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Title: Midnight Sunbeams or Bits of Travel Through the Land of the Norseman
Author: Kimball, Edwin Coolidge
Language: English
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Libraries.)



MIDNIGHT SUNBEAMS.

[Illustration]



                           MIDNIGHT SUNBEAMS
                    BITS OF TRAVEL THROUGH THE LAND
                            OF THE NORSEMAN

                                  BY
                       _EDWIN COOLIDGE KIMBALL_

                                BOSTON
                     CUPPLES AND HURD, PUBLISHERS



                                  To
                            WALTER H. CAMP,
     In memory of years of friendship, this book is affectionately
                              dedicated.



PREFACE.


The following sketches of a journey in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark
are given to the public in the hope that their perusal will furnish
information concerning the people, and attractions, of countries which
are being visited by Americans more and more each succeeding year.
While they may impart some useful knowledge to intending travellers
over the same ground, it is hoped as well that they will furnish
entertainment to those who travel only through books.

The memories of the days passed in the North are so sunny and
delightful, that I wish others to enjoy them with me; and if the reader
receives a clear impression of the novel experiences and thorough
pleasure attending a journey through Norseland, and partakes, if only
in a limited degree, of my enthusiasm over the character of the people
and the imposing grandeurs of nature, the object of this book will be
accomplished.

  E. C. K.



CONTENTS.


  CHAPTER I.
  _COPENHAGEN AND ENVIRONS._
                                                               PAGE
  LÜBECK—JOURNEY TO COPENHAGEN—HERR RENTIER—BERTEL
  THORVALDSEN—MUSEUMS—AN EVENING AT THE TIVOLI—SOUVENIRS OF
  HAMLET—A FAMOUS MOTHER-IN-LAW—THE FREDERIKSBORG PALACE—AN
  AIMLESS WIDOW                                                  15


  CHAPTER II.
  _ACROSS SWEDEN BY THE GOTHA CANAL._

  A DAY AT GOTHENBURG—THE GOTHA CANAL—LIFE ON THE
  “VENUS”—KEEPING OUR MEAL ACCOUNTS—THE TROLLHÄTTA
  FALLS—PASTORAL SCENERY—SWEDISH BOARDING-SCHOOL
  GIRLS—LAKE MÄLAR                                               41


  CHAPTER III.
  _IN AND ABOUT STOCKHOLM._

  THE ISLANDS AND FEATURES OF THE CITY—THE WESTMINSTER ABBEY
  OF SWEDEN—INTERESTING MUSEUMS—LEADING CITY FOR
  TELEPHONES—SCENES AT EVENING CONCERTS—THE MULTITUDE OF
  EXCURSIONS—DOWN THE BALTIC TO VAXHOLM—ROYAL CASTLES ON THE
  LAKE—UNIVERSITY TOWN OF UPSALA                                 57


  CHAPTER IV.
  _RAILWAY JOURNEY TO THRONDHJEM._

  SWEDISH RAILWAYS AND MEAL STATIONS—AMONG THE SNOW
  BANKS—THE DESCENT TO THRONDHJEM—THE SHRINE OF ST.
  OLAF—NORTH CAPE STEAMERS                                       75


  CHAPTER V.
  _THE NORWEGIAN NORDLAND._

  THE EVER-PRESENT SALMON—A CHEESE EXHIBITION—THE BLESSED
  ISLAND BELT—TORGHÄTTA AND THE SEVEN SISTERS—SCENES WITHIN
  THE ARCTIC CIRCLE—VISIT TO THE SVARTISEN GLACIER—COASTING
  ALONG THE LOFODEN ISLANDS—SEA FOWL AND EIDER DUCKS—REINDEER
  SWIMMING ACROSS THE FJORD                                      89


  CHAPTER VI.
  _FROM TROMSÖ TO THE NORTH CAPE._

  THE SIGHTS OF TROMSÖ—A VISIT TO A WHALE-OIL FACTORY—THE
  MOST NORTHERN TOWN IN THE WORLD—BIRD ISLANDS IN THE
  ARCTIC OCEAN—A PICNIC AT THE BASE OF THE NORTH CAPE—THE
  MIDNIGHT SUN—PERPLEXITIES OF PERPETUAL DAY                    111


  CHAPTER VII.
  _THE VOYAGE BACK TO THRONDHJEM._

  THE LYNGEN FJORD—LAPP ENCAMPMENT IN THE TROMSDAL—A SMUKE
  PIGE—LAPP HUTS AND BABIES—REINDEER, AND THEIR MANIFOLD
  USES—LOADING CATTLE—FAREWELL APPEARANCE OF THE MIDNIGHT
  SUN—SCENES AMONG THE STEERAGE                                 133


  CHAPTER VIII.
  _MOLDE AND THE ROMSDAL._

  CHRISTIANSUND—RESTING AT MOLDE—LEPROSY IN NORWAY—FIRST
  CARRIOLE DRIVE—STRUGGLING WITH THE NORSE LANGUAGE—WALK
  THROUGH THE ROMSDAL                                           151


  CHAPTER IX.
  _A MOUNTAIN WALK._

  STEAMBOAT SERVICE—A NIGHT IN A MOUNTAIN SÆTER—PRIMITIVE
  ACCOMMODATIONS—A TALKATIVE FARMER—RIDING HORSEBACK UNDER
  DIFFICULTIES—AN EXHAUSTING TRAMP AND A TRIAL OF  PATIENCE—UP
  THE GEIRANGER FJORD TO MEROK—APPROACH TO HELLESYLT            169


  CHAPTER X.
  _ACROSS COUNTRY DRIVE._

  POSTING SYSTEM AND MANNER OF TRAVELLING IN THE
  INTERIOR—CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NORWEGIANS—A DAY’S
  CARRIOLING—A MORNING WALK—RIVAL INNKEEPERS—SCENES IN THE
  HAY FIELDS—OUR THIRD DAY’S RIDE—RESTING AT SANDE              187


  CHAPTER XI.
  _ON AND ABOUT THE SOGNEFJORD._

  A DAY ON THE SOGNEFJORD—EVENING SCENES AT A NORWEGIAN
  HOTEL—CARRIOLING THROUGH THE LAERDAL—BORGUND CHURCH—THE
  GRANDEURS OF THE NAERÖFJORD AND WALK THROUGH THE
  NAERÖDAL—OUR DRIVE TO VOSSEVANGEN—A MORNING WALK TO EIDE      211


  CHAPTER XII.
  _THE HARDANGER FJORD._

  A SABBATH AT VIK—ROAD BUILDING—VISIT TO THE VÖRINGSFOS—ODDE
  ON THE SÖRFJORD—EXCURSION TO THE SKJÆGGEDALSFOS—THE
  BRUARBRÆ—FROM ODDE BY STEAMER TO BERGEN                       231


  CHAPTER XIII.
  _BERGEN._

  OUR EXPERIENCES IN THE “WEEPING CITY”—SCENES IN THE FISH
  MARKET—RAINY WALKS ABOUT TOWN—A BENEFICIAL LICENCE
  SYSTEM—VOYAGE ACROSS THE NORTH SEA—UP THE RIVER MAAS TO
  ROTTERDAM                                                     253


  CHAPTER XIV.
  _EXPENSES AND PRACTICAL HINTS._

  WHAT DID IT COST?—THE ROUTE AND TIME ALLOWED FOR THE
  JOURNEY—CLOTHING AND FOOD—LADIES TRAVELLING ALONE—THE
  RESULT OF POLITENESS AND CONSIDERATION—CONCLUSION             267



COPENHAGEN AND ENVIRONS.



CHAPTER I. _COPENHAGEN AND ENVIRONS._

    LÜBECK—JOURNEY TO COPENHAGEN—HERR RENTIER—BERTEL
    THORVALDSEN—MUSEUMS—AN EVENING AT THE TIVOLI—SOUVENIRS OF HAMLET—A
    FAMOUS MOTHER-IN-LAW—THE FREDERIKSBORG PALACE—AN AIMLESS WIDOW.


It was on a charming day in June, after an hour’s railway ride from
Hamburg, that we arrived at Lübeck—the starting point of our journey
through Scandinavia. Lübeck is the smallest of the three independent
Hanseatic towns of the German Empire, both Hamburg and Bremen far
surpassing her in size and importance, yet at one time she stood at the
head of the Hanseatic League—the alliance of the great commercial towns
of North Germany.

Architecturally, Lübeck is one of the most interesting places in
Germany. You enter the town from the railway station through the
Holstenthor, a wonderful mediæval gateway of red brick and terracotta,
and soon reach the market-place, on two sides of which rises the
venerable Rathhaus, a Gothic building in brick, with many gables,
turrets and quaint spires; extending underneath it is the Rathskeller,
remarkable for its well-preserved vaulting, as well as for its
excellent Rhine wines and claret. The chimney piece in the apartment,
where wedding festivities were formerly celebrated, bears the following
inscription—a genuine bachelor sentiment—_Mennich man lude synghet wen
me em de Brut bringet; weste he wat men em brochte, dat he wol wenen
mochte_ (Many a man sings loudly when they bring him his bride; if he
knew what they brought him, he might well weep).

On one side of the square is the handsome modern post-office
constructed in the mediæval style; here and there in the quiet streets
we came upon the elaborately carved fronts of the ancient guild halls,
and buildings with high steep roofs filled with odd windows like great
blinking eyes; in one of the squares is a handsome modern fountain, and
before a hotel near by stand two colossal cast-iron lions designed by
the famous German sculptor Rauch, while scattered about the city are
numerous churches containing interesting monuments, mural paintings and
ancient altar-pieces.

The river Trave winding about the city renders it almost an island; the
old ramparts have been converted into promenades and pleasure gardens,
and from them one has an extended view of the busy harbor and its
shipping, while the many towers, and lofty numerously windowed roofs
of the houses and public buildings rising above it, present a striking
and picturesque effect. We could not think of leaving the old city
without first investing in some of the _marzipan_, for which Lübeck is
celebrated; it is a sort of confect or cake made of sugar and almonds,
very sweet and insipid to the taste, and doubtless one must acquire a
liking for it the same as for the varied assortment of German sausages.

At four o’clock in the afternoon we stood on the deck of the “Orion,”
watching the many tall and slender spires of the churches of Lübeck
receding from view, as we steamed onward down the narrow winding river,
nine miles to Travemünde, a little sea-bathing resort for the Lübeckers
at the river’s mouth, where we entered upon the Baltic. We sat on deck
watching the sunset and the outlines of the German coast, the country
where we had spent nearly a year and which had grown to seem like home,
growing more and more indistinct; the sea was as calm as a mill pond,
there being scarcely any perceptible motion; the moon appeared and we
remained for a long time upon deck, in perfect enjoyment of the scene,
then retired to our state-rooms to sleep soundly until our arrival at
Copenhagen, soon after six o’clock in the morning.

Copenhagen impressed us at first like a Dutch city. The long quays
covered with merchandise and lined with shipping, and, as we drove to
our hotel, the vistas down side streets of canals filled with vessels,
reminded us strongly of Amsterdam and the other Dutch _dams_ we had
visited.

In many European hotels the servant who conducts you to your room
upon your arrival hands you a printed form to be filled out, giving
information as to your place of birth, your age, where you came
from, where you are going to, and your quality or profession. We had
generally written tourist, traveller, or student in answer to the
last, but as students are often classed with socialists and other
suspicious characters, we registered this time that coveted European
title—_Rentier_ (a gentleman living on his income). Later, as we came
out of the hotel, on a great black-board at the foot of the staircase
we saw, in large letters, so that “he who ran could read,” Herr Rentier
E., Herr Rentier K., against the number of our room, and the line of
servants greeting us with obsequious bows gave us an exalted opinion
of our own importance, but filled us with alarm when we thought of the
fees that would be expected from gentlemen with titles associated with
big money bags.

The great centre of the life and activity of the city is the Kongens
Nytorv (King’s Market), a large square from which radiate thirteen
streets. Trees surround a king’s statue in the centre, on the south
side rises the National Theatre, the principal hotels and shops are
in, or near, this square, and the greater part of the horse-car lines
centre here. Walking down an adjacent street whose shop windows were
filled with tempting displays of terracotta vases, statues, and
reliefs, many of them being copies from Thorvaldsen’s works, we came to
a large market place, where old women, wearing big white sunbonnets,
with white handkerchiefs folded over their shoulders, sat in the open
air behind piles of fruit and vegetables. Many of the market girls
wore kid gloves, minus the finger ends; one girl, adorned with what
were once delicate evening gloves, was selling cabbages, and from the
coquettish manner in which she handled them with her soiled gloves, we
judged that she considered herself the belle of the market.

Near by is the Christiansborg Palace, which was partially destroyed by
fire in 1884. Most of the walls are still standing, but the interior
was completely destroyed. In addition to the royal residence, the
long range of buildings surrounding the spacious courts contained the
Chambers of Parliament, the Royal Library and Picture Gallery; part of
the collection in the last was saved from the flames.

Looking across the great Palace Square we see the tall tower of the
Exchange one hundred and fifty feet high, the upper part of which is
formed by four dragons, their tails twisted together high in air, until
they gradually taper to a point. Tradition says that this curious spire
was removed bodily from Kalmar in the south of Sweden.

At one side of the great ruined palace is the Thorvaldsen Museum,
the chief attraction of Copenhagen, and the northern Mecca of all
art-loving tourists.

Bertel Thorvaldsen was born in Copenhagen in 1770. His father was a
ship carpenter and carver of figure heads, and as a child little Bertel
went with him to the ship yards and assisted him in his work, showing
so much intelligence, that at the age of eleven he entered the Free
School of Art.

Here he made rapid progress in sculpture, but the other branches of
his education were so neglected, that at the age of eighteen he could
scarcely read and write; his genius for art was born in him, and at
the age of twenty-three he gained the grand prize, which carried with
it the privilege of study and travel abroad. In after years, when
questioned concerning the date of his birth, he always replied: “I
don’t know; but I arrived in Rome on the 8th of March 1797,” dating
his birth from the commencement of his career as an artist. Years
of obscurity and patient labor followed his arrival in Rome; the
model of his great work “Jason,” though greatly admired, found no
purchaser till in 1803, just as he was about to return to Copenhagen in
hopeless disgust, Thomas Hope, a wealthy English banker, ordered its
reproduction in marble. From this time forward, fame and prosperity
flowed in upon him at full tide. When he returned to Denmark in 1819,
his whole journey, in each country through which he travelled, was a
series of honors. His reception at Copenhagen was triumphal, and he
was lodged as a guest in the Royal Palace. He remained a year, then
returned to Rome where he labored assiduously till 1838, when he left,
intending to pass the remainder of his days in his native land, but
the climate proving too severe he returned, in 1841, to Rome. Having
revisited Copenhagen in 1844 he died there suddenly in the theatre. By
many he is ranked as the greatest sculptor since Michael Angelo, and is
regarded as the most famous Dane of modern times.

The Thorvaldsen Museum was built by the city of Copenhagen, partly
from private subscriptions, as a repository for the works of art
bequeathed by the great sculptor to his native town; it also contains
his Mausoleum, for it was Thorvaldsen’s expressed wish to rest among
his works. The building is constructed in the style of the Pompeian and
Etruscan tombs enclosing a large open court. Over the pediment of the
façade is a bronze goddess of victory in a quadriga; the other three
sides of the building are decorated with a series of scenes in plaster,
inlaid with different colored cements, representing the arrival and
unloading of the ships at Copenhagen in 1838, which had been sent to
Rome to bring back the great sculptor, and his works of art, to his
native land. The tomb is in the centre of the open court, covered with
ivy and surrounded by a low granite frame bearing simply the name,
Bertel Thorvaldsen, and the date of his birth and death. The coffin
rests in a decorated vault below.

In the corridors surrounding the court, in the lofty vestibule, and
in the forty-two rooms on both floors of the building, are displayed
one hundred and nine of Thorvaldsen’s works in marble, besides plaster
casts of all the works from his hand, several hundred in number,
comprising statues, busts, reliefs, and sepulchral and commemorative
monuments: for in every city of any importance, from Copenhagen to
Rome, there is found some work from the hand of this prolific genius.
Several rooms contain a collection of gems, coins, vases, antiquities
and paintings, gathered by the sculptor during his residence in Rome,
while others contain his sketches, designs, and furniture from his home
in Copenhagen.

Among his most famous works are _Jason with the Golden Fleece_, _Hebe_,
_Mercury_, and the _Shepherd Boy_, the model of which was a beautiful
Roman boy. There is a most striking statue of Thorvaldsen, executed
by himself, representing the sculptor in his studio, with mallet and
chisel in his hands, as he pauses for a moment in his work, and leans
upon his unfinished statue of _Hope_.

The lovely reliefs of _Day_, _Night_, and the _Four Seasons_ are
familiar to all from photographs; the relief called the _Ages of Love_,
where representatives of all ages are eagerly catching the flying
cherubs as they are let out of a cage, so delighted the Pope on his
visit to the artist’s studio, and so absorbed was he in contemplation,
that he forgot to bestow the customary blessing upon the sculptor.

Perhaps the most impressive of all his works are his _Christ_ and
the _Twelve Apostles_, the models of which are here in the Museum in
the “Hall of Christ,” and the originals in marble in the _Fruekirke_
(Church of Our Lady) not far away; the colossal statues of the
apostles, at the sides of the church, lead up to the sublime figure
of the Risen Christ; and all show the capacity of the artist for
appreciating and fulfilling the demands of the Christian ideal. In
the same church is a kneeling Angel of great beauty, holding a shell
which serves as a font, and in two chapels are exquisite reliefs of the
_Baptism_, and _Last Supper_.

Copenhagen possesses many museums and collections; among them, the
Museum of Northern Antiquities contains an invaluable collection
representing the Flint, Bronze, Iron, Mediæval and Modern Periods of
Scandinavian civilization, but it is of more interest to the scientist
and special student than to the ordinary tourist.

The Ethnological Museum is one of the most extensive in Europe;
particularly interesting were the figures in costumes representing life
among the Esquimaux and North American Indians, the latter gorgeous in
feathers and war paint.

The Church of the Trinity has a tower 116 feet high, called the Round
Tower, ascended by means of a wide winding roadway, which would readily
permit of a horse and carriage being driven to the very top; from the
summit you obtain one of the finest views of the city, divided into
islands by the canals and arms of the sea which intersect it in many
directions. You look down upon a sea of roofs, broken here and there
by gardens and small parks, and bounded upon one side by a sea of blue
water, upon the other by the green beech forests of Zealand.

The pleasantest promenade in the city is called the Lange Linie, a wide
shaded walk extending along the sea on one side of the citadel, at the
end of which are several sea-bathing establishments; it is a favorite
resort on an afternoon, and one encounters many promenaders, enjoying
the bracing sea breezes and the views of the gleaming waters traversed
by numerous steamers and sailing craft. The citadel is surrounded by a
moat, but the drawbridge is always down and one enters freely, walks
about the earth-works and walls, among the cannon and barracks, and
explores unmolested to his heart’s content, in great contrast to the
fortresses of Germany, where no stranger is allowed to enter without a
permit, and at every step is accompanied by a soldier.

The Botanic Gardens are laid out on the site of the ancient
fortifications, and furnish an agreeable lounging place, even if one is
not interested in flowers and plants. In this section of the city are
many wide streets and boulevards, with handsome modern houses built on
the Parisian model of flats. The handsome brick Rosenborg Palace near
by is especially interesting from its collection of personal mementoes
of the Danish monarchs, who fitted up suites of rooms in the style
of their various epochs, and collected here their jewels, weapons,
coronation robes, state costumes, and curiosities. In the rear of the
palace is a pretty park, open to the public, which is a favorite resort
of nurses and the rising generation of Danes.

The part of the city adjacent to the railway station appears to be
of very recent growth; its wide streets, lighted by electric light
and traversed by horse-cars, are bounded by large hotels and imposing
business blocks and houses.

In this quarter is the Tivoli, the most popular resort in Copenhagen,
and a most attractive place on a summer evening. It is an immense
garden, containing many handsome concert halls, gorgeous pavilions,
restaurants, booths for the sale of fancy articles, and every
conceivable means of amusement. You pay 50 öre (about thirteen cents)
to enter, and are then free to select such entertainment as your fancy
dictates. From six to eleven o’clock in the evening there is a change
of entertainment every half hour. The first evening we spent at the
Tivoli the programme began with a concert from a brass band; then for
half an hour in a beautiful concert hall in a different part of the
gardens, a string orchestra of sixty performers played selections from
one of Beethoven’s symphonies; after which there was a rush to watch,
during the next half hour, a trapeze performance in the open air,
followed by jumping, tumbling, and walking a wire; the brass band gave
another concert; an operetta in one act followed, the audience sitting
in chairs beneath the trees before the stage; then came the second part
of the orchestral concert, with selections from Wagner’s Tannhäuser. In
another part of the garden, a play at a small theatre occupies the next
hour, and you begin to feel that you have received many times the worth
of the price of admission; and yet the programme is not exhausted.

As the lingering June twilight deepens, the gardens are illuminated
by festoons and arches of lights in colored globes, the façades of
the cafés, restaurants, and other buildings blaze with light, and the
entire grounds become a picture of enchantment and festivity.

The lively Danes sit at little tables beneath the trees, eat cold
sausage, drink beer, and take in the music, the same as their near
neighbors in Germany.

You can explore grottos and caves, sit in romantic arbors, or promenade
through leafy _allées_ lined with statues, copies from the antique
and Thorvaldsen’s masterpieces. If you long to spend a few surplus
öre, there are open cars rushing like a whirlwind down one hill and up
another much like a roller toboggan; merry-go-rounds with boats furnish
you the motion of the Baltic and the sensation of sea sickness on a
limited scale, or you can take a cruise on a diminutive steamer up and
down a contracted lake; you can gaze upon the fat woman, the living
skeleton, or the double-headed girl, peep through a camera obscura,
shoot at glass balls, and blow to test your lungs. There is everything
for all classes, for this is the great and original Tivoli, which has
many imitators, in Germany and other European countries, but still
remains without an equal. At stated periods there are fête nights,
when fireworks and extra illuminations are furnished, but at any and
all times the Tivoli is a pleasant place in which to spend an evening,
and one that no traveller should miss seeing.

The Danes spell the name of their city, Kjöbenhavn, but it is difficult
to recognize in this combination of letters our New England name of
the kissing game with the rope, called Copenhagen, which you, gentle
reader, have doubtless played at some period of your life. Perhaps it
is a Yankee game after all and not Danish, for nowhere in Copenhagen
did we see it played, not even at the Tivoli, where every conceivable
form of amusement is furnished.

The environs of Copenhagen offer a variety of pleasing and interesting
excursions. The horse-cars will take you in half an hour to
Frederiksburg, a very enjoyable ride, as the cars are constructed after
the general European model, with a narrow staircase ascending to the
roof, upon which are comfortable seats, whence you have an unobstructed
view. The Frederiksburg Palace, standing upon an eminence, has been
converted into a military school, from the long shaded terrace in front
of which you have a beautiful view of Copenhagen, with its towers and
spires. The adjoining gardens were occupied by family parties taking
their lunch in picnic style, and the neighboring natural park of
Söndermarken offered many shady and agreeable walks.

One morning we left by steamer for Helsingör, the trip occupying three
hours. We kept close to the Danish coast, calling frequently at the
little settlements, for during the first half of the journey there is a
continual succession of small sea-bathing resorts, with inviting villas
and cottages which were just being opened for the season.

Helsingör, the Elsinore of Hamlet, is a small and uninteresting town,
where we found no one who could understand English or German, but had
to make our way with the few Danish words in our possession. It is but
a short distance to the Kronberg, an ancient fortress built, in 1577,
on a low promontory extending out into the sea, at the point where the
Sound contracts to its narrowest limits, so that it is but a short
distance across to the opposite Swedish town of Helsingborg.

The Kronberg is surrounded by a broad moat and ramparts, and its
numerous lofty gray stone towers rise from a steep and many windowed
roof; from the flat roof of a great square tower is an extensive
view, embracing both the Danish and Swedish coasts, and the narrow
Sound, separating the two countries, animated with numerous shipping.
The interior of the castle contains a chapel with carved pulpit and
choir stalls, and we were shown the apartments occupied by the royal
family on the occasion of their rare visits, which are rather shabbily
furnished, and filled with very mediocre paintings, painted we judged
by contract at so much per yard.

The flag battery looking seaward, where the Danish colors float from
a lofty flagstaff and cannon command the entrance to the Sound, is
said to be the platform before the old castle of Elsinore, where the
first scene of Hamlet is laid, and where his father’s ghost appeared to
Hamlet, “the melancholy Dane.”

A short distance north of the Kronberg is Marielyst, a fashionable
sea-bathing place, to which we walked along the sandy beach, strewed
with shells and seaweed. As it was still early in the season, the
_Kurhaus_ was not yet open, and the place had rather a deserted
look; nevertheless it impressed us as a very pleasant resort, from
its combination of sea and forest; and the many pretty villas in
the neighborhood attested its popularity. At a hotel we found
English-speaking waiters, and after being served with a good dinner,
we visited a pile of stones surrounding a small column said to mark the
site of Hamlet’s grave. Our faith in its authenticity was not strong
enough to move our feelings or to make us realize that we stood upon
hallowed ground; instead of lingering to weep over a pile of stones,
that knew not Hamlet, we hurried to Helsingör to take the railway
train to another palace. My travelling companion was a German. On the
steamer on our way to Helsingör, three German Jews, travelling for
pleasure, had approached us seeking to form our acquaintance; they were
not disagreeable to me, but my friend, who had a German’s inveterate
hatred for a Jew, would not speak to them, and besought me to repel
their advances. We had encountered them everywhere,—at the Kronberg,
at Marielyst, and they greeted us upon our arrival at the station;
so it was evident they were making the same round of sight seeing we
were, and my friend insisted, in order to escape them, that we should
take a first class ticket, knowing well that they would not follow
our example. In Denmark, as in Germany, only blue bloods travel first
class, and we received all the attention we should have merited had we
been princes of the royal blood.

During our short railway journey we passed by Fredensborg, the summer
residence of the Danish royal family, where every summer the most
famous mother-in-law the world has ever known holds a family gathering,
which comprises nearly half the present and prospective Crowned Heads,
Majesties, and Royal Highnesses of Europe. Certainly the King and Queen
of little Denmark have made most brilliant matches for their children,
and settled them well in life. Their eldest daughter is the Czarina of
Russia, their second daughter is the Princess of Wales and the future
Queen of Great Britain and Empress of India; the eldest son will be the
next King of Denmark, and his brother is the present King of Greece.
The Czar seems to especially cherish his mother-in-law, and it is
said that only in Denmark can he feel secure of his life, and take a
little comfort. It is doubtless to her mother’s careful and practical
training that the Princess of Wales owes her lovely character, and that
she in turn has made such a good and devoted mother, and is to-day the
most popular lady in England. It is pleasant to think of this royal
family—parents, children, and grand-children—laying aside the cares of
royalty and state, and meeting every summer at the old home, like any
family in the lower walks of life, in common love and affection, and
enjoying themselves in simple ways.

We leave the train at Hilleröd, and to escape the Jews take a cab
to the palace of Frederiksborg, built upon three islands, in a lake
surrounded by beech woods. The islands are connected by bridges, and
the situation of the palace, its lofty façades with their finely
sculptured windows, its high roofs, and picturesque spires and towers,
rising from the transparent water, is very striking. You pass beneath
a gigantic gate tower and enter the great courtyard, where in years
gone by Christian IV. cut off the head of the Master of the Mint,
who had defrauded him. “He tried to cheat us, but we have cheated
him, for we have chopped off his head,” said the king. The palace has
been thoroughly restored, and since the burning of the Christiansborg
Palace in Copenhagen has been converted into a National Museum.
There are sixty-four rooms, with ceilings of carved wood painted in
bright colors, with elaborately carved doors and chimney pieces,
beautiful inlaid floors, and wainscotted and frescoed walls, in which
are displayed richly carved furniture, bric-a-brac, suits of armor,
historical souvenirs, and statuary and paintings mostly by modern
Danish artists. The gem of the palace is the magnificent Ritter Saal,
an immense hall with a beautiful inlaid marble floor, the lofty
ceiling a mass of intricate wood carving, richly gilded and painted
in bright colors, composed of pendants, fruits, flowers, figures of
cherubs and angels, and divided into sections with carved figures in
high relief representing various trades and industries, the whole
furnishing a bewildering study of striking richness and detail.

The sides of the long hall and the deep window recesses are hung with
beautiful tapestries, and at the end of the hall is an elaborate
chimney-piece of ebony and silver, rising to the ceiling and adorned
with statues and sculptured groups.

The palace chapel, where the Danish kings were formerly crowned, has
likewise been restored and redecorated. The roof is rich with delicate
tracery and carving, the light falls through stained windows upon
sculptured capital and decorated arch, the curious prayer chamber where
many kings have worshipped rises above the high altar, and around the
upper galleries are hung the coats of arms of all the Danish nobles.
Opening from the gallery in the rear of the organ is a small room with
most beautifully carved doors and exquisitely inlaid wooden walls,
framing panels upon which are painted scenes representing the life of
Christ, by Prof. Bloch. The fittings and decorations of the room are
the gift of Morten Nielsen, the wealthy brewer of Carlsberg beer, the
favorite beer of the people of Denmark, and the guide told us the room
cost a million crowns (over a quarter of a million of dollars).

An hour’s journey by rail through a pleasant country, amid fertile
fields and green beech woods, brought us back to Copenhagen, and at
sunset we steamed out of the harbor with its forts, warships, and
trading vessels, the spires of the city fading from sight as we sailed
up the Sound, passing the great Kronberg fortress with its memories of
Hamlet, out into the Cattegat.

Among the passengers were an American widow and her young daughter,
who had been turned loose in Europe with a package of Cook’s tickets,
and for a year had been wandering around aimlessly. They were going
to Norway simply to escape hot weather, and as they could speak
nothing but English, and had neither guide book nor fixed plans for
their journey, they depended on those they might meet to tell them
what there was to be seen, and help them out of their difficulties.
We concluded it had been many a day since the aimless widow had had a
listener to her complaints, for her tongue was in incessant motion as
she unbosomed her troubles. But even its whirr could not drive back
the vague uncertain feeling that was creeping over us the farther we
advanced upon the rolling Cattegat, and we soon sought the seclusion of
our state-room, and passed a restless night until early morning, when
we arrived at Gothenburg, Sweden.



ACROSS SWEDEN BY THE

GOTHA CANAL.



CHAPTER II.

_ACROSS SWEDEN BY THE GOTHA

CANAL._

    A DAY AT GOTHENBURG—THE GOTHA CANAL—LIFE ON THE “VENUS”—KEEPING
    OUR MEAL ACCOUNTS—THE TROLLHÄTTA FALLS—PASTORAL SCENERY—SWEDISH
    BOARDING-SCHOOL GIRLS—LAKE MÄLAR.


Gothenburg, a busy commercial place of about 77,000 inhabitants, is,
next to Stockholm, the largest city in Sweden. It is situated on the
Gotha river, five miles from its mouth, with an excellent harbor. As
it has direct steamer communication with England and Scotland, and
close business relations with them, and as many English merchants and
manufacturers reside here, it seems almost like an English city. On
the steamboat quays, at hotels, railway stations, and in the streets,
English is spoken, so that our first impressions of Sweden had a
decided English tinge.

The city is well built, with solid stone quays along the numerous
canals running through it, is regularly laid out with wide streets,
and is furnished with horse-cars, parks, theatres, and all the adjuncts
of modern civilization.

At dinner at the hotel we first saw a peculiar Swedish institution
called the _smörgasbord_, which is considered a stimulator of the
appetite. All the natives, before sitting down to the regular table,
went to a small side table laden with salted and smoked fish, sardines,
fat herring in oil, boiled ham, smoked tongue, cold boiled eggs, potted
crabs, pickles, cheese, bread and butter, and standing around the table
helped themselves with a fork to a choice morsel, now here, now there,
which they washed down with small glasses of gin, brandy, and a liquor
called _kummel_, made from caraway seeds. At every dinner in Sweden you
will see the men, and often many ladies, apparently making a good meal
from the varied assortment on this side table, and then they sit down
to a regular dinner of several courses. It goes without saying, that to
one unaccustomed to its use, the _smörgasbord_, instead of increasing
the appetite, causes it to quickly disappear.

It was Sunday afternoon, and we drove out to a large park, a popular
resort of the people, where, under the trees and in shady quiet nooks,
families and groups of friends were enjoying basket picnics and a
healthful rest, in a quiet and orderly manner. Among the females
there was an entire absence of hats and bonnets, all wearing upon the
head black silk handkerchiefs edged with lace and bead trimming, while
those in mourning wore handkerchiefs with wide borders of crape; these
were all alike both for old and young, and the general effect was
decidedly funereal, though they heightened the charm of the fresh, rosy
complexions of the young maidens.

