Tomorrow, we are taking off for Germany! Our journey starts from the Central Station in Stockholm and the train will take us to Southern Sweden where we will take the overnight ferry to Germany. We will be visiting Lübeck, Berlin, Dresden, Bad Schandau, Prague, and Hamburg before we return to Stockholm on the 12th of October.
During our 2-week journey, we will be posting to Facebook and Instagram. Please look for updates from our journey there:
Imorgon, 28 september 2017, avreser vi från Stockholm Central med tåg söderut. Vi kommer besöka Lübeck, Berlin, Dresden, Bad Schandau, Prag och Hamburg innan vi vänder åter mot Sverige den 12 oktoboer. Vi kommer vara på resande fot i två veckor.
Under resan kommer vi dela våra upplevelser på Facebook och Instagram. Där kan man se både bilder och korta texter från vår resa. Följ vår resa där!
Augusta had a deep interest in music and she had a good voice. She even had a waltz dedicated to her: “La Belle du Nord – Valse pour le Piano. Offerte à Mademoiselle Augusta Söderholm par Gustav Eklund.”
Augusta took singing lessons from one of Stockholm’s famous opera singers, Mr. Isidor Dannström. He was already famous in the 1840’s along with Jenny Lind. So when Augusta and her mother traveled through Germany in 1847, they made sure to visit the opera in both Berlin and Dresden.
The opera in Dresden was designed by architect Gottfried Semper. When Augusta visited the magnificent opera house – the Semperoper – it was new, having opened in 1841.
Dresden, July 1847
In the evening we went to the Opera where the walls are blue and white with gold. The cushions and chairs are covered with red velvet. Irresistibly, however, one’s gaze is drawn to the circular, white ceiling which is adorned with golden arabesques and four oval medallions depicting in allegorical figures – the music, the tragedy, the comedy, and the arts – painted in the clearest of colors. Between them, four smaller medallions appear which represent Goethe’s, Schiller’s, Mozart’s, and Beethoven’s portraits. A tasteful lamp with 96 gas flames throw their rays over this masterpiece. The curtain is made of red velvet with golden fringes and it hangs with beautiful folds. The foyer is semicircular, from which glass doors lead into the loges. The walls in this foyer are white lacquered and the only ornaments are rich, bronze candelabra which are surrounded by milk-white glass. By the windows are placed elegant couches with large mirrors above which are niches with busts of Weber, Mozart, and Lessing.
Unfortunately, the opera house was destroyed by fire in 1869. It was rebuilt and opened again in 1878. The Semperoper was again destroyed during the bombing of Dresden in 1945, and again rebuilt in 1985.
On the 4th of October, we are delighted to have tickets to the Semperoper – we will be thinking of Augusta!
We have never been to Lübeck. Nevertheless, each day, we walk the streets of Lübeck, but in the world described by Thomas Mann in his book about the family Buddenbrooks. It is a fascinating book about 4 generations of a bourgeoisie family in the old town of Lübeck in the 1800s. Augusta’s world, but in Germany!
Augusta started her journey in Lübeck in July of 1847 and, therefore, that is where we will also start our journey through Germany.
Augusta brother-in-law, Gustaf Lejdenfrost, was a textile manufacturer and later a wool importer with business connections in Lübeck. The business contact was A.P. Rehder, whose family took care of Augusta and her mother on their arrival.
The Rehders lived at Alfstrasse 72 (in today’s numbering, Alfstrasse 41). When looking up the address in Google Maps, a familiar name showed up on a parallel street, Mengstrasse: Weinhandel Tesdorpf. One of Augusta’s best friend at home in Norrköping was Mina (Vilhelmina) Tesdorpf, whose father was the wine merchant in town! This could not be a coincident.
A genealogy search revealed that Mina was indeed related to the Tesdorpf family with the wine shop on Mengstrasse. Mina’s grandfather was Peter Hinrich Tesdorpf (1746-1811), who in 1782 married Susanne Schyler in Bordeaux. Mina’s father, Johan Jakob Tesdorpf (b. 1799), was the youngest of 8 children. He moved to Sweden and established himself in Norrköping as a wine retailer. He became very successful and his house in Norrköping is still standing.
Besides Johan Jacob Tesdorpf, his nephew, Franz Hinrich Tesdorpf, was also a wine merchant in Norrköping.
Did Augusta visit the Tesdorpf’s in Lübeck? She doesn’t mention them in her diary. But we will sure visit Weinhandel Tesdorpf on our trip and try some of their famous Rotspon.
During Augusta’s time, women in her circles would have worn gloves. Men also wore gloves – all the time. There were lots of etiquette rules about when you could take them off, how to take them off, and what to do with them when eating.
Fashion dictated the length, material, and color of the gloves.
And then there were fingerless gloves. Fingerless gloves were often knitted or crocheted, and light or white in color. They allowed the woman to write and embroider without having to remove her gloves. Another advantage was that she could wear and display any expensive rings she might have, while still being modest and elegant.
Eureka! Fingerless gloves would be perfect for texting – Kerstin and I could be modest and elegant and display our rings AND we could use our iPhones without having to remove our gloves according to some complicated etiquette rules!
Margie, my longtime friend and kindred spirit – always up for creative projects – had invited me over to her house for doing creative art. And, she had already done research on the kind of gloves I might need for Augusta’s Journey.
– Did you know that during the Irish Potato Famine, the women of Ireland resorted to producing beautiful crochet lace in order to help their families, and that Queen Victoria’s interest in the Irish crocheted lace made it fashionable in England?
I had no idea! I had only admired the interesting, 3-dimensional characteristics of Irish crochet.
Would any Irish crocheted lace have reached Sweden in the 1850s? Maybe.
Would I like to get a pair of such, fingerless gloves? Of course; I would love too!!!
Next week, Margie presented me with these beautiful, well-fitting, white lace gloves. She had even embellished them with 3-dimensional little Irish roses – all made in Irish Crochet! What a gift!
It will be great on the trip – I will be very fashionable while taking pictures with my iPhone. I might even be able to write a real letter with a quill pen without having to take them off!