It was during the autumn holidays of 1853 when I visited a cousin of mine, the wine merchant Georg Wetterhahn, in Mainz. He was commissioned by his brother Gustav, an Austrian hussar cavalry captain, to buy him two riding horses in the area, as they were extremely expensive in Lombardy. The horses had been bought and a certain Thomas Henninger, a rider from Mainz, was commissioned to transport them. I was present when my cousin spoke to him and gave him the itinerary he was to make. Then came Strasbourg and Basel, Lucerne, Lake Lucerne with its historical attractions, and many other places admired by all foreigners, so that I began to envy the happy Henninger and finally made the bold decision to go on the trip. My cousin didn’t mind; he even offered to advance me the necessary money. Henninger was very happy to have found a companion; for he thought two would do better on a journey than one.
The only obstacle I faced was getting a passport. Knowing that if I wrote my project home, I would not only not receive a passport but would be summoned home immediately, so I wrote that this was a young English lawyer from London, a relative of my cousin’s wife, who was English. He was planning a trip to Paris and had urgently invited me to accompany him. For various reasons I would have turned it down at first, but in the end, I promised him that I would go with him to Strasbourg. Therefore, I would ask you to have a passport issued to me as soon as possible.
The letter went off and new doubts arose in me, since I was firmly convinced that only getting a passport for France was of next to no use to me. I sat on glowing coals for two days when the answer finally arrived on the third day. I opened the letter with trembling hands; It contained a passport which, luckily for me, was issued for all European countries. With the letter I received clothes and linen at the same time. I was now further than Henninger, who didn’t have a pass yet. He therefore travelled to Darmstadt the next morning, took mine with him again to have it visaed by the Austrian envoy, which was absolutely necessary, and then came back with both passports. So, everything was ready and ready for departure. My cousin gave me the travel money. I also bought Bädeker‘s travel guide for Switzerland. Then we went down to the Rhine; the horses followed us later.