The park has fine, natural growths of trees, and is laid out into
drives and walks; and from a lofty ledge of rock there is an extensive
view of the city, harbor, and bay with its numerous rocky islands.

A glance at the map of Sweden will show that the country between
Gothenburg and Stockholm is largely occupied by lakes; in fact, it
is computed that the lakes of Sweden cover nearly one-eighth of its
whole area, and the largest lakes in the country are located in the
district between these two cities. Connecting links between this string
of lakes have been made by a system of canals furnished with locks;
rivers and natural water-courses have been rendered navigable, and
a line of internal navigation made, connecting the Baltic with the
Cattegat and the North Sea. The whole distance by the canal route from
the North Sea to the Baltic is two hundred and sixty English miles.
Baedeker states that the artificial part of this waterway, including
seventy-four locks in all, is about fifty-six miles in length. Four
of the locks are for regulating the level of the water. The highest
point of the canal is where it enters Lake Vettern, three hundred
feet above sea-level. The canal is forty-six feet wide at the bottom,
eighty-six feet on the surface, and is ten feet in depth. About seven
thousand barges and small steamers annually ply between the North Sea
and Lake Venern, and three thousand between Lake Venern and the Baltic.
The different parts of the canal between Gothenburg and Stockholm are
known collectively as the Gotha Canal; it is the most important system
in Sweden, where engineers have accomplished so much in perfecting
internal communication.

We decided to make the journey from Gothenburg to Stockholm by the
canal route, rather than by railway, although Baedeker strongly
recommends travellers in no case to make the whole journey by steamer,
as it would prove extremely tiresome and monotonous, and states
that the steamers leave much to be desired in point of comfort. Our
experience proved directly the opposite; and we look back upon it
as one of the most enjoyable parts of our journey in the North, and
it shows that the little _red book_ is not infallible, and that a
traveller must use his own judgment in the selection of routes.

The “Venus,” which bore us from Gothenburg at noon, is a trim and snug
little steamer, stubby and thick-set in build, being a little less than
one hundred feet long, that she may just fit into the locks of the
canals. There are six first-class cabins, cosy and comfortable, each
accommodating two persons, and the space at the stern is occupied by
a family arrangement of berths, so that there are accommodations for
twenty or more first-class passengers in all. There is a small dining
saloon forward, besides quarters for second and third class passengers.
As we stood on the upper deck, we looked at our neighbors, forming our
impressions of them. One man, wearing rather a shabby nautical suit,
and big coarse shoes with rubber soles, we decided was one of the deck
hands, until he cocked an eyeglass in his right eye. Heaven save the
mark! he proved to be an English marquis! A few pleasant Englishmen,
a jolly young Irish gentleman, and a lively Viennese couple, made up
the passenger list. As we gathered around the festive _smörgasbord_
and partook of its assorted contents, although our appetites seemed
sufficiently stimulated, and then sat down to our first dinner in what
was to be our home during the next two and a half days, the social ice
was broken, and we soon became talkative and acquainted.

A neat and graceful Swedish maiden, a personified Venus, served us with
a well-cooked and palatable dinner. Our ticket, including passage and
state-room, cost thirty crowns (eight dollars). The meals were extra,
and cost for the whole trip two dollars and a half, making the total
expense less than eleven dollars. A dinner for a gentleman costs two
crowns, for a child one crown, while the heavenly medium of one crown
and a half was the charge for a lady. By this arrangement, what was
lost on a lady with a large appetite was gained on a gentleman who was
a small eater.

When the dinner was finished, a long and narrow account-book was handed
to the gentleman at the head of the table; he entered the number of
his state-room, and then began a meal account in Swedish, entering his
dinner as _en Middag med Öl_ (one dinner with beer), and the charge
which appeared in the list of prices for each meal. This book was
passed to each one at the table after every meal, the keeping of the
account being left wholly to the individual, and it never seemed to be
verified. At the end of the journey each one settled his account as he
had kept it, and its correctness was not questioned.

Our course was up the Gotha river, and the latter part of the
afternoon we arrived at the Trollhätta Falls, a series of rapids and
waterfalls formed by the river, which proved the chief obstacle to the
construction of the Gotha Canal. The canal extends for two miles at the
side of the river to a point above these rapids, and a series of eleven
locks form a gigantic staircase, by which vessels ascend and descend
between the North Sea and Lake Venern, one hundred and forty-four feet
above. As it requires over two hours for a vessel to pass through the
locks, we left the “Venus,” and, under the guidance of a small urchin,
followed a narrow winding path through the fragrant fir and pine woods,
and along the river’s bank, visiting the various falls, six in number.
The finest is the Toppö Fall, forty-two feet high, which is divided by
an island reached by a frail, swinging suspension bridge. The great
volume of water plunging down the narrow space between precipitous
walls of rock renders the falls imposing, and in this respect they
are unsurpassed in Europe. The rapids above the various falls are
similar to those above and below Niagara, but the Gotha river is much
narrower. The roar of the waters, as they rushed and foamed among the
great boulders scattered through the rocky ravine, was quite inspiring;
but the picturesqueness of the scene was marred by the saw-mills and
manufactories along the banks. We were shown the usual collection of
Giant’s Cauldrons, Devil’s Kettles, and towers commanding extensive
views, and visited the locks of an abandoned canal, which mark the
first attempt to pass by these dangerous cataracts.

We arrived at the little village of Torghätta, above the falls, before
the “Venus,” and our walk having whetted our appetites we entered
a small inn, where, in an upper room with quaint old furnishings,
we gathered around the table laden with the varied collection of
the _smörgasbord_. One of the most motherly of old women, in quaint
headgear and figured kerchief, brought in fresh supplies, and divined,
rather than understood, our few Swedish words. We there tasted the
Swedish bread called _knäckebröd_, made of rye and barley baked in
thin circular sheets, eighteen inches in diameter, of the nature of
pilot bread or hard tack. It has a liberal sprinkling of anise and
caraway seeds, and is crisp and brittle, and pleasant to the taste, but
it sadly lacks filling qualities, for one can munch away upon it by
the hour, and still seem to have eaten nothing. The plates were piled
two feet high with the sheets of _knäckebröd_, and there seemed an
inexhaustible supply when we entered, yet they were nearly at low-water
level when we shook hands with the dear old lady and went aboard the
“Venus.”

We soon arrived at Venersborg, a town completely surrounded by water,
situated at the point where the Gotha river emerges from Lake Venern.
As we remained here for half an hour, we left the steamer for a stroll
about town; but we found that, like most of the little Swedish towns,
it was paved with cobble stones, both sidewalks and roadways; and
after ten minutes our feet ached from the pointed stones, and to those
wearing tennis shoes the walk became a torture, which we soon ended by
returning to the “Venus.”

Lake Venern, one hundred miles long and in places fifty miles wide, is
the largest of the Swedish lakes. We passed the night in crossing the
lake diagonally, and it proved a smooth passage, though at times severe
storms rage here, the same as upon our large inland seas.

It was the thirteenth of June, the season of long days. At quarter
past nine the sun set almost due north; the heavens were ablaze in
gold, crimson, and purple, burning in deep colors for over an hour.
The twilight was indescribable; so light was it that at half past ten
we read with ease the finest print, and not until after eleven did the
light perceptibly diminish, and the last trace of the sunset’s coloring
fade from the clouds.

The scenery of Sweden cannot be called beautiful, but it is very pretty;
it is mild, quiet, and pastoral in its nature, and has much sameness.

Low hills, small lakes, forests of fir and pine, cultivated fields with
farmhouses painted red, quiet little villages with small wooden houses
and a rustic church,—such are the features of the country traversed by
the canal before we reach Lake Vettern, the most beautiful of the great
lakes, eighty miles long and twelve wide. The hills on its banks are
higher, and the scenery much finer than along the shores of Lake Venern.

Motala is a picturesque place on the east shore of the lake, and
here we take on a large addition of passengers, among them a bevy of
boarding-school girls returning to their homes in Stockholm. Each girl
was decorated with flowers; bunches of flowers were pinned to their
hats, and long garlands adorned their dresses. There were very effusive
leave-takings, and as the “Venus” bore them from their companions
on the quay, the deck was showered with bouquets, and handkerchiefs
fluttered until the quay vanished from sight. School girls are the same
the world around—chattering, laughing, and full of life. Before they
had finished dinner we were all acquainted, and those who could speak
English and German were in animated conversation.

When the “meal book” went the rounds for the making up of accounts, the
young gentleman from Dublin, instead of the customary _en Middag med
Öl_, entered upon his account _one mad dog with oil_, which horrified
the girls who could comprehend an English pun.

The girls had been to a practical finishing school, where they had been
taught all kinds of needle-work, dressmaking, cooking, and everything
pertaining to housekeeping. They had made the tasty dresses they
wore, and although we had an extra good dinner that day, yet they all
declared they could cook a better one. In the school there had been no
studying, but while they were busy with the needle one of their number
read aloud; they also took turns in being housekeeper and having
entire charge of the house. They were well-informed and intelligent
young ladies from good families, and were evidently well fitted for
practical life.

Our journey now led through a series of small and pretty lakes,
connected by canals with many locks, whose course is descending, as
Lake Vettern, which we had just left, lies three hundred feet above
the Baltic. While the “Venus” was passing through the locks, we walked
on the banks of the “raging canal,” a merry party, the Viennese lady
acting as chaperon. We were wholly misled as to time by the long
lingering twilight, and only turned back when we discovered it was fast
approaching midnight; finding the “Venus” in a lock we went aboard to
disturbed slumbers, as she passed most of the night in going through
locks, and in receiving a liberal supply of bumps.

When we went on deck in the morning we seemed to be in the midst of
a deep forest, the canal being like a path through the woods, the
branches of the trees meeting above our heads. Later we came out among
small rocky islands, where we appeared to be completely shut in, and
it was difficult to divine which course the steamer would take, until
a sudden turn disclosed an egress. Farther on the course is partly on
the open Baltic, and partly among the great ledges of rock flanking the
coast, where the intricate navigation requires the utmost skill of the
pilot, until we enter the canal connecting the Baltic with Lake Mälar.

While stopping at a little village, women and children gathered around
the steamer with baskets filled with _kringlor_ (ring-shaped cakes) and
_pepperkakor_ (gingerbread), specialties of the place, and as they were
well patronized everyone was soon munching from a paper bag.

Lake Mälar has twelve hundred islands, and is similar in scenery to the
beautiful region of the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence river. We
now enter upon the most interesting part of our journey. As we proceed
down the lake towards Stockholm, we pass an island called the King’s
Hat, from a rock surmounted by a pole bearing a large iron hat, to
commemorate the tradition that Olaf Haraldssön, a Norwegian king, when
pursued by a king of Sweden, sprang with his horse from the cliff into
the lake and escaped, leaving his hat behind. On the islands are villas
and country houses, their summer residents gracing the lawns and rocks;
from concert gardens, gay with flags, festoons, and colored globes,
float strains of music across the water, while numerous pleasure
steamers and gay boating parties, going from island to island, enliven
the scene.

Down the lake, first a lofty spire, then several towers, come into
view. What appears in the distance like a cloud of smoke floating above
the houses on each side of a tall tower, we discover on approaching
nearer to be a network of telephone wires, stretching above the roofs,
converging to the immense standard tower above the central office. Now
we have a striking view of Stockholm, rising on islands and cliffs from
the lake, with its harbor and quays full of shipping, and the palace
and church towers standing out prominently.

We say farewell to the officers of the “Venus,” all of whom speak
excellent English and have done their utmost to make our voyage
pleasant; the school girls flutter into the arms of their parents and
friends awaiting on the quay, and our little company of travellers
proceed to the same hotel, leaving the “Venus” with most pleasant
recollections of our journey across Sweden.



IN AND ABOUT STOCKHOLM.



CHAPTER III.

_IN AND ABOUT STOCKHOLM._

    THE ISLANDS AND FEATURES OF THE CITY—THE WESTMINSTER ABBEY OF
    SWEDEN—INTERESTING MUSEUMS—THE LEADING CITY FOR TELEPHONES—SCENES
    AT EVENING CONCERTS—THE MULTITUDE OF EXCURSIONS—DOWN THE BALTIC TO
    VAXHOLM—ROYAL CASTLES ON THE LAKE—THE UNIVERSITY TOWN OF UPSALA.


The Grand Hotel is, next to the Royal Palace, the most imposing
building in Stockholm. It is situated on a broad quay, near the
National Museum, opposite the Palace, overlooking the bridge over the
junction of Lake Mälar with the bay of the Baltic, and is near the
concert gardens, public parks, and the centre of the city’s activity.
Though its appointments are quite palatial, its charges are moderate, a
comfortable room costing, with attendance, but eighty cents a day, and
one is free to take his meals wherever he chooses.

No city of its size contains so many fine restaurants as Stockholm,
and one quickly falls into the custom of the natives of dining at
restaurants, in parks and concert gardens, among trees and flowers in
the open air, with the accompaniment of good orchestral music. The
food is well cooked and inexpensive, and one can live well at a daily
expense of less than two dollars for room and meals.

Stockholm, a city of 175,000 inhabitants, is more interesting from its
situation than from any striking beauty of its streets and buildings.
It is built upon nine islands and the mainland, at the point where Lake
Mälar flows into the Baltic Bay, nearly forty miles from the Baltic
proper. One of the larger islands contains the immense Royal Palace,
a prominent feature in every view of the city, and constitutes with
two adjoining islands the headquarters of trade and shipping. This
is the oldest part of the town and is called “the city,” it having
been the nucleus of the city in its early history, and it was many
years before its limits were extended beyond these three islands. The
mainland to the south rises abruptly from the water in lofty cliffs;
long flights of steps and zigzag streets lead to the top, and an
elevator takes passengers up for five öre (a cent and a third), while
the charge descending is three öre (four-fifths of a cent), to catch
the people who are more liable to walk down. This part of the city is
only interesting from its extended views. From the Mosebacke on the
summit, one of the finest restaurants in the vicinity, is spread out a
delightful view of the city on its islands, of the shipping and traffic
on the Baltic Bay and Lake Mälar, and the islands and wooded mainland
in the distance.

One of the smaller islands is chiefly occupied by naval and military
establishments, and connected with it by a bridge is the Castle island,
with barracks and a small fortress. On the mainland to the north is the
substantial and well-built modern quarter, with wide streets containing
the chief shops, hotels, parks, and museums.

The Riddarholms church in “the city” is the Westminster Abbey of
Sweden, as for centuries it has been the burial-place of kings and the
most celebrated men of the land. The walls of the nave are hung with
battle flags and the armorial bearings of the knights of the Seraphim
Order, the highest in Sweden; at the sides are burial chapels, in the
aisles are burial vaults and monuments, and you walk over a pavement
of tombstones. On the right of the high altar is the chapel, where, in
a green marble sarcophagus, repose the remains of Gustavus Adolphus,
the most famous of all the Swedish kings, who ranks as one of the
ablest military commanders of his age, who by his brilliant victories
and career raised Sweden to the proudest position she has ever occupied
in history. Between the windows of this chapel are Austrian, Russian,
and other battle flags,—trophies of his victories. Adjoining is the
Bernadotte chapel, containing in a porphyry sarcophagus the remains of
Charles XIV. John, the founder of the present ruling dynasty. During
the reign of the childless and unpopular Charles XIII., the dominant
party in Sweden, with the idea of conciliating Napoleon, elected
Bernadotte, one of his generals, as crown prince. By his steady support
of the allies against Napoleon, he obtained at the congress of Vienna
possession of Norway, when that country separated from Denmark. In 1818
he succeeded to the throne, and though at first the nation entertained
very little regard for their alien sovereign, yet he and his successors
have so advanced the material prosperity of the united kingdoms of
Sweden and Norway, and have so identified themselves with the interests
and national peculiarities of their subjects, that they have won their
affection and loyalty.

Beneath the chapels are the vaults containing the remains of the
members of successive ruling families. There is nothing beautiful nor
impressive about the church; the interior is bare and dingy, every
one walks about wearing his hat, without any outward respect for the
place or its occupants; people rush down the steps leading to the
burial vaults, crowd against each other, peer through the iron bars of
the gates at the coffins in the dusky interior, with the same eager
curiosity as if viewing the victims at a morgue. Religious services are
held here only on the occasion of a royal funeral.

The National Museum is a handsome building in the Renaissance style.
It comprises an historical collection of all kinds of objects, from
prehistoric to the present time; a collection of ancient and modern
sculpture, armor, and weapons; and upon the upper floor a picture
gallery, which is of little importance when compared with the famous
galleries of Europe; the paintings, however, by modern artists, of
Swedish life, scenery, and historical incidents are very interesting,
particularly those by Tidemand. In a room containing a display of the
coronation robes, uniforms, and gala costumes of the Swedish kings and
queens are shown the blood-stained clothes worn by Gustavus Adolphus
during his battles in Prussia, and the sheet in which his body was
wrapped after the battle of Lützen.

In a small square at the side of the Museum is the Bältespännare, an
excellent bronze statue, giving a spirited representation of the old
Scandinavian duel, where the combatants were bound together by a belt
at the waist, and fought with knives until one, or both, were killed.
It is said that the women were wont to carry winding sheets for their
husbands when they attended banquets where quarrels were likely to
occur. On the pedestal are four bas-reliefs showing the origin and
result of the duel—jealousy, drinking, the beginning of the combat, and
the widow’s lament. In the last the widow is represented kneeling in
grief before the tomb of her husband, the dead duellist.

The Northern Museum is interesting from its figures in costumes,
representing peasant groups, brides adorned with heavy gold and silver
crowns and trinkets, and family scenes with reproductions of interiors.
In one large group of Laplanders, where some are seated in sledges
drawn by reindeer, and other figures are gathered about a tent, were
several stuffed dogs, as we thought, lying before the tent. They looked
so natural that we could not refrain from chirping to them, when with a
bound they sprang towards us, much to our dismay, for we expected to
see the whole stuffed collection come to life.

There is a large collection of household articles, costumes, and
ornaments, all interesting, as they illustrate the everyday life of
the people in remote regions, or in past years. Hung against the wall
were curious articles in wood, two feet long and six inches wide, with
a smooth flat surface on the under side; they were elaborately painted
and had handles carved grotesquely, and were used for ironing linen. We
saw chairs made of the trunk of a tree, into the seat of which had been
driven human teeth, in the belief that this would be a preventive of
toothache in the future.

The young women who served as attendants in the Museum were dressed in
the Dalecarlia costume, and we saw many in the same picturesque costume
about the streets of Stockholm. It consists of a high peaked black cap
with red piping along the seams, and a border of white trimming where
it rests upon the head; a bright handkerchief worn over a loose sleeved
white waist; a skirt of dark blue homespun with little bodice trimmed
with red, and a rainbow-striped apron extending in front to the bottom
of the dress, complete the striking costume. The jaunty cap sets off
the rosy cheeks and fresh complexions of the “midnight sunbeams” thus
adorned, while an abundance of silver trinkets, and a small bag swung
over the shoulder by a gayly embroidered strap, render it the prettiest
costume we saw in the North.

In our walks about the city, we constantly saw in the shop
windows—Telephone ten öre; where such a notice is displayed any one
is at liberty to enter and use a telephone at a cost of _two and
three quarters cents_. We were told by a resident connected with the
central office that, in proportion to its inhabitants, Stockholm has
more telephones than any city in the world. We judged there must be a
large number of subscribers, from the vast network of telephone wires
which was the first thing to attract our attention as we approached the
city in coming down Lake Mälar. Stockholm may be slow in obtaining new
inventions, but when they come they are generally adopted.

The city has a good horse-car system, with large open cars the same as
ours; one can make the complete circuit of the city at the cost of ten
öre (two and three quarters cents). The conductor collected the fares
in a closed box, much like a child’s bank, and if one did not happen to
have the right change, he was given a sealed package of small money to
enable him to make his contribution.

It seemed strange indeed to start after nine o’clock to walk out of
the city to a high hill, to view the sunset. The sunset coloring is
gorgeous, lingering for a long time, and succeeded by a twilight
so bright, that at eleven o’clock one can read the finest print.
This long twilight is the most enjoyable part of the whole day, and
every one is out of doors. The people gather in the King’s Garden, a
beautiful public resort adorned with statues of kings, fountains, and
bright parterres of flowers; or in the Berzelii Park with its pleasant
promenades. Adjacent to both are cafés and concert gardens, bright with
lights more for decoration than for use, where bands or orchestras
in brightly lighted music pavilions, furnish popular music for the
entertainment of the merry throng seated at small round tables under
the trees, sipping black coffee, eating ices, and drinking toddy, or
the famous Swedish punch made of arrack, wine, and sugar. The stronger
liquors seem to be more in vogue than beer, though the latter is good,
but stronger and not so pleasant to the taste as German beer.

Within the restaurants, or upon the wide verandas, are gathered family
groups and lively supper parties; all are laughing and talking, the
busy waiters in dress suits are taking and delivering orders and
pocketing fees, and the whole scene is one of great animation.

The Strömparterre is a popular evening resort on an island just below
the palace, connected by the Norrbro bridge with the fine quays on
each side. It is where the waters of Lake Mälar mingle with those of
the Baltic Bay, and is the great centre of the city’s activity, and
the principal starting point for the little steamers running in all
directions.

Every evening on the brightly illuminated island there is a band
concert. Whoever takes a seat at one of the tables before the band
stand is expected to order something, but to the crowd of people who
sit on the settees at the sides, who stand, or promenade outside the
tables, the music is furnished “without money and without price.” All
over Stockholm, on little islands, and at the Mosebacke on the heights,
are evening concerts which are thronged until midnight, and the glare
of lights, and the sound of music is wafted over the quiet waters.

The Swedes make the most of every pleasant hour of their short summer;
when they slept we never knew, for even at midnight, as we went to our
hotel, the streets were filled with people, and many were still sitting
beneath the trees in the gardens; perhaps they hibernate during the
long winter, and sleep enough for the whole year.

The Djurgard (deer park) is a delightful public park, occupying an
island two miles long and about a mile wide situated a short distance
down the Baltic Bay, and is reached by horse-cars and several lines
of small steamers. It contains many restaurants and cafés, where
concerts are given both day and evening, the finest of them all being
the Hasselbacken, a favorite resort for dinner parties; there are also
numerous summer theatres and places of popular amusement, among them a
Tivoli, which is a very inferior copy of its model at Copenhagen.

The park has mostly been left in its natural state; drives and walks
extend through its stretches of grassy lawn and natural forest,
furnishing views, through occasional openings, of the rocky islands and
shipping in the Baltic. A royal villa called Rosendal is situated on
the northern side of the park, and upon a hill has been built a tower
called the Belvedere, from which there is a view of Stockholm and its
surroundings. Many private villas have been built on the island, and
at one end near the water is an asylum for the deaf, dumb, and blind;
yet a few paces away the rocky ledges and leafy solitudes give the
impression that one is a long distance from civilization.

As in Stockholm water is so plentiful and bridges comparatively few,
there is an abundance of little steam launches taking passengers for
a few öre across the water, or up and down the bay from one island to
another. The multitude of these little boats, the steamers running to
places on the lake and up the fjords of the bay, together with the
large sea-going steamers going out upon the Baltic and to foreign
lands, present a scene of ever-changing variety and animation.

The delightful excursions one can make by steamer are the chief charm
of Stockholm. They seem innumerable, and I think if one passed the
entire summer there he could take a new excursion every day. The long
lines of steamers drawn up to the quays, and the lists of places to
which they run, were perfectly bewildering; our limited stay permitted
us to visit only the most attractive points.

Sight-seeing at Stockholm furnished a restful variety. The mornings
were devoted to the museums and sights of the city, the afternoons to
steamer excursions up the lake or down the bay, returning for dinner
to one of the garden restaurants, and the evenings were passed at the
open-air concerts.

The trip by steamer to Vaxholm occupies an hour and a half; we pass
down the Baltic Bay, full of small islands, at many of which, and at
points on the mainland, the steamer touches to leave passengers, bound
for their country seats scattered along the beautiful wooded shores.
The whole family are on the wharf awaiting the steamer’s arrival;
paterfamilias is kissed and embraced, the olive branches seize upon his
baskets and bundles, and as we steam away the little groups disappear
down shady walks, or gather on the wide piazzas of their summer homes.
Vaxholm is a small island of rock, a favorite resort of the residents
of Stockholm for sea-bathing, who have built here small wooden houses
in which they pass the summer. A fortress covers the greater part of an
island near by, which commands the only practical approach to Stockholm
for large sea-going vessels. In a field beyond the houses of Vaxholm
several companies of soldiers were being drilled; from a platform
crowning the summit of a rocky ledge we overlooked their movements,
and enjoyed the view of the Baltic, thickly strewed with islands and
detached masses and ledges of rock emerging from the dark waters.

The royal castle of Ulriksdal is reached by steamer, after a journey
of constantly increasing beauty of scenery as we ascend the fjord,
with its fertile and wooded shores; the fjord becomes very narrow as we
approach the castle, situated on the water’s edge, embowered in trees,
with a pleasing prospect of blue waters framed in by green hills. We
walked through a fine avenue of noble trees called the Ulriksdal Allée,
extending for a mile to a lake, which unfolded lovely views as we
crossed by steamer to Haga, and took the horse-cars back to Stockholm.

Another enjoyable excursion is by steamer among the islands of Lake
Mälar to the palace of Drottningholm, built upon a large island, where
the royal family generally reside from August until October. The
palace contains an imposing double staircase, and handsomely furnished
apartments commanding views of the gardens and lake. One hall contains
portraits of Oscar I. and his reigning contemporaries, among them a
very flattering one of Queen Victoria. Near the palace is a theatre,
and a Chinese pagoda containing a collection of Chinese curiosities.
The gardens are laid out in the old French style, and are adorned with
statues, fountains, and parterres of flowers, while the park, with its
fine old trees and greensward, abounds in pleasant walks and drives.

Gripsholm, farther up the lake, is a mediæval castle with picturesque
towers and battlements rising from the water, amid dark green trees.
Many historical souvenirs cluster around this old castle, which are
mostly connected with the sons of Gustavus Vasa. It has been fitted up
as a museum, and contains a very extensive collection of portraits of
royal and historical personages, and many interesting pieces of ancient
furniture, tapestry, and plate.

Forty miles by railway, north of Stockholm, is Upsala, the famous
university town of Sweden, the historical and intellectual centre of
the kingdom, and the stronghold of ancient paganism. On the brow of a
hill, approached by a fine granite terrace and wide flights of steps,
is the handsome modern University building of brick, with granite
trimmings. The foundation of the University dates from 1477; it has
been richly endowed by successive kings, and numbers about fifteen
hundred students, who are distinguished about the quiet streets by
their small white caps.

Opposite the University is the ancient Gothic cathedral, whose chief
object of interest is the tomb of Gustavus Vasa, who lies buried
between his first two wives, while number three is interred in a
different part of the chapel; the sides of the burial chapel are
frescoed with scenes from his life.

The sleepy little town was rather disappointing: its streets are paved
with small cobble stones, there are a few promenades, small parks, and
concert gardens, with here and there a large building connected with
the University, containing a library or a laboratory. On a barren hill
is the large and ugly castle built by Gustavus Vasa, commanding an
extended view of the surrounding country, in which Gamla Upsala (Old
Upsala), three miles away, is visible.

At Old Upsala are the three Kungshögar (king’s heights), mounds over
fifty feet high, said to mark the graves of Odin, Thor, and Freya, the
three great gods of Scandinavian mythology. Two of these mounds have
been opened and a few bones and an urn found.

Another mound is called the Tingshög (assize-hill), from which the
ancient kings used to harangue their subjects.

The splendid temple adorned with gold, within which sat the statues of
Odin, Thor, and Freya, and the sacred grove adjoining, have disappeared
leaving no vestige behind; but a quaint little stone church is said
to mark the site of this most sacred shrine of Scandinavian worship,
around which clustered the principal traditions of Northern mythology.



RAILWAY JOURNEY TO

THRONDHJEM.



CHAPTER IV.

_RAILWAY JOURNEY TO THRONDHJEM._

    SWEDISH RAILWAYS AND MEAL STATIONS—AMONG THE SNOW BANKS—THE DESCENT
    TO THRONDHJEM—THE SHRINE OF ST. OLAF—NORTH CAPE STEAMERS.


From Upsala we started on a railway journey of four hundred and
ninety-four miles across Sweden to Throndhjem (Drontheim in English),
on the west coast of Norway, the distance being accomplished in thirty
hours, allowing liberal stops for meals _en route_.

Only second and third class carriages are run upon the road, a second
class ticket costing $11.25 for the entire journey.

The second class carriages are very comfortable, and are constructed
on the same plan as those in Austria, and like those now becoming
quite common throughout Germany. You enter from platforms at the
ends, a narrow passage extends the length of the car along one side,
upon which open the compartments by double sliding doors. When the
compartment doors are open a view is obtained from both sides, and when
weary from long-continued sitting one can walk up and down the passage.
There are toilet conveniences at one end, and the whole arrangement
is a great improvement over the old style, where the compartments are
entered from the sides and are entirely separated.

The railway, which was completed in 1882, passes through the eastern
part of the great mining district of Sweden, particularly rich in iron
and copper mines, and also possessing lead, nickel, zinc, and a few
gold and silver mines. The scenery is rather uninteresting, and the
small villages of plain wooden houses have little to attract one’s
notice. At one place we saw, across the road near the station, a wooden
building bearing a sign along its entire length, with this word in
large capital letters, all of a size: “J. JOHNSSONSDIVERSHANDEL” (J.
Johnson’s variety store), which is as long a word as some of its German
cousins.

On the Swedish time tables, a crossed knife and fork before the name of
a station signifies that it is a meal station. Our first experience was
at Storvik, where we arrived about four o’clock for dinner.

We entered a dining room, around which were arranged little tables
covered with snowy linen; in the centre stood a large table, one end
spread with the usual diversified collection of the _smörgasbord_, at
the other were piles of plates, knives, forks, and napkins. The soup
is brought in and placed on the central table; each one helps himself,
and, taking it to one of the small tables, eats at his leisure; the
soup finished you serve yourself with fish, roast meats, chicken, and
vegetables, in quantity and variety as you choose, and return to your
table. The servants replenish the supplies on the large table, remove
soiled plates and bring tea, coffee, beer, or wine, as ordered, to
the occupants of the small tables, but each one must serve himself
from the various courses, ending with pudding and nuts and raisins.
There was none of the hurry, bustle, and crowding usually encountered
in a railway restaurant, but plenty of time was given for a quiet,
comfortable meal, with no necessity for bolting your food.

For this abundant and well-cooked dinner the charge was forty
cents,—tea, coffee, beer, and wine being extra. Your word was taken
without questioning regarding the extras, as you paid for them and your
dinner at the table from which the coffee was dispensed. The matter of
payment was left entirely to the individual, and it never, apparently,
had entered the manager’s mind that one could easily have walked off,
without first conferring with the woman at the coffee urn.

After dinner there was time for a short walk up and down the platform,
and then we continued our journey through a country where the rail
fences, red farm houses, pine trees, and abundance of stumps and rocks,
made us imagine we were in Maine or New Hampshire, instead of on the
other side of the “great pond.” The scenery improved, and in places
was beautiful, especially as we skirted the shores of a chain of lakes
formed by the Ljusne river; and under a sky burning with the gorgeous
coloring of a brilliant Northern sunset, we arrived at half-past nine
at the little station where we were to take supper. Here was the same
arrangement as at dinner, each one waiting upon himself, and a good
supper of fish, hot and cold meats, eggs, tea and coffee was furnished
for thirty cents, which is likewise the charge for a substantial
breakfast.

There were few passengers on the train, and during most of the day we
two had had a compartment to ourselves. There are no sleeping cars on
the route, so as it was getting late we closed and fastened the doors
of our compartment, drew the curtains to shut out the bright light of
the Northern night, and lying on the long seats covered with our thick
railway rugs slept undisturbed, until suddenly awakened by a loud
rapping at our door. The train was in a station, female voices were
calling to us in Swedish, and we sprang up anxious to learn the cause
of this unlooked-for visitation. But when the door was opened, the dear
creatures beat a hasty retreat the moment they saw us, and evidently
were as surprised as ourselves at our meeting; as we soon heard their
voices in a neighboring compartment, we knew they had found those they
were seeking.

At five o’clock in the morning we arrived at Ostersund, where the train
stopped for an hour. We paid four cents and entered a toilet room with
marble wash-bowls, brushes, an abundance of fresh towels, and that
article which is never furnished free in Europe—soap. After taking
bread and coffee, and a brisk walk, we felt as fresh and rested as
though we had passed the night in the state-room of a vestibule Pullman.

We had previously congratulated each other on having a compartment to
ourselves; on resuming our journey, during the entire forenoon, we were
the sole occupants of a whole car.

