I have only to go a few steps up a narrow, steep street, lined with the queerest houses, where is an ever-running pipe of good water, to which all the neighborhood resorts, and I am within the grounds of the castle. I scarcely know where to take you; for I never know where to go myself, and seldom do go where I intend when I set forth. We have been here several days; and I have not yet seen the Great Tun, nor the inside of the show-rooms, nor scarcely anything that is set down as a “sight.” I do not know whether to wander on through the extensive grounds, with splendid trees, bits of old ruin, overgrown, cozy nooks, and seats where, through the foliage, distant prospects open into quiet retreats that lead to winding walks up the terraced hill, round to the open terrace overlooking the Neckar, and giving the best general view of the great mass of ruins. If we do, we shall be likely to sit in some delicious place, listening to the band playing in the “Restauration,” and to the nightingales, till the moon comes up. Or shall we turn into the garden through the lovely Arch of the Princess Elizabeth, with its stone columns cut to resemble tree-trunks twined with ivy? Or go rather through the great archway, and under the teeth of the portcullis, into the irregular quadrangle, whose buildings mark the changing style and fortune of successive centuries, from 1300 down to the seventeenth century? There is probably no richer quadrangle in Europe: there is certainly no other ruin so vast, so impressive, so ornamented with carving, except the Alhambra. And from here we pass out upon the broad terrace of masonry, with a splendid flanking octagon tower, its base hidden in trees, a rich facade for a background, and below the town the river, and beyond the plain and floods of golden sunlight. What shall we do? Sit and dream in the Rent Tower under the lindens that grow in its top? The day passes while one is deciding how to spend it, and the sun over Heiligenberg goes down on his purpose.
ENTERING SWITZERLAND BERNE ITS BEAUTIES AND BEARS