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A Visit to Iceland and the Scandinavian North Translated from German by Madame Ida Pfeiffer

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In the suburbs the houses are mostly built of wood. There are some
rather pretty public buildings; the finest among them are the royal
castle and the fortress. They are built on little elevations, and
afford a beautiful view. The old royal palace is in the town, but
not at all distinguishable from a common private house. The house
in which the Storthing {48} assembles is large, and its portico
rests on pillars; but the steps are of wood, as in all stone houses
in Scandinavia. The theatre seemed large enough for the population;
but I did not enter it. The freemasons' lodge is one of the most
beautiful buildings in the town; it contains two large saloons,
which are used for assemblies or festivities of various kinds,
besides serving as the meeting-place of the freemasons. The
university seemed almost too richly built; it is not finished yet,
but is so beautiful that it would be an ornament to the largest
capital. The butchers' market is also very pretty. It is of a
semi-circular shape, and is surrounded by arched passages, in which
the buyers stand, sheltered from the weather. The whole edifice is
built of bricks, left in their natural state, neither stuccoed with
mortar nor whitewashed. There are not many other palaces or fine
public buildings, and most of the houses are one-storied.

One of the features of the place--a custom which is of great use to
the traveller, and prevails in all Scandinavian towns--is, that the
names of the streets are affixed at every corner, so that the
passer-by always knows where he is, without the necessity of asking
his way.

Open canals run through the town; and on such nights as the almanac
announces a full or bright moon the streets are not lighted.

Wooden quays surround the harbour, on which several large
warehouses, likewise built of wood, are situated; but, like most of
the houses, they are roofed with tiles.

The arrangement and display of the stores are simple, and the wares
very beautiful, though not of home manufacture. Very few factories
exist here, and every thing has to be imported.

I was much shocked at the raggedly-clad people I met every where in
the streets; the young men especially looked very ragged. They
rarely begged; but I should not have been pleased to meet them alone
in a retired street.

I was fortunate enough to be in Christiania at the time when the
Storthing was sitting. This takes place every three years; the
sessions commence in January or February, and usually last three
months; but so much business had this time accumulated, that the
king proposed to extend the length of the session. To this
fortunate accident I owed the pleasure of witnessing some of the
meetings. The king was expected to close the proceedings in
September. {49}

The hall of meeting is long and large. Four rows of tapestried
seats, one rising above the other, run lengthways along the hall,
and afford room for eighty legislators. Opposite the benches a
table stands on a raised platform, and at this table the president
and secretary sit. A gallery, which is open to the public, runs
round the upper portion of the hall.

Although I understood but little of the Norwegian language, I
attended the meetings daily for an hour. I could at least
distinguish whether long or short speeches were made, or whether the
orator spoke fluently. Unfortunately, the speakers I heard spoke
the few words they mustered courage to deliver so slowly and
hesitatingly, that I could not form a very favourable idea of
Norwegian eloquence. I was told that the Storthing only contained
three or four good speakers, and they did not display their talents
during my stay.

I have never seen such a variety of carriages as I met with here.
The commonest and most incommodious are called Carriols. A carriol
consists of a narrow, long, open box, resting between two immensely
high wheels, and provided with a very small seat. You are squeezed
into this contrivance, and have to stretch your feet forward. You
are then buckled in with a leather apron as high as the hips, and
must remain in this position, without moving a limb, from the
beginning to the end of your ride. A board is hung on behind the
box for the coachman; and from this perch he, in a kneeling or
standing position, directs the horses, unless the temporary resident
of the box should prefer to take the reins himself. As it is very
unpleasant to hear the quivering of the reins on one side and the
smacking of the whip on the other, every one, men and women, can
drive. Besides these carriols, there are phaetons, droschkas, but
no closed vehicles.

The carts which are used for the transport of beer are of a very
peculiar construction. The consumption of beer in Christiania is
very great, and it is at once bottled when made, and not sold in
casks. The carts for the transport of these bottles consist of
roomy covered boxes a foot and a half high, which are divided into
partitions like a cellaret, in which many bottles can be easily and
safely transported from one part to another.

Another species of basket, which the servants use to carry such
articles as are damp or dirty, and which my readers will excuse my
describing, is made of fine white tin, and provided with a handle.
Straw baskets are only used for bread, and for dry and clean

There are no public gardens or assemblies in Christiania, but
numerous promenades; indeed, every road from the town leads to the
most beautiful scenery, and every hill in the neighbourhood affords
the most delightful prospects.

Ladegardoen is the only spot which is often resorted to by the
citizens by carriage or on foot. It affords many and splendid views
of the sea and its islands, of the surrounding mountains, valleys,
and pine and fir groves. The majority of the country-houses are
built here. They are generally small, but pretty, and surrounded by
flower-gardens and orchards. While there, I seemed to be far in the
south, so green and verdant was the scenery. The corn-fields alone
betrayed the north. Not that the corn was poor; on the contrary, I
found many ears bending to the ground under their weight; but now,
towards the end of August, most of it was standing uncut in the

Near the town stands a pine-grove, from which one has splendid
views; two monuments are raised in it, but neither of them are of
importance: one is raised to the memory of a crown-prince of
Sweden, Christian Augustus; the other to Count Hermann Wenel


All I had hitherto seen in Norway had gratified me so much, that I
could not resist the temptation of a journey to the wildly romantic
regions of Delemarken. I was indeed told that it would be a
difficult undertaking for a female, alone and almost entirely
ignorant of the language, to make her way through the peasantry.
But I found no one to accompany me, and was determined to go; so I
trusted to fate, and went alone.

According to the inquires I had instituted in respect to this
journey, I anticipated that my greatest difficulties would arise
from the absence of all institutions for the speedy and comfortable
progress of travellers. One is forced to possess a carriage, and to
hire horses at every station. It is sometimes possible to hire a
vehicle, but this generally consists only of a miserable peasant's
cart. I hired, therefore, a carriol for the whole journey, and a
horse to the next station, the townlet of Drammen, distant about
twenty-four miles.

On the 25th August, at three o'clock in the afternoon, I left
Christiania, squeezed myself into my carriage, and, following the
example of Norwegian dames, I seized the reins. I drove as if I had
been used to it from infancy. I turned right and left, and my horse
galloped and trotted gaily on.

The road to Drammen is exquisite, and would afford rich subjects for
an artist. All the beauties of nature are here combined in most
perfect harmony. The richness and variety of the scenery are almost
oppressive, and would be an inexhaustible subject for the painter.
The vegetation is much richer than I had hoped to find it so far
north; every hill, every rock, is shaded by verdant foliage; the
green of the meadows was of incomparable freshness; the grass was
intermingled with flowers and herbs, and the corn-fields bent under
their golden weight.

I have been in many countries, and have seen beautiful districts; I
have been in Switzerland, in Tyrol, in Italy, and in Salzburg; but I
never saw such peculiarly beautiful scenery as I found here: the
sea every where intruding and following us to Drammen; here forming
a lovely lake on which boats were rocking, there a stream rushing
through hills and meadows; and then again, the splendid expanse
dotted with proud three-masters and with countless islets. After a
five hours' ride through rich valleys and splendid groves, I reached
the town of Drammen, which lies on the shores of the sea and the
river Storri Elf, and whose vicinity was announced by the beautiful
country-houses ornamenting the approach to it.

A long, well-built wooden bridge, furnished with beautiful iron
palisadings, leads over the river. The town of Drammen has pretty
streets and houses, and above 6000 inhabitants. The hotel where I
lodged was pretty and clean. My bedroom was a large room, with
which the most fastidious might have been contented. The supper
which they provided for me was, however, most frugal, consisting
only of soft-boiled eggs. They gave me neither salt nor bread with
them, nor a spoon; nothing but a knife and fork. And it is a
mystery to me how soft eggs can be eaten without bread, and with a
knife and fork.

August 25th.

I hired a fresh horse here, with which I proceeded to Kongsberg,
eighteen miles farther. The first seven miles afforded a repetition
of the romantic scenery of the previous day, with the exception of
the sea. But instead I had the beautiful river, until I had
ascended a hill, from whose summit I overlooked a large and
apparently populous valley, filled with groups of houses and single
farms. It is strange that there are very few large towns in Norway;
every peasant builds his house in the midst of his fields.

Beyond this hill the scenery grows more monotonous. The mountains
are lower, the valley narrower, and the road is enclosed by wood or
rocks. One peculiarity of Norwegian rocks is their humidity. The
water penetrates through countless fissures, but only in such small
quantities as to cover the stones with a kind of veil. When the sun
shines on these wet surfaces of rock, of which there are many and
large ones, they shine like mirrors.

Delemarken seems to be tolerably populous. I often met with
solitary peasant-huts in the large gloomy forests, and they gave
some life to the monotonous landscape. The industry of the
Norwegian peasant is very great; for every spot of earth, even on
the steepest precipices, bore potatoes, barley, or oats; their
houses also look cheerful, and were painted for the most part of a
brick-red colour.

I found the roads very good, especially the one from Christiania to
Drammen; and the one from Drammen to Kongsberg was not very
objectionable. There is such an abundance of wood in Norway, that
the streets on each side are fenced by wooden enclosures; and every
field and meadow is similarly protected against the intrusion of
cattle, and the miserable roads through the woods are even covered
with round trunks of trees.

The peasantry in this district have no peculiar costume; only the
head-covering of the females is curious. They wear a lady's hat,
such as was fashionable in the last century, ornamented with a bunch
behind, and with an immense shade in front. They are made of any
material, generally of the remains of old garments; and only on
Sundays better ones, and sometimes even silk ones, make their

In the neighbourhood of Kongsberg this head-dress is no longer worn.
There they wear little caps like the Suabian peasantry, petticoats
commencing under the shoulders, and very short spencers: a very
ugly costume, the whole figure being spoilt by the short waist.

The town of Kongsberg is rather extended, and is beautifully
situated on a hill in the centre of a splendid wooded valley. It
is, like all the towns in Norway except Christiania, built of wood;
but it has many pretty, neat houses and some broad streets.

The stream Storri Elf flows past the town, and forms a small but
very picturesque waterfall a little below the bridge. What pleased
me most was the colour of the water as it surged over the rock. It
was about noon as I drove across the bridge; the sun illuminated the
whole country around, and the waves breaking against the rocks
seemed by this light of a beautiful pale-yellow colour, so that they
resembled thick masses of pure transparent amber.

Two remarkable sights claimed my attention at Kongsberg,--a rich
silver-mine, and a splendid waterfall called the Labrafoss. But as
my time was limited and I could only remain a few hours in
Kongsberg, I preferred to see the waterfall and believe the accounts
of the silver-mine; which were, that the deepest shaft was eight
hundred feet below the surface, and that it was most difficult to
remain there, as the cold, the smoke, and the powder-smell had a
very noxious effect on the traveller accustomed to light and air.

