon turn north and leave it behind. We have come through the same hills and orchards and fields, and I suppose we will have the same scenery all the way to Seville, as we go west most of the time. This morning, as we rode to the depot, about 7:30, the women were at the doors, with from two to six goats, and people came out with their little pans or dippers and received the milk straight from headquarters—or hindquarters.

There are olive orchards, where every tree has three or four trunks that looked old and ragged, and I finally had wit enough to see that the original trunks had been cut away and the new shoots left. The new ones must have been 50 or 100 years old, so I mistook them for a new style of tree. I got tired of carrying my Kodak and gave it away. Now there are a good many things I’d like to snap, and almost wish I had it back. The four-mule tandem teams roused my enthusiasm, but Mr. D. did not see them with an artist’s eye. I am going to stop off at Omaha some time, and get pictures from some of his films.

We are all so happy to be away from the Cook’s gang that, so far, we have moved along most harmoniously.

Sunday, April 4, 1909

Palm Sunday. We reached Seville about 5 p.m. and bade a fond farewell to two Spanish gentlemen and an elderly lady, who had been in the compartment with us, and who jabbered French and Spanish at us, and then gesticulated their information. We came to the Hotel de Paris, where we had engaged rooms by telegram. The rooms are pretty bad and double price, because it is a holy week.

This morning we went to the Cathedral where they had service from 10 to 12. The Blessing of the Palms and Mass was from 6 to 8, but we didn’t get up for that. We engaged a guide and he took us around to see the important things. It is an immense building, and the stone piers must be ten or twelve feet through. There is the choir, and the alter in the middle of the church, and 24 chapels around the sides. The choir has wood carving and the altar stone. There are several of Murillo’s paintings, and those of other famous painters. Murillo’s Immaculate Conception is the finest here, and one of the finest in the world. There were priceless gold embroidered vestments, 200 and 300 years old, which looked like new. Others were frayed some (the silk), but the embroidery still bright. There were gold and jeweled ornaments, and a silver tower-like structure, four feet high, that they carry in processions and four big silver candlesticks. The gold and silver, they said, came from America at the time of the Conquest.

There is a big tower, built by the Moors, when they conquered Spain. Instead of steps an incline funs around inside the wall. Of course I had to climb it. Coming down, I counted the number of steps I took. It was 568. If I am lame tomorrow, I won’t own up to it. The view was grand, all the city, and the green country, and villages beyond, the river Gundelquiver, the Morrish Castle, the bullring, etc., etc.

There is a monument to Columbus, four bronze figures carrying a casket, that they say contains the “rest” of Columbus, brought over from America in 1892. It does not seem so long as that, but I suppose it must be. The tomb of his son is in the cathedral too.

We met the two young Spanish gentlemen who were on the train with us. It was about 10 a.m., and one of them lifted his hat politely and said “good-night”. I suppose he felt very proud of his proficiency in English.

This afternoon we went out to see the procession. It was to be at 4:30, so we were there on time and hired chairs so as to see it comfortably. For two hours we watched and waited and got amusement out of the crow that paraded up and down the street. The young women were beauties, and they have the latest Paris styles. One very pretty girl had an old rose suit, hat and all. It was a big droopy hat, with old rose feathers, lined with black velvet, and black velvet strings hanging loose. Two girls passed, one in a soft colored gray suit, with old rose hat with gray feathers. The other girl had an old rose suit and gray hat. They looked very pretty. There were some of the biggest and ugliest hats I ever saw, and some queer costumes, but, on the whole, it was a well and swell dressed crowd. Many of the older women wore lace scarfs or mantillas, on their heads, and they were lovely, especially when over white hair.