We skirt the shores of a series of lakes connected by rivers, and then
through a dreary country ascend the range of mountains separating
Sweden from Norway. We pass through snow sheds, and between high
board fences built to keep the drifting snow from the track (both
much simpler in construction than those along the roads crossing the
Rocky Mountains), and in the midst of snow banks, enveloped in a thick
chilling mist, arrive at Storlien, two thousand feet above sea-level,
the last station in Sweden. We gather for the last time about the
_smörgasbord_ (we never saw it later in Norway), and a good dinner
cheers us in our desolate surroundings.

Then we enter the Norwegian train of second and third class carriages,
on the common European model of compartments entered from the sides,
with the second class, in their fittings, fully equal to the first of
many other countries, and begin the descent to the sea coast. The snow
mountains are veiled by clouds, there is little vegetation, barren
rocks are succeeded by marshy land and swamps, but soon we emerge from
the mist into bright sunshine.

We are the only occupants of the second class carriage; the guard, who
speaks English, opens the door as we arrive at a station and tells us
how long we are to stop, and following the general custom we get out
for a few minutes’ walk, and to look at the natives.

We were both intently reading when the door opened and the guard made
this startling announcement: “Gentlemen, this is Hell; we stop five
minutes.” We hastily left our seats to see the place against which we
had been warned all our lives, hoping at least to refresh ourselves
with a few glasses of sulphur water. No fumes of sulphur, no odor
of brimstone greeted us, but instead, “a nipping and an eager air”
enveloped the forlorn little settlement, even on that summer afternoon.
Whatever _Hell_ may signify in Norwegian, this place is decidedly
different as regards climate from that of the same name mentioned in
King James’ version.

Descending from Hell the railroad runs for a long distance close to
the edge of the lovely Throndhjem fjord, with its transparent waters,
clusters of islands, and on the opposite side its deeply indented and
darkly wooded shores, with a background of pale blue mountains. Then
we roll into the most northern railway station in the world, and are
in Throndhjem, a city of 23,000 inhabitants, the third largest city in
Norway, situated on a line with the south coast of Iceland.

The houses are mostly built of wood, on very wide streets as a
protection against the spread of conflagrations. At the head of a long
street stands the cathedral, the most interesting edifice in the North.
It is built over the burial site of St. Olaf, the Norwegian king who
first introduced Christianity into his country, at the end of the tenth
century. A succession of fires has destroyed the interior, which for
years has been in process of restoration, and at the present time the
nave, from the transepts to the west end, is given up to masons and
stone-cutters, who are busy upon its reconstruction.

The choir ends in an exquisitely sculptured octagon formerly containing
the relics of St. Olaf, on the south side of which is St. Olaf’s well.
Tradition assures us that it burst forth from the place where the saint
was buried. The early kings of Norway were crowned and buried here,
and, by the present constitution, every king of Sweden and Norway
is required to repair to Throndhjem for coronation in this historic
cathedral.

Surrounding this old edifice is the “cathedral garden,” so called, a
graveyard where each grave is buried beneath flowering shrubs, with
vases of fresh-cut flowers before the tombstones, and where the seats
beside the graves bespeak an unbroken connection between the living and
the dead.

Rising on a high hill just back of the town is an old fortress, now
disused, although a sentry still keeps guard upon one of its ramparts.
We climbed thither in the twilight, to enjoy the extended view over
the old city, with its background of rugged hills, and the river Nid
winding through it, with picturesque bridges, old wooden warehouses,
and shipping along its quays. Out in the blue fjord is the little
island called Munkholm, covered by a fortress commanding the harbor,
small islands rise from the water, and across the wide fjord wooded
hills extend upward from the shores, and the view is closed by distant
mountains.

In one of the streets we saw throngs of peasants, who had come into
the city to the weekly market, bringing butter and produce, besides an
endless variety of cheeses, rolls of homespun cloth, and linen from the
hand-loom. We strolled along the quays, interested in the shipping and
the sea-faring men, and visited the finer buildings in the city, built
of stone, occupied by shops with a fine display of goods; but we found
the place chiefly interesting from its natural beauty and situation.

Our first impression of the Norwegians was a favorable one, for as we
left the hotel and were vainly trying to find our way to a steamship
office with an unpronounceable name, we asked a man both in English and
German to direct us. Not understanding, but finding out where we wished
to go from our pointing to the name in our guide book, he immediately
turned and conducted us a long distance, and even when we were within
sight of the building would not leave us until we arrived at the very
doorway, when he politely touched his hat and disappeared before we had
a chance to thank him.

During June and July Throndhjem is full of tourists, who take the
steamer here for the North Cape and the regions of the midnight sun.

The steamers start from Christiania and Bergen, but most travellers,
instead of taking the long and disagreeable voyage along the coast, go
directly from Christiania to Throndhjem by rail, a distance of three
hundred and sixty miles. From the middle of June until the end of July
two tourist steamers leave Bergen and Throndhjem weekly, and make the
trip from Throndhjem to the North Cape and return in eight days. These
steamers are handsomely fitted up, take only first-class passengers,
and stop at but few places, yet in their course they include the
grandest features of the scenery. The price of round-trip tickets,
including everything, varies from 250 to 350 crowns ($67.50 to $94.50)
according to location of state-room and number occupying the same.
There are also two lines of mail steamers coming from Christiania,
which leave Throndhjem weekly for the North Cape, and a line of
steamers from Hamburg to the North Cape and Vadsö, leaving Throndhjem
once a week. The mail steamers run up the fjords along the coast, call
at all of the little out-of-the-way places, and occupy eleven days in
the round trip between Throndhjem and the North Cape.

The ticket, including passage and state-room, costs 111 crowns ($30),
and there is a daily charge, for meals and attendance, of five and a
half crowns, making $16.50 for the meals, and a total of $46.50 for the
cost of the round trip.

As our object was to see as much of the country and people as possible,
and as we preferred to save half the cost of the journey to three
days of time, we engaged passage in a mail steamer, and shall always
consider ourselves very fortunate to have made this decision; for since
making the journey we have often compared experiences with travellers
who have been by the tourist steamers, and have found that we saw
much more, visited more points of interest, and learned more about the
people and the country.



THE NORWEGIAN NORDLAND.



CHAPTER V.

_THE NORWEGIAN NORDLAND._

    THE EVER-PRESENT SALMON—A CHEESE EXHIBITION—THE BLESSED ISLAND
    BELT—TORGHÄTTA AND THE SEVEN SISTERS—SCENES WITHIN THE ARCTIC
    CIRCLE—VISIT TO THE SVARTISEN GLACIER—COASTING ALONG THE LOFODEN
    ISLANDS—SEA FOWL AND EIDER DUCKS—REINDEER SWIMMING ACROSS THE FJORD.


At noon, June 23rd, we stood on the deck of the mail steamer “Kong
Halfdan”; the last passenger with boxes and luggage had come aboard,
the bridge was drawn in, cables thrown off, we drew out from the wharf,
and steamed down the fjord on our long journey to the North Cape.

The captain, mates, and stewards all spoke English, that being one of
the requirements for the holding of their positions, and they were well
informed, social, and obliging. We were satisfied with the fittings of
the steamer which was to be our home during the next eleven days, and
though they were not elegant, they were comfortable, and everything
was neat and clean. The state-rooms, each for two persons, contain
plush sofas at the sides, converted into berths at night, and between
these sofas, beneath the port hole, is a washstand forming a table
when closed. Our luggage and belongings were stowed away under the
sofas, and arranged in racks and on hooks. There are accommodations
for twenty-four first-class passengers. The saloon is at the stern,
fitted with an upholstered plush seat extending around the sides, with
two tables down the centre, at which we gathered three times daily. On
deck is a smoking-room, the chief resort of both ladies and gentlemen,
who spend most of the time there when it is too cold or stormy to sit
beneath the awning, upon the deck in its rear.

At two o’clock we assembled for dinner, consisting of soup, boiled
salmon, entrées, roast meats, and delicious cakes and pastries.

Almost the first word the tourist will learn in Norway is _Lax_
(salmon), for he is absolutely certain to see it upon the table every
day during his stay in the country. During our steamer trip we were
served with salmon three times daily; it came upon the table boiled,
fried, broiled, and smoked; we were served with salmon salad, salmon
jelly, and salmon pudding.

The pudding is the _chef d’œuvre_ of the Norwegian cook’s art. The
fish is first separated from the bones, cut into small pieces, and
after being chopped fine is mixed with eggs, milk, and flour, seasoned
with salt and pepper, and boiled in a mould. It is generally made from
salmon and cod or halibut arranged in layers, and as it appears upon
the table it looks like a mould of strawberry and vanilla ice-cream, or
a variegated Italian cream or blanc mange. Its consistency is somewhat
firmer than the last, and as we eat it for the first time at dinner,
served after the soup, we were full of wondering and questioning as to
what it could be. A lobster or shrimp sauce is eaten with it, and it
forms a palatable dish; we did not relish it as well upon its second
appearance at supper cut into slices and fried.

The smoked salmon is uncooked, and is cured and prepared much like
smoked halibut. It always graces the breakfast table, and we became
quite fond of it, although many dislike it exceedingly.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Norwegian salmon are considered the
best in the world, and we took on new supplies of them at the little
ports, where they had been taken fresh from the water, yet after
sitting down to thirty-three meals in succession where _Lax_ in some
form was always one of the constituents, we must confess that, though
we started upon the voyage with a great fondness for salmon, at its end
_Lax_ had lost all its charms.

But we never tired of the delicious lobsters we had every night for
supper, which were big fellows like those formerly caught along the New
England coast.

As we sat down to the supper table the first evening we imagined
ourselves at a _cheese exhibition_, for arranged down the centre of the
table were _twelve_ different varieties of cheese. What they were named
we never knew, but all tasted different, and ranged in strength from
the mildest of cheese to the _Gamla Ost_ (old cheese), which from its
hoary, wizened, and furrowed appearance, seemed to be the grandfather
of them all. The _Mysost_ is made of goats’ milk boiled until the water
is evaporated, forming a sort of sugar of milk, which is pressed into
square cakes of a light chocolate color, weighing from two to five
pounds. It is generally quite soft, is cut into extremely thin slices,
and at first taste seems to be a sweetened mixture of soap and sand, but
one can cultivate a taste for it and grow to like it. It is a great
favorite with children and ladies, and often appears on the table
enclosed in a case of tissue paper, which is perforated and cut into
various ornamental designs, with a bright ribbon tied around the top.

Both at breakfast and supper the table was covered with an array of
sardines, anchovies, caviar, fat herring in oil, cold hams, smoked
reindeer meat and tongues, and ten different varieties of long cold
sausages, from which one was free to cut liberal slices. The whole
collection looked as if it had made numerous voyages to the North Cape,
and had basked in the midnight sunbeams for several seasons.

We attempted to eat some of the smoked reindeer meat, but it was like
trying to masticate an old rubber shoe, and we gave up in despair.

This collection, taking the place of the _smörgasbord_, constitutes
the regular stand-bys at every breakfast and supper, and in addition
we were served with fish, eggs, and hot meats. There is always an
abundance of food, and good of its kind, but we missed the fruit and
vegetables, which, with the exception of potatoes, cannot be grown in
Norway except near Bergen and in a few localities in the south; and we
tired of the ever-recurring salmon and fish.

The entire coast of Norway is cut up by innumerable fjords, which are
long bays or arms of the sea, penetrating far inland between rocky
cliffs, contracting as they advance until many of them end in narrow
creeks. Extending along nearly the whole coast is a fringe of islands,
forming what is called the “island belt.” The course of the steamer is
between these islands and the mainland, so there is very little motion,
and it is only where there is a break in this belt of islands, when
the steamer crosses a wide fjord where it opens into the sea, or goes
out into the open ocean, that one feels the swell and movement. As the
steamers continue within this “blessed island belt” the greater part of
the way to the North Cape, the voyage is mostly robbed of the miseries
of sea-sickness.

The first night of the journey was Saint John’s eve. Following an
ancient custom, great bonfires blazed along the coast, from eleven
o’clock until after midnight. Wherever there was a small fishing
settlement, little farm house, or solitary hut,—high on a neighboring
rocky point the flames leaped heavenward; both forward and in the rear
the coast glowed with these great spots of fire, and amid the solitude,
wild scenery, and bright twilight, the effect was extremely weird. It
was the evening of the longest day of the year, and although we were
not yet within the region of perpetual day, yet at half-past eleven we
could read fine print with ease, and the captain said it would grow no
darker.

Seen from a distance, a mass of rock forming an island looks like
a man’s hat floating on the water, the crown and broad rim being
distinctly outlined. It is called the Torghätta (market hat), and about
half way up the crown, which is eight hundred feet high, it is pierced
by a natural tunnel, whose east entrance is sixty-two feet high and
west end two hundred and forty-six feet high.

As you pass on the west side and are opposite the tunnel, the opening
at a distance appears like a patch of snow upon the dark rock;
approaching nearer you see the walls of the tunnel, with a view of the
sky through the smaller opening on the east side, yet after advancing a
certain distance in the steamer and looking backward, nothing is seen
but a solid wall of rock, with no intimation of an opening.

There is a legend connected with the rock, that while a maiden was
pursued by her lover, her brother attempted her rescue; the lover shot
and pierced the brother’s hat with an arrow, and the sun shone through
the opening, changing the maiden into stone. Not far away, a curiously
shaped mountain is known as the Giant Maiden, to which the Norwegians
doff their hats as they sail by.

What are called the Seven Sisters is a group of six mountains, the
summit of one being divided into two peaks, rising precipitously three
thousand feet above the water; when we passed them their summits were
veiled in clouds, and the captain facetiously remarked: “They have
their nightcaps on, and like most Norwegian girls are coy and afraid of
showing their faces to foreigners.”

In places along the narrow fjords we saw white marks and stripes
painted on the rocks, and planks painted white, floating in the water,
for the purpose of deceiving the salmon, that mistake them for their
favorite waterfalls, and are thus decoyed into nets.

We stop at little stations with clusters of small red houses; the
natives row out to us in graceful boats with high pointed stern and
prow resembling the Venetian gondolas, bringing us passengers whose
belongings are contained in gaily painted and decorated oval wooden
boxes, of various sizes, ranging as large as a trunk. Heavy boxes of
merchandise and supplies are lowered over the steamer’s side into the
larger boats, the rowers laboring hard, as we steam away, to row
their heavy load to the shore. At every place we leave the mail, for
the steamer has a well-regulated post-office aboard, with a postmaster
and assistant, who worked night and day during the first part of the
journey, but they take their ease later, as we go farther north where
stations are few, and the mail has been mostly delivered.

During the second day we crossed the Arctic Circle in latitude 66°
50´. The coast of Norway presents a wonderful combination of ocean and
mountain scenery. Mountains rise abruptly from the water over three
thousand feet high, their summits capped with snow, and masses of
snow and ice in their rugged rocky clefts; waterfalls leap a thousand
feet down the sides of barren mountains, seeming in the distance but
small cascades like narrow bands of silver; glaciers from the realm of
eternal ice, extending for miles on elevated plateaux four thousand
feet above the sea, push their crystal mass around snowy peaks and
crowd their way between mountains, sweeping away immense boulders and
ploughing deep into the granite walls, on their downward course to
within a few hundred feet of the sea.

The steamer turns up winding fjords between straight walls of rock,
with here and there a less barren aspect, where dark fir and pine
trees clothe the sides, or a solitary farm house in the midst of a
few acres of cultivated land gives token of civilized life. We thread
an archipelago of detached masses of granite; rocky ledges rise above
the crested waves; here little islands, the home of the eider duck and
other sea fowl; there, great solitary islands the abode of fishermen,
who have spread their nets upon the rocks and drawn their boats into
sheltering coves. The way seems lost amid a maze of islands, when a
turn brings us out upon the open sea, where the foaming waves dash
against the rockbound coast, and sea gulls whirl around the steep
cliffs. Over all is the unending daylight glorifying mountain, glacier,
and sea, and with every turn the prospect changes and fresh grandeurs
are disclosed.

As we advanced amid this magnificent scenery we proceeded up a narrow
fjord, where the glorious sight of the Svartisen glacier burst upon
our view. The Svartisen is the second largest glacier in Norway, an
enormous mantle of snow and ice forty-four miles long and covering a
space of sixty-two square miles, spread out upon a plateau thousands
of feet high, from which protrude snowy peaks. From this plateau
descend several glaciers between the mountains, and we now viewed the
one which descends the nearest to the sea. The bright afternoon sun
shone upon this grand glacier, which for ages has been moving slowly
downward, until its glittering mass of snow and ice extends almost to
the blue water. Nothing could be more beautiful than this pure-white
congealed stream, as we view its course, flowing from the great
ice-fields above, amid its dark framing of barren rock, down to the
green slopes at the base of the mountains.

We landed in small boats upon the rocky shore and started to walk to
the glacier, but the distance, which from the steamer seemed but a few
rods, lengthened into over a mile. After two days of confinement upon
the steamer it was a great pleasure to walk along the rocky shore,
gathering shells, sea-moss, and new and strange flowers blooming upon
grassy slopes just beyond the rocks. At last we stood at the base of
the glacier, which towered above us more than thirty feet; great pieces
of ice had been broken off and stood detached in pools of water, or
were piled against each other; as far as we could see, the surface
of the glacier was of pure white, in great contrast with the Swiss
glaciers, so soiled and dirty from piles of stones and great moraines.
As we looked down the deep crevasses penetrating into the recesses of
the glacier, we found that the ice was a beautiful dark blue, rivalling
in tint the bluest of skies. We climbed up the glacier a short
distance, but found it too difficult and dangerous an undertaking, and
were content to walk along its margin, lost in wonder before this great
crystal storehouse.

In beauty and grandeur the Svartisen glacier far exceeds anything we
had seen in Switzerland; even the fine glaciers about Pontresina,
Zermatt, Chamonix, Grindelwald, or those that sweep around the base
of the Eggishorn, are surpassed by this pure-white glacier in the far
North. We were rowed back to the steamer after two hours upon land,
and as we sailed away we watched until the last moment the wonderful
Svartisen, which was one of the most beautiful sights of the whole trip.

As we were within the Arctic Circle we all anticipated seeing the
midnight sun for the first time, and remained late upon deck, but the
heavens were covered with clouds and no sun made its appearance; yet it
was as light as day, and some of the passengers, while waiting for a
glimpse of the sun, were writing letters at midnight.

In these high latitudes, with their combination of ocean and
mountains, one must expect cloudy and rainy weather. At times mist,
clouds, and rain shut out all the beautiful scenery, and it was very
disappointing; yet many views we lost going north, on account of bad
weather, we enjoyed on our way back.

At Bodö we left the “island belt” and crossed the wide Vest fjord,
where we soon began to feel the motion of the sea, to the Lofoden
Islands, grouped in a curve resembling a horn. These islands are a
bewildering collection of mountains, straits and bays, while thousands
of rocky islets form, as it were, a fringe to the larger islands.

The view of the Lofoden Islands as we approached across the fjord
is magnificent; long lines of mountains rise directly from the sea
between three and four thousand feet high, their tops ending in sharply
outlined pinnacles, with patches of snow on the summits and sides, and
often a cloud floating upon the highest peaks. The mountains are great
masses of dark rock wholly destitute of vegetation, except a covering
of green moss which is luminous especially in damp weather.

All day we cruised along the islands, calling at the little fishing
hamlets to leave mail, freight, and passengers. At a small settlement
called Kabelvaag, as we threaded our way among a maze of rocky reefs
and islands, we got aground, and it was nearly an hour before we were
floating again; the water was so clear that we could distinctly see the
rocks and ledges on the bottom, until it was stirred up by the steamer
in trying to get free. At Svolvaer the scenery reached its climax; the
mountains rose almost straight out of the water, their rugged walls
of rock seamed and chiseled by nature into weird forms, with scarcely
room at their base for the little collection of fishers’ huts and
fish-packing houses, dwarfing everything by comparison with their lofty
summits, thousands of feet high.

The Lofoden Islands are famous for their fisheries, as well as for
their imposing scenery. From the middle of January until the middle
of April millions of cod come to spawn off the east coast of the
islands, and are caught with net and line by the twenty-five thousand
fishermen, who flock there from all parts of Norway. The average annual
yield is estimated to be twenty millions of fish, and some years as
many as twenty-nine millions have been taken. Nearly six thousand
boats congregate at the three principal fishing banks, a mile from the
islands, for the winter fishing, which is often attended with great
loss of life, when a gale prevents the boats from returning to the
islands and drives them across the wide and stormy fjord, capsizing
them before they reach the mainland.

The fish are nicely cleaned, split, and hung upon long wooden racks to
dry, and others are slightly salted, carried to the mainland, where the
atmosphere is less damp, and spread upon the rocks. They are shipped
all over Europe, a great quantity being sent to Spain and Portugal. The
vessels bring back Spanish and Portuguese wines on their return voyage
at very cheap rates, and as a result you can buy port and sherry wines
cheaper in Norway than in any other country in Europe, except where the
wines are made.

Upon several of the islands factories have been erected, and the cods’
heads, which are first dried on the rocks, are pulverized and converted
into fertilizers; at many places we saw great stacks and piles of fish
drying on the rocks, and heaps of cods’ heads awaiting transportation
to the factory, whose proximity was made known by the penetrating odor,
sufficiently strong to travel to the North Pole.

The Lofoden Islands are also the seat of the great cod liver oil
industry, and the choicest brands of this life-renewing cordial are
sent on their errands of mercy, broadcast over the world.

The steamer bears us amid new and striking views of the grand scenery
of the islands and also of the mainland, where across the fjord, which
grows narrower as we go northward, long ranges of snow mountains in
ever-changing forms rise from the water, and we are within a circle of
giant peaks of savage and stupendous grandeur.

Many consider this the grandest scenery of the whole Norwegian coast,
and affirm that nothing in Europe surpasses it.

Small local steamers make the circuit of the Lofoden Islands, calling
at all the little hamlets; but to fully enjoy the journey one should be
a good sailor, for along the west side of the islands one is exposed to
the full sweep of the waves of the Atlantic.

To the south of the islands is the celebrated Malström, a cataract
formed by the tide pouring through a narrow strait, where the water
foams and seethes over deep sunken ledges, and presents an imposing
scene when a contrary wind strikes the angry billows.

As we steamed along a fjord in the midst of superb scenery, we remained
on deck watching again for a view of the midnight sun. The sun was
behind a high mass of rock jutting out into the fjord; across the water
the snow mountains glistened and glowed in the sunlight, and the water
sparkled beneath the midnight sunbeams. It was half an hour before we
passed the rocky hill hiding the sun’s disk, and when we arrived at the
point where we should have seen it, the sun was obscured by clouds.
The stilly hour of midnight was as light as day, and even without
bright sunshine the effect was indescribably lovely, as the mountains,
islands, and sea were bathed in the mellow light.

In the far North, millions of sea gulls whirl around their rocky
eyries, and circling over the steamer dart downward to skim over the
water, bearing away a fish as their prey; wild ducks and sea fowl of
various kinds fly through the air, and the greyish-brown eider ducks
are seen on the reefs and rocky islets.

There is a law prohibiting the shooting of the eider ducks, from
which a large revenue is obtained. The ducks congregate on the little
islands, where they build their nests, lining them with the soft
fluffy feathers which they pluck from the breast. The natives visit
the islands gathering the feathers from the nests, which the birds
proceed to reline, thus furnishing the eider down of commerce, that is
so extremely light and warm, and is used so extensively for the filling
of quilts, pillows, and the small square feather beds under which the
Germans especially delight to sleep. The finest of the feathers are
made into wraps and garments that are marvels of lightness and warmth.

We had some eider ducks’ eggs boiled for breakfast; they were four
inches long, with a beautiful bluish-green shell, but their taste was
too strong to be palatable.

Among the cabin passengers was a young Englishman, who stammered so
badly that at times he was wholly unintelligible. He could speak
but a few words of Norwegian, yet he left the steamer at a little
out-of-the-way place intending to go into the interior to fish for
salmon, being very confident that with the aid of his phrase book he
could make himself understood.

As he would stand, apparently for several minutes, helplessly
struggling with his l’s before he could say _l-l-l-l-l-l-lax_,
we wondered if the short Norwegian summer would be long enough
for him to pronounce such simple little words as _gjæstgiveri_,
_bekvemmeligheder_, or _gjennomgangsbilletter_, and others of like
length, that go to make up a Norwegian conversation, and which it would
seem to require the nimblest of tongues to glide over.

What his fate was we never learned, but perhaps the unfortunate
stutterer fell a victim to his own temerity, choked by the first
mouthful of Norwegian consonants, and lies buried beneath a lofty
pyramid of cods’ heads.

Suddenly, on a quiet afternoon, all was excitement on the steamer’s
deck, as we gathered to watch a large herd of reindeer swimming in a
long line across the fjord. Laplanders in rude boats were following
them, shouting and urging them on; the reindeer uttered shrill cries,
resembling the yelping of a dog, swimming in the water with little but
the heads and branching antlers visible, until the leader reached the
opposite shore, and, the others following, they gathered on the rocks
and scattered over a grassy slope, till the Lapps had driven the last
from the water.

The Lapps were driving them to fresh pastures, and the captain told
us we were very fortunate to have seen them, for it is a sight seldom
witnessed, as a calm and still day must be chosen, when the water is
smooth, with as little current as possible, and they also endeavor to
select a time when no steamer is liable to pass.

We came upon them just as the rear of the line was in the middle of the
fjord; the steamer turned to one side, affording us a good view of the
interesting sight, and passed without frightening the reindeer.

Our voyage northward from Throndhjem had been in the province called
the Nordland, but soon after passing the Lofoden Islands we entered
Finmarken, the most northern province of Norway, and advanced through a
series of magnificent fjords to Tromsö.



FROM TROMSÖ TO THE

NORTH CAPE.



CHAPTER VI.

_FROM TROMSÖ TO THE NORTH CAPE._

    THE SIGHTS OF TROMSÖ—A VISIT TO A WHALE-OIL FACTORY—THE MOST
    NORTHERN TOWN IN THE WORLD—BIRD ISLANDS IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN—A
    PICNIC AT THE BASE OF THE NORTH CAPE—THE MIDNIGHT SUN—PERPLEXITIES
    OF PERPETUAL DAY.


Tromsö, the chief town in Finmarken, numbers fifty-five hundred
inhabitants; it is situated upon an island with a background of
snow mountains across the gleaming fjord. Above the town, a number
of pleasant villas and wooden houses extend along the heights, one
of which was pointed out by a Norwegian passenger as his home. This
gentleman during the journey had conversed with equal fluency in
Norwegian, English, French, and German. The Norwegians are good
linguists, and it is surprising to find so many who speak such
excellent English.

The harbor is a busy place, full of vessels of many nationalities,
among which were those bearing the flags of Russia, Germany, and
France. They bring merchandise of various kinds and take back cargoes
of fish, train oil, and furs. Many small boats came out to meet the
steamer and we were rowed ashore at the fixed charge of three cents
each.

It was after ten o’clock in the evening, but the streets were full
of people and the stores all open. The first mate hunted up the
custodian of the museum, and we had the novel experience of viewing its
collections, thus late in the evening, by the bright light of perpetual
day. There were fish, birds, mammals, and minerals peculiar to Norway,
costumed figures illustrating Norwegian and Lapp life, together with
an array of wood carvings, ancient ornaments, and old furniture. But
more interesting than the figures of the Lapps in the museum were the
live Lapps in the streets, who live in Tromsö, and appear a little more
civilized than those in the neighboring encampment. They are short in
stature, oily and dirty as to looks, clothed in a loose garment belted
at the waist, some being made of coarse cloth, others of reindeer skin
worn with the hair turned inward. On the head were brightly colored
caps, their legs were encased in reindeer leggings, and they wore
moccasins of reindeer skin ending in pointed toes.

They gathered around us laden with rude articles of their own
manufacture, for sale, consisting of small spoons made from reindeer
horn, knives like daggers in reindeer-horn cases, and caps and shoes
such as they themselves wore. They spoke Norwegian, and we made them
understand by signs and the few words at our command that we would give
the half of their asking price, which in time they were glad to accept.

The shops were full of interesting photographs and curiosities; the
largest stores contained rich furs, fine wolf and bear skins, and
handsome cloaks made from eider down.

Tromsö has several hotels, schools, churches, a bank, telegraph office,
and its wide streets are lined with comfortable houses mostly built of
wood: altogether it impressed us as an active and thriving place. We
were followed by a throng of Lapps to the wharf, who offered us great
bargains as we stepped into small boats and were rowed out to the
steamer.

As we left Tromsö, at about twelve o’clock, the subdued light of the
midnight sun, veiled by a fleecy cloud, shone upon the long range of
snow-clad mountains across the fjord; the magnificent sight chained
us in rapturous contemplation, and we remained on deck until the
glistening mountains vanished from view.

In the quiet midnight hour, when all nature is awake, when bright
daylight illumines imposing views of mountains and sea, one loses all
thought of sleep, and it is a struggle to leave the enchanted scene for
your state-room, and, shutting out the light with thick curtains, seek
needed rest and sleep.

The next morning we were called before six o’clock, and in small boats
were rowed to an island to visit a whale-oil factory. We rowed in and
out among seven whales, several of them fifty feet long, floating like
great hulks in the water; two whales had been cut up and their blood
had colored the water for quite a distance; so as we pulled for the
landing we seemed to advance through a sea of blood.

On a great platform, surrounded by deep pools of blood, lay two immense
leviathans of the deep; the skin and thick layers of flesh had been
stripped from them and lay about in oozing piles; men, their clothing
from head to feet reeking with gore, chopped and slashed away like
demons inside the great carcasses, which seemed like bloody wrecks;
the crash and noise of the machinery used in moving and denuding the
monsters was deafening; it was a carnival of blood and slaughter, and
we grew sick and faint at the sight. Picking our way amid the pools
of blood and piles of flesh, we went into the oil factory, where the
great rolls of blubber and flesh are cut by machinery into pieces, and
then placed in boilers; much of the flesh looked clean and white like
thick strips of very fat pork. By steam the contents of the boilers are
tried, until all the oil contained in the blubber and flesh has run
through pipes into large tanks. Some whales will produce sixty barrels
of refined oil.

The best of the flesh is canned and placed on the market bearing French
labels; some is cured and smoked, and other choice bits are made into
_sausages_.

The residue in the boilers, after the oil has run off, is dried and
ground into a feed for fattening cattle, who eat it readily; it has
the color and appearance of ground coffee. The bones are made into
fertilizers, and it will thus be seen that, when a whale has passed
through this factory, nearly every part has been utilized. We took as a
souvenir a whale’s inner ear, a bony structure somewhat resembling in
shape a snail’s shell nearly closed, six inches long.

We saw the inside arrangement of a whale’s mouth. On each side of the
upper jaw are long thin plates of whalebone set close together like the
teeth of a comb, and fringed at the edges with a substance resembling
thread. These plates, which furnish the whalebone of commerce, extend
along the jaw from six to twelve feet, according to the size of the
whale, their use being to retain the great assortment constituting the
whale’s food. A whale opens his capacious jaws, taking in a mouthful
of water, fish, and many forms of sea life; the water is forced out
between the whalebone plates, which keep back the solids, and down goes
the living collection _à la_ Jonah, without chewing, into the whale’s
big belly.

The harpoon, with which the whales are killed, is a stout iron rod or
spear five feet long, with an iron ring at one end; it is shot from
a cannon on the ship, which sometimes approaches within forty feet
of the whale. When it enters, an immense cartridge explodes, killing
the whale, and lifting four arms near the point of the harpoon which
fasten into the whale, and it is towed ashore by ropes attached to the
harpoon’s ring. From April till August, a great many whales are killed
off the north coast of Norway, which are attracted by the schools of
fish swarming there at that season.

It is perhaps needless to say that though the visit to this whale
factory was intensely interesting, it was also extremely disagreeable.
The smell of the boiling blubber, the great tanks of oil, and the
heaps of fertilizers, is beyond description. It was only by holding
our noses and stuffing handkerchiefs into our mouths that we were able
to complete the tour of inspection. We returned to the steamer unable
to eat any breakfast, though we had taken but a roll and cup of coffee
on leaving, and several of the ladies ended by being sea-sick. The
terrible odor clung to our clothes even after we had spread them on
deck in the fresh air; the trophies of whalebone and whale’s ears which
we brought back to the steamer converted the air of our state-rooms
into miniature whale factories, and for the remainder of the voyage
it was only necessary to say “whales,” to send a look of disgust over
every countenance.

Hammerfest, the most northern town in the world, is situated in
latitude 70° 40´, and contains twenty-one hundred inhabitants.

