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the snow plainly visible on the mountains, while the valleys through which we passed to Lake Königs were smiling with the harvests and fruits of the season, was novel and romantic indeed. It took us among a strange people, the Tyrolese, where the Austrian money with which we started was at a discount, and where we were rowed by two strong women, with one man at the helm, for several miles on this lake, winding around between mountains seven thousand feet high on either side, and looking at some points as though about to fall upon us. We stopped at St. Bartholomew, a hunting seat of the King of Bavaria, where there is a public house and a small chapel. Notwithstanding the great height of the mountains bordering this lake, which are covered generally with low evergreen trees, and although in no place is the lake more than about half a mile in width, the water is said to be, as it looked, very deep. So high, steep, and near together are the mountains that the reverberations from a small gun of the caliber of a horse-pistol were nearly as loud as the report of a cannon. We returned to the place of starting on the lake, the time occupied in each direction being three-quarters of an hour. On the way back to town some of our party had a still more novel experience in visiting the Hallein salt mines. On arriving there some fifteen or twenty travelers, of whom the writer was one, made preparations to enter. The ladies were required to put on
and trowsers, the latter being large enough to admit their skirts, minus crinoline, while the gentlemen were furnished with frocks, overalls, and felt hats - both sexes being rigged out, also, each with a leather apron tied on behind, and each provided with a dull oil lamp or tallow candle to light them
on their way up an inclined plane through a narrow tunnel, a mile, more or less, into the side of a high hill or mountain. As one may well imagine, we presented a laughable appearance, and our most intimate acquaintances would have been unable to recognize us in this queer uniform. One thing, indeed, which puzzled us not a little was to divine the object of putting our aprons on behind instead of in front; but on this point we were not long kept in the dark, albeit, we soon found ourselves in a very dark place. This cone-shaped tunnel, in which carrails were laid, was of just sufficient width and height to admit of our walking comfortably in single file; but at distances of fifteen or twenty rods apart were recesses deep enough for standing room when the cars were passing, and, by stooping slightly, persons could pass each other in the narrowest part of the way. On the ground, along one side of the tunnel, runs an iron pipe, through which salt water is drawn from a lake in the interior, toward which, led by our guide, lamps and candles in hand, we were walking to the number of eight or ten (the rest of the company having preceded us) when we heard a rumbling sound, which we supposed to be of falling water, or from the working of machinery in the mines. Instantly, however, we were undeceived by a cry from the German guide, interpreted by one of our party, that a car was coming and that we must get out of the way, the guide at the same time turning and rushing by us as though frightened half out of his wits, thus increasing our alarm, while we all also turned and ran with the utmost speed we could command in this dark hole, and just succeeded in reaching one of those recesses above described when a car, a sort of wooden horse, loaded with passen
gers, flew past us! What the result might have been had we failed in this run for life no one knows; but in all probability some or all of us would have been seriously if not fatally wounded. In a few minutes another and then another car shot by, while we were debating whether we should proceed or return. Finally, one stout Dutchman and his wife, quite in a rage, not unjustly, turned back; but being assured that there was now no danger to apprehend, the rest of us again took up our line of march. It can hardly be doubted, however, that it was a foolhardy undertaking, since, besides the risk of broken bones from the rail cars, we might all have been engulfed by the closing up of the tunnel, which was walled or lined over the top and sides only a short distance from its mouth. The rest of the way it was left precisely as excavated through the salt earth, which appeared to be of about the solidity of hard pin-gravel No matter, we had enlisted for the campaign, therefore we pushed on, and soon reached a point where our leather aprons were brought into
First, however, we think we came to the lake, which, surrounded by a row of dull lamps, appeared to be an acre or so in extent, and entering a boat we were rowed across it. It looked black and tasted very salty. Everything here looked black, except the dim lamplight, which served only to make darkness visible. We will not say that we thought we were in the infernal regions, but we will admit that a sort of shudder came over us lest, as out of a deep sleep, we might be in some such place! From this landing we now prepared to descend into a vast pit, seventy feet deep from the top over our heads--the distance from where we stood to the bottom being forty or fifty feet. A large, smooth piece of timber,
with a rope for a guard, extended at about the inclination of an ordinary staircase-if anything, a little steeper- to the bottom, and this was to serve as our carriage-way. Each gentleman now being furnished with a thick leather hand - shoe to protect his right hand in grasping the rope, our guide seated himself astride this beam and slid down a few feet, bracing himself to allow us to follow suit. This, with lamps in our left hands, we did at once — the ladies (our special companion not among them) being sandwiched between and holding to the shoulders of the gentleman who clasped the rope. The word was given, and off we shot into the darkness below. Our guide managed in some way to check our fall so that no bones were fractured; but, although this may be a very good way to prove the utility of leather aprons, especially when worn behind, we are not prepared to recommend the performance, either for healthy exercise or amusement. Extending from the bottom of this pit there is a shaft in which the miners descend five hundred feet further into the bowels of the earth; but having no desire to explore regions so far inland, we did not ask to enter. After collecting some specimens of rock salt, which lay here in heaps, ascending by a steep flight of stairs, we all mounted astride a wooden horse, sandwiched as before, and by our own momentum were carried swiftly down the rail into daylight, perfectly content with our first experience of salt mines and inclined planes.
It was half-past nine in the evening when we reached our hotel in Salzburg; and the interest of our ride was heightened by signal fires kindled high up on the sides or tops of several mountains far apart (in commemoration, we understood, of some
event,) and other demonstrations—in one place, for instance, a beautiful floral arch, under which we had the honor of passing, having been erected over the highway.
A ride of five hours by rail on the following day took us to Munich, this beautiful capital of Bavaria, of which and its many interesting objects it will be our pleasure in our own good time to write.
MUNICH, August 31.– Some parts of this city
may be said to be emphatically on the river,
“The torrent flow Of Isar, rolling rapidly”
under many of its houses, shops, and manufacturing establishments, furnishes excellent motive power. The principal part of the city, however, lies on the northwest side. It is said to be nearly seventeen hundred feet above the level of the sea; and being not far from the mountains, it should, and doubtless does, command a pure and healthy atmosphere in all seasons of the year. Our stay here has been very pleasant, the more so from being in home-like quarters at a private boarding-house kept by a very competent lady, Fräulein Dahlweiner, who received very prominent notice a year or two ago through a Book of Travels by Helen Hunt. Although no doubt kindly intended by the authoress, the manner in which she is made to figure in the book is very dis