I therefore hired a horse and drove to the fall, which is situated
in a narrow pass about four miles from Kongsberg. The river
collects in a quiet calm basin a little distance above the fall, and
then rushes over the steep precipice with a sudden bound. The
considerable depth of the fall and the quality of water make it a
very imposing sight. This is increased by a gigantic rock planted
like a wall in the lower basin, and opposing its body to the
progress of the hurrying waters. The waves rebound from the rock,
and, collecting in mighty masses, rush over it, forming several
smaller waterfalls in their course.

I watched it from a high rock, and was nevertheless covered by the
spray to such a degree, that I sometimes could scarcely open my
eyes. My guide then took me to the lower part of the fall, so that
I might have a view of it from all sides; and each view seemed
different and more splendid. I perceived the same yellow
transparent colour which I had remarked in the fall at Kongsberg in
the waters which dashed over the rock and were illuminated by the
sun. I imagine it arises from the rock, which is every where of a
brownish-red colour, for the water itself was clear and pure.

At four o'clock in the afternoon I left Kongsberg, and drove to
Bolkesoe, a distance of eighteen miles. It was by no means a
beautiful or an agreeable drive; for the road was very bad, and took
me through passes and valleys, across woods and over steep
mountains, while the night was dark and unilluminated by the moon.
The thought involuntarily entered my mind, how easily my guide, who
sat close behind me on the vehicle, could put me out of the world by
a gentle blow, and take possession of my effects. But I had
confidence in the upright character of the Norwegians, and drove on
quietly, devoting my attention entirely to the reins of my little
steed, which I had to lead with a sure hand over hill and valley,
over ruts and stones, and along precipices. I heard no sound but
the rushing of the mountain-river, which leaped, close beside us,
over the rocks, and was heard rushing in the far distance.

We did not arrive at Bolkesoe until ten o'clock at night. When we
stopped before an insignificant-looking peasant's cot, and I
remembered my Icelandic night-accommodations, whose exterior this
resembled, my courage failed me; but I was agreeably disappointed
when the peasant's wife led me up a broad staircase into a large
clean chamber furnished with several good beds, some benches, a
table, a box, and an iron stove. I found equal comforts on all the
stations of my journey.

There are no proper hotels or posthouses on the little-frequented
Norwegian roads; but the wealthy peasants undertake the duties of
both. I would, however, advise every traveller to provide himself
with bread and other provisions for the trip; for his peasant-host
rarely can furnish him with these. His cows are on the hills during
the summer; fowls are far too great a luxury for him; and his bread
is scarcely eatable: it consists of large round cakes, scarcely
half an inch thick, and very hard; or of equally large cakes
scarcely as thick as a knife, and quite dry. The only eatables I
found were fish and potatoes; and whenever I could stay for several
hours, they fetched milk for me from the hills.

The travelling conveniences are still more unattainable; but these I
will mention in a future chapter, when my experience will be a
little more extensive.

August 26th.

I could not see the situation of the town of Bolkesoe till daylight
to-day, for when I arrived the darkness of night concealed it. It
is situated in a pretty wooded vale, on a little hill at whose foot
lies a beautiful lake of the same name.

The road from here to Tindosoe, about sixteen miles, is not
practicable for vehicles, and I therefore left my carriol here and
proceeded on horseback. The country grows more quiet and
uninhabited, and the valleys become real chasms. Two lakes of
considerable size form an agreeable variety to the wildness of the
scenery. The larger one, called the Foelsoe, is of a regular form,
and above two miles in diameter; it is encircled by picturesque
mountains. The effect of the shadows which the pine-covered
mountain-tops throw on the lakes is particularly attractive. I rode
along its shores for more than an hour, and had leisure to see and
examine every thing very accurately, for the horses here travel at a
very slow pace. The reason of this is partly that the guide has no
horse, and walks beside you in a very sleepy manner; the horse knows
its master's peculiarities by long experience, and is only too
willing to encourage him in his slow, dull pace. I spent more than
five hours in reaching Tindosoe. My next object of interest was the
celebrated waterfall of Rykanfoss, to reach which we had to cross a
large lake. Although it had rained incessantly for an hour, and the
sky looked threatening, I at once hired a boat with two rowers to
continue my journey without interruption; for I anticipated a storm,
and then I should not have found a boatman who would have ventured a
voyage of four or five hours on this dangerous lake. In two hours
my boat was ready, and I started in the pouring rain, but rejoiced
at least at the absence of fog, which would have concealed the
beauties of nature which surrounded me. The lake is eighteen miles
long, but in many parts only from two to three miles wide. It is
surrounded by mountains, which rise in terraces without the least
gap to admit a distant view. As the mountains are nearly all
covered with dark fir-groves, and overshadow the whole breadth of
the narrow lake, the water seems quite dark, and almost black. This
lake is dangerous to navigate on account of the many rocks rising
perpendicularly out of the water, which, in a storm, shatter a boat
dashed against them to pieces, and the passengers would find an
inevitable grave in the deep waters. We had a fresh and a
favourable breeze, which blew us quickly to our destination. One of
the rocks on the coast has a very loud echo.

An island about a mile long divides the lake into equal parts; and
when we had passed it, the landscape became quite peculiar. The
mountains seemed to push before each other, and try whose foot
should extend farthest into the sea. This forms numerous lovely
bays; but few of them are adapted for landing, as the dangerous
rocks seem to project every where.

The little dots of field and meadow which seem to hang against the
rock, and the modest cottages of the peasants, which are built on
the points of the most dangerous precipices, and over which rocks
and stones tower as mountains, present a very curious appearance.
The most fearful rocks hang over the huts, and threaten to crush
them by falling, which would inevitably carry cottage and field with
them into the sea. It is difficult to say whether the boldness or
the stupidity of the peasants induces them to choose such localities
for their dwellings.

From the mountains many rivers flow into the lake, and form
beautiful falls. This might only have been the case at that time,
because it was raining incessantly, and the water poured down from
all sides, so that the mountains seemed embroidered with silver
threads. It was a beautiful sight; but I would willingly have
relinquished it for a day of sunshine. It is no trifle to be
exposed to such a shower-bath from morning till night; I was wet
through, and had no hope for better weather, as the sky was clouded
all round. My perseverance was nearly exhausted; and I was on the
point of relinquishing the purpose of my journey,--the sight of the
highest Norwegian waterfall,--when it occurred to me that the bad
weather was most favourable for my plan, as each drop of water would
increase the splendour of the waterfall.

After three hours and a half's rowing we reached Haukaness-am-See,
where it is usual to stop a night as there is a pretty farm here,
and the distance from the fall is still considerable.

August 27th.

My first care in the morning was the weather; it was unchanged, and
the experienced peasants prophesied that it would remain wet. As I
would not return nor wait for better weather, I could only take to
my boat again, put on my half-dried cloak, and row on boldly.

The termination of the lake, which we soon reached, was already
sufficient to compensate for my perseverance. A high mountain
advances into the lake, and divides it into two beautiful bays. We
entered the left bay, and landed at Mael, which lies at the mouth of
the river Rykaness. The distance from Haukaness is a little more
than two miles. I had to mount a horse to reach the waterfall,
which was yet eleven miles distant. The road runs through a narrow
valley, which gradually narrows still more until it can only contain
the river; and the traveller is obliged to ascend the heights and
grope on along the sides of the mountains. Below in the vale he
sees the foam of the waves surging against the rocks; they flow like
a narrow band of silver in the deep chasm. Sometimes the path is so
high that one neither sees nor hears the river. The last half mile
has to be journeyed on foot, and goes past spots which are really
dangerous; numerous waterfalls rush from the mountain-sides, and
have to be crossed on paths of tree-trunks laid alongside each
other; and roads scarcely a foot wide lead along giddy precipices.
But the traveller may trust unhesitatingly to his guide's arm, who
has hitherto led every one in safety to his destination.

The road from Haukaness to the waterfall must be the finest that can
be imagined on a bright sunny day; for I was enchanted with the
wildly-romantic scenery in spite of the incessant rain and my wet
clothes, and would on no consideration have missed this sight.
Unfortunately the bad weather increased, and thick fogs rolled down
into the valleys. The water flowed down from the mountains, and
transformed our narrow path into a brook, through which we had to
wade ankle-deep in water. At last we reached the spot which
afforded the best view of the fall. It was yet free from mist, and
I could still admire the extraordinary beauty of the fall and its
quantity of water. I saw the immense mountain-rock which closes the
valley, the tremendous pillar of water which dashes over it, and
rebounds from the rock projecting in the centre of the fall, filling
the whole valley with clouds of spray, and concealing the depth to
which it descends. I saw this, one of the rarest and of the most
magnificent of natural beauties; but alas, I saw it only for a
moment, and had scarcely time to recover from the surprise of the
first view when I lost it for ever! I was not destined to see the
single grandeurs of the fall and of the surrounding scenery, and was
fain to be content with one look, one glance. Impenetrable mists
rolled from all sides into the wild glen, and shrouded every thing
in complete darkness; I sat on a piece of rock, and gazed for two
hours stedfastly at the spot where a faint outline of the fall was
scarcely distinguishable through the mist sometimes this faint trace
even was lost, and I could perceive its vicinity only by the
dreadful sounds of the fall, and by the trembling of the rock
beneath my feet.

After I had gazed, and hoped, and raised my eyes entreatingly to
heaven for a single ray of sunshine, all in vain, I had at last to
determine on my return. I left my post almost with tears in my
eyes, and turned my head more backwards than forwards as we left the
spot. At the least indication of a clearing away of the fog I
should have returned.

But I retired farther and farther from it till I reached Mael again,
where I sadly entered my boat, and proceeded uninterruptedly to
Tindosoe. I arrived there towards ten o'clock at night. The wet,
the cold, the want of food, and, above all, the depressed and
disappointed state of my mind, had so affected me, that I went to
bed with a slight attack of fever, and feared that I should not be
able to continue my journey on the following day. But my strong
constitution triumphed over every thing, and at five o'clock in the
morning I was ready to continue my journey to Bolkesoe on horseback.

I was obliged to hurry for fear of missing the departure of the
steamer from Christiania. The journey to Delemarken had been
represented to me as much shorter than I found it in reality; for
the constant waiting for horses, boats, guides, &c. takes up very
much time.

August 28th.

I had ordered my horse to be ready at five o'clock, but was obliged
to wait for it until seven o'clock.

