This has been a fine day with us. We took train at 10 o’clock and went to Mariaschein and in to cousin Minna’s maiden home, where we had a fine dinner. She has all the old household goods of her mother, Mrs. or Tante Fritsch, your great aunt.
After dinner we all took a nap, and cousin Johann called for us to take us up to the Ruin Rosenberg from where we had a fine view of the entire valley with many villages and hundreds of coal mines. From here, we could not only see the surrounding mountains, but also Teplitz. There is a very pretty garden on the ruins of the old burg, and the prince who owns it comes here once a year and camps out.
These mountains are the Erzgebirge, and we passed through the old mining town, Graupen, on our way home. Here we saw some fine old houses, and we also went into the old church and saw something entirely different from what I have seen in other churches. On one side, in the interior of the church, a flight of stairs is built leading up to an altar and called the “Scala Sacra” (holy stairs) in imitation of the one in Rome but above it, on a balcony, are the figures of Christ (Ecce Homo) and Pilate carved in life size of wood. On each side of the holy stair is another one, and above these, in windows, are the figures of Jews gesticulating and pointing towards Christ.
This work was made in 1730, and the figures are all worm eaten. The center stairs made of red marble may be ascended on the knees only, so we walked up the side stairs. There are other wooden figures in the side walls, one representing “Purgatory” with figures submerged to their arms and heads, a red light is thrown on them from a window, which makes the carvings look like fire. Here, out of the fount which dates back hundreds of years, Johann’s latest one, a boy, was baptized a few Sundays ago.
By the way, Rich’d, his fourth boy, when told of the new arrival said, “Noch so ein kerl.” (What, another urchin?), and the oldest asked “How do you know it is a boy? You may have made a mistake.” They all wanted a sister.
I tell you, these little foot tours are grand. They do not tire you because you see much beautiful scenery with constant changes. No wonder that the inhabitants go “Climbing” and walking on holidays and Sundays.
We reached home with an appetite for coffee, which was soon after followed by supper, after which we sat with Johann’s Family, and he played on a accordion and his wife sang Austrian “Folk songs.” Mama sang, too, and I played for her on their piano.
Home with the late train and to bed at midnight.