National Geographic : 1952 May
703 National Geographic Photographer Volkmar Wcntzel In the Full-size Original of Neck, Karl Battre Twice Rounded the Horn The Bremen modelmaker puts final touches to a windjammer's rigging. Mr. Battr6 also built the frigate at right. In his younger years the craftsman, now 75, sailed the seven seas, rounding Cape Horn nine times. Miniature ships of many types have been launched from his cellar shop. But of all the creature comforts offered, few appealed quite so much just then as a good night's sleep. We never did find the Brus sels hostel. Perhaps it was just as well, as we-and our clothes-needed a more exten sive scrubbing than could have been effected with the usual youth hostel plumbing. Fortunately, most European hotels these days are so accustomed to hikers that they never bat an eye when you walk in looking like a pack rat and ask for a room. Stepping Back Six Centuries in Brugge We arrived back in the Middle Ages, via Brugge, late that afternoon. The toy auto mobile in which we were then riding with a pilot of Sabena, Belgian airline, threaded its way across the moat, through one of the old city gates, down a narrow street past nuns cycling furiously over the rough cobblestones, and suddenly shot out into the town square. It was like waking up in the middle of a medi eval illuminated manuscript. Brugge was a great power in the 13th and 14th centuries, comparable to Venice; but its estuary harbor silted up by 1490, finishing it off as a commercial center. The Gothic build ings remain to lure today's visitors. The guidebook suggested two days to "do" Brugge. The Fates gave us one-a golden day, bathed in light and honey and balm. I stubbed along over the old cobblestones a full six centuries back in time, peopling the gabled houses with Jan van Eyck's "Jan Arnolfini,"