Although I made only a short trip into the interior, I had
sufficient opportunities for experiencing the extortions and
inconveniences to which a traveller is liable in Norway. No country
in Europe is so much in its infancy as regards all conveniences for
locomotion. It is true that horses, carriages, boats, &c. can be
had at every station, and the law has fixed the price of these
commodities; but every thing is in the hands of the peasants and the
publicans, and they are so skilled in tormenting the traveller by
their intentional slowness, that he is compelled to pay the two-fold
tax, in order to proceed a little more quickly. The stations are
short, being rarely above five or six miles, and one is therefore
constantly changing horses. Arrived at a station, it either happens
that there is really no horse to be had, or that this is an
ostensible excuse. The traveller is told that the horse has to be
fetched from the mountain, and that he can be served in one and a
half or two hours. Thus he rides one hour, and waits two. It is
also necessary to keep the tariff, as every trifle, the saddle, the
carriage, the harness, fetching the horse, the boat, &c., has to be
paid for extra; and when the traveller does not know the fixed
prices, he is certain to be dreadfully imposed upon. At every
station a book lies, containing the legal prices; but it is written
in the language of the district, and utterly unintelligible to the
stranger. Into this book, which is examined by the judge of the
district every month, one may enter complaints against the peasant
or publican; but they do not seem to fear it, for the guide who
accompanied me to the fall of Rykanfoss endeavoured to cheat me
twice in the most barefaced manner, by charging me six-fold for the
use of the saddles and the fetching of the horse. When I threatened
to inscribe my complaint in the book, he seemed not to care, and
insisted on his demand, till I was obliged to pay him. On my return
to Mael, I kept my word, asked for the book, and entered my
complaint, although I was alone with all the peasants. It was not
so much the money which annoyed me, as the shameless imposition. I
am of opinion that every one should complain when he is wronged; if
it does not benefit him, it will make the matter more easy for his

I must confess, in justice to the peasants, that they were very
indignant when I told them of the dishonesty of their countryman,
and did not attempt to prevent my complaint.

To conclude my journey, I need only remark that, although the rain
had ceased, the sky was still covered with clouds, and the country
shrouded in mist. I therefore took the shorter road to Christiania,
by which I had come, although I thereby missed a beautiful district,
where I should, as I was told, have seen the most splendid
perspective views in Norway. This would have been on the road from
Kongsberg over Kroxleben to Christiania. The finest part is near

But the time was too short to take this round, and I returned by way
of Drammen. In the village of Muni, about five miles from
Kongsberg, where I arrived at seven o'clock in the evening, the
amiable host wished to keep me waiting again two hours for a horse;
and as this would probably have happened at every station, I was
obliged to hire a horse for the whole distance to Christiania, at a
threefold price. I slept here for a few hours, left in the night at
one o'clock, and arrived at Christiania the following afternoon at

On this journey I found all those people very kind and obliging with
whom I came into no sort of pecuniary relation; but the hosts, the
boatmen, the drivers, the guides, were as selfish and grasping as in
any other country. I believe that kindness and disinterestedness
would only be found in any district by him who has the good fortune
to be the first traveller.

This little excursion was very dear; and yet I think I could now
travel cheaply even in this country, universally acknowledged to be
dear. I would go with the steamer along the coast to Hammerfest,
buy a little vehicle and a good horse there, and then travel
pleasantly, and without annoyance, through the whole country. But
for a family who wished to travel in a comfortable covered carriage,
it would be incalculably dear, and in many parts impossible, on
account of the bad roads.

The Norwegian peasantry are strong and robust, but their features
are not the most comely, and they seemed neither wealthy nor
cleanly. They were generally very poorly clad, and always
barefooted. Their cottages, built of wood and covered with tiles,
are more roomy than those of the Icelanders; but they are
nevertheless dirty and wretched. A weakness of the Norwegians is
their fondness for coffee, which they drink without milk or sugar.
The old women, as well as the men, smoke their pipes morning and

From Christiania to Kongsberg is about 41
From Kongsberg to the waterfall Labrafoss 5
From Kongsberg to Bolkosoe 14
From Bolkosoe to Tindosoe 16
From Tindosoe across the lake to Mael 16
From Mael to the waterfall Rykanfoss 11


August 30th.

At seven o'clock this morning I left Christiania, accompanied by the
good wishes of my countrywoman and her husband, and went back to
Gottenburg by the same steamer which had brought me thence ten days
before. I need only mention the splendid view of a portion of
Christian's Sound--also called Fiord--which I lost on the former
journey from the darkness of the night. We passed it in the
afternoon. The situation of the little town of Lauervig is superb.
It is built on a natural terrace, bordered in the background by
beautiful mountains. In front, the fortress of Friedrichsver lies
on a mountain surrounded by rocks, on which little watch-towers are
erected; to the left lies the vast expanse of sea.

We were delayed an hour at Friedrichsver to transfer the travellers
for Bergen {50} to a vessel waiting for them, as we had stopped on
our previous journey at Sandesund for the same purpose.

This is the last view in the fiord; for now we steered into the open
sea, and in a few hours we had lost sight of land. We saw nothing
but land and water till we arrived the next morning at the Scheren,
and steered for Gottenburg.

August 31st.

The sea had been rough all night, and we therefore reached
Gottenburg three hours later than usual. In this agitated sea, the
surging of the breakers against the many rocks and islets near
Gottenburg has a very curious effect.

The few travellers who could keep on their feet, who did not suffer
from sea-sickness, and remained on deck, spoke much of the dangerous
storm. I had frequently marvelled to hear people who had made a
journey, if it were even only a short one of forty to sixty leagues,
relate of some fearful storm they had witnessed. Now I comprehended
the reason, when I heard the travellers beside me call the brisk
breeze, which only occasioned what seamen call a little swell, a
dreadful storm; and they will probably tell at home of the dangers
they have passed. Storms are, fortunately, not so frequent. I have
travelled many thousand leagues, and have often met with stormy
weather, especially on the passage from Copenhagen to Iceland; but I
only experienced one real storm, but a violent and dangerous one, as
I was crossing the Black Sea to Constantinople in April 1842.

We arrived at Gottenburg at nine instead of at six o'clock in the
morning. I landed at once, to make the celebrated trip through the
locks, over the waterfalls of Trollhatta, with the next Stockholm
steamer. By the junction of the river Gotha with some of the
interior lakes, this great construction crosses the whole country,
and connects the North Sea with the Baltic.

I found the town of Gottenburg very animated, on account of the
presence of the king of Sweden, who was spending a few days here on
his way to Christiania to prorogue the Storthing. I arrived on a
Sunday, and the king, with his son, were in the church. The streets
swarmed with human beings, all crowding towards the cathedral to
catch a glimpse of his majesty on his departure. I, of course,
mingled with the crowd, and was fortunate enough to see the king and
prince come out of the church, enter their carriage, and drive away
very near to me. Both were handsome, amiable-looking men. The
people rushed after the carriage, and eagerly caught the friendly
bows of the intelligent father and his hopeful son; they followed
him to his palace, and stationed themselves in front of it,
impatiently longing for the moment when the royal pair would appear
at a window.

I could not have arrived at a more favourable time; for every one
was in holiday attire, and the military, the clergy, the officials,
citizens and people, were all exerting themselves to the utmost to
do honour to their king.

I noticed two peasant-girls among the crowd who were peculiarly
dressed. They wore black petticoats reaching half way down the calf
of the leg, red stockings, red spensers, and white chemises, with
long white sleeves; a kerchief was tied round the head. Some of the
citizens' wives wore caps like the Suabian caps, covered by a little
black, embroidered veil, which, however, left the face free.

Here, as in Copenhagen, I noticed boys of ten to twelve years of age
among the drummers, and in the bands of the military.

The king remained this day and the next in Gottenburg, and continued
his journey on the Tuesday. On the two evenings of his stay the
windows in the town were ornamented with wreaths of fresh flowers,
interspersed with lighted tapers. Some houses displayed
transparencies, which, however, did not place the inventive powers
of the amiable Gottenburgers in a very favourable light. They were
all alike, consisting of a tremendous O (Oscar), surmounted by a
royal crown.

I was detained four days in Gottenburg; and small consideration
seems to be paid to the speedy transport of travellers in Sweden.
The steamer for Stockholm started on the day I arrived from
Christiania, but unfortunately at five o'clock in the morning; and
as in the month of September only two steamers go in the week to
Stockholm, I was compelled to wait till Thursday. The time hung
heavily on my hands; for I had seen the town itself, and the
splendid views on the hills between the suburbs, during my former
visit to the town, and the other portions only consisted of bare
rocks and cliffs, which were of no interest.

September 4th.

The press of travellers was so great this time, that two days before
the departure the cabins were all engaged; several ladies and
gentlemen who would not wait for the next steamer were compelled to
be satisfied with the deck, and I was among them; for the
probability of such a crowd of passengers had not occurred to me,
and I applied for a place only two days before our departure.
During the journey fresh passengers were taken in at every station,
and the reader may conceive the misery of the poor citizens unused
to such hardships. Every one sought a shelter for the night, and
the little cabins of the engineer and steersman were given up to
some, while others crept into the passages, or squatted down on the
steps of the stairs leading to the cabins. A place was offered to
me in the engineer's cabin; but as three or four other persons were
to share the apartment calculated only for one person, I preferred
to bivouac night and day upon deck. One of the gentlemen was kind
enough to lend me a thick cloak, in which I could wrap myself; and
so I slept much more comfortably under the high canopy of heaven
than my companions did in their sweating-room.

The arrangements in the vessels navigating the Gotha canal are by no
means the best. The first class is very comfortable, and the cabin-
place is divided into pretty light divisions for two persons; but
the second class is all the more uncomfortable: its cabin is used
for a common dining-room by day, and by night hammocks are slung up
in it for sleeping accommodation. The arrangements for the luggage
are worse still. The canal-boats, having only a very small hold,
trunks, boxes, portmanteaus, &c. are heaped up on the deck, not
fastened at all, and very insufficiently protected against rain.
The consequence of this carelessness on a journey of five or six
days was, that the rain and the high waves of the lakes frequently
put the after-deck several inches under water, and then the luggage
was wetted through. It was worse still in a squall on the Wenner
lake; for while the ship was rather roughly tossed about, many a
trunk lost its equilibrium and fell from its high position,
frequently endangering the safety of the passengers' heads. The
fares are, however, very cheap, which seemed doubly strange, as the
many locks must cause considerable expense.

And now for the journey itself. We started at five o'clock in the
morning, and soon arrived in the river Gotha, whose shores for the
first few miles are flat and bare. The valley itself is bounded by
bare, rocky hills. After about nine miles we came to the town of
Kongelf, which is said to have 1000 inhabitants. It is so situated
among rocks, that it is almost hidden from view. On a rock opposite
the town are the ruins of the fortress Bogus. Now the scenery
begins to be a little more diversified, and forests are mingled with
the bleak rocks; little valleys appear on both the shores; and the
river itself, here divided by an islet, frequently expands to a
considerable breadth. The peasants' cottages were larger and better
than those in Norway; they are generally painted brick-red, and are
often built in groups.