The wooden houses comprising the town are mostly built upon a small
promontory jutting into the sea, back of which rises abruptly a high
hill whence have fallen avalanches of rock, altogether too near the
houses, one would judge, for the peace of mind of their occupants. In
fact, the hills and boulders have left little room for the town that
extends along the shores of the bay, where are situated numerous fish
houses, and long wooden frames on which are hung fish to dry, with
occasional figures, dressed like scarecrows in a New England cornfield,
perched among the fish to frighten away the sea fowl and prevent their
devouring it. A few little stone huts with turf roofs are the abode
of some half-civilized Lapps; there are shops for the sale of Lapp
costumes, furs, walrus tusks, and quaint Norwegian boxes; the windows
of many of the houses were bright with flowers and potted plants; we
heard the notes of a piano; and even here, at the north end of the
world, the people seemed to have many of the comforts and enjoyments of
civilized life.

The harbor was full of steamers and sailing vessels loading with fish
and oil, and the pungent odor of cod liver oil and of the fish drying
along the shores pervaded the place.

Out upon the north promontory a granite column has been erected to
commemorate the measurement of the number of degrees between Ismail,
at the mouth of the Danube, and this point, by the geometers of three
nations, under order of Oscar I. and the Czars Alexander I. and
Nicholas. Seaward is a continuous line of snowy mountains rising one
above the other, and thickly dotting the bay are islands and rocky
reefs.

We remained but a few hours at Hammerfest, and then continued on our
way to the North Cape, a journey of about four hours. On reaching the
island of Hjelmsö, with high barren cliffs rising straight from the
water, the steamer stops, the shrill whistle is blown, and two small
cannon on the steamer’s prow are fired. Immediately thousands of sea
fowl, the sole occupants of the island, fly from the cliffs uttering
shrill cries; the air is filled with them as they circle wildly around
until they return to the cliffs, filling every crevice and space on the
rocks, the gulls looking like white dots on the black surface.

When all is quiet the cannon are fired again, and the birds rise in a
cloud, filling the air like so many great snow flakes, flying around
the ship uttering plaintive cries, then settling back to their rocky
home. Four times was the whistle blown and the cannon fired, and as the
echoes died away we heard the whirr of thousands of wings cleaving the
air, and watched the wild fright and disorder of the great collection
of sea fowl; then leaving them in peace we steamed out upon the Arctic
Ocean.

The long sweeping waves pitched our good ship about, yet we kept onward
amid desolate scenery, till rising before us we saw the huge form of
the North Cape—the goal of our long journey. This great mass of rock,
its seamed and furrowed sides destitute of vegetation, rising almost
perpendicularly nearly one thousand feet above the dark water, is an
imposing sight, and the impression is one never to be forgotten.

The captain intended to anchor and we were all to fish for codfish,
which he described as exciting sport, as the fish are large and
abundant, and at times they are pulled in so rapidly that the deck is
covered with them; but though the lines were set, the pitching motion
began to affect many of the passengers so severely that we decided to
abandon the fishing, and to run into a little bay formed between two
projections of the Cape, and to land. The small boats were lowered, and
it was an exciting scene as we descended the steps at the steamer’s
side, stepped into the pitching boats, and were rowed landward, the
great waves bearing us in upon the shore among the rocks and dashing
surf.

What was our surprise to find at the base of the North Cape, extending
from the border of rocks along the shore, a narrow grassy slope, where
were growing beautiful violets, forget-me-nots, buttercups, and many
flowers we had never seen before. It was six o’clock in the afternoon,
the weather was the finest of any time during the whole voyage, the sun
shone from a cloudless sky, and we marvelled to find it so warm that
overcoats and wraps were uncomfortable. The stewards brought dishes
and food from the steamer, and sitting upon the grass, with the waves
dashing upon the rocks at our feet, we enjoyed a delightful picnic
supper. We gathered flowers, searched for pebbles, peculiar-shaped
stones, or anything of interest cast up by the sea, and at nine o’clock
began the steep climb to the summit. The only building at the North
Cape is a little hut, in which a man lives in summer during the tourist
season, who has a supply of wine, mostly champagne, which he carries
to the summit and sells to visitors to celebrate their view of the
midnight sun, or to console them in their disappointment at not seeing
it. Letters have been received from foreign countries directed Poste
Restante, North Cape, but their delivery was about as impossible as if
directed Post Office, North Pole.

A rough and narrow path ascends the side of the Cape in steep zigzags,
at the sides of which are long ropes, attached at the ends to the rock,
which are a great assistance in pulling yourself up; great banks
of snow lay beside the path as we ascended; and in places steps had
been cut in the steep rock. As we rested on our upward way, extended
views of the ocean were spread out before us, in which the only sign
of life was our steamer in the bay far below, dwarfed into diminutive
proportions.

The summit of the North Cape is a long, level, barren plateau, across
which we walked to a granite column at the north end, erected to
commemorate the visit of Oscar II. in 1882. A wire, attached to low
posts, marks the way; it is a necessary precaution, as people are
often overtaken by thick mists and fogs, who would wander completely
bewildered, and perhaps fall down the precipitous sides, without this
guiding wire.

At last we stood at one end of the world, for the North Cape, in
latitude 71° 10´, is the most northern point of Europe, and going to
the edge of the steep cliff and looking downward we saw the waves
breaking at its base, a thousand feet below. It was eleven o’clock
in the evening on the 28th of June; the sun was behind a cloud, but
its rays fell upon the water, and the mountains glowed in the subdued
light. The ocean lay at our feet calm and almost motionless; southward
extended long lines of barren mountains, until their dim outlines
blended with the distant horizon; northward the unbroken expanse of the
unknown Arctic Ocean stretched toward the unexplored polar regions.
Only to a little over a dozen degrees of latitude north of this point
has man penetrated, for Lieut. Lockwood, in latitude 83° 24´, attained
the highest point reached, which is four hundred and fifty-six miles
from the north pole, and eight hundred and fifty-four miles nearer the
pole than the North Cape is. Yet how great has been the cost of these
polar expeditions! How many victims have perished in the frozen North,
or escaped from its clutches ruined in health!

Not a ship, not a sail, could we see; not a sign of vegetation save a
few lichens and short moss clothed the barren rocks; not a sound nor
indication of life save the cry of the sea-gull, as it circled round
its rocky home, broke the eternal silence. It was a sublime sight, but
oh how desolate! Never before did the world and all it contained seem
so far removed, as when we looked out upon this silent, dreary, and
lifeless scene.

A gentle breeze came up from the ocean, the air was neither cold nor
penetrating, as we sat upon the rocks awaiting the hour of midnight.
The clouds were ever changing; soon after twelve o’clock they parted,
and for a few minutes we gazed upon the full disk of the midnight sun.
Never can we forget that sight! The sun was high above the horizon,
less glaring and brilliant than by day, its mellow light flooding ocean
and mountain.

It seemed to have paused in its course, and a slight glow betokened the
mingling of sunset and sunrise, and marked the dawn of another day. We
stood spell-bound, enchanted by the magic scene, until a cloud covered
the sun and the mist crept up from the sea; then relinquishing all
hopes of another view of the sun, we started across the desolate plain
and began our descent.

The steamer’s whistle blew, the loud and oft-repeated echoes
reverberated from the rocky walls of the little bay, the descent was
quickly accomplished, we were rowed out to the steamer, and soon
started on our journey south.

As we stood on deck for a last sight of the North Cape, the sun came
forth and shone as brightly as at midday—high in the heavens. It was
then half-past one in the morning, but it was difficult to realize,
except from the position of the sun, that it was not one o’clock in the
afternoon.

We retired to our state-rooms with thankful hearts for the glorious
sight we had seen, and that we had not been disappointed in this,
the crowning experience of our travels in the North. Often the
weather is so bad that even the outlines of the North Cape cannot be
distinguished, and travellers return to Hammerfest to wait for another
steamer and make the journey a second time, perhaps to be greeted with
fog and mist. The captain said that during his previous trip there was
such a succession of rainy and miserable weather, they did not see the
sun once during the entire trip of eleven days, and several tourists
were so disgusted that they vowed the midnight sun was a grand humbug,
and doubted if in the North there was even a sun at midday. It is a
very rare occurrence when it is perfectly clear at the North Cape. If
one could remain there twenty-four hours under a cloudless sky, he
would see the sun go round in a circle; at midnight it would appear to
almost stop, as it moved slowly along on a line with the horizon, and
then would begin to gradually ascend.

The whole disk of the sun at midnight (in pleasant weather) can be seen
from the

  North Cape from May 13 till July 30,
  Hammerfest   “   “  16  “    “   27,
  Tromsö       “   “  20  “    “   22.

After the longest days it descends every day nearer the horizon, until
it disappears below, at first only for a few hours; but the days grow
shorter, until the season of constant night comes on, as an offset to
that of perpetual day. The sun is not seen at the

  North Cape from Nov. 18 to Jan. 24,
  Hammerfest   “   “   21  “  “   21,
  Tromsö       “   “   25  “  “   17.

The interesting phenomenon of the midnight sun is due to the fact that
the two revolutions of the earth, one on its axis, the other around
the sun, are in different planes, the equator and the ecliptic making
an angle with each other. Thus during a certain season the north pole
is inclined towards the sun, so that all parts of the polar circle are
constantly beneath the sun’s rays, while the south pole is turned as
far as possible into the shade; as the earth continues in its course
around the sun the south pole comes within the circle of perpetual
illumination, and the north polar circle, for an equal period, is in
darkness.

During the period of darkness, Hammerfest has no regular steamer
communication with the outer world, for in winter the mail steamers
do not go beyond Tromsö, a month being allowed for the round trip
from Throndhjem. The first of the voyage there are a few hours of
daylight, and as they advance northward the moon and the brilliant
aurora borealis at times furnish light, but often the steamer can run
but a few hours, and anchors until there is light, as the coast is so
dangerous, and navigation so intricate, that it is impossible to run by
the compass. How dreary and tedious must it be through the dark winter,
and with what delight must the inhabitants of these Northern regions
hail the first appearance of the sun!

Certainly the days of perpetual daylight are most confusing to one who
has been accustomed to a division of the twenty-four hours into day and
night.

During the entire voyage we never saw a lighted candle nor lamp; all
hours of the night and day were the same for every practical purpose;
at midnight we have written letters, and read on deck, and often at
night, after having tried in vain to get to sleep, I have sat up in my
berth, and read in the bright daylight, until from mere exhaustion I
would fall asleep.

It was almost impossible to tell whether it was eight o’clock in the
morning, or eight o’clock in the evening, and the early risers were
sometimes in doubt as to whether they were eating their supper or
breakfast; my state-room mate and myself never got mixed on the latter,
as we were always soundly sleeping in our berths when the last bell
rang; for if the midnight sunbeams had a wakeful effect, the morning
sunbeams were the same as in other parts of the world, where the
breakfast bell always rings too early.

Added to our perplexity in distinguishing day from night was the
constant change of time, for as we sailed toward the North Cape we
were continually going eastward. Tromsö is on about the same degree
of longitude as Stockholm, and Hammerfest is farther east than Riga
in Russia. We started with Throndhjem time, but in the far North we
travelled east so rapidly in the contracted degrees of longitude, that
no one was ever sure of the time except once a day, when the clock was
set. One day at the dinner table fifteen watches were consulted, and
each one denoted a different time. I did not change my watch, but kept
it at Throndhjem time, and daily made my calculations to arrive at
local time.

A gentleman who was impatiently waiting one day for the dinner bell to
ring, inquired the time, and was amazed that my watch showed it was
just about the breakfast hour. He was sure he had eaten his breakfast,
but we nearly talked him into believing he had not, and that my watch
had local time, and we ended by almost convincing him that he had
received a _midnight sunstroke_.

The irregularity regarding sleep becomes terribly demoralizing to
methodical mortals, but there is so much of interest to be seen at all
hours of the day and night that one gets into the habit of sleeping
only for a few hours, when there is nothing of especial interest to do
or see.

The Hamburg steamers run beyond the North Cape along the north coast of
Norway to Vadsö, occupying over two days for the journey, which we were
told was monotonous and uninteresting. The mountains dwindle into vast
and barren plateaux, and the land ceases to be an object of interest. A
few bird islands are passed, but the island belt has disappeared, and
one is left at the mercy of the full sweep of the waves of the Arctic
Ocean. The scenery is bleak and dreary, fogs often detain the steamer,
and the journey is not to be recommended, as there is not enough of
interest to be seen to repay its discomforts.

The North Cape is a fitting termination to the voyage, and one who has
obtained a good view from its summit and seen the midnight sun, can
turn southward, satisfied that he has seen the most striking features
of the Norwegian scenery, and the most imposing sight in the world.



THE VOYAGE BACK TO

THRONDHJEM.



CHAPTER VII.

_THE VOYAGE BACK TO THRONDHJEM._

    THE LYNGEN FJORD—LAPP ENCAMPMENT IN THE TROMSDAL—A SMUKE PIGE—LAPP
    HUTS AND BABIES—REINDEER, AND THEIR MANIFOLD USES—LOADING
    CATTLE—FAREWELL APPEARANCE OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN—SCENES AMONG THE
    STEERAGE.


The steamer remained a few hours at Hammerfest on our return from the
North Cape, to take on a cargo of oil and dried fish. As we proceeded
down the Sörö fjord we remained nearly the whole afternoon on the
captain’s bridge. The surface of the fjord was as smooth as oil, and
the grand panorama of snow-covered mountains was reflected in the
transparent waters.

There is much sameness to the mountain scenery, the formation
and outlines of the various peaks being much alike, lacking the
individuality found in Switzerland in the monarchs of the Bernese
Oberland, or the circle of mountain peaks around the Gorner Grat, Piz
Languard, or about Chamonix. The Norwegian mountains do not rise to
half the height of the Alpine peaks, but as one views them nearly from
base to summit, rising from the ocean crowned with snow and ice, the
effect is fully as imposing.

The most magnificent mountain scenery we saw in the North was along
the Lyngen fjord, where an unbroken chain of mountain peaks from five
thousand to six thousand five hundred feet high rise from the ocean,
some with sharply cut outlines and abrupt rocky sides, others covered
with snow, with glaciers descending far into the valleys. It was a
sublime sight as we viewed them at eleven o’clock in the evening, the
glistening ice streams extending down their barren sides, and the
crystal heights contrasting with the dark rocks and water at their base.

If one makes the trip to the North Cape the last of June he enjoys the
mountain scenery in all its glory, as the mountains are then covered
with snow, and newly fallen snow clothes their sides, extending at
times almost to the water. The long unending days then add an especial
charm, but the view of the midnight sun, which appears high in the
heavens much like the sun the latter part of a June afternoon, is not
so impressive as when seen the last of July, when it descends near
the horizon. The first part of August, when within the Arctic Circle
the sun begins to go below the horizon, is the time for viewing the
glorious sunsets and the gorgeous coloring of the Northern skies. In
June, even when the sun is shining brightly, the air is generally
cool, and one needs thick clothing, while at times rain, mist, and
penetrating ocean breezes necessitate an abundance of wraps.

Although there is a sameness, yet the constant succession of fjords,
mountains, and glaciers never becomes monotonous to a true lover of
nature, and there is always something to awaken fresh interest aside
from the scenery, as the spouting of whales in the distance, the
reindeer browsing high up the sides of the precipitous walls of rock,
or the numerous sea fowl on the islands and cliffs.

On arriving at Tromsö we visited the Lapp encampment, which is one of
the show-places of the North. The Lapps are notified by the steamship
companies, and hired to drive down a portion of their reindeer into an
enclosure near a little settlement of Lapp huts, where they are shown
to the tourist free of charge.

We met one of the tourist steamers at Tromsö, and together with its
passengers visited the encampment, which is situated in a valley
called the Tromsdal. We embarked in small boats and were rowed across
the wide fjord to the shore, where a collection of boys and men, with
saddle horses, gave us a warm welcome and interviewed us, till they
found we were determined to walk.

Our party were glad of a chance for an hour’s walk, after the
confinement of the steamer, and starting up the valley we soon came to
a few tents covered with reindeer hides. Several Lapps came out to sell
us articles of their manufacture, among whom was an old woman clothed
in reindeer skins worn with the hair turned inward, and her greasy,
furrowed face framed in a bright-colored close-fitting cap.

She was hardly a “nut-brown maid,” but rather a smoked bacon hag, and
as she took a reindeer girdle and bound it around the waist of the
old bachelor of the party, in answer to his question as to its use,
he shook his forefinger at her, and with a fascinating smile in his
beaming eyes uttered, _Smuke Pige_, which doubled up the Lapps, old and
young, and also the steamer party, with laughter; for _Smuke Pige_ does
not mean _smoked pig_, as its sound and orthography might imply, but is
the Norwegian for _pretty girl_. It was many a decade since that old,
oily, unwashed Lapp woman had been a _Smuke Pige_, even if ever, at
the remotest period of her existence, by the greatest stretch of the
imagination, she could have been thus designated; but woman’s nature
lay dormant beneath the accumulated layers of dirt, and she smiled and
smoothed down the folds of her reindeer polonaise, so pleased by the
compliment that she sold the girdle for half price.

Our way led through woods, where the leaves of the trees were just
unfolding, and it seemed like the first of April in New England. The
path at first was very good, but as we advanced it became wet and
muddy, we had to cross wide streams, and were forced to leave the path
and pick our way among the trees, so that the ladies began to repent
of their decision to walk. One young lady, in crossing a wide brook,
slipped from the pile of stones in the centre, and dancing a despairing
_can-can_ while endeavoring to regain her slippery foothold, landed in
the water before any one could aid her. This was the only accident,
and we were glad to arrive at the collection of Lapp huts, where men,
women, and children of assorted ages and sizes crowded around us with
articles for sale.

The Laplanders are of diminutive stature, ill developed, with small
eyes, low foreheads and high cheek-bones. Their complexions have a
close resemblance to smoked bacon; in their greasy reindeer skins they
look as if the use of soap would be as much of a mystery to them as
the telephone; a Russian peasant is cleanliness itself compared with
them; and their oil-soaked appearance would seem to indicate that they
subsisted on a steady diet of whale sausages, washed down with copious
draughts of cod liver oil.

Their huts are dome shaped, built of stones and covered with turf;
a rude wooden door less than four feet high admits to the interior,
where in the centre was a wood fire on a circle of flat stones, above
which was suspended an iron kettle; above the fire is an opening in the
roof for the admission of light and the escape of smoke, most of which
circulated in the hut; upon the ground was a little hay, over that were
spread reindeer and other skins, upon which the Lapps were sitting
around the fire.

There were several babies in cradles made of a frame of wood two feet
and a half long, covered with reindeer hide, in shape resembling a
coffin with a little hood; the baby is placed inside, the covering
laced across the front, and a cloth can be drawn down from the hood
over the baby’s face as the cradle is leaned against the side of the
hut, or placed before the fire. The babies are kept in the cradles
until they are old enough to learn to walk, the mother carrying the
cradle swung across the shoulder by a cord.

We saw several babies laced in their cradles, blinking their bright
eyes in the thick smoke; a great many Lapps had sore eyes, and eye
troubles seemed to be prevalent; which is not to be wondered at
considering the smoky atmosphere of their huts, and the dazzling glare
of the snow in winter.

The dogs appeared to be even more abundant than the children, and they
were all mixed up promiscuously as they lay on the skins about the
fire. The intimate fellowship existing between the Lapps and their dogs
accounts for the frequent scratching they indulge in, and warns one to
flee from the “wicked flea.”

The Laplanders enjoyed a thriving business that day, selling many of
the spoons, knives, needle-cases, and other articles made from reindeer
horn, and shoes, belts, and bags manufactured from reindeer skin. They
also disposed of several pairs of branching antlers, and the skins of
animals they had killed.

The Lapps have straight black hair, and in many of their features
resemble the American Indian. Like the Indians they were once a
powerful race, the ruling one of Scandinavia, but they were compelled
to retreat before civilization and the more powerful inhabitants of
the southern part of the peninsula, until they now occupy the northern
part of Norway and Sweden and the northwest corner of Russia, and
have dwindled in population to thirty thousand souls, of which over
one-half dwell in Norway. They were originally all nomadic, but their
circumscribed limits, from the advancing of their civilized neighbors,
have led many to settle by the larger lakes and rivers, where they
successfully follow hunting and fishing.

In religion they conform in general to the faith of their
neighbors,—the Norwegian Lapps belonging to the Lutheran, the Russian
Lapps to the Greek, church. It is estimated that there are still in
Norway seventeen hundred Lapps who lead a nomadic life.

The reindeer constitutes their chief wealth, and serves them as their
horse, cow, and source of their food, raiment, and the material for
the few articles they manufacture. Harnessed to a pointed sledge he
draws them over the frozen rivers, lakes, and plains; reindeer milk
and cheese and the fresh and cured meat provide them with their staple
articles of food; they are clothed from its skin made into long loose
garments, leggings, and shoes; its skin also furnishes their only bed
and bed covering; its sinews give them thread and ropes; from the horns
are made the spoons, handles of knives, and such articles as they
fashion in their rude way, so that the reindeer supplies all the needs
and wants of the Laplander, and is to him what Whiteley with his vast
establishment is to Londoners,—“a universal provider.”

The Lapps of this encampment are said to possess nearly five thousand
reindeer, about a hundred of which were driven down from among the
mountains into an enclosure, for our inspection. The stags had fine
branching antlers, but most of the reindeer had short, jointed
horns covered with a soft fur; they were shedding their long white
hairs, beneath which was a coat of dark hair; they are extremely
quick motioned, and seemed very wild, the whole flock running from
one side of the enclosure to the other, their knee joints making a
peculiar cracking noise. One of them was caught by a lasso skilfully
thrown over the horns, and held while milked. The milk is very rich,
is drank diluted with water, and is said to resemble goats’ milk in
taste; we did not partake of it, for neither were the milkmaid nor cup
sufficiently clean to tempt us.

An enterprising photographer endeavored to induce us to pose before his
camera, with the Lapp huts and reindeer in the background; he showed us
photographs he had previously taken of tourists, holding Lapp babies
laced in their cradles, or sitting between Lapp women; but he could not
persuade us to immortalize ourselves in that manner—even the bachelor
had no desire to be taken with his _Smuke Pige_ by his side.

Laden with purchases from the Lapps, as souvenirs of our visit, we
started on our walk back to the fjord, and were rowed to the steamer
in a pouring rain, and over a heavy sea, reaching at last our floating
home with a feeling of gladness. The remainder of the day it rained
incessantly, but we rejoiced at this opportunity to sleep after such a
series of interesting and novel experiences, that had lately occupied
most of our time night and day. No midnight sun put in an appearance
that night, but the rain came down steadily; still it was light enough
to read and write, and none of the lamps were lighted.

We stopped at many small stations, taking on freight and passengers.
We had a great quantity of lumber aboard, which we left at one of
the stations; the long pieces of timber were thrown into the water,
causing much noise and splashing, and were collected by men in row
boats as they came to the surface, and made into a raft to be floated
to the shore.

Two large boats containing fat steers rowed out to meet us; the steam
hoisting apparatus swung its long arm out over the steamer’s side, a
wide belt was adjusted under a steer’s belly, and he was raised high
in the air. As he found himself moving upward, his front and hind
legs sticking out straight, he vainly tried to struggle, for he was
perfectly helpless; the comical figure he cut as he soared heavenward,
and was swung over into the middle of the steamer, and lowered to the
second deck, caused the passengers to roar with laughter.

One lady, as she watched the loading of the steers, exclaimed, “Oh, I
am so glad they have taken those _cows_ aboard, for now we can have
plenty of fresh milk for supper!”

We spent an entire day cruising along the Lofoden Islands, and enjoyed
again their magnificent scenery under a smiling sky. At one of the
ports there we met a Hamburg steamer with a few passengers, bound for
Vadsö, beyond the North Cape. Great clumsy sailing craft, with high
pointed prow and stern, with towering square sails, the same as those
in which the Vikings of old used to cruise, lazily pass us on their
way north, and for a long time their tall sails are visible on the
horizon.

In places far up the rocky cliff, or part way up the mountain side,
where there is a level place large enough for a few acres of grass,
you will see a little farm house. The farmer has a few sheep, goats,
and cows which furnish part of the food and materials for the homespun
clothing of his family, and with the ever-abundant fish they have
enough to supply their moderate wants. Even as far north as Tromsö we
passed these solitary farm houses, and for hours would neither see
another house nor sign of life. It is impossible to conceive how one
can live so far removed from mankind, spending the long winters, with
over two months of darkness, away from every living being except the
limited family circle, exposed to the terrible storms and severe cold
of the Arctic region.

Our farewell view of the midnight sun was the grandest of all. We had
just passed from the Arctic Circle, and shortly before midnight the
sun, a great blood-red ball, hung upon the horizon while the heavens
blazed in a glory of crimson and gold. So slow was the sun’s motion
that at first it seemed to rest upon the horizon, then it slowly sank
until half its disk was obscured. Gradually the coloring of the
burning heavens paled, until the glowing red faded into a golden tint,
heralding the approach of another day, and sunset and sunrise were
blended in one.

The steamer as we continued southward became crowded with passengers,
both first class and steerage, bound for an annual fair held upon one
of the islands, and also for an exhibition at Throndhjem.

Both the upper and lower decks were packed with steerage passengers,
among whom were several Lapp women, accompanied by their children, who
were particularly grateful for the gift of some fine cut tobacco; and
as they sat puffing their short black pipes, a look of perfect content
o’erspread their greasy faces. The children were abridged editions, both
in clothing and looks, of their mothers, and each had a snarling dog.

The Norwegian peasants are deeply religious, being Lutherans in their
belief. On Sunday morning the steerage passengers held a service, one
of their number preaching and exhorting, and they sang many hymns.
They often sang their folk songs, through all of which runs a sad and
melancholy refrain; but one expects to find great seriousness and depth
of feeling in a people living amid such grand and awful manifestations
of nature.

A young girl with a shock of golden hair played upon a harp, and in a
fresh sweet voice sang plaintive melodies, accompanied at times by a
man with a violin,—both wandering minstrels bound for the fair.

Late one evening we arrived at the little island of Dynnaes, where the
most important fair in the Nordland is annually held on July 2nd; over
two hundred passengers left us here, and an interesting and animated
scene ensued.

As we approached up the fjord numerous small boats rowed out to meet
us; they swarmed on both sides as the steamer stopped, and there was
great contention among the boatmen, as they pushed back each other’s
boats and shouted and gesticulated in their struggle to get close to
the steamer’s side and load with passengers. The boats were in lines,
five deep on each side, and the passengers piled into them pell mell,
lowering themselves down the sides of the steamer, throwing their boxes
into the boats, jumping from the lower deck, and leaping from boat to
boat, until, amid much uproar and an indescribable confusion, the last
passenger had left the steamer and was rowed ashore.

Just outside the little settlement, extending along the shore, were
long rows of new boats, many gayly painted, bundles of fishing nets,
and a great collection of barrels of fish that was all we saw of the
fair, which is of the nature of a market.

The last day of our journey was warm and sunny, especially enjoyable
after the cold rainy weather we had had the greater part of the time
since leaving Tromsö. The steamer wound in and out among the islands,
and proceeded up the narrow fjords, calling at many little hamlets. The
scenery, even after the grandeur of that within the Arctic Circle, was
ever beautiful and inspiring.

We passed again the Seven Sisters, still “wearing their nightcaps,” and
the lofty Torghätta pierced by the mythical arrow, and lived over again
the delightful experiences at the beginning of our journey.

Our fellow-travellers on the steamer, who after all these days of close
companionship seemed almost like old friends, gathered with us for the
last time, as we steamed up the Throndhjem fjord, at the breakfast
table, with its familiar cheese, sausage, and cold meat exhibitions.
For the last time we broke bread and ate salmon together on the “Kong
Halfdan,” which during eleven days had been such a comfortable home,
and had safely borne us amid more magnificent scenery, and furnished us
more interesting and novel experiences, than could any other journey of
equal extent in the world.



MOLDE AND THE ROMSDAL.



CHAPTER VIII.

_MOLDE AND THE ROMSDAL._

    CHRISTIANSUND—RESTING AT MOLDE—LEPROSY IN NORWAY—FIRST CARRIOLE
    DRIVE—STRUGGLING WITH THE NORSE LANGUAGE—WALK THROUGH THE ROMSDAL.


The “Kong Halfdan” remained part of a day at Throndhjem. We visited
again the interesting old cathedral, and walking outside the city we
watched in a large field the drilling of some soldiers, whose lack of
discipline would have caused a Prussian to faint at the sight. The town
was decorated with triumphal arches of evergreen, rows of fir and pine
trees bordered the sides of the streets, festoons of bunting and flags
adorned the buildings, all in honor of the king and royal family, who
were expected to arrive the next day to visit the exhibition which had
been formally opened that morning.

We saw nothing new nor striking at the exhibition, except the fine
display of fish, and the pretty costumes of the cow girls. Each cow,
on exhibition in the department devoted to live stock, had for an
attendant a girl dressed in an ample skirt, bright red bodice over
a white waist, a jaunty cap on her head, and silver trinkets at her
throat; she ministered to the wants of the cow, bringing pails of water
and armfuls of hay, stroking her sleek blanketed sides with as much
pride and affection as though the cow were her child.

The crowds thronging the streets were interesting, but we were
disappointed at finding so few costumes of any striking effect or
beauty worn by the peasants, who had flocked in from the neighboring
districts.

We went to a restaurant for supper, hoping to escape the everlasting
salmon, but it was the first dish to greet us as we sat down to the
table; and we gave up struggling against the inevitable and ate it with
the best grace we could command.

In the evening we said good-bye to our steamer party, who left us here,
and returned to the “Kong Halfdan,” as she was to sail early in the
morning for Molde. At the breakfast table we found many new faces, and
the familiar cabin did not seem wholly natural; the scenery, also,
through which we passed during the day was very tame and uninteresting
compared with that we had so recently enjoyed, and we devoted the time
to arranging the details of our future journey through the country.

At Christiansund the steamer remained for several hours, and we went
ashore in a rowboat. It is a town of twelve thousand inhabitants, most
picturesquely built upon four islands, upon the largest of which we
landed. It has steep streets running at haphazard, and leading finally
to a church, and some pretty gardens and promenades upon the heights,
from which there was an extended view of the hills and masses of rock;
but little of the ocean could be seen.

Many of the windows of the houses were filled with potted plants
in blossom; some houses four stories high, evidently divided into
tenements, had every window, even to the topmost, filled with bright
flowers, furnishing a pretty and a cheerful sight, and one that in our
travels through Norway we often saw repeated; for the natives are very
fond of flowers, and, as they will flourish but a short time out of
doors, they grow them in their houses.

Many wealthy fish merchants reside here, who carry on a large trade
with Spain in _Klipfisk_ (dried codfish), the preparation of and trade
in which forms the chief industry of the place.

On leaving Christiansund we also left the island belt, and the
remainder of the journey, until we entered the Moldefjord, was very
disagreeable.

Molde is one of the most charming places in Norway, and is “well
adapted for a long stay,” as Baedeker puts it. It is a trim and clean
little town of less than two thousand inhabitants, situated on the
fjord of its own name, facing the south, and lying at the base of high
hills sheltering it from the cold north and west winds. The vegetation
is luxuriant; numerous gardens were bright with roses, honeysuckle,
and other flowers; and the fields brilliant with wild flowers, many of
which were strangers to us.

The Grand Hotel stands upon a small promontory, a little removed from
the town, commanding a lovely view of the fjord, surrounding hills, and
distant mountains. It is a new structure, most comfortable in all its
appointments and reasonable in its charges, and in our opinion fulfils
the claim of its proprietor of being “the best hotel in Norway.”
Certainly no pleasanter place than Molde could be found for a few
days’ stay, where the traveller can rest and take things easy after
his long sea voyage north, or his drive across country in coming from
Christiania or Bergen. It is quite a central point, from which radiate
several lines of steamers, and, lying directly in the line of travel
north and south, its hotels in summer are well filled.

The town itself has no especial interest, though we enjoyed visiting
the little shops, and looking at the queer silver rings and brooches
with many pendants, and the bridal crowns of gold and silver worn by
the peasant girls; we also saw interesting old coins, weapons, knives,
drinking cups, and other articles, but the time has gone by when
Norwegian curios and antiquities can be bought for less than a good
round sum.

It is an extremely rough path by which one climbs to the Moldehei,
through fields and woods, and after a rain it is like the bed of a
torrent; but once upon the summit one is rewarded by a beautiful view,
embracing the little town at your feet, the blue fjord dotted with
islands, and a magnificent range of mountains partly covered with snow,
the lofty peak of the Romsdalshorn dominating all others.

A good road extends east and west along the fjord, affording agreeable
walks, especially during the long bright twilight, when the fjord
reflects the dark islands and shores in its clear waters, while over
distant snow-capped mountains, and hills close at hand, is the
beautiful, almost unnatural, light, rendering everything ethereal and
unsubstantial.

