My husband's family are very fortunate as his great grandfather travelled back to Germany from Armidale, NSW from May to September 1885. While visiting family he sent many letters back to Australia and kept a diary of his time overseas. I'll post his letters on the day they were written. These letters can be seen at the University of New England (UNE) Archive in Armidale, NSW, Australia. Biographical Entry
the 1 July 1885
My Dear Wife and Children
I have arrived safely in Germany and I found a very great change among my brothers and sisters as they are all dead except my sister Rosina but I would not have known her and she would not have known me if we did not know that we were brother and sister by our name and still we always keep looking at one another and fancy that we must be mistaken the way I got myself known to Schantz our brother in law was through saying that I had a message from myself and that I wished to see him. Well we were almost talking a half hour before I made myself known to him he had no idea that I was Jacob at the same time I would not have known him either the pleasure was very great afterwards.
Although I thought I knew something about the country before I never expected it would look as grand as it does it was nothing but one surprise after the other in scenery beauty and the splendid crops it bears it seems almost impossible to comprehend it. they are all eager to inquire after your welfare and only wish you could be present the last letter I wrote to you was from Port Said and I wish you received it Well from Port Said we had a very good passage and we arrived on the 26 June in the evening at Naples and I was landed the same night and a worse night I never had on the whole voyage the people of Naples are a lot of thieves robbers and swindlers they charged for supper and a bed which we never used as we was afraid to lay down 13 Franks from Naples I started at three o’clock and arrived in Rome about 9 o’clock the following day I went at two o’clock with the rail again arrived the following dat at 4 o’clock in Zurich and left yesterday morning for Stuttgart where I arrived at 2 o’clock and left directly with the train for Marbach from there I went on foot to Steinheim seen Schantz and went together in a buggy to my sisters home where I arrived at dusk next week I hope to receive a letter from you and I am longing very much after some news from you and hope all is well the money I took with me is nearly gone but not the draft exchange which I hope will carry me back again the news that I arrived spread like wildfire all your cousins are wishing to see you personally.
Your ever loving Husband and Father