July 9-25 Switzerland "Mountain climbing Victorian style"

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July 9, 1914

Lugano - Lucerne, Switzerland

GotthardTook the train from Lugano to Flüelen on the famous St. Gotthard RR - a trip of 3 hours in which we passed thru' 80 tunnels as we circled up the mountains - passing the same little church on three sides - but getting higher and higher all the time. Intended to walk from Flüelen to Tells Chapel and take the boat there for Lucerne, but it rained so we took the boat reaching Lucerne at 4.30 o'clock. Stayed at Royal Hotel Pension Kaufmann. Did a little shopping and in the evening went to Kursal - a variety theatre and gambling house. At the hotel they gave us a little booklet called a kurkarte which we had to show before they would let us into the game room - it seemed very fascinating, but as I had brought only a little with me, did not try it. Variety show fair and funny.

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July 10, 1914

Lucerne

Shopping in the morning - had an early lunch and took the boat over Lake Lucerne to Flüelen - same scenery as end of trip the day before, but seen from a different direction it was more beautiful. To the right of Lucerne, facing the lake, is Mt. Pilatus - a most beautiful bare snow capped mountain - 4 peaks - and on other side the Rigi. The boat trip was wonderful also. Great over-hanging crags in some places - mountains cultivated halfway up with tiny red roofed houses here and there - and little villages at the foot - words fail to describe such grandeur.

Took the train from Flüelen to Tells Chapel on a fine road for autos which runs from Flüelen to Brunnen - 8 miles - and has magnificent scenery. Walked only two miles but decidedly upgrade all the time. Went down a hundred - at least - steps to Tells Chapel - a little square building of stone - right on the lake - which is supposed to be the place where William Tell escaped from Gessler's boat and afterward brought about the freedom of Switzerland. Large mural paintings depicting scenes from legend and history.

Boat back to Lucerne. The mountains seemed so very much higher when walking than from the boat. Can see Pilatus from my window tonight - the clouds almost hide it entirely - a beautiful moon.

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July 11, 1914

Lucerne

Went to see The Lion of Lucerne - a most beautiful carving in the solid rock of the hillside of a dying lion - 28 ft long - by Thorwaldsen, the Danish sculptor - in memory of the Swiss guards who died in France protecting the Tuileries in 1792

From there went to the Glacier Garden which contains relics of ice period of earth with numbers of holes - one 28 ft wide and 33 deep - worn by the action of pieces of broken rock, water, and ice. Saw a large relief map of Switzerland in the museum attached to the garden - flora, animals, a relief of St. Gotthard fossils - models showing how strata of mountains had been formed. Saw an old covered bridge across the Reuss river with its paintings of history of Lucerne - most of which are nearly obliterated and others renovated. Lucerne is composed mostly of hotels - seems like a fashionable summer resort of the expensive sort.

In the afternoon of the 11th went to Hofkirche - a plain building with two square towers with spires - the inside was very much decorated - Catholic - Across the front, outside of an iron fence which went entirely across the chancel, were three most elaborately decorated mosaic altars with elaborate pictures and statuary in colors - representing the dead Christ on one side - a most pathetic piece of work. Heard an organ recital for an hour - admission to the church was 1 franc with kurkarte or 1 1/2 without. The kurkart was a little book, which I have spoken of before. Each hotel guest was obliged to buy one - centimes per day - and you were obliged to show them - if asked -

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July 12, 1914

Lucerne - Meiringen, Switzerland

Left Lucerne at about nine o'clock over Brünig Pass - beautiful mountain scenery and a very steep incline - railroad on the very edge of cliff - almost hanging over the edge - beautiful little fertile valleys with little chalets here and there - and high bare snow-capped mountains in the background.

Reached Meiringen at 12 o'clock. Hotel and Pension Flora very good. Had lunch on an open air porch and walked to Aareschlucht or gorge of Aare river - a tremendous gorge cut by the erosion of the river - a regular mountain torrent a little less than a mile long and 640 ft deep - with little a path alongside - overhanging rocks that one had to bend in the path to pass - and tunnels. Went up four hundred steps expecting to find a fine view at the top, but were greatly disappointed as the end of the steps was not at the top of the mountain.

Saw the beautiful Alpbach Falls - which makes great leaps to the foot of the mountain. At 9 o'clock at night the falls are illuminated and are exquisite in red and green lights. The rocks stand out in the light and give it such a wild look. Meiringen is a very little place about 1100 inhabitants and we see few Americans.

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July 13, 1914

Meiringen - Brienz - Interlaken - Meiringen, Switzerland

Left Meiringen at 9 o'clock for trip to Interlaken - went to Brienz on Lake Brienz by rail through mountain scenery. Went thru' a wood carving establishment and bought some pieces which I had sent home with Portia's table.