The first lock is at Lilla Edet: there are five here; and while the
ship passes through them, the passengers have leisure to admire the
contiguous low, but broad and voluminous fall of the Gotha.

This first batch of locks in the canal extends over some distance
past the fall, and they are partly blasted out of the rock, or built
of stone. The river past Akestron flows as through a beautiful
park; the valley is hemmed in by fertile hills, and leaves space
only for the stream and some picturesque paths winding along its
shores, and through the pine-groves descending to its banks.

In the afternoon we arrived at the celebrated locks near Trollhatta.
They are of gigantic construction, which the largest states would be
honoured in completing, and which occasion surprise when found in a
country ranking high neither in extent nor in influence. There are
eleven locks here, which rise 112 feet in a space of 3500 feet.
They are broad, deep, blasted out of the rock, and walled round with
fine freestone. They resemble the single steps of a giant's
staircase; and by this name they might fitly rank as one of the
wonders of the world. Lock succeeds lock, mighty gates close them,
and the large vessel rises miraculously to the giddy heights in a
wildly romantic country.

Scarcely arrived at the locks, the traveller is surrounded by a
crowd of boys, who offer their services as guides to the waterfalls
near Trollhatta. There is abundance of time for this excursion; for
the passage of the ship through the many locks occupies three to
four hours, and the excursion can be made in half the time. Before
starting, it is, however, advisable to climb the rock to which the
locks ascend. A pavilion is erected on its summit, and the view
from it down over all the locks is exceedingly fine.

Pretty paths hewn out of the wood lead to Trollhatta, which is
charmingly situated in a lovely valley, surrounded by woods and
hills, on the shore of a river, whose white foaming waves contrast
strongly with the dark foliage of the overshadowing groves. The
canal, which describes a large semicircle round the chief stream,
glitters in the distance; but the highest locks are quite concealed
behind rocks; we could neither observe the opening of the gates nor
the rising of the water in them, and were therefore surprised when
suddenly the masts and then the ship itself rose from the depth. An
invisible hand seemed to raise it up between the rocks.

The falls of the river are less distinguished for their height than
for their diversity and their volumes of water. The principal arm
of the river is divided at the point of decline into two equal falls
by a little island of rock. A long narrow suspension-bridge leads
to this island, and hangs over the fall; but it is such a weak,
frail construction, that one person only can cross it at a time.
The owner of this dangerous path keeps it private, and imposes a
toll of about 3.5d. on all passengers.

A peculiar sensation oppresses the traveller crossing the slender
path. He sees the stream tearing onwards, breaking itself on the
projecting rock, and fall surging into the abyss; he sees the
boiling waves beneath, and feels the bridge vibrate at every
footstep, and timidly hastens to reach the island, not taking breath
to look around until he has found footing; on the firm island. A
solid rock projects a little over the fall, and affords him a safe
position, whence he sees not only the two falls on either side, but
also several others formed above and below his point of view. The
scene is so enchanting, that it is difficult to tear oneself away.

Beyond Trollhatta the river expands almost to a lake, and is
separated into many arms by the numerous islands. The shores lose
their beauty, being flat and uninteresting.

We unfortunately did not reach the splendid Wennersee, which is from
forty-five to sixty-five miles long, and proportionally broad, until
evening, when it was already too dark to admire the scenery. Our
ship remained some hours before the insignificant village

We had met six or seven steamers on our journey, which all belonged
to Swedish or Norwegian merchants; and it afforded us a peculiarly
interesting sight to see these ships ascend and descend in the high

September 5th.

As we were leaving Wennersborg late on the previous night, and were
cruising about the sea, a contrary wind, or rather a squall, arose,
which would have signified little to a good vessel, but to which our
small ship was not equal. The poor captain tried in vain to
navigate the steamer across the lake; he was at last compelled to
give up the attempt, to return and to cast anchor. We lost our boat
during this storm; a high wave dashed over the deck and swept it
away: it had probably been as well fastened as our boxes and

Though it was but nine o'clock in the morning, our captain declared
that he could not proceed during the day, but that if the weather
became more favourable, he would start again about midnight.
Fortunately a fishing-boat ventured to come alongside, and some of
the passengers landed. I was among them, and made use of this
opportunity to visit some cottages lying at the edge of a wood near
the lake. They were very small, but consisted of two chambers,
which contained several beds and other furniture; the people were
also somewhat better clad than the Norwegians. Their food too was
not so unpalatable; they boiled a thick mess of coarse black flour,
which was eaten with sweet milk.

September 6th.

We raised anchor at one o'clock in the morning, and in about five
hours arrived at the island Eken, which consists entirely of rock,
and is surrounded by a multitude of smaller islets and cliffs. This
is one of the most important stations in the lake. A large wooden
warehouse stands on the shore, and in it is stored the merchandise
of the vicinity intended for export; and in return it receives the
cargo from the ships. There are always several vessels lying at
anchor here.

We had now to wind through a cluster of islands, till we again
reached the open lake, which, however, was only remarkable for its
size. Its shores are bare and monotonous, and only dotted here and
there with woods or low hills; the distant view even is not at all
noteworthy. One of the finest views is the tolerably large castle
of Leko, which lies on a rock, and is surrounded by fertile groves.

Further off rises the Kinne Kulle, {51} to which the traveller's
attention is directed, because it is said to afford an extended
view, not only over the lake, but far into the country. A curious
grotto is said to exist in this hill; but unfortunately one loses
these sights since the establishment of steamers, for we fly past
every object of interest, and the longest journey will soon be
described in a few words.

A large glass-factory is established at Bromoe, which fabricates
window-glass exclusively. We stopped a short time, and took a
considerable cargo of the brittle material on board.

The factory and the little dwellings attached to it are prettily
situated on the undulating ground.

Near Sjotorp we entered the river again through several locks. The
passage of the Wennersee is calculated at about ten or eleven hours.

The river at first winds through woods; and while the ship slowly
passes through the locks, it is pleasanter to walk a portion of the
distance in their shade. Farther on it flows through broad valleys,
which, however, present no very attractive features.

September 7th.

Early in the morning we crossed the pretty Vikensee, which
distinguishes itself, like all Swedish lakes, by the multitude of
its islands, cliffs, and rocks. These islands are frequently
covered with trees, which make the view more interesting.

The lake is 306 feet above the level of the North Sea, and is the
highest point of the journey; from thence the locks begin to
descend. The number of ascending and descending locks amounts to

A short canal leads into the Boltensee, which is comparatively free
from islands. The passage across this little lake is very charming;
the shores are diversified by hills, woods, meadows, and fields.
After it comes the Weltersee, which can be easily defended by the
beautiful fortress of Karlsborg. This lake has two peculiarities:
one being the extraordinary purity and transparency of its waters;
the other, the number of storms which prevail in it. I was told
that it frequently raged and stormed on the lake while the
surrounding country remained calm and free. The storm sometimes
overtakes the ship so suddenly and violently, that escape is
impossible; and the sagas and fables told of the deceitful tricks of
these waves are innumerable.

We fortunately escaped, and crossed its surface cheerfully and
merrily. On its shores are situated the beautiful ladies'
pensionary, Wadstena, and the celebrated mountain Omberg, at whose
foot a battle was fought.

The next canal is short, and leads through a lovely wood into the
little lake of Norbysee. It is customary to walk this distance, and
inspect the simple monument of Count Platen, who made the plans for
the locks and canals,--a lasting, colossal undertaking. The
monument is surrounded by an iron railing, and consists of a slab
bearing an inscription, simply stating in Swedish his name, the date
of his death, &c. Nearly opposite the monument, on the other side
of the canal, is the town of Motala, distinguished principally for
its large iron factories, in which the spacious work-rooms are
especially remarkable.

Fifteen locks lead from the Norbysee into the Roxersee, which is a
descent of 116 feet. The canal winds gracefully through woods and
meadows, crossed by pretty roads, and studded with elegant little
houses and larger edifices. Distant church-steeples point out the
village of Norby, which sometimes peeps forth behind little forests,
and then vanishes again from the view of the traveller. When the
sun shines on the waters of this canal, it has a beautiful,
transparent, pea-green colour, like the purest chrysolite.

The view from the hill which rises immediately before the lake of
Roxen is exceedingly fine. It looks down upon an immense valley,
covered with the most beautiful woods and rocks, and upon the broad
lake, whose arm flows far in land. The evening sun shed its last
rays over a little town on the lake-shore, and its newly-painted
tiles shone brightly in its light beams.

While the ship descended through the many locks, we visited the
neighbouring church of the village of Vretakloster, which contains
the skeletons of several kings in beautifully-made metal coffins.

We then crossed the lake, which is from four to five miles broad,
and remained all night before the entrance of the canal leading into
a bay of the Baltic.

September 8th.

This canal is one of the longest; its environs are very pretty, and
the valley through which it runs is one of the largest we had
passed. The town of Soderkoping is situated at the foot of high,
picturesque groups of rocks, which extend to a considerable

Every valley and every spot of soil in Sweden are carefully

The people in general are well dressed, and inhabit small but very
pretty houses, whose windows are frequently decorated with clean
white draperies. I visited several of these houses, as we had
abundance of time for such excursions while the ship was going
through the locks. I think one might walk the whole distance from
Gottenburg to Stockholm in the same time that the ship takes for the
journey. We lose some hours daily with the locks, and are obliged
to lie still at night on their account. The distance is calculated
at from 180 to 250 miles, and the journey takes five days.

In the evening we approached the Baltic, which has the same
character as the Scheren of the North Sea. The ship threads its way
through a shoal of islands and islets, of rocks and cliffs; and it
is as difficult to imagine here as there how it is possible to avoid
all the projecting cliffs, and guide the ship so safely through
them. The sea divides itself into innumerable arms and bays, into
small and large lakes, which are formed between the islands and
rocks, and are hemmed in by beautiful hills. But nothing can exceed
the beauty of the view of the castle Storry Husby, which lies on a
high mountain, in a bay. In front of the mountain a beautiful
meadow-lawn reaches to the shores of the sea, while the back is
surrounded in the distance by a splendid pine-forest. Near this
picturesque castle a steeple rises on a neighbouring island, which
is all that remains of the ancient castle of Stegeborg. Nothing can
be more romantic than the scenery here, and on the whole journey
over the fiord; for it presents itself in ever-varying pictures to
the traveller's notice.

But gradually the hills become lower, the islands more rare; the sea
supersedes every thing, and seems jealously anxious to exclude other
objects from the traveller's attention, as if it wished to
monopolise it. Now we were in the open sea, and saw only water and
sky; and then again we were so hemmed in by the rocks and cliffs,
that it would be impossible to extricate the ship without the
assistance of an experienced pilot.

September 9th.

