A beautiful and quiet sabbath day in this nice, little village surrounded by the Giant Mountains, so called because folk lore has it that they were inhabited by giants, and the mountain grove, “Rubegahl,” plays an important part in the stories told in the long winter evenings at the fireside of the mountaineer.
Cousin Joseph, who is about my age and a great tourist, proposed a short walk or climb after dinner, and so we started out for “Bergfrieden” Bande and thence to the Anna Chapel, an old church situated in a quiet spot, next to a Forrester’s home. It was built in 1718 by the Schaffgotsch family who owns considerable estate around this part of the country.
Another climb brought us to the Brotbande, 2,690 feet above the sea level. These Bauden are Peasant’s houses which, many years ago, were the only places where tourists could find a night’s lodging, generally in the hayloft. Since the foot tourists overflood this country, they have erected large roomy and comfortable inns which they still call “Bauden.”
A little further up, we saw some wild deer and, climbing still higher, we came to the Kirche Wang, a little church brought from Valders in Norway by in 1894. It is a good example of the Norwegian “Stavekirker,” or timber church.
Passing through Bruckenberg, (3,100 feet), which is a favorite summer resort with many hotels and restaurants, we began the descent and, on a gradually descending snake road, we reached Krummhubel, some 1,400 feet lower. Here we met the priest who is building a new church, and he told me that he had not made a contract for his windows and regretted that our factory is not situated nearer to him. On our walk, we had beautiful views of the valleys and mountains, and we enjoyed them very much.
The lower slopes are clothed with silver firs, pines, larches and beeches, but higher up, the forest zone terminates, and you find only the dwarf pine and gentian, Icelandic moss, devils beard, of which I picked and pressed a specimen, and other alpine plants.
It is impossible to describe the charm of such a Fusstour—it must be entered into to give you an idea of it. You absolutely forgot that you are walking and climbing, and you inhale the fine air, listen to the birds, enjoy the constantly changing views and keep moving on and up. No wonder the German is a foot tourist, and you meet them right along, not only the young, but also the old and fat as well as the lean, all seem to enjoy it. Some of them carry their supply in a Rucksack (knapsack) on their back. They are dressed for climbing, and they go from one peak to another, sleeping where they can find an inn on their road.
Krumhubel & Bruckenberg above it are summer resorts, and you would open your eyes if you would see all the hotels and lodging houses. It has only 850 inhabitants, but some 8,000 guests come here during the season and make their foot tours into the neighboring mountains.
We returned home in time for supper and spent a very nice musical evening together.
Cousin Joseph is the manager of a large paper factory and has a very pretty home with a large garden right near the factory. He keeps a carriage and coachman and a gardener. His oldest son is also in the Paper Manufacturing business and Director of a large factory in Wurtemberg.
The next one, Theodore, you met in Neuss. He is going to learn with his brother. Rudolphine, the oldest, is married to a teacher and lives in Kattowitz Schlesien. She is here with her boy on a visit. She was engaged and married the same time Pearl was, and her boy is a lively fellow. The youngest daughter, Aennchencis, about 20, is a very pretty and lively girl.