Took boat there thru' Lake Brienz past Giessbach Falls - the lake was as green as an emerald and the falls as white as snow - entirely surrounded by magnificent mountains some snow-capped - a most beautiful sight.

Drove thru' Interlaken getting our first view of Jungfrau on the way - to the finacularre which took us up a mountain giving us a better view of the Jungfrau. From this point we could look thru' telescopes and get a fine view of the mountain.

We reached Meiringen at about 7 o'clock. At Interlacken bought more wood carvings and saw a great many tourists - a great many walking with their rücksacks and alpine sticks. The highest mountain we have seen is the Jungfrau being 13.670 ft. It was capped with clouds which refused to remove themselves, so we did not get a glimpse of the highest point, but the snow and ice looked wonderful - the first glacier we have seen.

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Tuesday July 14, 1914

Meiringen - Gletsch, Switzerland

Called at 5.30, leaving at 6.30 for our all-day drive through the most gorgeous mountain scenery we have seen so far. Went thru' Hasli Tol or Valley and over Grimsel Pass - which is the watershed of the Rhine on one side and Rhone on the other side - very much above the tree line. Passed the famous Handeck Falls where we saw two beautiful rainbows in the falls far below us. Took lunch at Handeck Falls Inn. I enjoy the wild mountain scenery much better than the cultivated mountains and loved every bit of the way. Walked a great deal of the way. Enjoyed especially the walk from Grimsel Hosp which is over 7000 ft to the Rhone Glacier thru' high banks of snow a great deal of the way - when we were not scrambling over the rocks taking a shortcut. It seemed very strange to be walking thru' banks of snow some 25 ft high and yet be warm and comfortable without wraps. The Rhone Glacier fills in the gap between two mountains and is solid ice and snow, showing a beautiful turquoise here and glistening beautifully in the sun. We walked out to the foot of the glacier after supper at Rhone Glacier Hotel - in the valley -

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Wednesday - July 15, 1914

Gletsch

We were called at 5 o'clock, but it was 6.30 before we left Gletsch. Drove over mountains but of gradual descent until we reached Fiesch, a tiny village where we stopped at Post Inn for lunch. Our carriages went back to Meiringen, and we started at about 2 o'clock for a steady tramp up the mountains for the Jungfrau Hotel on the Eggishorn. We started at a rapid gate, but soon found out it did not pay and slowed down our pace to a steady, slow, long step. Walked through the most gorgeous scenery as we got higher and higher - and among the most beautiful flowers - forget-me-nots, daisies, alpine roses, wild carrot, and a great many kinds that I have never seen before. There was a regular path so we did not need a guide - a little over halfway up we stopped at a small inn Firnegarten for refreshments - had a bottle of beer and some crackers for which I was more than thankful, as it had been very warm so far. As we got higher, it became very cold and we were glad to put on our jackets. Reached Jungfrau Hotel on Eggishorn at about 6 o'clock just in time to escape a shower which in five minutes shut in the entire view. It is called Jungfrau Hotel because it is on the route to Jungfrau Mountain. Were so tired we were glad to drop into bed at nine or a little after. 7000 ft above sea level.

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Thursday July 16, 1914

Jungfrau Hotel

Awakened at 5.30 to find the room as cold as Christmas, no view at all, and heard a man shovelling snow from a large patch almost under our window, so decided it would be impossible to climb Eggishorn - turned over and went to sleep.

The view seems a little brighter and hope to see something soon. The sun came out and Dorothy and self walked halfway to the top of Eggishorn - steep and wet - when the clouds began to gather and we were hardly back in hotel when it began to rain.

Played bridge in the evening with a Mr. Dickens, and Englishman and a Mrs ---- Had terrible luck as usual. Mrs. G. gave us a party with decorated table, wine and cake.

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Friday July 17, 1914

Jungfrau Hotel - Feish - Zermatt, Switzerland

Called at 5 to find clouds rising and had a fine but very muddy walk back to Feish. Picked flowers to send to Jack. Took diligence (note: a public stage coach) at Fiesch. It was very interesting to see post & by wagons change horses. Rode on by up top where we had a fine view. The trip was entirely down hill thru' Rhone Valley - The roads are very steep and the teams never slowed down the slightest bit around the sharpest curves. Our wagon had two horses and a leader. The post chaise has two and three leaders which were accompanied by another by wagon and baggage wagon. When nearing a bridge, we were crossing a RR and the driver - tho' warned that a train was coming - drove on. The lead horse would have had his head cut off if he had not swung around frightening the other horses who swung around too, and almost upset the coach - which gave us quite a fright.

