Jan. 19th – We have here a delightful climate. The Botanical Gardens
here are interesting. We went this morning to see them, making Terra Cotta
ware, illustrating the customs of the people. Went to a few stores and made
some reasonable purchases.
Jan 20th – This morning we walked out to the English cemetery which was situated on the side of a hill commanding the sea. It is prettily terraced with beautiful flowers and cypress trees and cactus plants. We had quite a pretty bouquet given us by a Spanish woman in attendance. To Mr. M. she gave a bunch of violets with heliotrope in the center.
We left this afternoon on the Darron with which we are much pleased. We have a pleasant lady and gentleman for companions, Mr. and Mrs. Stone from New York.
Yesterday, Jan 22nd, we arrived at Carthegena, where we took a tartana and drove through the town. Our vehicle had a canvas top lined with damask. The sides and bottom consisted of matting seats. On either side, accommodating six persons. Our driver was the most grotesque figure, with his fur cap and cloth jacket, with black velvet trimmings, long white stockings and slippers. The country around Carthegena is beautifully hilly in some places. We saw a number of the date palm trees saw the manner in which the soil was irrigated, their manner of drawing water. This morning arriving at Alicante, we obtained a carriage and drove to a convent to see the Veronica handkerchief. We could not see it there, but bought a medal, upon which was a copy of it. We then drove out in the country some distance. All about Alicante is a limestone country. Our driver took us to a large garden belonging to the Compte Pineau de Hermosso. As we entered the gate, we were met by the Count, who conducted us all through his beautiful garden, giving us oranges and lemons. He had the gardener to follow him to refresh his memory in regard to names of the flowers. The man arranged three pretty bouquets, a red rose surrounded by white jasmine and geranium leaves for us. He had two summer houses of Cypress trained on canes and trimmed in the form of a castle. There were several fountains but no water, as he said that it was unhealthy to keep any in it. There were some beautiful marble statues in an open space, from Italy we saw a large India Rubber tree, trained in the form of a tree. He said that during the time of the ________, several of his plants died.
We then went to the convent, where we saw the famous handkerchief. The Carob trees are very productive and good for food for the animals.
Jan. 24th – The morning we are all in fine spirits after having had a heavy gale all night. Interesting scenes in our bedroom and “so on”. We rowed to shore. Walked through one of the markets then took a tartan and drove to the city of Valencia, which was some distance from our landing place. We went to the Cathedral to get a view of the city and surrounding country. It is a beautiful well cultivated plain. This is the prettiest city we have yet seen in Spain. We were disappointed in the shops of Valencia, our only purchase being a fan.
Jan. 26th – Arrived yesterday at Barcelona in time to go ashore and dine at table d’hote and then walked on the Alameda to see the shops, which were lit up more beautifully than anything I ever saw. Our party, Mr. and Mrs. Stone and Nora said it reminded them of Paris. This morning we went to market, where we purchased some roasted almonds and filberts which are better than peanuts when thus prepared. We then took breakfast at a restaurant and then took a coach and rode out in the suburbs of the city, where we saw several pretty gardens. Barcelona is a beautiful city, numbers of handsome buildings. It lays in a beautiful ______ above which tower some beautiful hills. After our ride we dismissed our gentlemen and went in search of “fans”. We had a great deal of fun at each other’s expense in this shopping expedition. Barcelona is the second city in Spain in regard to size, the Capital City being the largest. We went to the Opera Othello. This was in the handsomest Opera house in Spain. There were four or five dress circles, with boxes; adjoining each was a dressing room entered by a glass door, where the ladies could arrange their toilette or have ice creams, etc. The frescoing of the ceiling was magnificent. Performance closed at eleven and we rowed out to our vessel. It was a beautiful moonlight night and we sang songs all the way and finally thought of the loved ones at home. Our next stopping place was San Felien, where we remained several hours to put off cork and to take on bales of cork already cut. In twelve hours we arrived at Marseilles where we received our letters and Oh! how happy we were to find that all of our families were well; our dear children were well also. Having remained at Marseilles a day we took passage on the Peluse, one of the Messagerie Imperial steamers, having passed a pleasant night. We are now on deck, passing though the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia. The coast either side is a barren rock covered with moss. We have seen one portion of the rock which looked like a bear in a standing position. I have just seen a mountain covered with trees. The weather seems to be an eternal summer. We are now in open sea again, which is as smooth as possible. This is a splendid steamer; our cabin is commodious. We have a room to ourselves. Our eating salon is on deck, is very spacious. It has three rows of tables over which are chandeliers. Last night I counted forty-eight candles burning, and Mr. M. counted one hundred and ten on the ship. It is a new steamer, one of the largest of the line.
Jan. 31st – A lovely morning, the sea as smooth as glass. Today we have seen several ships and numbers of islands composed of barren rocks; appear to be formed by volcanic eruption, a large one being near Stromboli; we now have a full view of it. It is smoking and looks quite grand. There appears to be no vegetation on it or any signs of inhabitants. The distance we saw it, it looked like a mountain entirely surrounded by water. We arrived at Messina about seven o’clock, took a boat and rowed ashore in company with two Greeks, one being Rali. We walked through the town and saw five very pretty fountains. The streets are wide and very long. After going to a café where we took some frozen lemonade and then returned to our boat. There were several men at the ship in their boats having coral to sell. We purchased some for eighty cents.