On the Rhine, July 1928

More images and journal entries from my grandfather’s summer 1928 trip to Europe.

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Thursday, July 12.
We were called an hour earlier than we had intended due to misunderstanding my bad German and had breakfast of rolls, butter, jam and pretty good tea.
I saw a man walk into the dining room whom I thought was American and when he looked my way I asked him which part of the states he was from and his face lighted up and he came over and sat down beside me and ate breakfast with us. He was as bad off as we were, wanted us to stay in Koln during that day and take the Rhine trip the next day but we told him we must go on as otherwise we would be behind schedule. We left him hurriedly at 8.30 and rushed with our baggage to the dock which was about ten minutes walk away. I endeavored to get a taxi as the boat left at 8.45 but I could find only one and he was engaged so had to carry my two heavily laden bags and hurry with them. We arrived at the boat landing just two minutes before the boat left and managed to get the tickets and get on.

The two beautifully castillated spires of Cologne cathedral passed out of sight as our powerful side-wheeler riverboat moved through the swiftly flowing muddy colored river water. The banks were covered with cobble stones to prevent erosion and at intervals were projecting breakwaters of cobble stones and the water raged around their ends forming whirlpools and low places in the water. Swimming must be dangerous if out beyond these reefs although we saw hundreds of men, women and children swimming about in the water.

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I bought some cards and a pictorial map of the Rhine from Koln to Mainz and later on some stamps (15 pfenig). We passed seven mountains and lots of towns. We frequently passed a tug with its tow of four or more barges, some laden almost to the gernwall (gunwhale) others high out of the water.

Before we had dinner we made the acquaintance of an educator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who is traveling alone and who can speak German fluently. We talked together a lot, ate lunch together as well as supper and then had rooms in the same hotel. He found there was a hotel manager aboard and got rooms for us at five marks each. This hotel is some distance from the boat but is just across the street from the station and faces a quiet square. We had a double room on the fifth floor #88 which has a row of three large
windows as well as running water, both hot and cold, across from the elevator and quite near both the bath and toilet rooms (Central Hotel).

Met a Mr. Patty from California who is conducting a party of young people. We found out that since the group left NewYork there have been two engagements between fellows and girls in the party. They all seem to be having a grand good time except for one girl who is affected by the extreme heat. In the afternoon lots of castles and I took snapshots of several of these, using up almost two rolls of film.

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Friday, July 13, 1928.
George had a bath last night and was charged good and proper for it, two marks, almost half what the room cost and the water was most cold. I had mine in the basin.
We awoke quite refreshed from the boat trip and had a late breakfast, around nine, and then took a stroll about the town and changed some German money I had as well as buying a few postal cards. I must say here that the Central Hotel here in Mainz is excellent and located across the street from the station and facing a quiet and rather pretty square.
We had lunch quite early and went to the station in time to see the Batty party and our friend of the boat off for Heidelberg on the 12.10 train.(They planned to make Lucerne the next noon, leaving Heidelberg at about eight in the morning.)
Our train left at 12.20 and after switching around after leaving Mainz we were finally off on the nearly eight hours to Lucerne.

 

 

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