The procession was of religious societies and every one had two or three floats that were so big and heavy that the 12, 15. Or 20 men that were underneath carrying them, had to stop and rest about every block. The floats were gorgeous affairs, with wax figures, big candles and gold and silver embroidery on the drapery. They were distressful figures, and of the six we saw, two were of Christ on the cross. One was “Our Lady of Hope’ in a gorgeous, gold-embroidered, crimson velvet dress, with a train two yards long, and a face hopelessly ugly, and hopeless in expression. A little way up the street, and on the other side, was the judges’ stand, and before a float started that way two heralds would march up and speak to them, I suppose announcing the coming of the structure. The costumes of these societies were odd, a sort of toga of white or purple or black, and the head part was like a tall fool’s cap, with a long front falling nearly to the waist, with holes cut in to see through. We got tired and hungry, and left after half of the floats had passed, and at 8 p.m. came back to the hotel for dinner. Mr. Dempster went out after dinner and came back about 10 o’clock, and the parade was still on.

Monday, April 5, 1909

We took a carriage and guide this morning, and did up the town. The houses are all brick, most of them plastered over and painted in various light colors. Granada was all white, but here there is light blue, pink, green, buff, lavender, and white, and it is really very pretty. Sometimes the lower story will be will be one color and the upper another, and all have the little iron balconies at the upper windows, and iron bars at those below. We drove over a bridge of which our guide seemed quite proud. Then to the Tower of Gold, called that because the little piece on top is painted yellow. It was gilded once, 1000 or so years ago, when the Moors built it for a watchtower.

We drove past the bullring, an old peoples’ home (once a monastery), the artillery barracks, and cavalry barracks, and an immense cigarette factory. There were churches galore, with plastered fronts, fronts of stucco, or of carved stone, and over the gateway of one, Santa Paula, on the high stone wall, was a Madonna in tiles, by Murillo, so they told us. As we passed the railroad there was a long train of open cars loaded with iron ore that was to be shipped to Glasgow. I suppose they are too indolent or too poor to work it up themselves.

An old Roman aqueduct, built 1200 years ago, is still used to bring water from fifteen miles away. It is moss and weed grown, and most of the ornamental part knocked off, but brings the water all right. On top of some of the church towers were bushes growing, and what looked like bunches of brush, but proved to be storks nests, and now and then we would see a stork perched up there.

The House of Pilate, and the Alcazar, are both built in the Moorish style, and the walls are marvels of stucco work. The ceiling in one room were carved wood, or in fancy patterns, and the wainscoting was tiled. The tiles in some were so well made that they showed iridescent colors, as you walked by. In some rooms, the walls had been covered with tapestry, instead of stucco, and others had been painted in gorgeous scenes. These last had been whitewashed over, and now they are trying to uncover them. The House of Pilate was built by some grandee, and is a copy of the house that Pilate had in Jerusalem. It is kept for a show place, and some priests occupy it now. A handsome young Spanish artist had some paintings of the interior decorations, but we were hard-hearted and unappreciative and passed them by. We will get a reputation for stinginess, for we don’t squander our money now days. They ask such awful prices for things just because we are Americans.

We left Seville at 5 o’clock, and arrived at Cardova at 8:30. The country was much the same as we had been over, -rolling, and hills in the distance, and grain fields, horse beans, vegetable gardens, villages, and orange and olive orchards. This hotel, the Suzia (Swiss) is not as good as we have had at the other towns, but we are only going to stay one night, so we don’t mind. The coffee is awful, and the tea worse, and nothing tastes right. But it is all right, for I’ve been eating too much. We were so hungry when we got off the steamer, and the bread and butter so good at the hotel at Gibraltar, that we nearly made ourselves sick. Must go to bed now.

Tuesday, April 6, 1909

We are ready to leave here, Cordova, and waiting for the 11 p.m. train. Will get into Madrid at 9 tomorrow morning. We have our berths engaged, and are wondering how we will like the Spanish sleeping car. We have visited the big cathedral here, which was once a beautiful mosque. There are about a thousand marble columns, and as many arches. I’ll send a book describing it, if you want to read about it. It is a fine thing, but I’ve reached my limit, and have not energy enough left to describe anything. I’ve just sense enough left to by post cards and little fool toys. We drove around some, and saw a bridge across the river. It was built by the Romans, and there is a big stone watchtower at one end.

