I love travel, and I’ve been fortunate enough to actually have lived or visited many of the places I’ve written about. The problem is that my knowledge is modern. So, in order to move my characters from one place to the next, I have to research what the city, town, or area was like back in the Regency era. Sometimes this is disappointing. For example, When Huntley and Caro visited Ulm, Germany, the city was not beautiful with the high spire of the cathedral. Instead, city was war damaged, the walls were in ruins from being bombarded, and the spire was still around forty years away. However, what was almost exactly the same, was Innsbruck, Austria. It had not suffered from the war, and many of the same buildings in the town today, existed in 1817.
Innsbruck was an elegant town with tall painted houses. Their hotel was a few blocks from the river and right in the middle of the main shopping area. They were shown the most luxurious quarters they’d had thus far on their journey. Tall ceilings were decorated with carved, brightly painted beams. A large bed with royal blue and gold hangings stood against one wall. From the windows, he glimpsed the Inn River and the snow-covered mountains beyond.
They’d arrived in time for luncheon, which Huntley had ordered served in the parlor adjoining their bedchamber.
“What do you think?” he asked as he set down his serviette.
She did look better. Her cheeks had a little more color, and she’d rested most of the journey.
“Why not?” He rose and tugged the bell-pull. Maufe and Nugent both answered. “Maufe,
I commend your choice of hotel. Her ladyship and I are going to take a short stroll.”
“Thank you, my lord. I shall get your coat.”
Once Caro had donned a pelisse and cloak, and he his greatcoat, they walked down Maria Theresien Strasse, the main street. With her hand tucked in his arm, she glanced into the shops. “I’m going to need some warmer clothes.”
“Both you and Nugent, I suppose. We can inquire into a good modiste when we return to the hotel.”
She glanced shyly at him. “I don’t know how much money I have with me.”
He raised a brow. Her money was hers. He’d clothe her. “You do remember we’re married. It is perfectly proper for me to provide for you.”
A slow blush rose in her cheeks. “I haven’t forgotten. I just didn’t think of it in terms of gowns.”
He brought her closer. “If it makes you uncomfortable, then don’t think of it. We have time to figure it all out.” When she didn’t reply, he asked, “Would you like to continue on our outing or return?”
“I can go a little farther.”
Keeping a frown from his face, he wondered what was going on in her head. “Look at this shop. They seem to have a good assortment of woolens.”
She nodded. “So they do.”
After a few minutes of looking at the capes, coats, and other items, they turned back to the hotel, ambling down the other side of the street. Huntley noticed a bake shop and decided to visit it the next day. Surely he’d be able to find something containing chocolate for his wife.