We left the sea, and entered another lake, the Malarsee, celebrated
for its numerous islands, by a short canal. The town of Sotulje
lies at its entrance, charmingly situated in a narrow valley at the
foot of a rather steep hill. This lake at first resembles a broad
river, but widens at every step, and soon shews itself in its whole
expanse. The passage of the Malarsee takes four hours, and is one
of the most charming excursions that can be made. It is said to
contain about a thousand islets of various sizes; and it may be
imagined how varied in form and feature the scenery must be, and,
like the fiord of the Baltic, what a constant succession of new
scenes it must present.

The shores also are very beautiful: in some spots hills descend
sharply to the water's edge, the steep rocks forming dangerous
points; on others dark, sombre pine-forests grow; and again there
are gay valleys and meadows, with villages or single cottages. Many
travellers assert that this lake is, after all, very monotonous; but
I cannot agree with their opinion. I found it so attractive, that I
could repeat the journey many times without wearying of this lovely
sameness. It certainly has not the majestic backgrounds of the
Swiss lakes; but this profusion of small islands is a pleasing
peculiarity which can be found on no other lake.

On the summit of a steep precipice of the shore the hat of the
unfortunate Eric is hoisted, fastened to a long pole. History tells
that this king fled from the enemy in a battle; that one of his
soldiers pursued him, and reproached him for his cowardice,
whereupon Eric, filled with shame and despair, gave spurs to his
horse and leaped into the fearful abyss. At his fall his hat was
blown from his head, and was left on this spot.

Not far from this point the suburbs of Stockholm make their
appearance, being spread round one of the broad arms of the lake.
With increasing curiosity we gazed towards the town as we gradually
approached it. Many of the pretty villas, which are situated in the
valleys or on the sides of the hills as forerunners of the town,
come into view, and the suburbs rise amphi-theatrically on the steep
shores. The town itself closes the prospect by occupying the whole
upper shore of the lake, and is flanked by the suburbs at either
side. The Ritterholm church, with its cast-iron perforated towers,
and the truly grand royal palace, which is built entirely in the
Italian style, can be seen and admired from this distance.

We had scarcely cast anchor in the port of Stockholm, when a number
of Herculean women came and offered us their services as porters.
They were Delekarliers, {52} who frequently come to Stockholm to
earn a livelihood as porters, water-carriers, boatwomen, &c. They
easily find employment, because they possess two excellent
qualities: they are said to be exceedingly honest and hard-working,
and, at the same time, have the strength and perseverance of men.

Their dress consists of black petticoats, which come half way over
the calf of the leg, red bodices, white chemises with long sleeves,
short narrow aprons of two colours, red stockings, and shoes with
wooden soles an inch thick. They twist a handkerchief round their
head, or put on a little close black cap, which fits close on the
back part of the head.

In Stockholm there are entire houses, as well as single rooms,
which, as in a hotel, are let by the day. They are much cheaper
than hotels, and are therefore more in demand. I at once hired one
of these rooms, which was very clean and bright, and for which, with
breakfast, I only paid one riksdaler, which is about one shilling.


As my journey was ostensibly only to Iceland, and as I only paid a
flying visit to this portion of Scandinavia, my readers will pardon
me if I treat it briefly. This portion of Europe has been so
frequently and so excellently described by other travellers, that my
observations would be of little importance.

I remained in Stockholm six days, and made as good use of my time as
I could. The town is situated on the shores of the Baltic Sea and
the Malar lake. These two waters are connected by a short canal, on
whose shores the most delightful houses are erected.

My first visit was to the beautiful church of Ritterholm, which is
used more for a cemetery and an armory than for a place of worship.
The vaults serve as burial-places for the kings, and their monuments
are erected in the side-chapels. On each side of the nave of the
church are placed effigies of armed knights on horseback, whose
armour belonged to the former kings of Sweden. The walls and angles
of the church are profusely decorated with flags and standards, said
to number five thousand. In addition to this, the keys of conquered
towns and fortresses hang along the side-walls, and drums are piled
upon the floor; trophies taken from different nations with which
Sweden has been at war.

Besides these curiosities, several coats of armour and garments of
Swedish regents are displayed behind glass-cases in the side-
chapels. Among them, the dress which Charles XII. wore on the day
of his death, and his hat perforated by a ball, interested me most.
His riding-boots stand on the ground beside it. The modern dress
and hat, embroidered with gold and ornamented with feathers, of the
last king, the founder of the new dynasty, is not less interesting,
partly perhaps from the great contrast.

The church of St. Nicholas stands on the same side of the canal, and
is one of the finest Protestant churches I had seen; it is very
evident that it was built in Catholic times, and that its former
decorations have been allowed to remain. It contains several large
and small oil-paintings, some ancient and some modern monuments, and
a profusion of gilding. The organ is fine and large; flanking the
entrance of the church are beautiful reliefs, hewn in stone; and
above it, carved in wood, a statue of the archangel Michael, larger
than life, sitting on horseback on a bridge, in the act of killing
the dragon.

Near the church is situated the royal palace, which needs a more
fluent pen than mine to describe it. It would fill a volume were I
to enumerate and describe the treasures, curiosities, and beauties
of its construction, or its interior arrangement; I can only say
that I never saw any thing to equal it, except the royal palace of
Naples. Such an edifice is the more surprising in the north, and in
a country which has never been overstocked with wealth.

The church of Shifferholm is remarkable only for its position and
its temple-like form; it stands on the ledge of a rock facing the,
royal palace, on the opposite shore of the same indentation of the
Baltic. A long bridge of boats leads from the one to the other.

The church of St. Catharine is large and beautiful. In an outer
angle of the church is shewn the stone on which one of the brothers
Sturre was beheaded. {53}

On the Ritterplatz stands the Ritterhouse, a very fine palace; also
the old royal palace, and several other royal and private mansions;
but they are not nearly so numerous nor so fine as in Copenhagen,
and the streets and squares also cannot be compared with those of
the capital of Denmark.

The finest prospect is from a hill in one of the suburbs called the
Great Mosbecken; it affords a magnificent view of the sea and the
lake, of the town and its suburbs, as far as the points of the
mountains, and of the lovely country-houses which border the shores
of lake and sea. The town and its environs are so interspersed with
islets and rocks, that these seem to be part of the town; and this
gives Stockholm such a curious appearance, that I can compare it to
no other city I have seen. Wooded hills and naked rocks prolong the
view, and their ridges extend into the far distance; while level
fields and lawns take up but a very small proportion of the
magnificent scenery.

On descending from this hill the traveller should not fail to go to
Sodermalm, and to inspect the immense iron-stores, where iron is
heaped up in countless bars. The corn-market of Stockholm is
insignificant. The principal buildings besides those already
enumerated are, the bank, the mint, the guard-house, the palace of
the crown-prince, the theatre, &c. The latter is interesting,
partly because Gustavus III. was shot in it. He fell on the stage,
while a grand masquerade was taking place, for which the theatre had
been changed into a ball-room. The king was shot by a mask, and
died in a few hours.

There is not a representation in the theatre every night; and on the
one evening of performance during my visit a festival was to be
celebrated in the hall of antiquities. The esteemed artist
Vogelberg, a native of Sweden, had beautifully sculptured the three
heathen gods, Thor, Balder, and Odin, in colossal size, and brought
them over from Rome. The statues had only been lately placed, and a
large company had been invited to meet in the illuminated saloon,
and do honour to the artist. Solemn hymns were to be sung at the
uncovering of the statues, beside other festivities. I was
fortunate enough to receive an invitation to this festival, which
was to commence a little past seven. Before that I went to the
theatre, which, I was told, would open at half-past six. I intended
to remain there half an hour, and then drive to the palace, where my
friends would meet me to accompany me to the festival. I went to
the theatre at six, and anxiously waited half an hour for the
commencement of the overture; it was after half-past six, and no
signs of the commencement. I looked again at the bill, and saw, to
my annoyance, that the opera did not begin till seven. But as I
would not leave until I had seen the stage, I spent the time in
looking at the theatre itself. It is tolerably large, and has five
tiers of boxes, but is neither tastefully nor richly decorated. I
was most surprised at the exorbitant price and the variety of seats.
I counted twenty-six different kinds; it seems that every row has a
different price, else I don't understand how they could make such a

At last the overture began; I listened to it, saw the curtain rise,
looked at the fatal spot, and left after the first air. The door-
keeper followed me, took my arm, and wished to give me a return-
ticket; and when I told him that I did not require one, as I did not
intend to return, he said that it had only just commenced, and that
I ought to stop, and not have spent all the money for nothing. I
was unfortunately too little acquainted with the Swedish language to
explain the reason of my departure, so I could give him no answer,
but went away. I, however, heard him say to some one, "I never met
with such a woman before; she sat an hour looking at the curtain,
and goes away as soon as it rises." I looked round and saw how he
shook his head thoughtfully, and pointed with his forefinger to his
forehead. I could not refrain from smiling, and enjoyed the scene
as much as I should have done the second act of Mozart's Don

I called for my friends at the royal palace, and spent the evening
very agreeably in the brilliantly-illuminated galleries of
antiquities and of pictures. I had the pleasure also of being
introduced to Herr Vogelberg. His modest, unpretending manners must
inspire every one with respect, even if one does not know what
distinguished talent he possesses.

The royal park is one of the finest sights in the neighbourhood of
Stockholm, and is one of the best of its kind. It is a fine large
natural park, with an infinity of groves, meadows, hills, and rocks;
here and there lies a country-house with its fragrant flower-garden,
or tasteful coffee and refreshment houses, which on fine Sundays are
filled with visitors from the town. Good roads are made through the
park, and commodious paths lead to the finest points of view over
sea and land.

The bust of the popular poet Bellmann stands on an open sunny spot,
and an annual festival is given here in his honour.

Deeper in the park lies the so-called Rosenthal (Rose valley), a
real Eden. The late king was so partial to this spot, that he spent
many hours in the little royal country-house here, which is built on
a retired spot in the midst of groves and flower-beds. In front of
the palace stands a splendid vase made of a single piece of
porphyry. I was told that it was the largest in Europe, but I
consider the one in the Museum of Naples much larger.

I spent the last hours of my visit to Stockholm in this spot, with
the amiable family of Herr Boje from Finnland, whose acquaintance I
had made on the journey from Gottenburg to Stockholm. I shall
therefore never forget this beautiful park and the agreeable
associations connected with it.

I made a very agreeable excursion also to the royal palace of Haga,
to the large cemetery, and to the military school Karlberg.

The royal castle of Haga is surrounded by a magnificent park, which
owes little to art; it contains some of the finest trees, with here
and there a hill, and is crossed by majestic alleys and well-kept
roads for driving and walking. The palace itself is so small, that
I could not but admire the moderation of the royal family; but I was
informed that this is the smallest of their summer palaces.