In our walks, every one greeted us with a _God Dag_ (good day) or a
_God Aften_ (good evening); and if by chance we gave anything to a
child he took our hand and shook it, without saying a word, as an
expression of thanks; certainly a most sincere and natural way, and one
that goes directly to the heart. Whoever objects to shaking hands with
old and young, rich or poor, should stay away from Norway, for whenever
money is paid or anything is given to a Norwegian, it is followed by a
shake of the hand.

We were astonished to find at one end of Molde a hospital for lepers.
Leprosy is the most terrible curse of Norway, and for the treatment of
its victims five hospitals have been erected, of which the largest are
at Molde and Bergen. The lepers mostly come from the fishing districts
in the north, where the disease is caused by a continued fish diet and
absence of fruit and vegetables. It is said that some victims when
first brought to the hospital appear to be perfectly well, but as the
disease advances the fingers, toes, or nose drop off, the bones in the
hands and feet disappear, rendering them helpless; some become blind;
the face and body are covered with spots, and the victims become white
as chalk. It is a slow and torturing death by inches, as member after
member decays and drops off. It is not considered contagious, and
visitors are even allowed to mingle with the victims at the hospital.
Being regarded as hereditary, it is hoped at least to prevent the
propagation of the disease by the marriage of its victims, and whenever
a person is known to be tainted with leprosy he is sent to a hospital.

From Molde we travelled up the winding Romsdalsfjord, every turn of
the steamer developing new beauties of cliff and mountain scenery.
The farther we advanced the narrower grew the fjord, and the nearer
approached the mountains. Landing at Veblungsnaes, a little settlement
at the end of the fjord, a crowd of men and boys surrounded us, all
anxious to furnish a horse and carriage for a drive up the valley.

I left my friends here for a few days, and started alone on my first
carriole drive. The carriole is an open, two-wheeled vehicle resembling
a gig, with a small seat for one person, who drives himself; you hang
your legs out at the sides of the very narrow body of the carriole,
resting your feet upon braces; at the back, on a narrow cross bar, is
strapped your baggage, which is necessarily limited in quantity, and
upon it sits the _Skydsgut_ (post-boy), who always accompanies you and
returns with the horse and carriole when you take a fresh one at the
next station.

It began to rain, but donning my rubber coat (a prime necessity in
Norway), and buttoning the leather boot tightly to the back of the
seat keeping me warm and dry, we started on a twenty mile drive up the
Romsdal. The horse was small, sure footed, and tolerably fast, the
springs of the carriole rendered it an easy riding vehicle, and as the
rain soon ceased it proved an enjoyable drive up the grand valley, with
its steep rocky sides, and a river foaming far below the smooth and
solid roadway. The boy’s English was confined to “Oh, yes!” which he
fired at me in answer to every question; therefore our conversation was
limited.

We stopped at a little posting station to feed the horse, and I
improved the chance to take supper. I was served with a quart of
cold milk, four boiled eggs, with bread, cheese, fancy crackers, and
crullers, _ad libitum_, and was charged fifty öre (about thirteen
cents). The long drive and mountain air had given me a good appetite,
so I left very little food upon the table, and felt decidedly guilty
as I thought how much the poor people must have lost on my supper, as
I paid the modest charge, and received a hearty hand shake from the
assembled household. A small station called Flatmark was my objective
point, and we arrived there early in the evening. Paying the boy the
fixed charge of so much per kilomètre (five-eighths of a mile), and
a few cents extra as a fee for himself, he shook my hand and then
returned with the horse.

The inn, which was only a common farm-house, was not very inviting
on its exterior; no one about the place could understand a word of
English, so I racked my brain trying to recall the few Norse words I
knew, and at last had recourse to my phrase book; but I cast it aside
in despair, for it always opened to this sentence, _Jeg har været
gift og har et Barn_ (I am married, and have one child). Now, for a
confirmed bachelor of many years’ standing, seeking a bed for the
night, and striving to arrange for breakfast in the morning, what
could be more useless than such a sentence, torturing him with the
recollection of unattained connubial bliss, and if uttered, causing
him to sail under false colors into the sympathies of this daughter of
the midnight sun? Therefore, without going into details of my family
relations or heart’s aspirations, I managed to select from the twenty
Norwegian words at my command a few which, when uttered, resulted in
my being conducted into a neat and plainly furnished room, from which
opened two bedrooms. I placed my knapsack in one of them, and then, as
it was yet early in the evening, started to walk up the valley towards
Ormeim.

The rocky sides of the valley are almost perpendicular, and over
them came waterfalls and cascades precipitated from rock to rock, a
distance of over two thousand feet; great mountain peaks towered in
the background; the river Rauma rushed o’er its rocky bed, the whole
forming a most imposing scene, tempting me to prolong my walk until
nearly midnight.

Returning to the farm house I found that my bed was of straw, and the
bedstead about a foot shorter than myself; but the bed linen was fresh
and clean, and my long walk in the clear air quickly sent me to the
arms of Morpheus.

A breakfast of fresh eggs, coffee with rich cream, good wheat and
rye bread, and cheese, was neatly served, and paying forty cents
for my lodging and breakfast, which was received with a thankful
shake of my hand, I started on my twenty mile walk down the valley
to Veblungsnaes, whence I had driven the previous day. The sky was
cloudless, it was a warm and sunny day, and every breath of the sweet
fresh air was as exhilarating as champagne.

The Romsdal is the finest valley in Norway, and the road running
through it is one of the most celebrated routes in the country. Beyond
Flatmark the valley broadens into a large basin, where the road and the
river wind among a bewildering collection of boulders and great masses
of rock, piled up in the wildest confusion, which during the flight of
time, have been brought down by tremendous landslips. One would think
that a great mountain had been split up, and its fragments scattered
broadcast over the valley, and it seems the realization of chaos as
one walks amid this maze of boulders, among which the river threads
its way, lashing them with its foam. This wild and imposing scene was
followed by quiet stretches of valley, where little farm houses nestled
in the midst of green fields, and the river gleamed brightly in a
grassy plain.

The station inn at Horgheim was in full possession of a large
excursion party from Scotland, who had arrived the previous evening at
Veblungsnaes, in the steamer that was taking them on a two weeks’ trip
to the most accessible points in Norway.

They had swarmed up the valley that morning in a long procession of
vehicles, and had halted at the little inn, where the inmates were
almost distracted while trying to understand the many questions and
satisfy the demands of the noisy crowd, amid the sound of bagpipes and
the confusion of fifty voices talking all at once in a foreign tongue.

The rational traveller who visits a foreign country, not simply for
the sake of saying he has been there, but to become acquainted with
the life and customs of its inhabitants, and who finds one of its
chief charms in the open-hearted, unsophisticated nature of its common
people, views with dismay and sorrow its invasion by large conducted
parties, whose members rush through the country like a flock of sheep,
all crowding close to the leader. The simple natives are at first
appalled at the sight of the noisy clamoring crowd, whose inquisitive
glances and prying questions wound their honest pride and open nature,
and they shrink from being made spectacles for the curious; their
straightforwardness then changes into a cold, calculating nature, and
they grow to consider their visitors as their reasonable prey, and
in time, instead of finding a people who in a sincere unaffected
manner receive you as a friend, and render your stay at an inn similar
to a visit in a private house, you are met by a people who gauge
all attentions by their money value, and extortion and overcharge,
in modern hotels, follow the homelike cheer of the primitive inns.
Happily, the greater part of the interior of Norway is yet inaccessible
to large parties of Cookies and the “personally conducted,” and the
unspoiled natives still minister in their simple way to intelligent,
travelling, free moral agents.

Horgheim lies in the midst of the grandest scenery of the valley. The
Romsdalshorn here rises with its huge pointed peak 5090 feet high, its
granite sides in places as straight and smooth as if it were an immense
cheese, and a knife had been used to cut off the blocks of granite,
which lie piled up at its base and scattered over the valley. Opposite
the Romsdalshorn are the Trolltinder, 5880 feet high, rearing their
sharp-cut jagged pinnacles in such weird and fantastic forms that the
name “witches’ pinnacles” has been applied to them. The deep crevices
of this wall of rock are filled with snow; high up the mountain lies a
crystal mass from which rise the clear-cut rocky shafts, and at times
is heard the rumble and roar of the falling avalanche, as a great body
of snow slides down the smooth surface of the rock, until caught in
some deep depression or its course is arrested by a projecting ledge.
In the narrow space between these scarred and rugged walls leaps and
foams the river Rauma, adding life and animation to the grand and
desolate scene. In the grandeur and abruptness of its rock formations,
the Romsdal almost equals the far-famed Yosemite. The Romsdal is 235
feet above sea-level, while the Yosemite is 4060 feet; for that reason
the mountains here appear much higher. The Romsdalshorn rises 1500 feet
higher above its valley than does El Capitan, and in places its sides
are nearly as abrupt and clean cut; but the magnificent waterfalls, and
great variety of peaks and domes of the Yosemite far surpass those of
the Norwegian valley in beauty and grandeur.

Back of the Romsdalshorn are still more lofty peaks; and viewed that
day, when every outline of the mountain tops and sharp-cut pinnacles
stood out against the blue vault of heaven, with the great Horn
towering above, its seamed walls of rock destitute of every form of
vegetation, with no sound to break the stillness save the rushing river
and falling avalanche, it was a sublime sight.

At Aak, whence one obtains the most striking view of the mountains of
the Romsdal, the little inn has been purchased by an English gentleman
for a summer residence. One could not find a more charming spot, for
there are also lovely views up the Isterdal, a valley lined by mountain
peaks opening into the Romsdal at this point, and westward the view
is closed by the village of Veblungsnaes and the fjord encircled by
mountains.

The valley here becomes wider, with tracts of cultivated land, and
cosy farm houses, among which winds a good road to Veblungsnaes, whose
scenery and surroundings are its only attractions.



A MOUNTAIN WALK.



CHAPTER IX.

_A MOUNTAIN WALK._

    STEAMBOAT SERVICE—A NIGHT IN A MOUNTAIN SÆTER—PRIMITIVE
    ACCOMMODATIONS—A TALKATIVE FARMER—RIDING HORSEBACK UNDER
    DIFFICULTIES—AN EXHAUSTING TRAMP AND A TRIAL OF PATIENCE—UP THE
    GEIRANGER FJORD TO MEROK—APPROACH TO HELLESYLT.


The steamboat service in Norway is excellent. The larger steamers run
along the coast, and up the principal fjords, carrying the mails and
freight, and are fitted with comfortable passenger accommodations.

The captain, mates, and purser all speak English, and often the
stewards and others employed about the steamer understand English; we
found them social and obliging, always ready to answer questions and
impart information, and the captains were especially agreeable and well
informed. These steamers run at frequent and regular intervals, and it
is the boast of the Norwegians that their steamers deliver their mails
with as much regularity, and as little interruption, as the railway
mail service in other countries.

Upon the numerous narrow fjords penetrating far inland is a service of
smaller steamers, mostly running during the summer months, occasionally
taking extra routes for tourists. They run at stated but not frequent
intervals, and in planning a trip through Norway it is necessary to
give considerable study to the “Norges Communicationer,” a publication
giving the time tables and routes of all steamers and the few railways
in the country; and happy is the man who can arrange his journey so as
not to lose a few days while waiting, at a little out-of-the-way place,
for a steamer.

I had planned a three weeks’ trip, in which everything followed along
serenely, provided I could walk across the country in one day between
Vik on the Indfjord, and Sylte on the Norddalsfjord, a distance of
twenty miles on the map; whereas, if I went by steamer down the
Romsdalsfjord and drove across country, I must wait for two days for a
steamer up the fjord, and my whole future journey would be disarranged;
therefore I decided, if possible, to walk across to Sylte and there
take the steamer. On inquiring I was told it was a pleasant walk
through mountain valleys, easily accomplished in six hours; but I
concluded afterwards that my informers knew no more about it than do
you, gentle reader.

The innkeeper’s son at Veblungsnaes, a bright lad who was studying
English, who had ordered a nice dinner for me, also engaged two
boatmen. There is a fixed tariff for boatmen at so much per kilomètre,
according to the number of rowers. Two hardy farmers rowed me down
the fjord, keeping close to the rocky cliffs, over whose sides flowed
numerous cascades; then we turned up the contracted Indfjord, with farm
houses nestled amid green fields at the base of the rugged mountains,
and arrived at a cluster of houses called Vik. For the row of an hour
and a half the boatmen were perfectly satisfied with sixty-five cents,
which included a fee to each of them besides the fixed tariff, and they
were to return at their own expense. They both gave me a hearty hand
shake, and conducted me to the principal gaard (farm house), where I
made the old farmer understand by means of a map in my Baedeker, and a
volley of Norse substantives and infinitives fired at him at random,
that I must reach Sylte at four o’clock the next afternoon; and he
consented to act as my guide.

He brought me a bottle of home-made beer, compounded of roots and
herbs, which tasted like fermented thoroughwort tea, to brace me up
for the arduous journey, and then harnessed his jaundice-colored mare
into the stolkjærre, a two-wheeled cart, the body resting directly on
the axle, the only spring being in the wooden supports of the seat
branching backward from the shafts. The seat, wide enough for two, was
without cushions, with a low railing for a back, and as we rattled
down the slope over the stones, on our way to the road in the valley,
it would have been certain destruction to false teeth, and there was
a spine-shattering sensation that brought before the vision groups of
twinkling stars. The valley road proved much better, and in time one
can become accustomed to the motion of a springless cart, as well as to
that of an ocean steamer, and it was really an enjoyable drive up the
narrow valley, whose lofty sides shut out the rays of the setting sun.
In the deepening twilight we gradually ascended through forests until,
after slowly climbing in steep zigzags a wall of rock, farther progress
in the cart ended at a collection of rude timber-built sæters.

We had accomplished eight miles of the journey, and were to pass the
night here. We entered the largest of the sæters, consisting of two
rooms, and I was given to understand I could have one of them. In
one corner was a rude box-bed; around the sides were straight-back
wooden benches, under and upon which were cheeses and tubs of butter;
husband’s Sunday coat, with its rows of big shining buttons and
mother’s best gown and cap, hung from a beam above the benches, while
the family collection of go-to-meeting boots and shoes protruded from
beneath the bed. The men from the other houses, and the children of
assorted sizes, gathered in the room to keep away all feeling of
lonesomeness, and plied me with questions I could neither answer nor
understand.

As each man puffed away at a black pipe, while a woman, in a homespun
gown, tight-fitting cap much like a nightcap, and heavy shoes, was
removing the dairy exhibition from the benches and preparing the bed,
the air became so thick that I sought relief out of doors. Returning
soon after to find the assembly still seated in the room, as it was
approaching midnight I made them understand by pantomime that I wanted
to go to bed, and they finally withdrew.

I disrobed while the children were running to and fro before the
curtainless windows, and, warned by the approaching tramp of the
heavy shoes, had just time to dive between the bedclothes as the woman
entered for the last cheese. There was no lock upon the door, but
though I had what for these poor peasants would have been quite a large
sum of money, I had not the least anxiety; for in Norway among the
honest country folk robbery is unknown, and I reposed, doubled up like
a capital letter S in the short bed, beneath a smothering eider down
quilt, with my mind more at ease than my body.

Before five o’clock my farmer guide descended from the loft and
awakened me. For the preparation of my toilet he brought a bright
milk pan, filled with water, and placed beside it, on a bench, a long
comb with eight teeth rising at irregular intervals from among their
shattered companions; as my toilet articles were in my knapsack, I
dispensed with the use of this ancient _heir-loom_.

We sat down to breakfast in the other room. At one side of the table
was a bed containing three sleeping children, all wearing tight-fitting
nightcaps; on the other was the bed which had been occupied by the
farmer and his wife. We were served with a peculiar-tasting liquid
supposed to be coffee, and piles of _fladbrod_ and butter and cheese
graced the table. _Fladbrod_ is made from a mixture of barley and
oat meal; the unfermented dough is rolled into thin sheets and baked
on iron plates over a slow fire. The sheets are round, about fifteen
inches in diameter; are piled in cylindrical heaps and kept for six
months, and it is said they can even be kept for a year. They are dark
brown, crisp and brittle, but without much taste, and it seems like
eating so many sheets of thick brown wrapping paper. In addition to
the _fladbrod_ was an equally high pile of wafers, the size of a tea
plate, of the consistency of thin tissue paper; one might devour them
by the hundred and yet perish from hunger. It was not a substantial
preparation for our hard tramp, but the worthy couple had given us
the best their humble home afforded, and received the fifty cents,
including the charge for us both, with a strong grasp of the hand,
which was repeated with many a _Farvel_ as we left them and started
upon our walk.

The path at first was good and the exercise in the fresh morning air
very exhilarating, as we proceeded up the narrow valley, but soon the
path grew rough until it became like the bed of a mountain torrent,
with running water and loose rocks, among which we had carefully to
pick our way. Ascending until we came to some firm ground, we found
fresh bear tracks in the path, which we followed for a distance until
they disappeared.

The old farmer, like all the sociable Norwegians, was simply aching
to talk, and was delighted when I brought forth a few words from my
phrase book, or showed that I caught at the meaning of his oft-repeated
sentences; on learning that I was from America he was more anxious
than ever to talk, as he had a brother living in Wisconsin, but the
conversation was limited, as my simple vocabulary was soon exhausted;
though it is surprising to find how much one can accomplish with only
a few words of a foreign language, and how well one can make himself
understood by signs and motions.

We continued on our laborious way until we came to a mountain stream,
which was almost a river. While wondering how we were to cross, I
saw the guide drive some horses, feeding near by, to the river, and,
mounting one of them, he rode to the other side. I caught an old mare,
and, succeeding in mounting, urged her into the water, every step as
she plunged among the rocks nearly sending me off; when in mid stream,
where the swift-running water was up to her belly, the neighing of her
colt, who had remained behind, caused her to suddenly whirl about, and
as I frantically clung to her mane, my feet dragging in the water, she
returned to the shore; driving the colt into the stream and remounting
the mare, I succeeded after shouting and flourishing my walking stick
in riding her across, and on reaching the opposite side slipped from
her back with a thankful sigh.

The narrower streams that we afterwards came to we forded, and in a
decidedly demoralized condition we reached a cluster of rude sæters,
the homes of girls who had gone thither with the goats and cows for
the summer, where the butter and cheese are made; but we found them
deserted, the girls being away with their herds.

It now began to rain as we proceeded down a marshy slope, the springy
soil slipping from beneath our feet; and extricating ourselves from
a forlorn swamp, we ascended by precipitous zigzags a spur of the
mountain. It was then noon, and I had had nothing to eat since my five
o’clock breakfast of wrapping-paper _fladbrod_ and tissue wafers. The
guide took from his pocket a piece of hard black bread he had brought
from his home, and sitting in the rain, on the side of the barren
mountain, amid a scene of absolute desolation and eternal silence, that
dry bread was the sweetest morsel I had ever tasted.

Willingly would I have lingered and rested, but the guide urged me
onward up the mountain, and then, as we descended on the other side,
we came to a long extent of snow, where as we walked we slumped down
much above our knees, first with one leg then with the other, until it
became so tiring that we climbed higher up the mountain side covered
with fragments of rock, and jumping from rock to rock continued our
weary course. I began to think the guide had lost his way, as there was
neither indication of a path nor sign that any one had been in this
dreary place before, but he answered my anxious inquiry, _Til Sylte?_
(To Sylte?) with, _Ja, ankommen der strax_ (Yes, we arrive there
immediately).

Still onward we go through woods and swamps, till at last, as we pass
through an oozing, clinging loam, I am about to give up in despair,
when in the distance I perceive a road and a farm house. Weary, lame,
and footsore, I reach the farm house, and dismissing the guide, hire a
farmer to take me the few miles which still must be travelled before
Sylte is reached.

The springless stolkjærre seemed like the easiest riding and most
luxurious of coupés, and as we climbed the narrow way high up the
cliff above the fjord, and descended the winding road to Sylte, a
delightful sensation of rest stole over my weary frame.

The main street of the little village was filled with men, who had
come in from the neighboring farms to vote for county officers, the
largest groups being gathered before the little inn. The innkeeper’s
knowledge of English was even more limited than mine of Norwegian, so
he gave up the former, and I proceeded to order a dinner in Norwegian:
_Suppe_, _Lax_, and _Bifstek med Potetes_ were mutually understood,
and while they were being prepared, I renewed my exhausted strength
with bread, cheese, and beer. The Norwegians possess many virtues, but
they certainly lack those of quickness of motion, and of hurrying in
an emergency. One hour, two hours, went by, and still to my anxious
inquiries for dinner nothing appeared but a few plates and some salt
and pepper. The time was rapidly approaching for the arrival of the
steamer, and it looked as if I must depart dinnerless, when the woman,
whose every movement was only performed after mature deliberation,
entered with the soup, and the remainder of the dinner was brought on
before the steamer appeared far down the fjord.

As a steamer is considered to be on time if it arrives an hour before
or an hour after the advertised time, one is liable to wait two hours
and still be told that the steamer is exactly on time; fortunately
the steamer that day was an hour behind that denoted by the time
table. While waiting on the shore of the fjord for the steamer slowly
making its way toward Sylte, two farmers entered into conversation
with me in English, and a crowd gathered around us to hear the strange
language. The farmers had been to America and had spent several years
in Wisconsin, but while living on the level monotonous plains they had
had such intense longings for the mountains and fjords of their native
land, that, disregarding all material benefits, they had returned to
Norway.

As I was rowed out to the steamer by a bright young boy, my friends,
whom I had arranged to meet here, greeted me from the deck, and, as I
climbed up the steps on the steamer’s side, gathered to welcome me and
hear the account of my tongue-tied wanderings of the past three days.

The rain had ceased, and we steamed up the fjord beneath a bright
sun, amid a glorious panorama of ever-changing mountain views. At one
village two spirited horses were rowed out to us in a small boat,
from which they calmly walked up two planks to the lower deck of the
steamer.

The Geiranger fjord is conceded by the majority of travellers to be
the most magnificent fjord in Norway; its sides of barren rock rise
from the water almost perpendicularly to the height of four thousand
feet, with scarcely space for even a foothold at their base, the water
beating directly against the precipitous rock. The sides are worn and
chiselled smooth by nature, and have but scanty growths of vegetation
in occasional depressions, and upon their receding summits. The fjord
is in places a mile wide; a lofty peak guards the entrance on the
right, and in winter its falling avalanches break by concussion the
windows in a farm house perched high on the opposite side of the fjord.

Beautiful waterfalls stream down the sides, fed by the mass of snow on
the mountains above, and as the rocky walls are at times capped with
mist, the water then has the effect of falling directly from the clouds.

Over the side of a cliff descend a series of silver cascades, called
the “Seven Sisters,” leaping from ledge to ledge, until in unbroken
streams they reach the fjord, whose transparent waters reflect their
entire course. At one point is a little clearing, with a farm house,
sixteen hundred feet above the water, reached by a dizzy path in
zigzags up the cliff; back of it towers a wall of rock two thousand
feet high, and one wonders how a human being can choose such a place
for a habitation, midway between heaven and earth, exposed to falling
avalanches from above, and to sliding down the yawning precipices into
the fjord below. It is said that the parents here tether their children
with ropes, to keep them from the edge of the cliff, and from “taking a
header far down below.”

The fjord contracts as we advance, and the rocks upon the sides assume
fantastic shapes when viewed at the proper angle; high up the cliff we
saw goats, in apparently inaccessible places, browsing upon what seemed
to be barren rocks, and heard the shouts of a solitary goatherd, as he
waved his hat in salute.

At the head of the fjord, ten miles from its entrance, is Merok,
where the mountain sides slope more gradually to the water. The inns
and small houses composing the little settlement extend along the
shore, with a background of lofty mountains, and the situation is most
beautiful, although on account of the winding course of the fjord not
much of its extent can be seen.

After leaving freight and passengers here, we returned down the fjord,
all the grand scenery passing once more in review, and proceeded to
Hellesylt, at the head of the Sunelvfjord.

A landing pier extends into the water, the approach to which is very
interesting, as the pier is close beside a wide and imposing cataract
falling into the fjord, into whose foaming waters we seemed to be
headed, and its spray was blown in our faces as we drew up at the pier
and stepped from the steamer.

Hellesylt lies in the midst of scenery almost as grand as that along
the Geiranger fjord; but we preferred to feast upon something more
material than mountain views, and hastened to the inn, where the genial
landlord, Herr Tryggestad, provided us with a delicious supper and
comfortable beds.



ACROSS COUNTRY DRIVE.



CHAPTER X.

_ACROSS COUNTRY DRIVE._

    POSTING SYSTEM AND MANNER OF TRAVELLING IN THE
    INTERIOR—CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NORWEGIANS—A DAY’S CARRIOLING—A
    MORNING WALK—RIVAL INNKEEPERS—SCENES IN THE HAY FIELDS—OUR THIRD
    DAY’S RIDE—RESTING AT SANDE.


There are but few railways in Norway. From Christiania are several
short railroads to places in the immediate vicinity; two lines go
into Sweden; and extending northward to Throndhjem is the longest
railroad in the country; on the west coast a railroad extends inland a
distance of about sixty miles, both from Bergen and Stavanger, and this
completes the railway system of Norway, which reaches but a very small
portion of its area.

Its well-organized system of steamers penetrates far inland through the
network of winding fjords, forming a reliable and comfortable means
of communication, but in the country lying between the fjords, and in
immense tracts unreached by steamers, the sole means of conveyance are
the stolkjærre and carriole, drawn by the hardy Norwegian ponies.

The roads are built by the Government, but are kept in order by the
farmers through whose land they pass, which must be quite a burden upon
them. Many of the roads are excellent, though in the more mountainous
districts they are naturally rough and hilly. They are divided into
_Skydsstationer_ (posting stations), at intervals of from seven to
twelve miles, at which the farmers are obliged by law to have a certain
number of horses in readiness for travellers, who enter their names
in a book, the number of horses wanted, and the station to which they
are going. There is a fixed charge, the distance being reckoned in
kilomètres (five-eighths of a mile), which amounts to about seven cents
per mile; the distance from one station to another, and the amount to
be paid, are always given in the station book.

The stations where they are bound by law to give you a fresh horse
within half an hour are called _fast_, in distinction from others
called _slow_, where the farmers do not have the horses on hand, but
must send to the neighboring farms for them, and the traveller is
sometimes kept waiting several hours. The charge at the slow stations
is a little over four cents a mile; the horses are equally good and
fast, but it is often very tedious waiting for them. The slow stations
are now rarely found except in out-of-the-way districts.

The station is generally a large farm house, which in more frequented
places has grown into an inn or hotel; and at most of them one finds
good food and lodging, everything neat and comfortable, and the charges
extremely reasonable.

The stolkjærre is an open two-wheeled cart, generally destitute of
springs, with a seat accommodating two persons. The baggage is of
necessity limited in quantity, and is placed in the rear, with a bag
of oats for the horse strapped on top, and above all is perched the
_Skydsgut_ (post boy) or _Pige_ (girl), ranging from twelve to twenty
years old, and at times a woman or a man takes the place of the boy
or girl, who jump down to open gates, walk up the hills, getting on
again with surprising ease, no matter how fast the horse is going.
Two persons in a stolkjærre pay a fare and a half; if alone you pay
a single fare, and the boy or girl sit beside you and drive if you
desire them to, but they always offer you the reins on starting.
In case two ladies occupy the stolkjærre, who are unaccustomed to
driving, the boy or girl drives from behind the seat. The carrioles
are genuine bachelor arrangements, with a small seat for one person,
the baggage strapped on a bar behind, upon which sits the boy. The
carrioles are much easier riding than the stolkjærre, and being lighter
the horses travel much faster, but they seem to be disappearing from
many sections, and the solitary traveller is often forced to take a
stolkjærre, which is the same price for one person.

It is said that the natives themselves are giving up the use of the
carrioles, but their scarcity is partly due to a firm of tourist
purveyors in Bergen, called Bennett, who have obtained control of all
the carrioles along many of the routes of travel, and furnish carrioles
of their own, which are really superior to, and more comfortable than,
those belonging to the natives. You must pay an extra charge for a
Bennett carriole. Many travellers rent them for their whole tour
through Norway, but they generally prove an elephant which eats its own
head off, from the numerous charges for transportation across fjords
in row boats and steamers, and the expense of returning them to the
starting point when the journey is finished.

Many ladies seem especially to enjoy carrioling, and if they do not
care to drive, the boy in the rear drives for them.

The horses are small, generally of a light cream color, the manes
trimmed short and standing up straight like a zebra’s; they are
wonderfully sure footed, and it is seldom that one shies, or that the
driver has any trouble or any accident occurs. They are slow walkers
and not very fast travellers, five to seven miles per hour being the
average gait on a tolerably level road; they travel much better when
following a good leader than when by themselves, and know at once who
holds the reins, showing better speed when the boy or girl is driving
and talking to them in Norse, than when urged on with the whip by a
tourist talking in a foreign tongue. The natives treat them very kindly
and stop any attempt at abuse or overdriving by strangers. Towards the
end of the travelling season the horses naturally become tired and lazy,
but you are often given a fine animal which it is a delight to drive.

By this old-fashioned way of travelling one becomes quite well
acquainted with the simple, kind-hearted people, and their mode of
living; also in passing through the country in this leisurely manner,
its grand scenery and striking characteristics are indelibly fixed upon
memory. There is a delightful feeling of independence, and freedom
from all hurry and anxiety; when you come to a fine bit of scenery,
or anything of especial interest, you stop as long as you desire; and
in climbing the hills you have plenty of time to enjoy the views,
or a chance to rest yourself by walking, if cramped from riding. In
fact, a journey by stolkjærre or carriole has all the advantages of a
pedestrian tour, without the attendant fatigue.

But the greatest charm of a trip through Norway lies in the people
themselves. They inherit their free, independent nature from the
Vikings and Norsemen of old, and are as democratic in character as in
government; they have an independent parliament, regulating everything
pertaining to the affairs of the country, and are like a republic
owning allegiance to Sweden. The absence among them of the servility
and obsequiousness that one finds among the common people of most
of the European nations is refreshing, especially to an American;
but though they impress you with the feeling that they are men, with
rights and privileges which should be respected, they are neither
familiar nor presuming in their intercourse with strangers. They are as
unsophisticated and genuine as children, sincere and honest in their
dealings, and extortion is almost unknown.

They lack the outward politeness of the bowing and fawning hotel
keepers and waiters, so often encountered among other nations, nor have
they an unending supply of polite words and forms; but you are always
received with a true politeness, which is the expression of genuine
kindness coming from the heart, and the best of everything available
is placed at your disposal. They are intelligent, well educated, and
uniformly religious, and to one who could speak their language, the
journey would have an added pleasure, as they are very sociable and
communicative; even across the barrier of a foreign language they send
the impression of an especial interest in you, and a desire that you
should be favorably impressed with their country; those who can speak
English, or who are able to understand your feeble Norwegian, are ever
ready to impart information.

It seems to be the universal verdict of all travellers in Norway, that
its people are more delightful and truer hearted than in any other
country in Europe; and many Englishmen, after their first summer in
Norway, return home to a diligent study of Norwegian, and in successive
summers revisit the country, to become more intimately acquainted with
its people, who have so deeply impressed them by their straightforward,
kindly nature.

Although of late years a great stream of travel has flowed over Norway,
yet its people do not seem to have been spoiled by modern civilization;
and whoever goes to Norway to-day, with a disposition to treat the
people with politeness and consideration, will receive the kindest and
most sincere attentions.

From Hellesylt we started on a three days’ drive of eighty miles
across country to the Sognefjord. As there were no carrioles to be
had, we selected, from the row of stolkjærres, one having the most
spring to the supports of the seat, and entering our names in the
station book, paid for the horse to the second station, twelve miles
distant, the fixed price given in the front of the book. On leaving the
inn we slowly wound up an ascent crowned with a picturesque church,
overlooking the sparkling fjord; then the road mounted a rocky gorge,
in whose depths foamed a noisy river, until we came into a mountainous
region, with views of several glaciers and deep valleys. The road was
tolerably smooth and hard, but extremely hilly; the bright-eyed boy
of fourteen perched on our baggage behind jumped down to walk up all
the hills, and to open the numerous gates across the way. As our horse
was fresh and active, the twelve miles were soon accomplished, and we
reached a forlorn station, where we gave the boy a fee of five cents,
and after shaking hands he started back with his horse. We now changed
into two carrioles, with fresh horses, and both of us had a _Smuke
Pige_, a pretty little maiden of twelve summers, sitting on behind.