There are beggars everywhere, and they follow us wherever we go. One boy held out his cap to me this morning, and instead of telling him to vamoose, I varied the program by taking the cap and walking off with it. His eyes looked like saucers, and when he got it back he walked away. They are not real beggars, many of them, but well dressed and well-fed looking, and yet they put on a doleful air, and whine out a wail for a peseta, 20 cents.

Miss Allen and I have been looking at Spanish lace, but their prices are too high. I rather think the place to buy them is in New York or San Francisco.

Wednesday, April 7, 1909

We had a nice car, and slept well last night. The car had a corridor on one side, and the compartments opening into it, two berths in each compartment. There was about two feet space in front of the berths, so there was room to dress and a good glass in the wall.

We got into Madrid at 10 o’clock, and came to the Hotel de Paris. I have a good corner room that looks out on the busiest street in town, and it is as good as a play to sit at the window and watch the people. All the streetcars pass through the open space in front of the hotel, and at one time I counted 22 street cars within a block. This open space seems to be the junction of several streets, and people and vehicles are as thick as bees. And yet no one gets run over, though I hold my breath when I see a woman with a baby in her arms, or one child leading another, go tripping in among the crow, and the horses, and street cars, and automobiles. There are three mounted policemen, and I suppose they keep order, though I haven’t seen them do a thing.

We went to the gallery this afternoon and saw some beautiful paintings by Rubens, Rafael, Murillo, and other great artists. Some of them we enjoyed very much, but there were others that we did not quite appreciate. Our taste is not cultivated up to the nude, particularly in fat females.

Madrid is a fine modern city, and there are some beautiful stores, but everything seems to be so expensive. It may be partly because it is near Easter.

We took a streetcar ride out past the royal palace. It is an immense building, but looked somewhat “down at the heel” from the outside. We were hoping to get in to see some of the public rooms, but no one is admitted now. Our guidebook calls it one of the finest palaces in Europe, so it must be worth seeing, if one could get in. As we came back, we were shown the window from which the bomb was thrown at the royal couple on their wedding day. This being Holy Week, the city is filled with visitors and there are crowds on the streets.

Friday, April 9, 1909

Yesterday there was a drizzling rain all day and we only went out a little while in the morning to do some shopping. Then we came in and watched the crowd from my window. About three o’clock, Mr. D. came in and persuaded us to go out and see the people at one of the churches. They were going in at one door and out at another, just as thick and fast as they could go, and the whole street was packed. There are all sorts and conditions of people, from richly garbed aristocrats, to distressful looking beggars.

This morning we went to Cook’s office and arranged to leave here tomorrow morning. We are still traveling on Cook’s tickets, and I must say, there are advantages in having them in a country where you can’t make people talk your language. Since we came back to the hotel we have spent most of our time at the windows overlooking the square.

The place is black with people out celebrating Good Friday. It is not a black crowd either, for there are lots of soldiers in their showy uniforms, and the women with red flowers in their hair, and black or white lace mantillas over their heads. We see a few hats of the latest Paris styles, but most of them are bareheaded, or wear the lace. This should be a “holy day”, but it is certainly a gala day here. There has been a procession, and we saw it pretty well from my window, but it was not as interesting as the people. There are old and young, rich and poor, everything and everybody, all walking, for carriages are not allowed on the street, our streetcars, from 3 to 7 o’clock today. From the number of babies out, I should

(Missing Page 169)

Easter Sunday, the next day.

There was a military parade, and the soldiers, went across the river to a sort of park where a service was read. We tagged along to see what was doing, but the crowd was so great that we couldn’t get near the ceremonies. They had several fine bands, and they marched along with short steps that did not look as well as the free stepping of our soldiers. The cavalry were well mounted and good riders.

We spent part of the afternoon in the cathedral, where we saw some fine monuments, and carvings, both wood and stone, and a few pictures. Being Easter, many of the pictures were covered. One thing we did not get to see was Captain Kidd’s chest, and I am still grieving over it. The story is that he was very much in need of money, and brought this chest of jewels to a monastery and received a loan on it. For very good reasons, they took his word for the value of the contents. When they opened it later on, they found it filled with sand. The chest is kept locked in a room and they wouldn’t open it on Easter Sunday.