Nearly opposite to this park is the great cemetery; but as it has
only existed for about seventeen years, the trees in it are yet
rather young. This would be of little consequence in other
countries, but in Sweden the cemeteries serve as promenades, and are
crossed by alleys, ornamented with groves, and provided with seats
for the accommodation of visitors. This cemetery is surrounded by a
dark pine-forest, and really seems quite shut off from the outer
world. It is the only burial-place out of the town; the others all
lie between the churches and the neighbouring houses, whose fronts
often form the immediate boundary. Burials take place there
constantly, so that the inhabitants are quite familiar with the
aspect of death.

From the great cemetery a road leads to the neighbouring Karlberg,
which is the academy for military and naval cadets. The extensive
buildings attached to this seminary are built on the slope of a
mountain, which is washed on one side by the waters of the lake, and
surrounded on the other by the beautiful park-plantations.

Before leaving Stockholm I had the honour of being introduced to her
majesty the Queen of Sweden. She had heard of my travels, and took
a particular interest in my account of Palestine. In consequence of
this favour, I received the special permission to inspect the whole
interior of the palace. Although it was inhabited, I was conducted,
not only through the state-rooms, but through all the private rooms
of the court. It would be impossible to describe the splendour
which reigns here, the treasures of art, the magnificent
appointments, and the evident taste every where displayed. I was
delighted with all the treasures and splendour, but still more with
the warm interest with which her majesty conversed with me about
Palestine. This interview will ever dwell on my memory as the
bright salient point of my northern expedition.


Every Sunday morning, at eight o'clock, a little steamer leaves
Stockholm for this castle; the distance is about forty-five miles,
and is passed in four hours; four hours more are allowed for the
stay, and in the evening the steamer returns to Stockholm. This
excursion is very interesting, although we pass the greater part of
the time on that portion of the lake which we had seen on our
arrival, but for the last few miles the ship turned into a pretty
bay, at whose apex the castle is situated. It is distinguished for
its size, its architecture, and its colossal turrets. It is
unfortunately, however, painted with the favourite brick-red colour
of the Swedes.

Two immense cannons, which the Swedes once gained in battle from the
Russians, stand in the courtyard. The apartments in the castle,
which are kept in good condition, display neither splendour nor
profusion of appointments, indeed almost the contrary. The pretty
theatre is, however, an exception: for its walls are inlaid from
top to bottom with mirrors, its pillars are gilt, and the royal box
tapestried with rich red velvet. There has been no performance here
since the death of Gustavus III.

The immensely massive walls are a remarkable feature of this palace,
and must measure about three yards in thickness in the lower

The upper apartments are all large and high, and afford a splendid
view of the lake from their windows. But it is impossible to enjoy
these beautiful scenes when one thinks of the sad events which have
taken place here.

Two kings, John III. and Eric XIV., the latter with four of his
ministers, who were subsequently beheaded, were imprisoned here for
many years. The captivity of John III. would not have been so bad,
if captivity were not bad enough in itself. He was confined in a
large splendid saloon, but which he was not permitted to quit, and
which he would therefore probably have gladly exchanged for the
poorest hut and liberty. His wife inhabited two smaller apartments
adjoining; she was not treated as a prisoner, and could leave the
castle at will. His son Sigismund was born here in the year 1566,
and the room and bed in which he was born are still shewn as

Eric's fate was much more unfortunate, for he was kept in narrow and
dark confinement. A small rudely-furnished apartment, with narrow,
iron-barred windows, in one of the little turrets was his prison.
The entrance was closed by a solid oaken door, in which a small
opening had been made, through which his food was given him. For
greater security this oaken door was covered by an iron one. Round
the outside of the apartment a narrow gallery had been made, on
which the guards were posted, and could at all times see their
prisoner through the barred windows. The spot is still shewn at one
of the windows where the king sat for hours looking into the
distance, his head leaning on his hand. What must have been his
feelings as he gazed on the bright sky, the verdant turf, and the
smiling lake! How many sighs must have been echoed from these
walls, how many sleepless nights must he have passed during those
two long years in anxious expectation of the future!

The guide who took us round the castle maintained that the floor was
more worn on this spot than any where else, and that the window-sash
had been hollowed by the elbow of the miserable king; but I could
not perceive any difference. Eric was kept imprisoned here for two
years, and was then taken to another prison.

There is a large picture-gallery in this castle; but it contains
principally portraits of kings, not only of Sweden, but of other
countries, from the Middle Ages down to the present time; also
portraits of ministers, generals, painters, poets, and learned men;
of celebrated Swedish females, who have sacrificed themselves for
their country, and of the most celebrated female beauties. The name
and date of birth of each person are affixed to his or her portrait,
so that each visitor may find his favourite without guide or
catalogue. In many of them the colouring and drawing are wretched
enough, but we will hope that the resemblance is all the more

On our return several gentlemen were kind enough to direct my
attention to the most interesting points of the lake. Among these I
must mention Kakeholm, its broadest point; the island of Esmoi, on
which a Swedish female gained a battle; Norsberg, also celebrated
for a battle which took place there; and Sturrehof, the property of
a great Swedish family. Near Bjarkesoe a simple cross is erected,
ostensibly on the spot where Christianity was first introduced.
Indeed the Malarsee has so many historical associations, in addition
to the attractions of its scenery, that it is one of the most
interesting seas not only of Sweden but of Europe.


September 12th.

The intercourse between Stockholm and Upsala is very considerable.
A steamer leaves both places every day except Sunday, and traverses
the distance in six hours.

Tempted by this convenient opportunity of easily and quickly
reaching the celebrated town of Upsala, and by the unusually fine
weather, I took my passage one evening, and was greatly disappointed
when, on the following morning, the rain poured down in torrents.
But if travellers paid much attention to the weather, they would not
go far; so I nevertheless embarked at half-past seven, and arrived
safely in Upsala. I remained in the cabin during the passage, and
could not even enjoy the prospect from the cabin-windows, for the
rain beat on them from the outside, while inside they were obscured
by the heat. But I did not venture on deck, hoping to be favoured
by better weather on my return.

At last, about three o'clock, when I had been in Upsala more than an
hour, the weather cleared up, and I sallied out to see the sights.

First I visited the cathedral. I entered, and stood still with
astonishment at the chief portal, on looking up at the high roof
resting on two rows of pillars, and covering the whole church. It
is formed in one beautiful straight line, unbroken by a single arch.
The church itself is simple: behind the grand altar a handsome
chapel is erected, the ceiling of which is painted azure blue,
embossed with golden stars. In this chapel Gustavus I. is interred
between his two wives. The monument which covers the grave is
large, and made of marble, but clumsy and void of taste. It
represents a sarcophagus, on which three bodies, the size of life,
are laid; a marble canopy is raised over them. The walls of the
chapel are covered with pretty frescoes, representing the most
remarkable scenes in the life of this monarch. The most interesting
among them are, one in which he enters a peasant's hut in peasant's
attire, at the same moment that his pursuers are eagerly inquiring
after him in front of the hut; the other, when he stands on a
barrel, also dressed as a peasant, and harangues his people. Two
large tablets in a broad gold frame contain in Swedish, and not in
the Latin language, the explanation of the different pictures, so
that every Swede may easily learn the monarch's history.

Several other monuments are erected in the side-chapels; those of
Catharine Magelone, John III., Gustavus Erichson, who was beheaded,
and of the two brothers Sturre, who were murdered. The monument of
Archbishop Menander, in white marble, is a tasteful and artistic
modern production. The great Linnaeus is buried under a simple
marble slab in this church; but his monument is in one of the side-
chapels, and not over his grave, and consists of a beautiful dark-
brown porphyry slab, on which his portrait is sculptured in relief.

The splendid organ, which reaches nearly to the roof of the church,
also deserves special attention. The treasure-chamber does not
contain great treasures; the blood-stained and dagger-torn garments
of the unfortunate brothers Sturre are kept in a glass case here;
and here also stands a wooden statue of the heathen god Thor. This
wooden affair seems to have originally been an Ecce Homo, which was
perhaps the ornament of some village church, then carried off by
some unbeliever, and made more shapeless than its creator, not
proficient in art, had made it. It has a greater resemblance now to
a frightful scarecrow than to any thing else.

The churchyard near the church is distinguished for its size and
beauty. It is surrounded by a wall of stone two feet high,
surmounted by an iron palisading of equal height, broken by stone
pillars. On several sides, steps are made into the burying-ground
over this partition. In this cemetery, as in the one of Stockholm,
one seems to be in a lovely garden, laid out with alleys, arbours,
lawns, &c.; but it is more beautiful than the other, because it is
older. The graves are half concealed by arbours; many were
ornamented with flowers and wreaths, or hedged by rose-bushes. The
whole aspect of this cemetery, or rather of this garden, seems
equally adapted for the amusement of the living or the repose of the

The monuments are in no way distinguished; only two are rather
remarkable, for they consist of tremendous pieces of rock in their
natural condition, standing upright on the graves. One of these
monuments resembles a mountain; it covers the ashes of a general,
and is large enough to have covered his whole army; his relatives
probably took the graves of Troy as a specimen for their monument.
It is moreover inscribed by very peculiar signs, which seemed to me
to be runic characters. The good people have united in this
monument two characteristics of the ancients of two entirely
distinct empires.

The university or library building in Upsala is large and beautiful;
it is situated on a little hill, with a fine front facing the town.
The park, which is, however, still somewhat young, forms the
background. {54}

Near this building, on the same hill, stands a royal palace,
conspicuous for its brick-red colour. It is very large, and the two
wings are finished by massive round towers.

In the centre of the courtyard, behind the castle, is placed a
colossal bust of Gustavus I., and a few paces from it two artificial
hills serve as bastions, on which cannons are planted. This being
the highest point of the town, affords the best view over it, and
over the surrounding country.

The town itself is built half of wood and half of stone, and is very
pretty, being crossed by broad streets, and ornamented with
tastefully laid-out gardens. It has one disadvantage, which is the
dark brownish-red colour of the houses, which has a peculiarly
sombre appearance in the setting sun.

An immense and fertile plain, diversified by dark forests
contrasting with the bright green meadows and the yellow stubble-
fields, surrounds the town, and in the distance the silvery river
Fyris flows towards the sea. Forests close the distant view with
their dark shadows. I saw but few villages; they may, however, have
been hidden by the trees, for that they exist seems to be indicated
by the well-kept high roads crossing the plain in all directions.

Before quitting my position on the bastions of the royal palace I
cast a glance on the castle-gardens, which were lying lower down the
hill, and are separated from the castle by a road; they do not seem
to be large, but are very pretty.

I should have wished to be able to visit the botanic garden near the
town, which was the favourite resort of Linnaeus, whose splendidly-
sculptured bust is said to be its chief ornament; but the sun was
setting behind the mountains, and I repaired to my chamber, to
prepare for my journey to Danemora.

