The Finns love song and poetry. It is said that every village has one poet, or more, and that he prepares a new song whenever aught of importance occurs. Besides these new songs they have many ancient songs, of which they never tire. When they sing the songs of the olden time, two men seat themselves face to face upon a bench, join hands, and rock backward and forward in time to the song. First one sings a line or passage, and then the other repeats the same, and so they continue, rocking back and forth and singing the whole night through. Sometimes a third man plays upon the kantele, while the others sing. This kantele is somewhat like a zither; it has a flat sounding-body upon which are strung from three to eight strings of different lengths. It is usually picked with the fingers like a guitar. It is said that the first kantele was made of fish-bones, though it is not easy to see how that could be.
A gypsy girl lights a gypsy mans cigarette
A Gypsy family washing in the river
A woman sawing wood
Ruins of castles crown almost every prominent summit, and the scenery grows wilder and more beautiful at every bend of the river. Kallenberg, Wildenstein, Wernwag, Falkenstein, and a half-score of other ruins, equally wonderful in situation, tempted us to sketch them, and we found the most delightful spots imaginable wherever we paused and exchanged the paddle for the pencil.
Women water carriers
At every available point of the crowded river-front washerwomen, with their petticoats wet to the waist, stood knee-deep in the stream, and accompanied their lively chatter with the vigorous tattoo of their active mallets. In the shadow of the houses near the landing great piles of watermelons were the centres of groups of all ages, every individual busy with the luscious, juicy fruit.
Just below Widdin, at the Bulgarian town of Arčer Palanka, the general course of the Danube changes from the south to the east; and to the town of Cernavoda, in the Dobrudscha, about 300 miles below, the river keeps the latter direction with few and slight deviations. The long, straight reaches were here enlivened by many sailing-vessels of the fifteenth-century type, with high ornate sterns, and single mast set midway between the bow and stern. Sometimes we met them gayly ploughing their way up-stream, with every bellying sail drawing full, and again we saw them dragged slowly against the current by a long line of patient Turkish sailors harnessed to a tow-rope; or else we came across them tied to the trees in some quiet spot awaiting a favorable wind, the decks covered with sleeping sailors, no man on watch.
Turkish Sailing Lotka, Sulina
The river life was mostly confined to the larger craft; very few small boats were seen, and almost no fishermen. The great clouds of canvas on the Turkish vessels gleamed above the trees behind the islands far in the perspective, and the black smoke of tow-boats with their trains of loaded lighters was a constant feature in the ever-changing landscape. Occasionally a huge flat-boat of the roughest build, piled high with a cargo of red and yellow earthen-ware, melons, sacks of charcoal, and other miscellaneous merchandise, floated down in the gentle current, steered by Turks in costumes of varied hue, the whole reflecting a mass of glowing color in the stream.
The Wienerthor, Hainburg
The Watch-tower, Theben
Showing the sketch-book to inhabitants of a town
The rapid current hurried us on, not against our will, and we only paused to watch the monks haymaking in the meadows, wearing a dress which looked like a compromise between the costumes of a washerwoman and a Cape Cod fisherman. They must have suffered in the hot sun, with their gowns of heavy woollen stuff, but they suffered in silence, and did not deign to answer our greetings or even to turn their eyes upon us.
Our afternoon cruise was not further remarkable except for the sight of various immense ferry-boats swinging across the stream attached to wire guys and bearing two great loads of hay, cattle and all, and for a visit to Ingolstadt, a military post of great importance and correspondingly unattractive aspect.
The Bell tower, Lauingen.
Spectators watching us set up camp
Roumanian Peasants Selling Flowers and Fruit
Roumanian Peasant Girl
Woman returning from market pushing a barrow with empty baskets
Woman standing in front of the Pump at Pöchlarn
Peasants of the Delta
Peasant Wagon, Hainburg
Peasant Girls Mowing
Peasant Girl, Thieben carrying a tall load on her back
Peasant Girl of the Black Forest
“Our Guard,” Servian Militia Camp
On the Tile-boat
Under other circumstances we would have spent a day or more at Riedlingen, where we found most interesting architecture along the river-front and saw a party of nuns at work in a hay-field. We had a little more social success with them than we did with their coreligionists, the monks at Beuron, for they turned their great, cool, flapping head-dresses in our direction, and actually seemed temporarily interested in our canoes, and in us as well.
Mosque in Silistria
In the late afternoon we floated out of the sweet air of the meadows into a stratum of effluvia from the tanneries of Tuttlingen, and but for the fact that the town claims as its hero Max Schneckenburger, the author of the words of “Die Wacht am Rhein” who was educated here in his youth, and for the more cogent reason of hunger, we probably should have paddled past the town without pausing longer than to admire some of its architectural features.
Loading Grain at Braila
In Sunday Dress, Monostorszég
Hungarian Girls at Bezdán
At the post-office, where we went to buy our first Hungarian stamps, the gossiping old postmaster and his wife—characters not unfamiliar in the rural offices in other countries—were so overwhelmed by the extent of our requirements and the number of our letters that the wheels of official machinery refused to work at all. After they had carefully read all the addresses, and had marvelled long at the range of our correspondence, we succeeded in communicating to their dazed senses the fact that we wanted to buy a stock of stamps of various denominations.
Dredging the Delta
Crossing the Weir—Rottenacker
Country Market-boat, Budapest
Bulgarian Fisherman Basket-making
Bulgarian Buffalo Cart
Even the hissing of frying fat in the numerous cook-shops seemed hushed for the time; the vender of kukurutz (green corn on the ear) slept in a shadow; and the Bulgarian bozaji, selling slightly fermented maize beer, alone broke the drowsy silence with his mournful cries.
Black Forest Cow Team
Black Forest Cow Team
A Little Girl of Hainburg
A Hungarian Ferry
Showing the chief places of importance in his life