Two stolkjærres started off at the same time, one of them with a very
fine horse leading. I came next with a dilapidated carriole, and
a small, slab-sided animal, with a great wound on one side, which
in healing had drawn the horse out of shape. His whole internal
arrangements seemed to be loose, for as he travelled there was a
most appalling rumbling and rattling; he was stiff and lame, and
broken-winded, and was the greatest wreck of a horse I had ever seen;
nor did I ever come across such a miserable one again while in Norway.
I refused at first to take him, but he was the only one available, and
as it was but five miles to the next station, most of the way being
down hill, I thought he would be able to reach it. He started out
apparently with hardly strength enough to keep himself from complete
disorganization, but the spirit and pluck of an old race horse lay
dormant, and was soon aroused; he was determined to keep up with the
spirited leader, who was going at a tremendous pace, and we tore down
the steep hills as if the evil one were after us. I could not hold him
back, and expected any moment that the rickety carriole and wheezing
horse would collapse. The horse in the rear was pressing hard upon us,
and his mouth at times almost rested on the golden-haired _Pige’s_
head, which so filled her with alarm that she shouted to the horse,
serving to increase his speed. Thinking he might drop dead in the road
if he continued at this pace, I turned out at one side and let the
others pass, but even then I had hard work to keep him down to a gait
suited to his bodily infirmities, and I arrived at the station not long
after the others.

We waited an hour for dinner, but the time passed quickly, as the
little village of Grodaas is most charmingly situated, at the head of
a narrow fjord within a circle of the ever-beautiful mountains. The
distance to the next station is six kilomètres, but the whole way being
an ascent of steep hills we were charged for eight, this means being
adopted to recompense the farmers for the extra work and time of their
horses; in coming in the reverse direction only six kilomètres are paid
for.

The horse and _Pige_ walked most of the way, it being all the horse
could do to pull us up, and it soon became so steep that we likewise
got out and walked. The _Pige_ was a demure little girl, who modestly
lowered her eyes every time we spoke to her, and when we gave her a few
cents as she left us at the next station, she took us timidly by the
hand and dropped a pretty courtesy.

Here we both started in carrioles for Faleide, most of the way being
a rapid descent. I had a strong, sure-footed horse, which I at first
held back with a tight rein, as we descended a steep hill strewed with
rocks; but he behaved so strangely that the boy looked over from behind
to see what was the matter, and taking the reins, which he allowed to
dangle at the horse’s side, uttered a Viking yell, starting the horse
almost into a run, and down the hill we went as if coasting down a
toboggan slide. I held my breath, thinking we might come to an untimely
end, but the horse never made a misstep. After that I allowed the reins
to lay loose, and the horse took his own gait in descending the hills.
They really seem to enjoy going at their utmost speed descending, but
at the slightest rise they settle into a walk.

At Faleide we found a modern hotel, built out from a wall of rock
high above the road, its wide piazza commanding extensive views of
the fjord and the grand mountains, with glaciers descending into the
valleys. While waiting for the arrival of two boatmen, for whom the
landlord sent to a neighboring farm, we had an inviting supper, served
by a maid in national costume, with snow-white head-dress, in a dining
room whose windows looked out upon the beautiful panorama of mountains
and fjords; then we were rowed, in an hour and a half, past the
numerous farm houses amid pleasant fields sloping down to the water,
to Utviken, which we reached in the twilight hour, as a peaceful calm
rested on the dark mountains, and the rippling fjord gleamed with the
vanishing coloring of a vivid sunset.

Leaving the little inn at six o’clock the next morning, we started
to walk to Red; between the two places is a steep hill, over two
thousand feet high, which is so abrupt, that even the Norwegian horses
are obliged to descend from its summit the greater part of the way
at a walk, instead of at their usual breakneck speed; so it is more
enjoyable to walk, and the distance can be accomplished in less time
than by stolkjærre.

We needed all the bracing effect of the morning air, as we proceeded up
the steep zigzags of the well-made road, every few steps unfolding more
extended views of the fjord, with little settlements dotting its green
sides, and with its rear guard of eternal mountains. We left the path
and visited a cluster of sæters, but found the rude huts deserted.

The summit of the hill is a dreary plateau strewed with great boulders,
from which is a striking view of mountain peaks, with valleys branching
in various directions closed by glistening glaciers, while gleaming
among their barren surroundings are lakes and fjords.

We sat down to eat the lunch that the innkeeper’s thoughtful wife had
placed in our pockets on departing, but in the warm sunlight we were
surrounded by a swarm of flies, which nearly devoured us, lunch and
all; such blood-thirsty and persistent flies we never encountered
before, and they fully demonstrated their ability to accomplish their
year’s work during the few weeks of the short Norwegian summer.

At the little hamlet of Red we found two rival hotels, the Victoria
and the _Wictory_, the proprietor of the latter being as mixed in his
orthography as was Sam Weller. The rival innkeepers are engaged in a
bitter warfare, which is participated in by the guests of the hotels,
for in all the station books on the roads to and from Red were comments
of travellers, praising one hotel, and denouncing the other. These
comments were so exaggerated and contradictory that they defeated
their object, and caused one to decide, if possible, to give both
hotels a wide berth. We stopped at the Victoria, as it was the first
we came to, and ordered a lunch and two boatmen to row us down the
lake, as the proprietor said there was no steamer; no sooner had he
disappeared than the keeper of the Wictory across the way walked over
and informed us that his steamer left in half an hour. We immediately
countermanded both the order for the lunch and the boatmen, and giving
the keeper of the Victoria our opinion of him, embarked on the steamer,
concluding that the Wictory’s landlord must be the saint, and the
Victoria’s the sinner. This was one of the few instances where we found
the Norwegians’ simple nature had been perverted; whether by inherent
depravity or by foreign travellers we know not.

The steamer was a small craft manned by two men, the captain combining
every position on board except that of engineer. It was a much
preferable way of making the journey to being rowed ten miles across
the lake. The rocky cliffs and mountains rose to dizzy heights, and
numerous waterfalls leaped down their sides into the clear waters of
the lake.

Our next post by stolkjærre was an extremely interesting one. The
rough and hilly road led through a narrow gorge thickly strewed with
huge blocks of rock, a small river dashed and foamed below us, and
shutting us in on both sides were the lofty mountains. Then we came
out into a broad valley with views of several offshoots of the great
Jostedalsbræ, the largest glacier in Norway, descending from an immense
plateau of snow and ice into the valley. The road skirts the Jölster
Lake, a beautiful expanse of clear water, with its sides studded with
farms. The fields were full of haymakers, the girls dressed in the
pretty costume of blue homespun skirt, white waist and bright bodice,
some with their flaxen hair coiled into a knot on the very top of the
head, others wearing jaunty peaked caps, all being barefoot, with black
gaiters buttoned around the ankles.

The hay is dried on racks, like a section of rail fence, composed of
six or eight rails, sometimes wire being substituted for the rails,
built at the sides and down the centre of the hay fields; the grass is
mown by hand, and much of it, on account of the numerous rocks, has to
be cut, a handful at a time, with a sickle; the girls hang the grass
upon the rails of the racks so as to allow a free circulation of air,
which during the cloudy days hastens the curing process, and even
after a long rain only the outside of the grass on the upper rails is
spoiled. The haymaking is a long and laborious process, and as there
is much bad weather and rain, the haying season extends through the
greater part of the Norwegian summer, and it is often weeks after the
grass is hung upon the racks before it is sufficiently dried, and ready
to be removed and carted to the barns.

We frequently saw what is called the “hay telegraph,” a stout wire
stretching into the valley from a clearing high above. The grass is
cut, dried, and made into bales, which are attached to an iron ring,
and sent down the wire, high above the trees, into the valley below.

Wherever there is a level tract of land, and grass and oats will grow,
even though it is restricted in dimensions and is located high up the
mountain side, there we would see the solitary farm house. With what
astonishment must the Norwegians who yearly emigrate to Wisconsin,
Minnesota, and Dakota view the level boundless prairies, after living
on these contracted farms, where only with much labor can they gather a
scanty crop from among the rocks!

At the next post station we found every horse out, for a prolific
English vicar, accompanied by his wife and seven daughters, the long
list of whose names—Deborah, Rachel, Olivia, etc.—were entered in the
station book, had just passed through, sweeping away every available
horse. All the horses near by were at work in the hay fields; the
_Pige_ refused to go farther with her horse; and as it would require an
hour to send to a distant farm for one, we decided to walk to the next
station.

A beautiful, hard, level road extended along the edge of the lake,
through pleasant pastoral scenes, with picturesque little villages with
rustic churches, and fields near the road from which the haymakers sent
us cordial greetings.

After our long ride the ten-mile walk was an agreeable change, and with
appetites such as only the bracing and sweet scented air can give, we
arrived at sunset at Nedre Vassenden.

The inn was an old, rough house, unpainted on the exterior, situated
at the end of the lake, with charming views of its placid water and
background of blue mountains; but the interior was neat and inviting,
and a motherly old woman gave us a hearty welcome, and soon served us
with a supper of fried trout, fried eggs, rich milk and cheese, some
delicate marmalade, and wheat, rye, and graham bread.

At all the inns in Norway we found three kinds of bread, which were
invariably good.

Our room overlooked the fine rapids formed by a river flowing from the
lake, and in comfortable beds we were lulled to peaceful slumber, by
the sound of rushing waters. After a substantial breakfast we left the
dear old lady, who had won our hearts by her kindness, as well as by
her culinary skill, and she gave us a warm handshake as we paid our
moderate bill of three crowns (eighty cents) each.

An old farmer was perched on the back of the stolkjærre, who was very
talkative and the embodiment of good nature, so that we regretted more
than ever our imperfect knowledge of the language, and inability to
understand him. The road followed the banks of a river, and skirted
occasional lakes amid park-like scenery, with beautiful waterfalls
coming down among the dark pine trees. Every few minutes the farmer
would point to the water and utter _Mange Lax_ (Many salmon), which to
him was the chief attraction. It began to rain and we put on our rubber
coats, which filled the farmer’s heart with unbounded admiration, and
as he reached forward and softly stroked them with his hand, he asked
how much we paid for them, like a simple unsophisticated child.

The rain came down in torrents as we drove up to the inn at Forde, and
we were glad to avail ourselves of its shelter and treat the farmer to
beer. We then toiled up some terribly steep hills, from which all views
were obscured by the thick clouds, and arrived at a rude station where
the farmer left us; it was a _slow_ station, and we were forced to wait
in a miserable building for over an hour, while a horse was sent for
to a distant farm. Starting once more, we drove down a steep descent
through the blinding rain, till we came to Sande. We had intended
continuing our journey ten miles farther, to a pretentious hotel at
Vadheim, but the moment we stepped inside the inn we fell in love with
it,—the impression was so cosy and homelike.

From the hall—which seemed like a reception room, as no stairs were
visible—opened through wide doors, on one side the parlor, on the other
the dining room; ivy climbed over the doorways and around the rooms;
flowers and birds, cases filled with English and Norwegian books, racks
with pipes and ornaments, tables covered with English newspapers, near
which were drawn easy chairs, were about the rooms, and everything was
so neat and inviting, with such an air of comfort and restfulness,
that we decided at once to remain several days. Herr Sivertsen, the
proprietor, although a University-educated man, does not speak much
English, but he made us welcome and sent a maid to take our orders, who
had lived several years in America, and who greeted us in our native
tongue.

We were soon served with a good dinner and met some pleasant people, as
pleased with the inn as ourselves, who on their arrival intended simply
to stop for dinner, but had remained several days.

During four days it rained almost incessantly, and we congratulated
ourselves on being so comfortably housed. The irregularity regarding
sleep which attends a tour in Norway, where during the perpetual
daylight one is led into constant travelling and sight-seeing while the
weather is pleasant, calls for occasional periods of rest, to enable
one to “lay off,” and to store up a fresh supply of sleep and strength,
and also to mentally digest the impressions and information one gathers
so abundantly.

We found Sande a perfect haven of rest; our rooms and beds were clean
and comfortable, the food abundant and well cooked. The pleasant
acquaintances we made, and the genial home feeling pervading the place,
rendered our stay there one of the most enjoyable of our experiences in
Norway. Often during the day travellers would arrive, either to take
fresh horses and continue their journey, or to stop for a meal or the
night, which would call us from our reading and writing, and animate
the otherwise quiet place. At one end of the house was a room used
as a shop, containing an assortment of hardware, gingerbread, boots,
soap, jewelry, in fact everything to satisfy the moderate wants of the
natives, who drove up in their stolkjærres to do their trading, their
costumes and quaint ways furnishing interesting studies.

One day as I was walking in the rain a farmer stopped and spoke to
me, then putting his hands on my rubber coat, tried to unbutton it;
thinking he wished to know what time it was, I opened my coat and
showed him my watch, at which he shook his head, and taking my coat in
his hands carefully examined it, inside and out, and with a look of
great admiration uttered, _Hvad koster det?_ (What did that cost?).
When I told him fifteen crowns, he shook his head at such extravagance,
and saying something which far exceeded the bounds of my Norwegian
vocabulary, gave me a handshake and went his way.

When the rain ceased and the sun reappeared, we were more than
ever charmed with the place, for we then saw the beauty of its
surroundings. Across a swift, flowing river before the inn was a range
of low mountains flecked with snow; while mountains towered in the
rear, enclosing the fertile valley with its fields and farm houses.

In every direction we found pleasant walks; up the valleys extending
among the mountains; along the river’s bank by a road winding among
fragrant pines and up the mountain sides for the extensive views. But
the favorite excursion was to a series of lakes flowing into each
other, and forming imposing waterfalls as the water leaped over a high
ledge into the lake below, and seethed and foamed as it flowed onward
for another plunge.

Several of the guests were sportsmen, who returned at night with a good
supply of trout caught in the lakes, and an occasional salmon taken
from the river,—which graced the breakfast table.

In these delightful surroundings the days, both sunny and rainy, flew
quickly by, and we were prepared to start with new zest for other scenes.



ON AND ABOUT THE

SOGNEFJORD.



CHAPTER XI.

_ON AND ABOUT THE SOGNEFJORD._

    A DAY ON THE SOGNEFJORD—EVENING SCENES AT A NORWEGIAN
    HOTEL—CARRIOLING THROUGH THE LAERDAL—BORGUND CHURCH—THE GRANDEURS
    OF THE NAERÖFJORD AND WALK THROUGH THE NAERÖDAL—OUR DRIVE TO
    VOSSEVANGEN—A MORNING WALK TO EIDE.


We were awakened at five o’clock one morning, by the boy who drove up
with the stolkjærre that was to take us from our dear Sande, and before
six o’clock we had shaken hands with Herr Sivertsen and the whole
family assembled to bid us farewell, and had started down the valley
towards Vadheim. The road was a descent nearly the whole distance
of ten miles, skirting the shore of a dark lake, and crossing and
recrossing the river, which flows through the narrow valley enclosed by
rocky walls two thousand feet high. In places there was just room for
the road between the overhanging cliffs and the river, and in others
it wound among masses of _débris_ brought down by landslides.

Our horse travelled at a good pace, making the gravel fly, and we
arrived at Vadheim, where we were to take the steamer, an hour before
the advertised time of its departure, prepared for the possibility of
its arriving thus early.

In the hotel parlor we saw another instance of the Norwegian’s high
estimate of human nature, and perfect trust in the traveller’s honesty.
On the table were a number of books, filled with several hundred
unmounted photographs of the scenery of the locality, which were for
sale; every one looks over these books, selecting the photographs he
desires, and then generally has to hunt up some one to receive the pay
for them; so there is nothing to prevent one from helping himself, and
making an extensive collection at the expense of the innkeeper. We
found these books at most of the inns and stations, and concluded the
photographs were not taken without being paid for, but we doubt if many
people would care to leave them thus to the stranger’s sense of honor.
Norway is emphatically the land of honest people, and the traveller
soon falls into the habit of neither locking up his belongings nor his
room, and the Norwegians trust strangers to an equal extent.

The Sognefjord is the longest of all the Norwegian fjords; its numerous
arms, branching off in all directions, penetrate far inland, running
up among lofty mountains, until in places they are stopped by immense
glaciers. It is not only an important highway of traffic, but during
the summer months the steamers are crowded with tourists, attracted by
the grand scenery, to whom a day spent upon the steamer, touching at
all the little settlements, the scenery growing grander as one advances
inland, is full of rare enjoyment.

The Norwegians, perhaps with the laudable desire to lighten the burdens
of a married man, and induce him to travel with his family, charge
on their steamers but a fare and a half for a man and his wife, and
for each member of the family a reduction ranging from twenty-five to
fifty per cent. is made. As a couple are reckoned as one and a half,
there may be some discussion among them as to which is to be regarded
as the vulgar fraction, but the feminine constituent may reason, that
as in other countries a married couple are considered one, in Norway,
where they count for one and a half, the extra half belongs to the
wife, who should be reckoned as the _integer_, and the husband as
the _fraction_. Two bachelors must pay full fare on the steamers, yet
in the stolkjærre they go as one and a half; at hotels there is no
reduction, and the benedict and his _integer_ must pay the same as a
brace of “unmated blessings.”

From Vadheim the steamer proceeded down a narrow arm of the fjord,
and then out upon the broad Sognefjord proper, with its grand cliff
and mountain scenery, and occasional settlements on the water’s edge.
At the little village of Balholmen, with its background of imposing
mountains and glaciers, one has a beautiful view of the numerous arms
of the fjord, branching off at this point; the fjord here seems like
a large lake, and bears some resemblance to Lake Lucerne, with its
circle of blue mountains and wooded shores. Then the steamer turns
up a narrow branch, called the Sogndalsfjord, with waterfalls coming
over its smooth sides, and proceeds to Sogndal at its head, shut in by
lofty mountains, but with fertile slopes coming to the water’s edge,
abounding with cultivated fields and comfortable farm houses. The
little village is built upon both sides of a turbulent river, and high
up the slope is a handsome timber-built church and several fine houses;
in the bright afternoon sunlight it appeared to be the most attractive
place we had seen on the fjord.

Regaining the main fjord we enjoyed a most lovely view in our rear. In
the distance were pale blue mountains rising one above the other, with
crystal glaciers streaming down their sides; nearer were mountains of a
deeper blue, and at their feet the dark-green, pine-clad hills rising
from the fjord, whose waters appeared like a sea of gold gleaming in
the sunlight.

The sides of the fjord grew more wooded, with farm houses among small
clearings, and occasional shoots for conveying lumber from the heights
to the water’s edge, while smiling slopes replaced the barren and
abrupt walls through which we had journeyed the greater part of the
way. As we advanced up the branch called the Laerdalsfjord, we were
once more amid the rugged rock formations, and the fjord became a
narrow passage running inland between lofty walls of rock, at the end
of which is the little town of Laerdalsören, the limit of our day’s
journey. The hotel is over a mile from the pier, but we were eager for
a walk and refused to accept the proffered conveyance.

We found Lindström’s Hotel very comfortable, and as we sat on the
piazza in the evening we seemed to be in Chamonix or Zermatt; not on
account of the scenery, for it is neither striking nor interesting,
but from the bustle and movement and scenes about us. Young men in
knickerbockers, and maidens in Scotch helmets and stout shoes, were
coming in from walking excursions; sportsmen were returning from a
day’s fishing or hunting; travellers who had driven from Christiania
were constantly arriving until every room in the hotel and the large
annex was taken; guides were before the hotel interviewing the guests,
and men and boys with carrioles and stolkjærres were all striving to
secure a passenger for the next day.

Laerdalsören wholly owes its importance to being situated at the terminus
of two important land routes from Christiania, and the point of departure
for steamers, by way of the Sognefjord, for Bergen and the north.

The greater part of the hotel guests were English. Perhaps it is
owing to the sociability and good nature of the Norwegians that the
travelling Briton in Norway casts aside his natural reserve and
stiffness, and becomes the most genial and delightful of companions;
certainly, neither in England nor in any country in Europe have we met
such charming and sociable English people as we encountered everywhere
in Norway, and that evening we soon made some pleasant acquaintances
and arranged with them an excursion for the morrow.

In the morning, quite a procession of carrioles and stolkjærres started
up the valley on a seventeen mile drive. I had a nimble horse, an easy
riding carriole, my _Skydsgut_ was a bright boy speaking a little
English, and with the added features of a warm sunny day and pleasant
companions, I had all the requisites for a day of enjoyment.

The Laerdal is at first a wide valley, well cultivated and sprinkled
with farm houses; it is enclosed by mountains with snow-capped peaks,
and many fine waterfalls gleam on their dark sides. It gradually
contracts, and the road ascends until we enter a wild rocky ravine,
with hardly space for the roadway at the base of steep cliffs, on the
edge of a tumultuous river. In many places the road is blasted into the
precipitous cliff, passing beneath overhanging rock, while far below
among great boulders dashes the rushing river in foaming rapids; then
it skirts the edge of projecting cliffs, and you look down a hundred
feet into the great “giant cauldrons,” worn by the water in the solid
rock, as it works onward in its resistless course. A magnificent
waterfall, fringed with many small cascades, comes over the wall of
rock on the opposite side; the foam and thunder of its waters, added
to that of the river, the grand rock formations of the narrow gorge,
and the great boulders scattered in wild confusion all around, form an
imposing scene.

We left our horses at a small station and walked, by what is called
the old road, to Borgund church. It was formerly a well-built road
ascending a cliff in tremendously steep zigzags, but it is now
disused, and one would tremble at the thought of riding over it.
From the summit, after resting and enjoying the view, we descended
through pastures to the Borgund church, the most interesting church in
Norway. It dates from the twelfth century, and is a curious, small,
timber-built structure somewhat in the style of a Chinese pagoda, with
a series of roofs, with many projecting gables, diminishing in size
as they rise one above the other; they are surmounted by a graceful
tapering tower ending in a slender spire, which is crowned with a
weather vane and a cross. The sides and the roofs are covered with long
pointed shingles of a deep black hue, produced by a coating of tar
applied for their preservation. From the ridges of the two upper roofs
project grotesque carvings, somewhat resembling horns, while the west
doorway is carved with two entwined snakes, and the south doorway has
elaborately carved columns and griffins’ heads. Around the exterior is
a low arcade; the lower part is closed, while the upper part is open
and supported by small columns. It was probably built as a protection
against snow and cold. Above the roof of the arcade, on the sides,
are small round holes to admit light and air, for the church has but
one small window, and the interior is dark and open to the roof. The
interior contains little of interest, save the rich dark coloring of
the ancient wooden walls and pillars; there are the remains of an old
stone altar and font, and a dilapidated altar picture which it is
impossible to form much idea of, as it is too dark to permit of its
being seen, and no lights are allowed in the church. It is many years
since the church has been used for service, and it now belongs to the
Antiquarian Society of Christiania, who preserve it as one of the
architectural monuments of the country.

Near by is the quaint timber bell tower, its bells all in good working
order, as was tested by one of our party. One wonders how these simple
Norsemen, so plain and severe in their tastes, ever happened to build
such a fantastic and grotesque church, which seems the expression of
the vivid imagination and luxuriant fancies of a southern clime. We
returned to Husum by the new road, following the banks of a river
forming a series of effective rapids and waterfalls, as it winds
through a narrow defile amid wild and striking scenery. We then drove
back to Laerdalsören through the grand gorge, and at ten o’clock in the
evening embarked on the steamer bound for Gudvangen. It grew dark at
eleven o’clock, and we retired to the cabin and slept until two in the
morning, when we were called and went on deck to find bright sunlight.

The Naeröfjord, which the steamer was entering, is a worthy rival of
the celebrated Geiranger fjord; lofty mountains, many with snow-crowned
summits, bound it on either side, rising, precipitously from the water.
The fjord is winding in its course, and in places the mountains close
it in so that it appears to be a small lake, the great headlands of
granite forming grand and imposing boundaries. Many waterfalls—some
over a thousand feet high appearing like threads of silver as they
descend in a broken course from the snow-fields above, others with
more volume of water from lesser heights—plunge into the fjord below.
Every turn of the steamer unfolds new grandeurs of rock formation and
a fresh supply of waterfalls. At last we come to a little hamlet, with
scarcely room for its few houses on the narrow strip of land between
the base of the mountains and the water, a short distance beyond which
is Gudvangen, at the end of the fjord, so completely shut in by the
mountains that the sun’s rays do not reach it throughout the entire
winter.

It was half-past three o’clock in the morning when we landed, yet
many were at the wharf to meet us (for little distinction is made
between day and night), among whom were the innkeepers, and men and
boys with carrioles and stolkjærres, which they tried to persuade us
to hire for a drive up the valley. But we sought the nearest inn, and
shutting out the sunlight to the best of our ability with the curtains,
retired and slept soundly till ten o’clock; then having partaken of a
good breakfast we started on a six mile walk up the grand Naerödal, a
valley bounded by mountains. A smooth, well-made road passes through
the valley; on either side the roar of waterfalls greeted us as they
fell hundreds of feet and dashed their spray against the rocks, and
as we advanced the Jordalsnut, nearly four thousand feet high, an
immense cone of light-gray feldspar, its sides and summit as smooth
as if trimmed off with a knife, projected into the valley. The effect
is strange in the extreme as one views this great cone from base to
summit, standing far out from the other mountains, like a gigantic
monument set down in the valley.

At the base of the abrupt precipices forming the sides of the Naerödal,
are great masses of rock brought down by avalanches and landslides.
The valley ends in a precipitous cliff, a thousand feet high, called
the Stalheimsklev, on one side of which is the Sevlefos, on the other
the Stalheimsfos, two fine waterfalls, carrying on a continual and
thundering rivalry.

The road ascends by exceedingly steep zigzags (every one dismounting
from their stolkjærres, and walking up or down) to Stalheim, on the
summit of the cliff, where a large modern hotel has been lately built.
Its wide upper piazza commands a beautiful view of the whole extent of
the magnificent Naerödal, a view almost equalling that of the Yosemite
from Inspiration Point. The lofty sides of the valley, with their
tracery of silvery waterfalls, appear but a few hundred feet apart;
the great Jordalsnut seems to have stepped forth from its mountain
environment and stands alone in solemn grandeur, while winding through
the valley beside the foaming river, like a coil of white thread, is
the road to Gudvangen.

The hotel at Stalheim is called a sanitarium. Certainly the situation
is one of the healthiest, its pure air and grand view must be restful
and restoring to both tired mind and body, and, judging from the
excellent dinner we were served with, the hotel can furnish many bodily
comforts. For the drive to Vossevangen we engaged an easy riding
stolkjærre and a young horse, of a communicative and intelligent young
man named David Larson, who spoke excellent English. David told us that
every Norwegian must learn to read and write; in the higher schools
English is taught but as he lived in a small village, he had spent the
previous winter in Bergen, where he had studied English. A young man
becomes of age when twenty-five; if able-bodied he enters the army at
twenty-three, serving six months the first year, and one month during
each of the two succeeding years.

We stopped at several stations along the way, and while the horse was
resting and being fed we walked on, telling David to overtake us. The
road led through a pleasant, fertile valley, dotted with comfortable
farmhouses, with fields filled with haymakers. The distant mountains
were not as lofty and grand as those we had just viewed on our walk
through the Naerödal, but there was the customary supply of fine
waterfalls, and the usual turbulent river flowed through the valley.
High up the sides were rough wooden structures and clearings, which
were filled with hay, stored there until winter, when the farmers make
a road over the snow, and draw it down on sleds with oxen.

The ride of twenty miles amid these pleasant scenes, along the river
and by a series of lakes, and the descent by a steep road into the
village of Vossevangen, was accomplished all too quickly. It was the
height of the summer travel, and finding both of the large hotels full,
we went to Dykesten’s inn, which is unpretending but very comfortable.

Vossevangen is connected by railway with Bergen, sixty-six miles
distant, and the evening train brought many guests to the little inn,
who sat down to the supper table perfect strangers, but they quickly
became acquainted with their neighbors, right and left; for all reserve
is cast off, and one becomes as natural and genial as the Norwegians
themselves. An abundance of material for conversation is furnished
in the comparison of travelling experiences, and the imparting and
receiving of information concerning routes and places to be visited,
and each one seems anxious that others shall enjoy their journey in
Norway equally with himself.

The pleasant little village is charmingly situated at the end of a
large lake, across which rises a range of snow-capped mountains over
four thousand feet high; a small stone church with picturesque wooden
steeple, dating from the thirteenth century, stands in the midst of a
quiet churchyard, and extending up the sides of the hills, in the rear
of the village, are numerous farms with well-tilled fields. Vossevangen
is often spoken of as “the kitchen garden of Bergen,” its environs
having a large area of land, for Norway, under cultivation, and it
forms one of the chief sources of supply for the Bergen market.

The next morning, after being fortified with a hearty breakfast
of delicious trout, eggs, and Scotch marmalade, we shouldered our
knapsacks, and began the process of hand-shaking with the crowd
assembled to see us off, which included not only the Norwegians
connected with the inn, but a dozen English and Scotch people whose
acquaintance we had formed the previous evening; at length, after many
hearty farewells and good wishes, we started on a nineteen mile walk to
Eide, on the Hardangerfjord.

In pleasant weather, walking, over a fine road in the bracing air,
with ever-changing and delightful views of interesting scenery, is
the perfection of enjoyment. The road leads at first beside a small
river, through a pleasing and well-cultivated country, then ascends
through fragrant woods, till it suddenly terminates as at Stalheim, on
the brow of a high cliff, the view from which into the profound valley
is most striking. The road descends in sharp zigzags down the face of
the cliff, and winds among the masses of detached rock; over the cliff
falls the Skjervefos, its foam and spray bathing the black slate rock,
and forming a mountain torrent which soon becomes a river as it flows
onward to the lake.

At a little village overlooking the lake we entered an inn, and after
repeated knocking, calling, and exploring the whole house, we found the
landlady at a neighboring cottage, who soon served us with some bread,
cheese, and beer, which we particularly relished after our morning
walk. We continued our way along the side of the lake, and through a
rocky defile, ever amid picturesque scenery, and came to a small house,
where a lady who had just been thrown from her carriole was sitting by
the roadside, the horse having suddenly turned up a steep path at the
side, doubtless leading to the farm to which he belonged. The carriole
was broken, that being the only damage, and the _Skydsgut_ had gone
back for another. The lady informed us that she had been driving
through the country for several weeks, and this was the first accident
she had met with; it was the only one we heard of while in Norway.

When one considers the constant change of drivers, many of them very
inexperienced, to which the horses are subjected, the comparative
freedom from accidents shows they are gentle and reliable animals.

Eide is situated at the head of a narrow arm of the Hardangerfjord,
completely shut in by mountains, which are wooded near their base.
It consists of but a handful of houses and three hotels. We were
particularly pleased with Moeland’s Hotel, with a large garden in which
roses and other flowers were in bloom, with inviting seats in shady
nooks, with a river flowing at one side, while at one end the garden
sloped to the fjord’s edge. It was a pleasure to lie upon the grass
that perfect summer afternoon resting after our long walk, listening to
the murmuring water, and watching the fleecy clouds drifting over the
dark mountains.



THE HARDANGER FJORD.



CHAPTER XII.

_THE HARDANGER FJORD._

    A SABBATH AT VIK—ROAD BUILDING—VISIT TO THE VÖRINGSFOS—ODDE ON THE
    SÖRFJORD—EXCURSION TO THE SKJÆGGEDALSFOS—THE BRUARBRÆ—FROM ODDE BY
    STEAMER TO BERGEN.


We met at Eide a Norwegian-American, a gentleman of wealth and
intelligence from Wisconsin, who was revisiting his native land
accompanied by his American wife, after an absence of twenty-six
years; and during all our stay upon the Hardanger fjord we enjoyed the
pleasure of their company, which was of especial benefit, as Mr. L.
still spoke Norwegian as well as when he first left his native land.

We left Eide on a small steamer at eight o’clock in the evening, and
steaming down a narrow branch of the fjord came to a beautiful point of
view at Utne, where four arms of the Hardanger fjord branch out in as
many different directions. We proceeded up the east arm, called the
Eidfjord, its shores rocky and abrupt, with the ever-grand mountain
background, and in the mellow twilight, softening the sharp outlines
of cliff and peak, steamed onward for two hours until we arrived at a
little village called Vik.

The next day was the Sabbath, and as we sat before our comfortable
inn, there appeared far down the fjord, first one row boat and then
another coming from the little bays at the sides, until there was a
long procession of over twenty boats, some containing a dozen people;
each boat was rowed by six or eight oars, with a man or woman at each
oar, keeping perfect time, and furnishing a beautiful sight as the oars
dipped, and then rose from the water, all together. The boats slowly
advanced up the fjord, bringing the farmers and their families from
their isolated homes scattered along the mountain sides, to the simple
service in the little stone church at Vik.

The women wore the prettiest of all the Norwegian costumes, the most
striking feature of which is the head covering of snow-white linen
stiffly starched and plaited into narrow flutings, forming a small cap
on the crown of the head with a wide protruding fold at each side back
of the ears; it then extends down the back, gradually tapering to a
point. The usual sleeveless red bodice, gayly embroidered, was worn
over a loose white waist fastened at the throat with quaint silver
brooches with many pendants. The boats were drawn up along the shore,
and the women and girls, after landing, before going to the church,
stopped to adjust their caps and put the finishing touches to their
toilette, the same as their sisters in all parts of the world. After
the service, the men and women, old and young, gathered in groups on
the shore or before the little houses, and passed a few hours in gossip
concerning the meagre events of the week; then one boat after another
received its occupants and was rowed down the fjord, the families
returning to their lonely homes, probably not to leave them during the
week.