About 3 o’clock, we went down the principal street and saw the people in their holiday attire. The town people were dressed about as they were in Madrid, but many were in from the country, and their clothes were odd and interesting. The young girls wore aprons done in fine hand embroidery or drawn work, and we were tempted to snatch them away from the fair maidens. Some had bright colored handkerchiefs tied over their heads, and the older women had short full skirts, and shawls around their shoulders.

We walked about through the narrow streets, by the city hall, several plazas, the Hotel Norte, and down by the little river that runs through the city. The houses are all stone, or plastered, and not many more than two stories. I think the tourists generally go to the Hotel Norte, but I am glad we went to the entirely Spanish one. Not a soul could speak English and we talked in pantomime. They called in a young man that was evidently considered quite a linquist.  He knew about as many English words as I did Spanish, and we succeeded in bewildering each other completely.

On Monday morning April 12th, we had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to take the 5:30 train. We had coffee and rolls served in our room – such awful coffee – and then a wild ride with the same outfit that brought us up from the train. The sun rose and we caught glimpse of fine cloud effects, but were too busy hanging on to our seats to pay much attention to it. We had nearly half an hour’s wait for the train after all our rush, and nearly froze. We had a very good compartment in the train. The country was mountainous, with grain and vegetables growing in the valleys. There were corn, horse beans, turnips and baled hay that looked quite like home. The houses were stone with tiled roofs. There were water ditches everywhere, but whether for irrigation or drainage I didn’t find out. A tourist picks up a lot of mis-information, so you needn’t believe all they say. One polite young man persisted in calling the houses “edifices”. We went through between 40 and 50 tunnels, and over a lot of bridges. Over one gorge, there was a viaduct that a Spanish gentleman had told us watch out for. It was 108 feet long and 116 high. I suppose an engineer might have seen something marvelous about it, but I don’t think it was any longer or higher than we have at home. We were at an elevation of 2300 feet for a while, but that wouldn’t count much in our Rockies or Sierras. The distant mountains were snow capped. There were bands of goats and sheep in this country.

As we went down the mountains, we passed mills with vine covered walls, dammed streams, picturesque bridges, villages, crosses by the roadside, terraed hillsides, and waterfalls, and come into the low lands where the fruit trees were in bloom.

At 11:40 we reached St. Sebastian on the frontier, where we caught glimpses of the sea. We did not long to be on it, though will be glad when we are on the other side of it. On the other side of the French-Spanish line, is Hendaye, where we had our trunks examined, had lunch, and changed to a narrow gauge French line for Biarritz, where we arrived at 2 p.m.

After the D’s were settled at the Hotel de Angle Terre, we went for an automobile ride. We were taken through the wide clean streets, with beautiful residences and by the hotel where King Edward and suite were stopping. We tried to get a glimpse of royalty, but no one was visible that we could even pretend was the King. We went out through some pine woods where the trees had little wooden pipes stuck in the trunks with tin dipper attachments to catch the pitch or turpentine, or whatever they were after. These woods seemed to be the public park, for we saw several picnic parties there.

Then we rode on to a jetty they are building in the harbor, and on to Bayonne, around a beautiful lake and to the depot, where I waited nearly an hour for my train. Here I parted with my good friends, the Dempsters, but we hope to meet again in Paris or London.

At Bayonne there was some sort of a festival going on, and the place was thronged with gaily dressed people, in carriages and afoot, and all seemed gay and happy. There were all sorts of booths and sideshows, and people with things to sell, but we were not so undignified as to stop our automobile to buy trinkets.

Tuesday, April 13, 1909

We are nearly to Paris. I was up at 5:30. We have been passing through a farming country with small patches of grain, or vegetables. There are villages, clumps of trees and haystacks. On a river that we passed, there were boats being towed, sometimes by a tug, but oftener by a woman or a donkey walking along the bank. People are getting ready to leave the train, so I will gather up my traps, and be ready to launch myself into the swim of “Gay Paree”. Of my adventures there and in London, I will tell you when I get home. This is the end of my “Notes”. I think I hear a mighty sigh of relief arise from the home circle.

bottom of page