September 13th.

I left Upsala at four o'clock in the morning, to proceed to the far-
famed iron-mines of Danemora, upwards of thirty miles distant, and
where I wished to arrive before twelve, as the blasting takes place
at that hour, after which the pits are closed. As I had been
informed how slowly travelling is done in this country, and how
tedious the delays are when the horses are changed, I determined to
allow time enough for all interruptions, and yet arrive at the
appointed hour.

A few miles behind Upsala lies Old Upsala (Gamla Upsala). I saw the
old church and the grave-hills in passing; three of the latter are
remarkably large, the others smaller. It is presumed that the
higher ones cover the graves of kings. I saw similar tumuli during
my journey to Greece, on the spot where Troy is said to have stood.
The church is not honoured as a ruin; it has yet to do service; and
it grieved me to see the venerable building propped up and covered
with fresh mortar on many a time-worn spot.

Half way between Upsala and Danemora we passed a large castle, not
distinguished for its architecture, its situation, or any thing
else. Then we neared the river Fyris, and the long lake of
Danemora; both are quite overgrown with reeds and grass, and have
flat uninteresting shores; indeed the whole journey offers little
variety, as the road lies through a plain, only diversified by
woods, fields, and pieces of rock. These are interesting features,
because one cannot imagine how they came there, the mountains being
at a great distance, and the soil by no means rocky.

The little town of Danemora lies in the midst of a wood, and only
consists of a church and a few large and small detached houses. The
vicinity of the mines is indicated before arriving at the place by
immense heaps of stones, which are brought by horse-gins from the
pits, and which cover a considerable space.

I had fortunately arrived in time to see the blastings. Those in
the great pit are the most interesting; for its mouth is so very
large, that it is not necessary to descend in order to see the pit-
men work; all is visible from above. This is a very peculiar and
interesting sight. The pit, 480 feet deep, with its colossal doors
and entrances leading into the galleries, looks like a picture of
the lower world, from which bridges of rocks, projections, arches
and caverns formed in the walls, ascend to the upper world. The men
look like pigmies, and one cannot follow their movements until the
eye has accustomed itself to the depth and to the darkness
prevailing below. But the darkness is not very dense; I could
distinguish most of the ladders, which seemed to me like children's

It was nearly twelve, and the workmen left the pits, with the
exception of those in charge of the mines. They ascended by means
of little tubs hanging by ropes, and were raised by a windlass. It
is a terrible sight to see the men soaring up on the little machine,
especially when two or three ascend at once; for then one man stands
in the centre, while the other two ride on the edge of the tub.

I should have liked to descend into the great pit, but it was too
late on this day, and I would not wait another. I should not have
feared the descent, as I was familiar with such adventures, having
explored the salt-mines of Wieliczka and Bochnia, in Gallicia, some
years before, in which I had had to let myself down by a rope, which
is a much more dangerous method than the tub.

With the stroke of twelve, four blasting trains in the large pit
were fired. The man whose business it was to apply the match ran
away in great haste, and sheltered himself behind a wall of rock.
In a few moments the powder flashed, some stones fell, and then a
fearful crash was heard all around, followed by the rolling and
falling of the blasted masses. Repeated echoes announced the
fearful explosion in the interior of the pits: the whole left a
terrible impression on me. Scarcely had one mine ceased to rage,
when the second began, then the third, and so on. These blastings
take place daily in different mines.

The other pits are deeper, the deepest being 600 feet; but the
mouths are smaller, and the shafts not perpendicular, so that the
eye is lost in darkness, which is a still more unpleasant sensation.
I gazed with oppressed chest into the dark space, vainly
endeavouring to distinguish something. I should not like to be a
miner; I could not endure life without the light of day; and when I
turned from the dark pits, I cast my eyes thankfully on the cheerful
landscape basking in the sun.

I returned to Upsala on the same day, having made this little
journey by post. I can merely narrate the facts, without giving an
opinion on the good or bad conveniences for locomotion, as this was
more a pleasure-trip than a journey.

As I had hired no carriage, I had a different vehicle at every
station, and these vehicles consisted of ordinary two-wheeled wooden
carts. My seat was a truss of hay covered with the horse-cloth. If
the roads had not been so extremely good, these carts would have
shaken terribly; but as it was, I must say that I rode more
comfortably than in the carriols of the Norwegians, although they
were painted and vanished; for in them I had to be squeezed in with
my feet stretched out, and could not change my position.

The stations are unequal,--sometimes long, sometimes short. The
post-horses are provided here, as in Norway, by wealthy peasants,
called Dschns-peasants. These have to collect a certain number of
horses every evening for forwarding the travellers the next morning.
At every post-house a book is kept, in which the traveller can see
how many horses the peasant has, how many have already been hired,
and how many are left in the stable. He must then inscribe his
name, the hour of his departure, and the number of horses he
requires. By this arrangement deception and extortion are
prevented, as every thing is open, and the prices fixed. {55}

Patience is also required here, though not so much as in Norway. I
had always to wait from fifteen to twenty minutes before the
carriage was brought and the horses and harness prepared, but never
longer; and I must admit that the Swedish post-masters hurried as
much as possible, and never demanded double fare, although they must
have known that I was in haste. The pace of the horse depends on
the will of the coachman and the powers of his steed; but in no
other country did I see such consideration paid to the strength of
the horses. It is quite ridiculous to see what small loads of corn,
bricks, or wood, are allotted to two horses, and how slowly and
sleepily they draw their burdens.

The number of wooden gates, which divide the roads into as many
parts as there are common grounds on it, are a terrible nuisance to
travellers. The coachman has often to dismount six or eight times
in an hour to open and close these gates. I was told that these
delectable gates even exist on the great high road, only not quite
in such profusion as on the by-roads.

Wood must be as abundant here as in Norway, for every thing is
enclosed; even fields which seem so barren as not to be worth the
labour or the wood.

The villages through which I passed were generally pretty and
cheerful, and I found the cottages, which I entered while the horses
were changed, neatly and comfortably furnished.

The peasants of this district wear a peculiar costume. The men, and
frequently also the boys, wear long dark-blue cloth surtouts, and
cloth caps on their heads; so that, at a distance, they look like
gentlemen in travelling dress. It seems curious to a foreigner to
see these apparent gentlemen following the plough or cutting grass.
At a nearer view, of course the aspect changes, and the rents and
dirt appear, or the leathern apron worn beneath the coat, like
carpenters in Austria, becomes visible. The female costume was
peculiar only in so far that it was poor and ragged. In dress and
shoes the Norwegian and Swedes are behind the Icelanders, but they
surpass them in the comfort of their dwellings.

September 14th.

To-day I returned to Stockholm on the Malarsee, and the weather
being more favourable than on my former passage, I could remain on
deck the whole time. I saw now that we sailed for several miles on
the river Fyris, which flows through woods and fields into the lake.

The large plain on which old and new Upsala lie was soon out of
sight, and after passing two bridges, we turned into the Malar. At
first there are no islands on its flat expanse, and its shores are
studded with low tree-covered hills; but we soon, however, arrived
at the region of islands, where the passage becomes more
interesting, and the beauty of the shores increases. The first fine
view we saw was the pretty estate Krusenberg, whose castle is
romantically situated on a fertile hill. But much more beautiful
and surprising is the splendid castle of Skukloster, a large,
beautiful, and regular pile, ornamented with four immense round
turrets at the four corners, and with gardens stretching down to the
water's edge.

From this place the scenery is full of beauty and variety; every
moment presents another and a more lovely view. Sometimes the
waters expand, sometimes they are hemmed in by islands, and become
as narrow as canals. I was most charmed with those spots where the
islands lie so close together that no outlet seems possible, till
another turn shews an opening between them, with a glimpse of the
lake beyond. The hills on the shores are higher, and the
promontories larger, the farther the ship advances; and the islands
appear to be merely projections of the continent, till a nearer
approach dispels the illusion.

The village of Sixtuna lies in a picturesque and charming little
valley, filled with ruins, principally of round towers, which are
said to be the remains of the Roman town of Sixtum; the name being
retained by the new town with a slight modification.

After this follow cliffs and rocks rising perpendicularly from the
sea, and whose vicinity would be by no means desirable in a storm.
Of the castle of Rouse only three beautiful domes rise above the
trees; a frowning bleak hill conceals the rest from the eye. Then
comes a palace, the property of a private individual, only
remarkable for its size. The last of the notabilities is the Rokeby
bridge, said to be one of the longest in Sweden. It unites the firm
land with the island on which the royal castle of Drottingholm
stands. The town of Stockholm now becomes visible; we turn into the
portion of the lake on which it lies, and arrive there again at two
o'clock in the afternoon.


I bade farewell to Stockholm on the 18th September, and embarked in
the steamer Svithiold, of 100-horse power, at twelve o'clock at
noon, to go to Travemunde.

Few passages can be more expensive than this one is. The distance
is five hundred leagues, and the journey generally occupies two and
a half to three days; for this the fare, without food, is four
pounds. The food is also exorbitantly dear; in addition to which
the captain is the purveyor; so that there is no appeal for the
grossest extortion or insufficiency.

It pained me much when one of the poorer travellers, who suffered
greatly from sea-sickness, having applied for some soup to the
steward, who referred him to the amiable captain, to hear him
declare he would make no exception, and that a basin of soup would
be charged the whole price of a complete dinner. The poor man was
to do without the soup, of which he stood so much in need, or scrape
every farthing together to pay a few shillings daily for his dinner.
Fortunately for him some benevolent persons on deck paid for his
meals. Some of the gentlemen brought their own wine with them, for
which they had to pay as much duty to the captain as the wine was

To these pleasures of travelling must be added the fact, that a
Swedish vessel does not advance at all if the weather is
unfavourable. Most of the passengers considered that the engines
were inefficient. However this may be, we were delayed twenty-four
hours at the first half of our journey, from Stockholm to Calmar,
although we had only a slight breeze against us and a rather high
sea, but no storm. In Calmar we cast anchor, and waited for more
favourable wind. Several gentlemen, whose business in Lubeck was
pressing, left the steamer, and continued their journey by land.

At first the Baltic very much resembles the Malarsee; for islands,
rocks, and a variety of scenery make it interesting. To the right
we saw the immensely long wooden bridge of Lindenborg, which unites
one of the larger islands with the continent.

At the end of one of the turns of the sea lies the town of
Wachsholm; and opposite to it, upon a little rocky island, a
splendid fortress with a colossal round tower. Judging by the
number of cannons planted along the walls, this fortress must be of
great importance. A few hours later we passed a similar fortress,
Friedrichsborg; it is not in such an open situation as the other,
but is more surrounded by forests. We passed at a considerable
distance, and could not see much of it, nor of the castle lying on
the opposite side, which seems to be very magnificent, and is also
surrounded by woods.