The chief attraction near Vik is the Vöringsfos, a magnificent
waterfall (the word _fos_ meaning fall), which requires from eight to
ten hours, on the part of good walkers, for an excursion there and
back. We started early one morning, and after a walk of twenty minutes
over a neck of land between the fjord and the lake, were rowed in an
hour to the opposite end of the lake. The mountains enclosing the lake
rise precipitously, and along one side a road is being built, which
seemed to us an immense undertaking; but the Norwegians are as good
road-builders as the Swiss, and are nothing daunted by the obstacles of
nature.

They had blasted great sections of rock from the base of the mountain,
and breaking them into smaller fragments, piled them up so as to form
the foundation of a road bed rising out of the water; in places they
had tunnelled through great masses of rock that had slipped from the
mountain side and were too large to be removed by blasting, and in
others had blasted into the mountain, so that the road passed beneath
masses of overhanging rock. One hundred men had been at work for six
months, and had constructed about two miles of road. A man has a
contract for clearing the mountain side of all boulders and detached
rocks, which are liable to fall upon the road when completed and
destroy life; we saw a group of men, high up the mountain, who were
evidently making arrangements to topple a massive boulder into the lake
below. This part of the enterprise seems a responsible undertaking,
particularly if the blame of future landslides is to be laid to the
contractor.

The road is projected to extend for fifty miles until it joins a road
in the south; and they pointed out its intended course, over and
among the mountains, where no one would imagine it could be built;
yet had we viewed some of the famous Alpine passes before the present
well-made roads crossed them, we would probably have equally doubted
the accomplishment of the undertaking.

From the lake it is a walk of over two hours to the fall; after
passing a cluster of farm houses, the path ascends an old moraine, and
continuing beside a river with many foaming rapids, we came to the
rough path constructed by the Norwegian Tourist Club. We ascend over
smooth ledges and through a wild gorge, in which are scattered great
boulders; then the path mounts the side of a rocky cliff, at the base
of which flows a river, and as we advance we hear the roar of falling
water and finally the upper part of the fall comes into view; we here
cross the river by a frail swinging suspension bridge, and the grand
waterfall is before us.

It comes over the head of a ravine in one perpendicular leap of four
hundred and seventy-five feet, into a great basin, enclosed on three
sides by bare and lofty walls of rock; the rush and roar of the white
mass of foaming water is tremendous, especially as one descends over
the loose, slippery rocks towards the bottom of the ravine on the
opposite side of the fall, where the perpendicular walls send back the
reverberations of the falling water. A dense cloud of spray rebounds
against the wall, appearing, as it rises, like another fall; as we
climbed over the rocks towards it, the suction of the air currents
nearly bore us from our feet, and we could hardly breathe. The
Vöringsfos is considered the second finest fall in Norway, and fully
does the view of it repay the fatigue of the long walk.

The fall is formed by a large mountain stream, flowing over an elevated
plateau until it plunges into the gorge. The natives had observed the
column of spray rising above the fall, and this led to its discovery
in 1821; it was always viewed from above until the Tourist Club
constructed the path up the ravine.

Near the fall is a rude wooden house of two rooms, where a woman lives
during the summer to sell refreshments to visitors. As we sat at the
table enjoying our lunch, Mr. L. entered into conversation with her
in Norwegian, and learned she was a widow; with much feeling she told
him that her son, her only child, had gone to America, and was then
attending Northfield College in Minnesota. When Mr. L. informed her
that Northfield was not far from his home, that on his return he would
visit her son and tell him of this meeting, and also promised to assist
him, the mother’s joy was unbounded, and with repeated expressions of
thankfulness she sent messages to her far distant son.

The horses in Norway are as sure-footed as those in Switzerland.
One can make the journey on horseback both to and from the fall; it
seemed a difficult undertaking for a horse to travel over such a path
as we came up; on our return, as we stepped down from rock to rock
like a flight of steps, and descended over steep slippery ledges, it
seemed very hazardous to think of riding over them; but the horses are
accustomed to the path and never fall, nor do accidents occur.

A rough and narrow path ascends the side of the ravine in such steep
zigzags that it appears utterly impossible for a horse to go over it,
yet our guide told us that horses came down the path loaded with great
bundles of hay, cut on the plateau above.

We reached Vik just eight hours from the time we started. We returned
to Eide by the same steamer, this time enjoying the scenery by the
bright morning light, and, changing to a larger steamer, we proceeded
down the most beautiful arm of the Hardanger, called the Sörfjord.
This fjord is in great contrast to the Sogne and more northern fjords,
for their walls of bleak and barren rocks are here replaced at many
points by fertile and wooded sides, and the scenery is much softer
and milder in character, though there are not lacking elements of
grandeur, from the snowy mountains and overhanging glaciers. The beauty
and variety of its scenery render it one of the most enjoyable of all
the fjords. Its sides are dotted with many farm houses, some perched
upon apparently inaccessible heights amid a little patch of green,
their inmates living a happy and contented life, their few wants all
supplied; on the east side are several pleasant settlements, with
hotels for summer travellers, and well-cultivated fields sloping to the
water; on the west side the great Folgefond glacier, spreading over a
plateau thousands of feet high, crops over the grey rock in places,
extending its crystal mass towards the fjord, while cascades formed by
the melting snow flow down the lofty cliffs.

At last we perceive in the distance a small church tower; the fjord
gradually narrows till it is but a few hundred yards wide, and ends at
the village of Odde.

The Norwegians are very primitive in their nomenclature, applying to a
place a name signifying its geographical description; thus Odde means
a tongue of land, and we find it is built on a small extent of land
between the fjord and a lake; Eide signifies an isthmus, Vik a creek,
Naes a promontory, Mo a plain; and, the same names often recurring, in
speaking of a place one must always mention the fjord upon which it is
situated, to distinguish it from many others of the same name.

Odde is a favorite resort of all travellers in Norway, and its hotels
are filled with guests during the summer, for it is but a day’s journey
by steamer from Bergen, and is the terminus of the land route from
Christiania, through the province of Thelemarken. It consists of a
few houses and stores, scattered along its main street and the shore
of the fjord; a small church stands in a green churchyard, and there
are two hotels—one a large modern establishment, the other an enlarged
inn near the steamboat pier, kept by Ole Proestsgaard, a good-hearted
old farmer, where we found excellent food and comfortable rooms,
with beautiful views down the fjord, and of the snowy Folgefond and
encircling mountains. In the evening, as we promenaded the chief street
of the village, the travellers driving up in stolkjærres, the groups
about the hotel piazzas brightly illuminated with lights in colored
globes, and the guides and carriole boys in the street, formed an
animated scene.

In the large show windows of two shops were life-size figures of
peasant girls dressed in bridal costumes, with the heavy bridal crowns
of gold or silver upon the head, and an abundance of brooches with
pendants, with which they are adorned for the occasion; there were also
figures in the national costume, with the pretty plaited head-dress.
It is said that the peasants view with disfavor this reproduction of
themselves in shop windows; and many of the younger women have cast
aside the national costume, and have imitated the dress of their city
and foreign visitors.

Within the stores were costumes, wood carvings, antique jewelry,
furniture, and many interesting articles for sale,—all at high prices;
for Odde is altogether too frequented a resort, and its inhabitants
have enjoyed the patronage of travellers during too many seasons, to
enable one to purchase at less than three times the cost of similar
articles in more out-of-the-way places farther north. The graceful
head-dress was for sale arranged in a compact roll, but we found it
such a complicated affair, that without a Norwegian girl to put it
together, we knew our manly intellects could never sufficiently grasp
its mysteries of arrangement to enable us to show it to home friends;
and as none of the girls would agree to go to America with us, or throw
themselves in like a chromo with the head-dress, we relinquished the
idea of buying one. The bridal crowns are handed down from generation
to generation, and as they are made of genuine gold and silver, with
much elaborate workmanship, they are often valued at over $200.

On returning to our hotel we heard a lady upon the piazza exclaim,
“Why, here are some old friends!” and we were greeted by a party of
sociable Scotch people, with whom we had previously travelled in the
North, who appeared so rejoiced to see us that it seemed almost like
meeting home friends, and gave an added pleasure to our stay at Odde.

During the day Odde is almost deserted, for nearly all the guests at
the hotels take their lunch and go fishing, or start on an excursion,
early in the morning, returning at seven o’clock to dinner.

It numbers many attractive excursions and places of interest to be
visited, at the head of which properly stands the trip to the famous
waterfall called the Skjæggedalsfos, a word that no one is expected to
pronounce except after patient practice with a native. A bonnie Scotch
lassie called it the _Skedaddle fos_, which showed she was acquainted
with American colloquialisms; yet as Noah Webster states that the word
“skedaddle” is of Swedish and Danish origin, it may be first cousin to
this lengthy Norse word.

The hotels furnish guides for the trip to the Skjæggedalsfos, a guide
going with each boat-load of not more than six persons, and lunches
are put up for the entire party. The day we made the excursion two
parties went from our hotel, and three from the other, making a company
of thirty people in all, including the guides; the parties started at
different hours, so we were not all at the waterfall at the same time.
We left at eight o’clock in the morning, and were rowed down the fjord
for an hour, crossing the mouth of a river flowing into the fjord in a
wide cascade, just beyond which we landed, and, mounting a steep bank,
began our walk of two hours and a half over a rough path, continually
ascending, until it reaches an elevation of eighteen hundred feet above
the fjord.

There are beautiful views backward of the fjord below, and the
mountains rising heavenward till they are crowned by the pure snow
mantle of the Folgefond, with its numerous glaciers descending over
the mountain sides; as the path ascends high up the sides of the
ravine, we have charming views of the river rushing below, with its
series of cascades. Part of the way our course is through woods, and
then we mount over smooth ledges and steps cut in the rock, a long and
wearisome walk amid grand but desolate scenery, till the path descends,
and we arrive in a field where haymakers are at work, near a small
lake, across which we are rowed.

We land near a roaring cascade, the discharge of the large lake beyond,
and, walking over the narrow neck of land, we embark in boats with
extra oarsmen, for a row of an hour and a half up a lake, five miles
long, situated fifteen hundred feet above the level of the fjord.

The lake is surrounded by lofty mountains, in places covered with snow,
rising abruptly from the dark water. There is no sign of life, save
now and then a fish leaping for a second out of the water, and a few
birds cleaving the air; the eternal stillness is only broken by our
voices and the resounding echoes sent back by the walls of rock. As
we slowly advance up the lake, we see, at the end of a gorge at the
left, two waterfalls called the Tyssestrenge, coming over the side of
a precipice more than five hundred feet high, which midway in their
course unite in one fall, resembling in the distance two strings, as
their name implies; their rocky surroundings are very grand and abrupt
in formation, and they appear to be inaccessible.

As we round a projecting headland, the never to be forgotten view
of the Skjæggedalsfos bursts upon us, descending in one unbroken
leap of five hundred and thirty feet, the water as it comes over the
cliff shooting out into the air like rockets, then falling in a white
drapery of foam over the dark rocks, and rebounding in clouds of mist.
Approaching nearer, we perceive the numerous smaller cascades at the
sides, and the opposite cliff, whose smooth surface, bathed in eternal
spray, gleams in the sunlight like molten silver.

We land and advance over a rocky path by tedious climbing, till we
stand near the base of the fall, drenched with its mist, and nearly
stunned by the deafening roar and rush of the seething water; but the
rebounding mist prevents one seeing the whole extent of the fall, and
the distant view is, by far, more beautiful. The water at last reaches
the lake by a wide cascade of deep green color, falling over a high
ledge of rock, where it is churned into foam.

We gathered on the grass near the rude sæter, and ate our lunch with
appetites stimulated by our hard walk, with a view of the finest
waterfall in all Europe before us, surrounded by imposing mountain
scenery; then embarking in the boat we were rowed down the lake, our
eyes, until the last moment, fastened upon the grand cataract, whose
foam appeared whiter from the contrast with its dark background and
savage environment.

We returned over the rough path, which seemed more fatiguing than
before, as the bright afternoon sun shone upon us, and the incentive
that had urged us on was now removed. In the various parties were
several Scotch and English girls, who were splendid pedestrians,
enduring the tiring walk much better than the gentlemen, and who, with
glowing cheeks and sparkling eyes, were the first to reach the boats on
the fjord. We were rowed back to Odde, arriving at the hotel just at
dinner time, having occupied eleven hours in the trip; though the trip
is very fatiguing, and should not be undertaken unless a person is a
tolerably good walker, yet the labor and exertion are fully repaid by
the view of the magnificent waterfall, and the beautiful scenery along
the route.

A visit to the glacier called the Bruarbræ requires five hours for the
round trip. A winding road ascends from Odde, beside a small stream
full of rapids, till it reaches a lake across which you are rowed and
enter a narrow valley with several farms, while a river flowing through
it foams among the rocks. Before you, closing the head of the valley,
is the Bruarbræ, descending from the great Folgefond, a projecting
ridge of rock dividing the glacier as it flows downward into two
streams, which afterwards unite, thus forming a large central moraine.
The glacier is traversed by deep crevasses, is very dirty, and covered
with stones, and in beauty bears little comparison to the pure-white
Svartisen in the far North.

At the sides and in the stream are great piles of rocks, brought down
by the glacier as it has crowded its way between the green sides of the
valley; it ends in an ice arch whose depths are a beautiful deep blue,
whence issues the turbid stream which later forms a river flowing to
the lake. The distant view of the glacier is by far the finest, as one
looks upon its whole extent, stretching from the ice regions into the
fertile valley, the mass of snow and ice glistening in the sunshine,
appearing much cleaner and whiter than when viewed close at hand.

We enjoyed many pleasant walks by the mountain-locked lake, over
the smooth road extending along its side, in places blasted into the
precipitous rock, and with numerous waterfalls coming over the cliffs.
This road extends into Thelemarken, an interesting province, that the
time at our disposal would not permit us to visit.

In walking along the shore of the fjord, among the scattered houses
comprising the village we saw long pieces of the strong homespun
cloth, many yards in length, swaying back and forth in the breeze as
they hung outside the house, suspended from a beam projecting from an
attic window. They had been dyed a dark blue, and were left in the
open air to dry until the color became fixed. The Norwegians, both men
and women, were clothed in this stout homespun, and it not only looked
well, but appeared to have excellent wearing qualities.

One night a steamer arrived soon after midnight, and we were awakened
from peaceful slumbers by a great commotion and rushing about; our
first thought was that the hotel was on fire, but we soon discovered
that the excitement was caused by the arriving guests; the tramping up
and down the uncarpeted stairs and over our heads was deafening, the
thin partitions and floors rendering every sound audible. We heard
every movement of the occupants of the room above us, walking about in
their heavy boots, and we drew a sigh of relief when the last tramp
had sounded and the boots were pulled off; then silence reigned until
we were awakened to take an early steamer, and in turn awoke the late
arrivals.

We left Odde at seven o’clock in the morning, on a twelve hours’
journey to Bergen. We passed down the lovely Sörfjord with its grand
and varied scenery, stopping at the most important stations, and
finally reached Eide, which was our third visit to the place, as all
the steamers on the branching arms of the Hardanger fjord include Eide
in their route. Then we proceeded down the main arm of the fjord,
stopping at Norheimsund just long enough to give us a good view of its
charming situation, amid picturesque scenery, causing us to wish we
were to remain there several days.

As we continued upon our journey we passed a bridal party of several
boat-loads of peasants, from the little farm houses up the mountain
side, who were rowing to the nearest village for the celebration of
the ceremony. In the stern of one of the boats rowed by six oarsmen,
sat the bride, adorned with her golden crown, and beside her the
bridegroom, who wore a short coat with many bright buttons; the
musicians stood at the prow and the sound of music and singing floated
across the water.

At a small island called Terö we had a most striking view of the
crystal mass of the Folgefond, spread out upon a plateau five thousand
feet above the fjord, with offshoots from the immense glacier cropping
over the sides of the steep cliffs. We passed through a very narrow
channel, and among a multitude of islands, where the intricate
navigation demands great skill on the part of the pilot; and thus the
day was spent in journeying among islands, grand rock formations, and
barren mountains, till we entered a wide fjord, and the houses and
shipping of Bergen appeared in the distance.



BERGEN.



CHAPTER XIII.

_BERGEN._

    OUR EXPERIENCES IN THE “WEEPING CITY”—SCENES IN THE FISH
    MARKET—RAINY WALKS ABOUT TOWN—A BENEFICIAL LICENCE SYSTEM—VOYAGE
    ACROSS THE NORTH SEA—UP THE RIVER MAAS TO ROTTERDAM.


We had travelled from the North Cape to Odde, nearly the entire length
of Norway, and everywhere had met most honest and good-hearted people,
to whom overcharge and extortion seemed unknown; but the moment we
stepped from the steamer at Bergen we landed among a race of land
sharks who appeared to possess none of the qualities we had admired
so much in the Norwegians among whom we had sojourned during the past
five weeks, but whose sole aim seemed to be the extortion of money from
travellers.

We had been repeatedly warned against Holdt’s Hotel, so we went to the
Hotel Norge, a new and large establishment, where, at about four times
the price, we found fewer real comforts than in the village and station
inns; in fact, the only _poor bread_ we ate in Norway was served us here.

Several lines of steamers connect Bergen with England, Scotland,
Germany, and other European countries, and the chief steamboat lines
of Norway centre here, so every traveller is almost certain to arrive
at Bergen during some part of his journey. We were thankful our first
impressions of the people and country were not received here, and
that we could soon forget the closing experiences of our journey, and
remember only the delightful ones we had previously enjoyed.

Certainly the chief hotels, as well as the porters at the steamboat
landings, and the class with whom travellers come in contact, bear
a most unenviable reputation, though the residents may be the most
delightful people in the whole country.

As we had found Norway a land of almost perpetual daylight, we had had
no use for lamps nor candles, but on our first night at Bergen the
heavens were covered with such thick clouds that it grew dark early,
and we prepared to retire by the flickering light of a candle. To show
how quickly one becomes wonted to what at first seems unnatural, it is
only necessary to state that it was a strange sensation, after five
weeks of almost constant daylight, to once more come back to artificial
light. Under the circumstances, the innkeepers in Norway have not the
slightest ground upon which to take in the traveller with the _bougie
gouge_, which is so dear to all European hotelkeepers’ hearts, and thus
far, as we had seen no candles, we had been charged for none. But we
found, on our bill at the Hotel Norge, candles charged at the regular
Parisian price of thirty cents apiece, and as you can purchase a dozen
for that sum at a shop in Paris, very likely you would be furnished
with a dozen and a half in Bergen, a small city of thirty-three
thousand inhabitants, where everything is naturally much cheaper; so
the landlord’s profit on candles was equal to that of a heartless
monopolist’s.

The average yearly rainfall in Bergen is seventy-two inches, and it
easily heads the list of rainy towns. Every babe who is born in this
“weeping city” is provided with a waterproof and umbrella immediately
upon its arrival, which are renewed at frequent intervals during its
municipal existence. The sun shines occasionally, but the rainy days
far outnumber the pleasant ones. The two days we spent there it rained
almost continuously, the water coming down in torrents, flooding the
streets and making it very disagreeable getting about, which partly
accounts for our unpleasant recollections of the place and our frequent
fervent exclamations, “From Bergen, henceforth and evermore, good Lord,
deliver us!”

We visited the weekly fish market, held upon Friday morning, and found
it an interesting scene. At stands in the large market place, or from
baskets on the pavement, women in costumes, and wearing a striking
white head-dress, were selling an endless variety of fish, and on a few
stands there was a limited display of vegetables and flowers.

An immense collection of boats, of all kinds, were closely packed
in together along the sides of the quays, containing an apparently
inexhaustible supply of fish of all sizes and varieties, from large
cod and salmon down to silvery little fish, a few inches long, sold
by measure. The vendors stood knee deep in fish, passing them up to
the purchasers on the quays, and during the day the whole supply
disappeared. Every housekeeper in Bergen must have been present on the
scene, each filling a large basket with a varied assortment of fish,
purchased from the women in the market place, or from the boats at
the quay, until they appeared to have a sufficient supply for a week’s
consumption. Later in the morning small steamboats loaded with peasant
girls and women steamed down the harbor to neighboring settlements, and
before night all the fish-laden boats had disappeared.

We spent a large part of our time in the shops along the Strandgaden,
the principal business street of the city, which contain many articles
the traveller will wish to carry with him as souvenirs of his visit to
Norway; among which are small models of carrioles and stolkjærres, and
peculiar oval wooden boxes, gayly painted, or decorated with figures
burned into the wood with hot irons; there are also dagger-shaped
knives, such as are carried by the peasants, wood-carvings, figures
in costume, ancient silver jewelry, pretty silver filagree, quaint
tankards, and rich furs.

During our journey through Norway the advertisement of Beyer’s
photographs had greeted us everywhere—from rocks, fences, and barns,
much like the patent medicine announcements in America; the best
memento of one’s journey is a collection selected from the finely
finished photographs in Beyer’s large store in Bergen.

The museum is a handsome building standing upon the brow of a hill,
and contains a valuable collection. There we saw the interesting carved
wooden portals of an old church, dating from the sixteenth century,
several Runic monuments, domestic and ecclesiastical furniture, silver
tankards and drinking horns, a variety of old style weapons, and an
array of figures in Norwegian and Laplander costumes.

The natural history department comprises a most complete collection of
Norwegian fish, sea fowl, and marine animals, and we were particularly
interested, since our visit to the whale-oil factory, in inspecting
the skeletons of several immense whales, and numerous baby whales, of
various sizes, preserved in tanks filled with liquor. We found the
museum a most comfortable and instructive place in which to spend a
rainy morning, and as the young lady attendant who showed us about
spoke excellent English, the visit was especially enjoyable.

Formerly there was scarcely any restriction placed upon the sale
of liquor in Norway, and in 1833 the consumption of strong liquors
amounted to twenty-eight quarts per head of the entire population of
the country, and there was a vast amount of drunkenness, with its
attendant misery, poverty, and crime. But, owing to the raising of the
duty upon liquor, and the work of temperance societies, the consumption
was greatly lowered, and the introduction of what is called the
“permissive bill” has still farther reduced and restricted the traffic.
By this law the authorities of a district may, by a majority vote,
refuse to grant a licence for the sale of liquor, or they can give the
monopoly of the liquor trade to a company, who are bound to pay them
all profits, after deducting expenses and the payment of a dividend of
five per cent. In many of the country districts no licences have been
granted, with the result that drunkenness is almost unknown.

In Bergen, and some of the other cities, the licence is given to a
company, who control all the shops where liquor is sold, and the
surplus profits of the business are turned into the city treasury.
A fine road, called the _Drammensvei_ (dram road), extending along
the side of a hill back of Bergen, high above the town, has been
constructed wholly from the profits of the liquor traffic paid into
the municipality; it is one of the pleasantest drives in the vicinity,
in fine weather commanding most extended views of the city and
surroundings.

Many of the captains and officers of the steamers are teetotallers;
such was the captain of the “Kong Halfdan,” a North Cape steamer,
who told us that his chief steward had a licence for selling to
regular passengers, but no one could come from the shore, or board
the steamer while in port, and purchase liquor. The sale of beer and
wine is permitted at all hotels and restaurants, though under certain
restrictions. During the whole time we were in Norway we never saw
a drunken person, but in Sweden, where the liquor traffic is not
restricted to the same degree, we saw quite a number.

The harbor of Bergen extends inland, like a deep bay, and furnishes
a busy scene from its many large sea-going steamers, and the smaller
carrying vessels anchored in the stream or drawn up along the quays.
West of the harbor is a hilly peninsula covered with houses; extending
its entire length is the chief street of shops, with very narrow
alley-ways branching down to the water, and upon the other side are
steep streets mounting to the summit of the hill. The situation of
the city is very picturesque, being built along the harbor and two
small inland lakes, and rising on hills, with a background of barren
mountains.

Once more, after so many weeks, we heard the puff of the railway
engine and the noise of a train as it rolled into the station from
Vossevangen, sixty-six miles distant, at the terminus of the road. We
walked through the modern promenades and around the lakes, and visited
the newer portions of the city adorned with handsome modern residences,
but the rain continued with but short intermissions, and we could
obtain but a general idea of the city.

We would have much preferred to have driven from Odde, through
Thelemarken, to Christiania, and there taken a steamer to Copenhagen,
and proceeded thence by rail; but we were limited for time, as we were
already due in Paris, and so chose the shortest route thither, by
steamer to Rotterdam and then by rail. Our courage nearly failed us as
we boarded the diminutive steamer in which we were to cross the North
Sea. It was chiefly constructed for carrying freight, its first-class
passenger accommodations being limited to five state-rooms and a small
saloon, all situated in the stern; yet as but four passengers were
booked for the voyage, we knew we should have plenty of room.

We left Bergen at night, after being rowed out to the steamer in a
small boat under a perfect deluge of rain; and during the first night
and until after dinner on the first day we had a comfortable passage,
as our course lay within the girdle of islands extending along the
coast. The scenery was tame and uninteresting after all the grandeurs
of nature we had viewed, but we were thankful for our protecting
“island belt” and enjoyed the sunshine after our experience of Bergen
weather.

As we stood on the lower deck, leaning against a large case covered
with a sail-cloth, we heard a savage growl, and sprang back in
alarm; on inquiring as to the contents of the case, the sail-cloth
was removed, and our astonished gaze rested upon a large white polar
bear, lately captured in the Arctic regions, which was being shipped
to the Zoological Garden at Rotterdam. After this sight, we no longer
carelessly kicked our heels against that case.

Soon after leaving the small town of Haugesund, with its red-painted
houses and large wooden fish houses, we left the “island belt,” and
all too quickly the barren Norwegian coast disappeared from view, and
we were out upon the North Sea, which fully deserves the epithet of
_nasty_, in the English, and not in the American, sense. Our little
steamer bobbed about like a cork on the water, pitched, and rolled,
and buffeted by the long sweeping waves and tremendous swell of the
northern sea, so that we were soon forced to pay tribute to Neptune,
and retire to the secrecy of our state-rooms. The entire journey from
Bergen to Rotterdam occupied fifty-two hours; every hour of the second
day and night seemed interminable, and it was with a blessed feeling
of relief that we awoke the third morning to find that the steamer had
ceased rolling, as we had entered the river Maas and were advancing
over the smooth waters towards Rotterdam.

Upon going on deck we were greeted with a warm land breeze, and found
it was a sultry morning; our thick clothing and spring overcoats, which
we had worn nearly every day in Norway, began to feel uncomfortable,
and it was our first experience of real summer weather, although it was
then the first day of August. The warmth was an agreeable change from
the cool winds of the Arctic Ocean and the Norwegian fjords, and as we
sat without our overcoats we enjoyed the transition to summer’s heat,
after five months of cool spring weather.

We looked out upon the flat landscape, extending in an unbroken level
plain for miles, traversed by long rows of stiff trees, with sleek
cattle feeding in green fields divided by narrow canals, with rows
of dark windmills lazily turning their gigantic arms in the gentle
breeze, and sleepy Dutch villages composed of brick houses with bright
red-tiled roofs, with the tower of a distant church standing out
distinctly against its background of blue sky. Every foot of land was
cultivated, or was covered with grass, and we looked in vain for rock
or boulder. Contrast could not be greater than between this scene and
the grandeurs of cliff and mountain, waterfall and glacier, fjord and
valley, in the land we had just left.

We steamed slowly up the river past the great manufactories along the
shores, meeting many outgoing steamers and sailing craft, passing a
war-ship anchored in mid stream; then the towers and roofs of Rotterdam
appeared on the horizon, ever growing nearer, till we were moored
beside a broad quay and landed in Holland. It was just eight weeks
since we left Lübeck; we had completed a wide circuit in the North,
embracing three countries, a host of enjoyable and novel experiences,
and a vast series of grand views of Nature’s sublimest handiwork.



EXPENSES AND PRACTICAL

HINTS.



CHAPTER XIV.

_EXPENSES AND PRACTICAL HINTS._

    WHAT DID IT COST?—THE ROUTE AND TIME ALLOWED FOR THE
    JOURNEY—CLOTHING AND FOOD—LADIES TRAVELLING ALONE—THE RESULT OF
    POLITENESS AND CONSIDERATION—CONCLUSION.


The expense of a journey through Norway, Sweden, and Denmark is very
moderate. We did not limit ourselves to a fixed amount, nor practise
any especial economy; we travelled first class on steamers, and second
class on the railway, that being the best accommodation furnished, as
there is no first class; we stopped at the large hotels in the cities,
and in the smaller places there was generally no choice of inns, for as
a rule there was but one. We could easily have spent much more money
than we did, but as we had previously visited most of the countries in
Europe, thereby gaining experience, and learning how to travel and to
get the most in return for our money, we had every comfort we cared
for, saw everything to our complete satisfaction, and yet the journey
of eight weeks, including every expense of travelling, hotels, and
sight seeing, from Lübeck to Rotterdam, cost but two hundred dollars.
We were surprised at the amount, for we had reckoned much more for the
journey. In this amount is not included what we spent for photographs
and articles purchased as souvenirs of the countries visited, which
extra expense will of course depend wholly upon the individual; but
every item that should properly come under the head of travelling
expenses is included in the above amount.

I copy the expense of the trip from my cash account, giving the values
in krone and öre, also in dollars and cents, reckoning the krone, the
unit of value in the monetary system of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, at
twenty-seven cents:—

                                                   Krone, öre.  Dollars.
  Ticket on steamer from Lübeck to Copenhagen,
    1st class                                         16.          4.32
  Ticket on steamer from Copenhagen to
    Gothenburg, 1st class                             16.35        4.41
  Ticket on steamer from Gothenburg to
    Stockholm, 1st class                              30.          8.10
  Meals on steamer from Gothenburg to
    Stockholm                                          9.50        2.57
  Ticket on railway from Stockholm to
    Throndhjem, 2nd class                             45.20       12.20
  Ticket to North Cape and return, 1st class         111.         29.97
  Meals during voyage of eleven days                  60.50       16.34
  Ticket on steamer, Throndhjem to Molde,
    1st class               14.         3.78
  Carriole drives in Norway                           45.         12.15
  Steamers on fjords between Molde and
    Bergen                                            37.25       10.06
  Bergen to Rotterdam, including meals                48.75       13.16
  Forty days board (not included on steamers),
    fees, etc.                                       307.45       83.01
                                                     ——————      ——————
                                                     741.00      200.07

At so small an expense, one who can spend a summer in Europe can obtain
no better return for the money, than in devoting it to a trip through
Norseland.

June is the most favorable time for a visit to Denmark and Sweden, as
one can then enjoy the almost unending days, while the latter part
of June and the month of July is the best season for Norway, as the
weather is then more liable to be pleasant, the rainy season often
commencing soon after the opening of August.

We made the trip to the North Cape the last of June, but I think it
would be better to defer it till the latter part of July, leaving it
for the last of the journey.

After one had visited Sweden he could go direct from Stockholm to
Christiania by rail, then drive to Odde and proceed north to Molde;
following this course the scenery grows grander as you advance
northward, culminating in the voyage to the North Cape, which is
a fitting termination to the trip, as on returning to Throndhjem
one could go directly by rail to Christiania, then by steamer to
Copenhagen, and thence southward. We would advise, that in place of
the journey by steamer from Molde to Throndhjem, the route through the
Romsdal and over the Dovrefjeld be substituted, as it is represented as
being a fine drive amid beautiful scenery, while the steamer trip has
few attractions; also, instead of going from Odde to Bergen and thence
across the disagreeable North Sea to Rotterdam, we would recommend one
to drive from Odde through Thelemarken to Christiania, or _vice versa_,
and not visit Bergen, which contains little of interest compared with
the attractions of the interior of the country.

One could devote several summers to Norway without exhausting it, for
there is an endless number of fjords, valleys, waterfalls, and places
interesting from their fine scenery. The intending traveller will at
first be confused by the multiplicity of routes in Baedeker; and it
requires much attentive and intelligent study to select, from this
abundance, those taking one to the most interesting features of the
country; especially is discriminating selection necessary if one’s time
is limited and he cannot spend the whole summer there.

