Travel, travel, travel – Elisabeth’s restlessness drives her through all of Europe

Sisi's amazing Journey - Österreichs legendäre Kaiserin Sisi

How did Sisi travel throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East? What were your favorite destinations? Which was your favorite island? What “souvenir” did she bring back from Greece? What should never be missing in your luggage?

Sisi found the residential city of Vienna gloomy and oppressive . She preferred that mild climate of Madeira, the Mediterranean, and especially theirs Favorite island Corfu. Sisi loved to travel, especially with her ship and with the Train. In addition to Europe, she also traveled Asia Minor and North Africa. She was also very fond of staying in Hungary , especially in Godollo Castle. In later years she spent the Winter often at the Cote d’Azur , where she was also visited by Franz Joseph.

Luxury travel by train – in the Hofsalonwagon through Europe

Sisi loved to travel by train . Once it was very cold on the way back from Meran and she complained about the lack of heat in the wagon. There was a prompt response. In 1873 she was provided with a set of coaches by the Austrian railways. This consisted of saloon and sleeping cars. Electric lighting, steam heating and a toilet were also available.

The Empress traveled all over Europe. As a result, the car had to be adapted to the technical standards of all countries. After her death, the car was parked in the court car depot at Westbahnhof and was no longer used for reasons of piety. This court saloon car can now be viewed in the Technical Museum . There is a replica in the Sisi Museum

How did an anchor tattoo get on Elisabeth’s shoulder?

Tattoo in the form of an anchor

Sisi loved to travel, especially by ship. In addition to Europe , she also traveled to Asia Minor and North Africa. She traveled as far as the Ottoman Empire to see remains of ancient Troy .

With her yacht she sailed through the Mediterranean , especially to her favorite island of Corfu. They allegedly wanted to feel the sea forces up close and had themselves tied to a chair on deck when the waves were rough, while the rest of the crew took cover.

Emperor Franz Joseph, who hated sailing, visited her from time to time in southern France, on the mainland, but never on an island.

In 1888, at the age of 51 , Sisi had an anchor tattooed on her shoulder in a harbor pub, which was possibly intended to represent her longing for freedom and the sea. Franz Joseph was not exactly enthusiastic about this and regarded it as a “terrible surprise”.

A cocaine syringe in the luggage

In Sisi’s time, cocaine was not considered a drug, but was used as a medicine . Sigmund Freud had already recommended cocaine as a stimulant after his own experiments. Cocaine should be used in states of physical and mental exhaustion, as well as melancholy and depression .

Sisi mainly took it for menstrual and hormonal problems during menopause . That’s why she always carried a cocaine syringe and a small bottle in her first-aid kit . This provided relief and had an antispasmodic effect. Elisabeth repeatedly pleaded her indispositions in order to avoid the unloved duties of representation.

Tip from Sisi’s Amazing Journey: You will come across monuments of Sisi all over Europe, especially in her favorite places Corfu, Budapest, Madeira.


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