The boundaries of the right shore now disappear, but then again
appear as a terrible heap of naked rocks, at whose extreme edge is
situated the fine fortress Dolero. Near it groups of houses are
built on the bare rocks projecting into the sea, and form an
extensive town.

September 19th.

To-day we were on the open, somewhat stormy sea. Towards noon we
arrived at the Calmar Sound, formed by the flat, uniform shores of
the long island Oland on the left, and on the right by Schmoland.
In front rose the mountain-island the Jungfrau, to which every Swede
points with self-satisfied pride. Its height is only remarkable
compared with the flatness around; beside the proud giant-mountain
of the same name in Switzerland it would seem like a little hill.

September 20th.

On account of the contrary wind, we had cast anchor here last night,
and this morning continued the journey to Calmar, where we arrived
about two in the forenoon. The town is situated on an immense
plain, and is not very interesting. A few hours may be agreeably
spent here in visiting the beautiful church and the antiquated
castle, and we had more than enough leisure for it. Wind and
weather seemed to have conspired against us, and the captain
announced an indefinite stay at this place. At first we could not
land, as the waves were too high; but at last one of the larger
boats came alongside, and the more curious among us ventured to row
to the land in the unsteady vessel.

The exterior of the church resembles a fine antiquated castle from
its four corner towers and the lowness of its dome, which rises very
little above the building, and also because the other turrets here
and there erected for ornament are scarcely perceptible. The
interior of the church is remarkable for its size, its height, and a
particularly fine echo. The tones of the organ are said to produce
a most striking effect. We sent for the organist, but he was
nowhere to be found; so we had to content ourselves with the echo of
our own voices. We went from this place to the old royal castle
built by Queen Margaret in the sixteenth century. The castle is so
dilapidated inside that a tarrying in the upper chambers is scarcely
advisable. The lower rooms of the castle have been repaired, and
are used as prisons; and as we passed, arms were stretched forth
from some of the barred windows, and plaintive voices entreated the
passers-by to bestow some trifle upon the poor inmates. Upwards of
140 prisoners are said to be confined here. {56}

About three o'clock in the afternoon the wind abated, and we
continued our journey. The passage is very uniform, and we saw only
flat, bare shores; a group of trees even was a rarity.

September 21st.

When I came on deck this morning the Sound was far behind us. To
the left we had the open sea; on the right, instead of the bleak
Schmoland, we had the bleaker Schonen, which was so barren, that we
hardly saw a paltry fishing-village between the low sterile hills.

At nine o'clock in the morning we anchored in the port of Ystadt.
The town is pretty, and has a large square, in which stand the house
of the governor, the theatre, and the town-hall. The streets are
broad, and the houses partly of wood and partly of stone. The most
interesting feature is the ancient church, and in it a much-damaged
wooden altar-piece, which is kept in the vestry. Though the figures
are coarse and disproportionate, one must admire the composition and
the carving. The reliefs on the pulpit, and a beautiful monument to
the right of the altar, also deserve admiration. These are all
carved in wood.

In the afternoon we passed the Danish island Malmo.

At last, after having been nearly four days on the sea instead of
two days and a half, we arrived safely in the harbour of Travemunde
on the 22d September at two o'clock in the morning. And now my sea-
journeys were over; I parted sorrowfully from the salt waters, for
it is so delightful to see the water's expanse all around, and
traverse its mirror-like surface. The sea presents a beautiful
picture, even when it storms and rages, when waves tower upon waves,
and threaten to dash the vessel to pieces or to engulf it--when the
ship alternately dances on their points, or shoots into the abyss;
and I frequently crept for hours in a corner, or held fast to the
sides of the ship, and let the waves dash over me. I had overcome
the terrible sea-sickness during my numerous journeys, and could
therefore freely admire these fearfully beautiful scenes of excited
nature, and adore God in His grandest works.

We had scarcely cast anchor in the port when a whole array of
coachmen surrounded us, volunteering to drive us overland to
Hamburgh, a journey of thirty-six miles, which it takes eight hours
to accomplish.

Travemunde is a pretty spot, which really consists of only one
street, in which the majority of the houses are hotels. The country
from here to Lubeck, a distance of ten miles, is very pretty. A
splendid road, on which the carriages roll smoothly along, runs
through a charming wood past a cemetery, whose beauty exceeds that
of Upsala; but for the monuments, one might take it for one of the
most splendid parks or gardens.

I regretted nothing so much as being unable to spend a day in
Lubeck, for I felt very much attracted by this old Hanse town, with
its pyramidically-built houses, its venerable dome, and other
beautiful churches, its spacious squares, &c.; but I was obliged to
proceed, and could only gaze at and admire it as I hurried through.
The pavement of the streets is better than I had seen it in any
northern town; and on the streets, in front of the houses, I saw
many wooden benches, on which the inhabitants probably spend their
summer evenings. I saw here for the first time again the gay-
looking street-mirrors used in Hamburgh. The Trave, which flows
between Travemunde and Lubeck, has to be crossed by boat. Near
Oldesloe are the salt-factories, with large buildings and immensely
high chimneys; an old romantic castle, entirely surrounded by water,
lies near Arensburg.

Past Arensburg the country begins to be uninteresting, and remains
so as far as Hamburgh; but it seems to be very fertile, as there is
an abundance of green fields and fine meadows.

The little journey from Lubeck to Hamburgh is rather dear, on
account of the almost incredible number of tolls and dues the poor
coachmen have to pay. They have first to procure a license to drive
from Lubeck into Hamburgh territory, which costs about 1s. 3d.; then
mine had to pay twice a double toll of 8d., because we passed
through before five o'clock in the morning, and the gates, which are
not opened till five o'clock, were unfastened especially for us;
besides these, there was a penny toll on nearly every mile.

This dreadful annoyance of the constant stopping and the toll-bars
is unknown in Norway and in Sweden. There, an annual tax is paid
for every horse, and the owner can then drive freely through the
whole country, as no toll-bars are erected.

The farm-houses here are very large and far-spread, but the reason
is, that stable, barn, and shippen are under the same roof: the
walls of the houses are of wood filled in with bricks.

After passing Arensburg, we saw the steeples of Wandsbeck and
Hamburgh in the distance; the two towns seem to be one, and are, in
fact, only separated by pretty country-houses. But Wandsbeck
compared to Hamburgh is a village, not a town.

I arrived in Hamburgh about two o'clock in the afternoon; and my
relatives were so astonished at my arrival, that they almost took me
for a ghost. I was at first startled by their reception, but soon
understood the reason of it.

At the time I left Iceland another vessel went to Altona, by which I
sent a box of minerals and curiosities to my cousin in Hamburgh.
The sailor who brought the box gave such a description of the
wretched vessel in which I had gone to Copenhagen, that, after
having heard nothing of me for two months, he thought I must have
gone to the bottom of the sea with the ship. I had indeed written
from Copenhagen, but the letter had been lost; and hence their
surprise and delight at my arrival.


I had not much time to spare, so that I could only stay a few days
with my relatives in Hamburgh; on the 26th September, I went in a
little steamer from Hamburgh to Harburg, where we arrived in three
quarters of an hour. From thence I proceeded in a stage-carriage to
Celle, about sixty-five miles.

The country is not very interesting; it consists for the most part
of plains, which degenerate into heaths and marshes; but there are a
few fertile spots peeping out here and there.

September 27th.

We arrived at Celle in the night. From here to Lehrte, a distance
of about seven miles, I had to hire a private conveyance, but from
Lehrte the railway goes direct to Berlin. {57} Many larger and
smaller towns are passed on this road; but we saw little of them, as
the stations all lie at some distance, and the railway-train only
stops a few minutes.

The first town we passed was Brunswick. Immediately beyond the town
lies the pretty ducal palace, built in the Gothic style, in the
centre of a fine park. Wolfenbuttel seems to be a considerable
town, judging by the quantity of houses and church-steeples. A
pretty wooden bridge, with an elegantly-made iron balustrade, is
built here across the Ocker. From the town, a beautiful lane leads
to a gentle hill, on whose top stands a lovely building, used as a

As soon as one has passed the Hanoverian domains the country, though
it is not richer in natural curiosities, is less abundant in marshes
and heaths, and is very well-cultivated land. Many villages are
spread around, and many a charming town excites the wish to travel
through at a slower pace.

We passed Schepenstadt, Jersheim, and Wegersleben, which latter town
already belongs to Prussia. In Ashersleben and in Magdeburg we
changed carriages. Near Salze we saw some fine buildings which
belong to the extensive saltworks existing here. Jernaudau is a
colony of Moravians. I should have wished to visit the town of
Kotten,-- for nothing can be more charming than the situation of the
town in the midst of fragrant gardens,--but we unfortunately only
stopped there a few minutes. The town of Dessau is also surrounded
by pretty scenery: several bridges cross the various arms of the
Elbe; that over the river itself rests on solid stone columns. Of
Wittenberg we only saw house tops and church-steeples; the same of
Juterbog, which looks as if it were newly built. Near Lukewalde the
regions of sand begin, and the uniformity is only broken by a little
ridge of wooded hills near Trebbin; but when these are past, the
railway passes on to Berlin through a melancholy, unmitigated desert
of sand.

I had travelled from six o'clock this morning until seven in the
evening, over a distance of about two hundred and twenty miles,
during which time we had frequently changed carriages.

The number of passengers we had taken up on the road was very great,
on account of the Leipzic fairs; sometimes the train had thirty-five
to forty carriages, three locomotives, and seven to eight hundred
passengers; and yet the greatest order had prevailed. It is a great
convenience that one can take a ticket from Lehrte to Berlin,
although the railway passes through so many different states,
because then one needs not look after the luggage or any thing else.
The officials on the railway are all very civil. As soon as the
train stopped, the guards announced with a loud voice the time
allowed, however long or short it might be; so that the passengers
could act accordingly, and take refreshments in the neighbouring
hotels. The arrangements for alighting are very convenient: the
carriages run into deep rails at the stations, so that the ground is
level with the carriages, and the entrance and exit easy. The
carriages are like broad coaches; two seats ran breadthwise across
them, with a large door at each side. The first and second class
contain eight persons in each division, the third class ten. The
carriages are all numbered, so that every passenger can easily find
his seat.

By these simple arrangements the traveller may descend and walk
about a little, even though the train should only stop two minutes,
or even purchase some refreshments, without any confusion or

These conveniences are, of course, impossible when the carriages
have the length of a house, and contain sixty or seventy persons
within locked doors, and where the doors are opened by the guards,
who only call out the name of the station without announcing how
long the stay is. In such railways it is not advisable for
travellers to leave their seats; for before they can pass from one
end of the carriage to the other, through the narrow door and down

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