We saw the most prominent points of the countries visited, and enjoyed
most of their grandest scenery during our journey; and our route, and
time devoted to each place, may be of assistance to those who intend to
visit these countries:—

                                                         Days.
  Eight weeks—Lübeck to Rotterdam.
  Copenhagen and environs                                  5
  Gothenburg                                               1
  Across Sweden, _via_ Gotha Canal                         2½
  Stockholm                                                6
  Railway journey to Throndhjem                            1½
  Throndhjem                                                ½
  To North Cape and return                                11
  Steamer to Molde                                         1
  Molde                                                    2
  Romsdal                                                  2
  Mountain walk                                            1
  Drive across country from Hellesylt to Sande             3
  Sande                                                    5
  To Odde, _via_ Sognefjord, Naerödal, Vossevangen,
    Eide, Vik, and Hardangerfjord                          6
  Odde                                                     3
  Steamer to Bergen                                        1
  Bergen                                                   2
  Steamer to Rotterdam                                     2½
                                                          ———
                                                          56

  June 7 to Aug. 1 inclusive.

Norway is not a country adapted to pedestrian tours like Switzerland,
as the distances are too great, and the places of interest are too
widely scattered; and as one can travel in carrioles and stolkjærres,
most of the advantages of a pedestrian tour are obtained. Yet there are
no more delightful walks in Europe than through the Romsdal, Naerödal,
and Laerdal,—three valleys, with smooth hard roads winding through
them, closed in by the grandest of mountain scenery. On a pleasant
day one will find it a great rest, as well as pleasure, to leave the
stolkjærre at a station and walk to the next, where he can continue his
drive with a fresh horse.

In driving through the country one’s baggage must be limited, unless
you hire an extra horse to carry it. It is far better to send all heavy
baggage ahead by steamer, and, in the case of gentlemen, take only a
knapsack, which is easily swung across the shoulder, and renders one
perfectly independent, and free to take a tramp whenever fancy dictates.

One should be provided with thick, warm clothing for a journey in
Norway, for even in July the weather is not very warm among the
mountains; and as considerable time is spent upon the steamers on
the fjords, and on the voyage to the North Cape, where there are
cool ocean breezes, one should wear warm underclothing and a thick,
serviceable suit. Ladies will need plenty of wraps and plain, heavy
clothing that will stand all kinds of weather, and should be provided
with waterproofs, and a tweed helmet in place of a hat or bonnet.

Gentlemen will find it necessary to wear their spring overcoats almost
constantly, and a most important requisite is a rubber overcoat, to be
worn when driving, visiting waterfalls, and during the frequent rains.
We did not find it as cold as we anticipated in the Arctic Ocean, the
day that we were at the North Cape being the warmest and pleasantest
of the whole voyage; but during the trip there were many cold winds,
yet we kept very comfortable by wearing a rubber coat over our spring
overcoats, though some of the passengers had heavy winter overcoats,
and one would find an ulster very acceptable at times.

Hardships, while travelling in Norway, will not be endured unless
sought for in very remote districts, for on all the regular routes of
travel, even at the smallest station inns, one finds comfortable beds
and wholesome food.

Those who have travelled to any extent in America, who know the
taste of the sandwiches and coffee often furnished at railway
restaurants,—who, for instance, have crossed the continent to
California, or in Southern and Western towns have vainly sought for
palatable food at many of the meal stations and hotels, where “the Lord
had sent an abundance of food, but the devil had sent the cooks,”—will
have no cause to complain of the delicious coffee, rich cream, good
butter and cheese, nice wheat, rye and graham bread, eggs, trout, and
salmon, with which one is everywhere served, even at the smallest
country inns. The meat is not of the best, and one misses the varied
fruits and vegetables of other lands, but we never found a place in
Norway, except at a sæter among the mountains where there was a lack of
good bread and palatable food.

We met many English and Scotch ladies travelling without gentlemen
in Norway, and saw several ladies who were travelling singly by
themselves. Two ladies can go all over the route we took without
the slightest trouble or inconvenience. In travelling through the
country by stolkjærres, if they are not accustomed to driving, the
boy who always accompanies them will drive from behind the seat; on
the steamers, the officers who speak English will look out for their
comfort, and at all of the large hotels and most of the little inns
they will be sure to find some one speaking English, and if not, the
natives know just what the traveller’s wants are, and will supply
them; while from the little phrase book in the back of Baedeker one
can easily learn a dozen Norse words that will make one understood and
accomplish wonders.

A gentleman, alone, should not be deterred from taking the journey, for
he is sure to make pleasant friends while travelling on the steamers
or driving through the country, for in no land are travellers more
sociable, or acquaintances more easily formed, than in Norway. In
Sweden, on the regular routes of travel, and in Stockholm, English is
quite generally spoken, and ladies alone will have no trouble. No one
needs to be “personally conducted,” for if competent to travel anywhere
by themselves, they can easily do so in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Perhaps some may think that I have decidedly _rose-colored_ views of
Norway and its people, but I have simply given my own experiences,
and I find they coincide with those of many other travellers. We were
fortunate in having good weather the greater part of the time, which is
the chief essential for the enjoyment of the journey; we made pleasant
friends everywhere, and nothing happened to mar our pleasure.

The Norwegians whom we met, until we arrived in Bergen, were the nicest
people we have ever been among. We were treated politely by every
one, and there was such a personal interest in their attentions, such
a desire that we should enjoy our stay in their country, and see its
finest features, that we felt at times as though we were visiting among
old friends.

It is said that the Swedes are a little jealous of the favor with
which the Norwegians are regarded by travellers, but one naturally
spends much more time in Norway, as its scenery is much finer, and its
attractions far greater and more varied than those of Sweden; and while
travelling through the country in such a leisurely old-fashioned way,
one grows to know its people far more intimately than the Swedes or the
Danes.

There is a certain independence in the Norwegian’s character that
quickly rebels at being ordered about and commanded by a lordly
domineering disposition, and the traveller will find that in Norway, as
in all other lands, politeness, which costs but little, accomplishes
much; and if you travel through the country with kind words, and the
happy disposition to make the best of everything, the natives will
give you no cause to complain of their treatment, and you will leave
their land with the warmest regard for their kindness and hospitality.

Whoever has the time at his disposal, and the inclination to make a
journey through Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, will return much benefited
in health by the pure and invigorating sea and mountain air, with a
rich store of unfading memory pictures of beautiful waterfalls, valleys
with grand rock formations, winding fjords, stupendous glaciers, and
a combination of ocean and mountain scenery such as is seen in no
other land,—all illumined by days of unending light, and the midnight
sunbeams of a sun which has no setting. The added remembrance of the
interesting life and customs of the inhabitants of the North and their
kindly treatment while sojourning among them, the pleasant memories
of the charming city of Stockholm, with its unrivalled surroundings,
Copenhagen with its treasury of art, and the historical and legendary
souvenirs clustering around the old castles of Denmark, will always
prove a source of unfailing enjoyment which neither time nor adversity
can take away.



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS.


HAVERHILL, MASS.

  Mr. Ira A. Abbott.
   “  Edward F. Adams.
   “  J. Fred Adams.                           _Three copies._
  Miss Elizabeth C. Ames.                      _Three copies._
  Mr. G. H. Appleton.
  Mrs. T. G. Appleton.
  Miss H. J. Bagley.
  Mrs. Thomas H. Bailey.
  Mr. Albert L. Bartlett.
  Miss Alice L. Bartlett.
   “   Mary S. Bartlett.
   “   Mira W. Bartlett.                       _Three copies._
  Mr. Fred S. Batchelder.
  Mrs. M. A. Batchelder.
  Mr. James C. Bates.
   “  William E. Bixby.
   “  Wilbur F. Blake.
   “  William E. Blunt.
   “  Frank J. Bradley.
  Miss Maria Gilbert Bradley.
  Mrs. A. Jennie Brooks.                        _Five copies._
  Mr. George Brooks.
  Miss Harriet J. Brooks.
  Miss Mary E. Brooks.
  Mr. William A. Brooks.                         _Two copies._
   “  Charles H. Brown.
   “  Henry H. Browning.
  Miss Elizabeth A. Bryant.
  Mrs. E. H. Bullen.
  Mr. Charles Butters.                           _Two copies._
   “  Charles Butters, 2nd.
  Captain William Caldwell.
  Hon. James H. Carleton.
  Mr. A. Washington Chase.
  Mrs. D. D. Chase.
  Mr. Charles H. Chase.
   “  C. W. Chase.
  Miss Ellen F. Chase.
  Mr. Harry W. Chase.                           _Five copies._
  Mrs. Hazen M. Chase.
  Miss Helen M. Chase
  I. E. Chase, M. D.
  Mrs. Oscar D. Cheney.
   “   M. G. Clay.
  Mr. C. Haven Coffin.
   “  Charles H. Coffin.
  Miss Mary R. Coffin.
  Mrs. George P. Crafts.
  J. F. Croston, M. D.
  John Crowell, M. D.
  Mrs. J. H. Cummings.
  Mr. Jared M. Davis.
  Mrs. Luther Day.
  Mr. Charles E. Dole.
   “  A. W. Downing.
  Mrs. E. W. Duncan.
  Mr. William J. Edwards.
  Miss Martha Evans.
   “   Helen L. Fitts.
  Mr. William H. Floyd.
  Colonel Jones Frankle.
  Mr. E. G. Frothingham.
  Mr. Howard H. Gage.
  Miss Kate Reed Gage.
  Mr. James E. Gale.
   “  John E. Gale.
  Mrs. Stephen H. Gale.
   “   J. V. Gardner.
  Mr. S. P. Gardner.
   “  Henry B. George.
  Miss Annie C. Gilman.
  Mr. W. S. Goodell.
  Miss A. E. Goodrich.
  Mr. Daniel Goodrich.
   “  Hazen B. Goodrich.                         _Two copies._
   “  Hazen Laburton Goodrich.
   “  J. Goodrich, jr.
  Mrs. Mary E. Goodrich.
  Mr. C. H. Goodwin.
   “  George M. Goodwin.
  Miss Belle H. Greene.
  Mrs. E. J. M. Hale.                            _Two copies._
  Mr. J. A. Hale.                                _Two copies._
   “  George A. Hall.
  Mrs. Warren Hanscom.
   “   J. C. Hardy.
  Haverhill Book Club.
  Haverhill Public Library.
  Miss Mary S. Hersey.
   “   Florence S. Hill.
  Mrs. John L. Hobson.
  Mr. George B. Holden.
  Miss Carrie T. How.
  Mrs. George C. How.                            _Two copies._
  Mr. William E. How.
  Mr. Enoch H. Howes.
   “  Warren Hoyt.
  Miss Clara L. Hunking.
  Mr. James A. Huntington.
  Miss Mary W. Johnson.
  Mr. Clarence E. Kelley.
   “  Ubert A. Killam.
  Mrs. Abby B. Kimball.
  Mr. George A. Kimball.
  Mrs. Mark Kimball.
  Hon. Nathan S. Kimball.
  Mr. George V. Ladd.
   “  James Leach.
  Mr. John J. Marsh.                            _Four copies._
   “  R. C. Miller.
  Mrs. Kate W. C. Mitchell.
  Miss Nellie M. Moore.
   “   H. O. Nelson.
   “   M. M. Nelson.                             _Two copies._
  Mrs. H. M. Newman.
  Mr. Austin P. Nichols.
  Mrs. James R. Nichols.
  Miss Martha R. Nichols.
   “   Mary Nichols.
  Mr. George W. Noyes.
  Miss Grace I. Noyes.                           _Two copies._
   “   S. Adelaide Palmer.
  Mr. W. Scott Peabody.
   “  Frank E. Pollard.
   “  Dudley Porter.
  Mr. C. N. Rhodes.
   “  Fred G. Richards.
  Mrs. A. A. Sargent.
  Mr. Irving F. Sleeper.
   “  J. F. Smiley.
   “  Henry S. Snelling.
   “  W. W. Spaulding.
  Mr. D. F. Sprague.
  Mrs. Jackson B. Swett.
  Mr. Philip C. Swett.
  Mrs. Levi Taylor.
  Mr. Martin Taylor.
  Mrs. Oliver Taylor.                            _Two copies._
  Miss Alice O. Tenney.
   “   Martha J. Tenny.                        _Three copies._
  Mr. Charles S. Titcomb.
  Mrs. E. L. Tufts.
   “   D. B. Vickery.
  Mr. Levi C. Wadleigh, jr.
   “  J. Otis Wardwell.
   “  Frank E. Watson.
   “  W. G. Webb.
  Mrs. Julia H. West.
  Mr. A. Tenny White.
  Mrs. James D. White.
  Hon. W. R. Whittier.
  Mr. J. H. Willett.
  Mrs. Elbridge G. Wood.                        _Four copies._
  Mr. S. Frank Woodman.


BRADFORD, MASS.

  Miss M. C. Barstow, Bradford Academy.
  Mrs. M. D. Berry.
   “   James H. Bird.
  Miss Louise J. Blanchard.
  Mr. Charles L. Bly.
  Boys’ Private Library.
  Bradford Academy Library.
  Bradford High School Library.
  Mrs. John T. Brown.
  Miss Caroline D. Cogswell.
  Mr. Doane Cogswell.
  George Cogswell, M. D.
  Miss Sarah P. Cogswell.                        _Two copies._
  William Cogswell, M. D.
  Mrs. Frank E. Day.
  Mr. John A. Day.
  Mrs. F. A. Drury.
  Mr. Charles H. S. Durgin.
   “  James H. Durgin.
   “  Charles A. Ellis.
  Hon. Charles B. Emerson.
  Mrs. C. F. Everett.
   “   Sarah E. Farrar.
  Mr. Charles T. Ford.
  Miss Marie H. Frohn, Bradford Academy.
  Mr. Edwin V. Gage.                             _Two copies._
  Colonel Harry H. Hale.
  Mr. Arthur H. Hall.
  Mrs. Jennie S. Hall.
   “   Augustus Hammond.                         _Two copies._
  Miss Mary F. Hatch.
   “   Maggie E. Hilton.
  Mr. William Hilton.
   “  Samuel K. Holmes.
  Miss Annie L. Hopkinson.
  Mr. Arthur A. Ingersoll.
  Miss Annie E. Johnson, Bradford Academy.
   “   Eleanor K. Johnson.
  Mr. Laburton Johnson.
  Mrs. Leverett W. Johnson.
  Mr. Albert Kimball.                           _Five copies._
   “  Albert L. Kimball.                        _Four copies._
  Miss Arabella G. Kimball.
  Mrs. Jacob Kimball.
  Miss Julia H. Kimball.
  Mr. Leverett Kimball.
  Miss M. Jeannette Kimball.
  Mr. Wallace L. Kimball.
  Mrs. William B. Kimball.
  Rev. J. D. Kingsbury.
  Miss M. J. Munroe.
  Mrs. N. Munroe.                                _Two copies._
  Mr. A. A. Ordway.
  Miss Mary A. Ordway.
  Mrs. Warren Ordway.
  Miss Mary E. Page.
  Mr. William H. Page.
   “  H. G. Palfrey.
  Miss L. F. Peabody.
   “   Anna M. Pearl.
  Mr. Francis H. Pearl.
  Mrs. P. E. Pearl.
   “   Charles Phillips.
  Mr. William W. Phillips.
  Mrs. H. B. Simpson.
   “   John B. Tewksbury.
  Mr. D. F. Towne.
   “  Irving H. Upton.
   “  William S. Wardman.
  Miss Mary E. Webster.
  Mr. Orestes West.
   “  James L. Wilde.
  Mrs. Julia T. Williams.
   “   Charles E. Wood.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Mr. Samuel Ames, Riverside, Cal.
  Miss M. J. Ballister, Newton, Mass.
  Mr. William Bisco, Leicester, Mass.                      _Two copies._
   “  Edward S. Bodwell, Vinalhaven, Maine.
  Miss Grace E. Bodwell, Andover, Mass.
  Mrs. Henry A. Bodwell, Andover, Mass.
  Mr. George F. Bradstreet, New York City.
  Hon. Addison Brown, New York City.
  Mr. Melvin Brown, New York City.
  Miss Edna F. Calder, Dedham, Mass.
  Mr. Frederick S. Camp, Norwich, Conn.
   “  George V. S. Camp, Watertown, N. Y.
   “  T. H. Camp, Watertown, N. Y.
   “  W. B. Camp, Sackets Harbor, N. Y.
   “  Walter H. Camp, Watertown, N. Y.
   “  Frank C. Case, St. Louis, Mo.
   “  John W. Cate, Candia, N. H.
  Mrs. Albert Chase, Summit, N. J.
  Mr. H. A. Clarke, Newburyport, Mass.
   “  George A. Coburn, Quincy, Ill.
  Mrs. William H. Coe, Worcester, Mass.
  Mr. C. G. Comstock, Watertown, N. Y.
  Miss L. A. Connor, Fairfield, Maine.                     _Two copies._
  Mrs. J. G. Cupples, Longwood, Mass.
   “   Helen E. Currier, Washington, D. C.
   “   Charles H. Davis, Northwood, N. H.
  Mr. George E. Davis, Lawrence, Mass.
   “  William G. Davis, New York City.
  Mrs. George W. Dean, Fall River, Mass.
  Miss M. Jessamine Dixon, Amherst, Mass.
   “   Lucy Dyar, Romeo, Mich.
  Mr. George H. Eager, Boston, Mass.
   “  F. A. Easton, Boston, Mass.
  Mrs. J. H. Elwell, South Weymouth, Mass.
  Mr. John W. Farwell, Melrose, Mass.
  Mrs. Francis A. Faulkner, Keene, N. H.
   “   A. M. Foster, Andover, Mass.
  Mrs. G. S. A. Gardiner, Providence, R. I.
  Mr. Moses S. Gay, Stoughton, Mass.
   “  W. Starr Gephart, Baltimore, Md.
  Mrs. Isaac Gere, Fitchburg, Mass.                        _Two copies._
   “   A. R. Glidden, Los Angeles, Cal.
  Mrs. M. R. Goodwin, Roxbury, Mass.
  Mr. D. H. Gould, Southport, Conn.
  Miss Gertrude Greene, Boston, Mass.
  Mr. Amasa Guild, Dedham, Mass.
  Miss Aroline Hall, New York City.
  Mrs. William A. Hall, Boston, Mass.
  Mr. C. L. S. Hammond, Clinton, Mass.
   “  William E. Hatch, New Bedford, Mass.
   “  Walter H. Hersey, Providence, R. I.
   “  C. M. Holbrook, Hartford, Conn.
  Mr. Charles Holt, Stafford Springs, Conn.
  Miss Louise K. Hopkinson, Boston, Mass.
  Mrs. Edwin I. Howlett, Philadelphia, Pa.
  Miss M. Alice Hoyt, Portsmouth, N. H.
   “   Abby H. Johnson, Boston, Mass.
  F. M. Johnson, M. D., Boston, Mass.
  Miss Julia G. Johnson, Malden, Mass.
  Mr. H. L. Kelly, Boston, Mass.
   “  Charles E. Kennard, Boston, Mass.
   “  Frederick Kimball, Boston, Mass.
   “  Warren H. Kimball, Medford, Mass.
   “  William N. Kimball, Great Falls, N. H.
  Miss Alice L. Kinsman, Springfield, Mass.
   “   Ella F. Lee, Groveland, Mass.
  Mr. H. T. Lerdall, Madison, Wis.
  Miss Louise E. Lewin, Milton, Mass.
  Mrs. W. I. Lewis, Walpole, Mass.
  Mr. Fred M. Littlefield, New York City.
  Hon. George B. Loring, Salem, Mass.
  Mr. Charles G. Lundell, Boston, Mass.
  Lynn Free Public Library, Lynn, Mass.
  Miss F. A. Mathes, Portsmouth, N. H.
  Mr. Howard E. Merrell, Geneva, N. Y.
   “  B. F. Merriam, South Framingham, Mass.
  Miss Anna O. Merrill, Milwaukee, Wis.
  Mrs. Fannie Wadleigh Merrill, Concord, N. H.
  Mr. J. Franklin Merrill, Brooklyn, N. Y.
  Mr. J. W. Merrill, Exeter, N. H.
  Miss D. E. Miller, Easthampton, Mass.
  Mr. John A. Munroe, Omaha, Neb.                          _Two copies._
   “  William R. Mygatt, Denver, Colo.
  Newton Free Library, Newton, Mass.
  Miss Abbie I. Nelson, East Kingston, N. H.
  Mr. Walter C. Nelson, Chicago, Ill.
  Miss Cora A. Newton, Fayeville, Mass.
  Mrs. J. H. Nichols, Newton, Mass.
  Mr. H. I. Ordway, Newton Centre, Mass.
   “  Hiram B. Otterson, Hooksett, N. H.
  Mrs. A. M. Parker, Littleton, Mass.
  Miss Alice Pattee, Lebanon, N. H.
  Miss M. Adelaide Pearl, West Boxford, Mass.              _Two copies._
  Mrs. Harris C. Pearson, Lowell, Mass.
   “   Charles Perley, West Boxford, Mass.
  Henrik G. Petersen, M. D., Boston, Mass.
  Mr. E. C. Pinney, Stafford, Conn.
   “  C. Herbert Poor, New York City.
  Public Library, Merrimac, Mass.
  Public Library Association, Easthampton, Mass.
  Mrs. Amy P. Ranney, Longwood, Mass.
  Mr. Frank F. Raymond, Lexington, Mass.
  Mrs. Carina Houghton Sewall, Springfield, Mass.
   “   Letitia Shepherd, Cambridgeport, Mass.
  Miss Charllie M. Shoales, Easthampton, Mass.
   “   Helen E. Simonds, Methuen, Mass.
  Mrs. Charles Smith, Andover, Mass.
  Prof. Charles Sprague Smith, Columbia College, N. Y.
  Mr. James B. Smith, Andover, Mass.                       _Two copies._
  Mr. Joseph W. Smith, Andover, Mass.
  Miss Harriet S. Spalding, Lowell, Mass.
  Mr. John L. Stanley, Gloucester, Mass.
  Mr. Herbert Stebbins, Boston, Mass.
  Messrs. E. Steiger & Co., New York City.
  Miss Mary Osgood Stevens, North Andover.
  Mr. Nathaniel Stevens, North Andover.                    _Two copies._
   “  Alfred H. Sumner, Roxbury, Mass.
  General Eben Sutton, North Andover, Mass.
  Mr. George W. Tapley, Springfield, Mass.
   “  B. H. Taylor, Newton, N. H.
  Miss Emma S. Taylor, Worcester, Mass.                    _Two copies._
  Mr. Forrest W. Taylor, Worcester, Mass.
   “  J. B. Tillotson, Nashua, N. H.
  Samuel Knapp Towle, M. D., National Military Home, Va.
  Mr. Henry R. Tracy, Boston, Mass.
   “  Willard C. Tyler, Charlestown, Mass.
  Mr. John R. Van Wagenen, Oxford, N. Y.
  Mrs. Elizabeth Hovey Waters, Millbury, Mass.
   “   Martha G. Webber, Salem, Mass.
   “   James H. Webster, West Boxford, Mass.
   “   Charles W. Welch, Stoughton, Mass.
  West Boxford Library, West Boxford, Mass.
  Mr. Frank I. Whitcomb, Somerville, Mass.
  Miss Julia M. Whittier, Bangor, Maine.
  Williston Seminary Library, Easthampton, Mass.
  Miss Susan Woodman, Dover, N. H.
  Mrs. Alma S. Woods, Boston Highlands, Mass.


FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

  Señor Don Jorge Ballard y Breto, Barcelona, Spain.
  Frau Clara von Blum, Berlin, Germany.
  Madame Jeanne Bocquet, Paris, France.
  Fräulein Hedwig von Broesigke, Berlin, Germany.
  Señora Doña Julia viuda de Cabria, Madrid, Spain.
  Herr Bruno Cohn, Berlin, Germany.
  Mrs. John Denholm, Glasgow, Scotland.
  Herr Professor Dieterici, Berlin University, Germany.
  Herr Ober Lehrer Dillman, Wiesbaden, Germany.
  Fräulein Bertha Falckenberg, Coblenz, Germany.
  Herr Carl Falckenberg, Berlin, Germany.
  Herr Lieut. Frühling, Hanover, Germany.
  Fräulein Constance B. von Gaudy, Berlin, Germany.
  Mr. Charles Gibson, Moscow, Russia.
  Señorita Doña Adela Gines y Ortiz, Madrid, Spain.
  Prof. Don Hermenegildo Giner de los Rios Rosas, Madrid, Spain.
  Frau Lieut. Hoeltzl, Berlin, Germany.
  Graf Vincenz Huyn, Prague, Bohemia.
  Fräulein Karin Kiseleff, Helsingfors, Finland.
  Mr. Erastus A. Kingsbury, Wiesbaden, Germany.
  Mr. R. W. Laine, Honolulu H. I., Sandwich Islands.
  Herr Wilhelm Loeppien, St. Petersburg, Russia.
  Mrs. Raymond H. Seeley, Berlin, Germany.
  Dr. Frederick P. Treadwell, Zurich, Switzerland.
  Monsieur Louis Triouleyre, Paris, France.



_Recent Publications_

OF

CUPPLES & HURD,

PUBLISHERS, GENERAL BOOKSELLERS, AND

LIBRARY AGENTS,

  _94 Boylston Street,      Boston, Mass._

       *       *       *       *       *

=∵= NOTE.—_In order to insure the correct delivery of the actual
works, or particular Editions specified in this List, the name of the
Publishers should be distinctly given. These books can be had from any
local bookseller; but should any difficulty be experienced in procuring
them, Messrs._ CUPPLES & HURD _will be happy to forward them direct,
postage paid, on receipt of cheque, stamps, or Postal order for the
amount, with a copy of their complete catalogue_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    THE AMERICAN TAUCHNITZ SERIES. Square 16mo. Paper covers, 50 cents.
    Cloth, $1.00.

I.

MISS FRANCES MERLEY:

A Novel. By JOHN ELLIOT CURRAN. 420 pages.

The first important work of an author familiar to American readers by
his remarkable sketches to _Scribner’s_ and other magazines.

II.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A NEW ENGLAND FARM HOUSE:

A Romance of the Cape Cod Lands. By N. H. CHAMBERLAIN. 380 pages.

_A novel of singular power and beauty, great originality and rugged
force._ Born and bred on Cape Cod, the author, at the winter firesides
of country people, very conservative of ancient English customs now
gone, heard curious talk of kings, Puritan ministers, the war and
precedent struggle of our Revolution, and touched a race of men and
women now passed away. He also heard, chiefly from ancient women, the
traditions of ghosts, witches and Indians, as they are preserved, and
to a degree believed, by honest Christian folk, in the very teeth of
modern progress. These things are embodied in this book.

  _OTHER VOLUMES OF THIS SERIES IN PREPARATION._

       *       *       *       *       *

    A SUMMER CRUISE ON THE COAST OF NEW ENGLAND. By ROBERT CARTER.
    _With an Introduction by_ ROSSITER JOHNSON. 12mo. Cloth, _with
    Map_. $1.50.

A new edition of one of the most fascinating of salt-water yarns,
full of genial humor, vivid word-painting, accurate information, and
practical “wrinkles.” A classic by reason of the esteem in which it is
held by yachtsmen, and as a literary production equal to anything of
the kind in the Anglo-Saxon tongue.


_Important New Books._

    STRAY LEAVES FROM NEWPORT. By Mrs. WM. LAMONT WHEELER. _Exquisitely
    printed and most beautifully bound in tapestry, white and gold._
    Gilt top. Uncut edges. 12mo. $1.50.

Two editions of these charming prose idyls were exhausted within two
weeks of publication. Third edition now preparing.

_The author is familiar with every detail of the social life of
Newport, in which she has long been a prominent figure, and the
types of character she presents will be readily recognized as direct
copies from nature. She is intimately acquainted with the scenes she
describes, and the literary quality of her book is of a character that
will recommend it to readers of cultivated tastes._—Gazette.

       *       *       *       *       *

    IONA: A Lay of Ancient Greece. By PAYNE ERSKINE. Cr. 8vo. Cloth.
    Gilt top. $1.75.

Musical, and full of classic beauty, recalling in many passages the
delicate and subtle charm of Keats.

       *       *       *       *       *

    WHAT SHALL MAKE US WHOLE? or, Thoughts in the Direction of Man’s
    Spiritual and Physical Integrity. By HELEN BIGELOW MERRIMAN. _Third
    Edition._ 16mo, _unique boards_. 75 cents.

An endeavor to present in a popular way the philosophy and practice of
mental healing.

The author does not claim for her essay either completeness or
permanent value, but hopes “to fix a few points and establish a few
relative values, in anticipation of the time when human research and
experience shall complete the pictures.”

She holds that the human mind can achieve nothing that is so good
except when it becomes the channel of the infinite spirit of God, and
that so-called mind cures are not brought about wholly by the power of
the mind over the body, or by the influence of one mind over another.

Religious enthusiasm and scientific medicine abound in cases of
extraordinary cures of diseases effected by what, for the sake of
convenience, is generally called “faith.”

It will not do, says the _British Medical Journal_, for pathologists
and psychologists to treat these “modern miracles” so cavalierly.

In them are exhibited, in a more or less legitimate manner, the results
of the action of the mind upon the bodily functions and particles.

Hysteria is curable by these phenomena, since hysteria, after all,
is only an unhealthy mastery of the body over the mind, and is cured
by this or any other stimulus to the imagination. “Therefore,” says
the editor of the above journal, “there is no reason to doubt that
faith-healing, so called, may have more positive results than we have
been accustomed to allow.”

       *       *       *       *       *

    TYPICAL NEW ENGLAND ELMS AND OTHER TREES. Reproduced by Photogravure
    from photographs by HENRY BROOKS, with an Introduction, and with
    Notes by L. L. Dame. 4to.      [_In press._

       *       *       *       *       *

    THE FOUR GOSPELS. Translated into Modern English from the Authorized
    and Revised Versions. By ERNEST BILTON. Cloth. $1.00.

_A cheap edition of a new translation of the Gospels, having a great
run of popularity in the religious circles of Great Britain._

The author has taken the authorised version as it stands, availing
himself of many corrections suggested by the revised version, and has
given the apparent meaning of the text in the _plainest possible_
language, the whole object being the simplification of the narratives
of the Evangelists. It is not expected that this rendering will
supersede the accepted version. The author _evidently feels_ that he
is not without hope that it may lead to the serious consideration, in
proper quarters, of the advisability of providing the people with an
authorised translation of the Scriptures into the “vulgar tongue,” not
of the _sixteenth_ but of the _nineteenth_ century.

       *       *       *       *       *

    THE SKETCHES OF THE CLANS OF SCOTLAND, with twenty-two full-page
    colored plates of Tartans. By CLANSMEN J. M. P.-F. W. S. Large 8vo.
    Cloth, $2.00.

The object of this treatise is to give a concise account of the
origin, seat, and characteristics of the Scottish clans, together
with a representation of the distinguishing tartan worn by each.
_The illustrations are fine specimens of color work, all executed in
Scotland._

       *       *       *       *       *

    THE GREEN HAND; or, the Adventures of a Naval Lieutenant. A Sea
    Story. By GEORGE CUPPLES. With Portrait of the Author and other
    Illustrations. 1 vol. 12mo. Cloth. $2.00.

A new library edition of this fascinating sea classic.      [_In press._

       *       *       *       *       *

    ALL MATTER TENDS TO ROTATION, OR THE ORIGIN OF ENERGY. A New
    Hypothesis which throws Light upon all the Phenomena of Nature.
    Electricity, Magnetism, Gravitation, Light, Heat, and Chemical
    Action explained upon Mechanical Principles and traced to a Single
    Source. By LEONIDAS LE CENCI HAMILTON, M. A. Vol. 1. Origin of
    Energy: Electrostatics and Magnetism. Containing 100 Illustrations,
    including Fine Steel Portraits of Faraday and Maxwell. Handsomely
    bound in cloth. 8vo, 340 pp. Price, $3.00. _Net._

In this volume the author has utilized the modern conception of lines
of force originated by Faraday, and afterwards developed mathematically
by Prof. J. Clerk Maxwell, and he has reached an explanation of
electrical and magnetic phenomena which has been expected by physicists
on both continents. It may have a greater influence upon the scientific
world than either Newton’s “Principia” or Darwin’s “Origin of Species,”
because it places natural science upon its only true basis—Pure
Mechanics.

       *       *       *       *       *

    HOW TO WRITE THE HISTORY OF A FAMILY. By W. P. W. PHILLIMORE, M.
    A., B. C. L. 1 vol. Cr. 8vo. _Tastefully printed in antique style,
    handsomely bound._ $2.00.

Unassuming, practical, essentially useful, Mr. Phillimore’s book should
be in the hands of every one who aspires to search for his ancestors
and to learn his family history.—_Athenæum._

This is the best compendious genealogist’s guide that has yet been
published, and Mr. Phillimore deserves the thanks and appreciation of
all lovers of family history.—_Reliquary._

_Notice._—Large Paper Edition. A few copies, on hand-made paper, wide
margins, bound in half morocco, may be obtained, price $6.50 _net_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    THE KINSHIP OF MEN: An Argument from Pedigrees; or, Genealogy Viewed
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Transcriber’s Note


Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
in hyphenation have been standardized but all other spelling and
punctuation remains unchanged.





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