Walter describes taking the train with his mother to go visit Uncle Leo's farm.
-- transcript --
Walter: ... there would be too much gas in the lamp, and then came a loud puff and everybody scattered.
Ben: that's a good story
Walter: But, i mean the fun started with the train, it was a, the first train that we took was a long distance train, and we took that train which went from Vienna, well actually i think all the way down to Istanbul by way of [Presburg?] and Budapest, Bucharest, Sophia, and Istanbul, and in the flatlands, which is what they have in that part of Czechoslovakia, they run locomotives with huge wheels because the locomotives don't have to have so much power, and the wheels, I can remember it very well, were taller than I was, and fortunately my mother, when we had to change trains, would let me run up to a locomotive and see what was going on up there and this huge machine stood there and hissed and puffed and it was a big spectacle.
Well when we, on that train we travelled third class like ordinary people, then there came a local train, and on the local train we had to ride second class, which is one up, because you weren't really allowed to mingle with the common people, that is the local peasants. So there we had seats that were upholstered in velvet and were traveling somewhat more in state.
And then we came to my uncle's estate, got off the train and in the summer there was a coach waiting for us, and in the wintertime they'd have a sleigh, pulled by two horses with bells and it was really quite an event you know, riding a sled with horses with bells on it, there's sort of a festive air about it.
Okay, now make another pause...
Kendal on Hudson, Sleepy Hollow, NY
videotape recordings | tape 01 clip 003
video | travel | trains | train travel | vacation | pre-war | locomotive | sleigh | mother | Czechoslovakia | childhood | Ida Hess | Leo Hess