From Brig we took train to Visp and there took mountain rail to Zermatt, Victoria Hotel good - which we reached at about 4 o'clock. Took a walk thru' a queer little street. Bought a picture of the Matterhorn - a most rugged, bold peak -14993 ft of which I have a good view of from my window. Zermatt is composed of five hotels and some log huts built up on mushrooms, as most of the Swiss huts are - a few little shops and Swiss cottages.

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Saturday July 18, 1914

Zermatt, Switzerland

Took a trip up to the top of Gornergrat on the electric cog road - it was six miles to the top and provided us with a most magnificent view which was very close to, and entirely surrounded by, snow-capped mountain peaks, the most prominent being The Matterhorn which is over 14,000 ft high. To the left of the Matterhorn, the Little Matterhorn, Breithorn Twins, Lyksamm, Mt. Rosa - on the right Dent Blanc, Rothorn, Weisshorn & others. We could see men on Mt. Rosa climbing the Weisshorn which is higher than the Matterhorn, but the Matterhorn, being more detached, looks higher. Dorothy S. and self walked down and back to Zermatt thru' snow, ice, rocks, and mud, but with simply glorious air and view. Think the walk must have been at least ten miles. Was very stiff from the Eggishorn walk and know I'll be worse after this - coming down takes lots less time but is rather harder on one than going up.

Stayed at Victoria Hotel - a very nice rather stylish hotel. There was a dance in the evening which we watched for a short time

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Sunday July 19, 1914

Zermatt - Visp - Lausanne - Geneva, Switzerland

Left Zermatt 9.15. Took train for Visp. Waited there 1 hr 30 minutes. Took train for Geneva where we arrived at 8 o'clock after a rather (monotonous was crossed out) - beautiful boat ride from Lausanne, with a lake now and then.

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July 20, 1914

Zurich

Drove through Zurich - not very foreign looking - to Pension Fortuna - a rather indifferent boarding house.

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July 21, 1914

Zurich

Mended in the morning. (note: from all the mountain climbing?)

In the afternoon, we took a boat trip on Zurich Lake to Herrliberg - a very beautiful lake green like other Swiss lakes and a very tiny place. Saw a wedding party at a little refreshment garden where we stopped for tea. Stranger to say there was no crowd of lookers on. It seemed so strange to see a bride in a satin dress and veil in such a place, but we were told that it was quite a usual occurrence. We were also surprised to see the bill for breakfast presented to the groom, and were told that that also was the custom in Switzerland.

In the evening we went to a moving picture show for which we paid 1 franc admission - very steady good clear pictures.

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July 22, 1914

Zurich

Went shopping in morning, but bought very little as money was low. In the afternoon took boat to Rapperswil on Lake Zurich - a small place with an old castle and church. Where the heart of Kosciuszko is said to have been buried. We went with some friends of Mrs. Goddard's - two maiden ladies Frauleins Schrug, and their brother - very charming people and well-versed in history. Arrived in a pouring shower and much to our regret saw only the outside of the castle and church.

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July 23, 1914

Zurich - Chur

Took the 8.40 o'clock train for Chur - a queer little village in the Engadine where we had lunch.

Left at 2.30 for Ragaz and from depot took a beautiful drive through mountains to Taminaschlught - a most beautiful gorge - which is very much more beautiful and higher than Aareschlucht, but much shorter. To enter the gorge, you have to pass through a very quaint hotel where tickets are purchased. This hotel has hot baths which are connected with a hot spring which was shown us thru' a tunnel in a rock. There used to be a small monastery at the end of the gorge, but it has fallen down I suppose. There seemed to be a great many old ladies at the hotel, so evidently the baths must be considered a cure-all! Chur and Ragaz were our only stops in the Engadine region.

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July 24, 1914

Zurich, Switzerland

Went to tea with Fraulein Schinz - a friend of Mrs. G's, who took pictures of us.

In the evening we went to Hosh Tab (Tol?) or music hall - good music and good beer. In the morning F. Schinz took us over the town and pointed out churches etc. The town was once surrounded by a wall and a moat, but the walls and towers have been pulled down, and what was once the moat is now the principal shopping street of town. It is supposed to be a great silk place, but I could not see anything very cheap about the silks.

We went into the Grosseminster (church) which is being repaired - connected with this church is a school which Charlemagne founded and which has been kept for a school ever since.

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July 25, 1914

Zurich, Switzerland

Bought a sweater in the morning and took a ride over town in the afternoon. Herr Schinz brought the pictures in the evening, which were not very good.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2017 20:12 )