Today I spent in rather an unexpected manner. After going to the Am.Exp. to change some money, I went to the Deutsch Bank to cash my check. An old lady heard me speaking English, asked if I was an American, and we chatted a few minutes during the wait. Before I had left she had given me her card and asked me to have soup with her at two. I accepted. The rest of the morning I spent in getting visas for Austria, Hungary, and Yugo-slavia. Hurrying back to the Exp.Co. for my suit case I found it had not yet gone through customs. Thus I was forced to wear my dirty old riding clothes to luncheon and it made me plenty mad. I rushed around like fury, caught a bus and arrived a little late.
The lady is none other than Madame Blanche Corelli, a once-famous opera singer and a professor and evidently well known in the Arts and very well liked. She is a very charming lady, 75 years old, and has a good active mind. She has lived in the USA 16 years and traveled everywhere except South America. She showed me her scrapbook in which many of her pupils from all over the world and other friends have written. Many very prominent people are included and from the fine things they said of her, she must indeed be a fine person. Before I left she had me write in it. Her apartment was very interesting—full of pictures, photos, and presents sent her. She spoke of making $500 per week many years ago in America.
Her father was a noted professor in Vienna, where she was born, and her aunt is a famous magician in New York, [Adelaide] Herrmann. We had a simple but good luncheon. I am having lunch with her again tomorrow at two and she wants to give me a letter of introduction to some friends in Vienna.
By the time I got back to the hotel it was nearly five. Took my bike out and had it fixed, then took a walk west on the Unter den Linden. Paris will have to go some if it is to beat Berlin. This is a wonderful city, full of beautiful streets, gardens, trees, huge public buildings with their large pillars and domes and many statues in, on, around, and on their roofs. The squares are spacious and pretty. There are numberless statues and monuments showing a decidedly militaristic trend. The city seems to have that air about it and many men wear uniforms of one kind or another.
The opera is very pretty and there are many attractive cafés. The Unter den Linden is the main drag—very wide with a parkway in the center and two lines of trees. At one end is a large arch and beyond, woods or gardens.
Berlin is a busy city, lots of traffic and people. At night many of the streets are lit up like day. The stores are good and window displays very attractive. Saw a dandy cigar lighter with a watch in it—125 marks. Am eating usual dinner in bed. Spent $1.77 today and $2.75 for three visas.