Saturday, July 14.
Arose about seven, shaved and had breakfast. I usually give George a few digs about his lightening speed of dressing which usually takes a quarter of an hour longer than does mine and ask him how Nancy (the girl he met on the boat) is.
We then bought some postal cards, paid the bill at the hotel and then carried our bags to the dock.
With blue green water and snow capped peaks here and there showing three openings between and over those hills which surround the lake and break it up into pretty bays I think Lake Lucerne is the prettiest lake I have ever been on. The myriad changes in view going from one turn in the lake to another gives an expectancy and charm which the other lakes utterly lack and even the Rhine, though a different type of thing, lacks.
After making a few stops we docked at Fluellen and changed to a train for Goschenen. On this we were greeted with tunnels, excellent views of valleys with rushing streams and pretty rapids and waterfalls.
At Goshenen we changed to a rack and pinion railway for Andermatt. By chance we got on the end car which is the front on the train and I stood in the doorway all the way to Andermatt and had a glorious view of everything including the tunnels. Several times I was spattered with cold drops of water which came from the ceiling of the tunnel.
We were fortunate in being able to secure seats in the forward bus to Gletch. Our bags cost us four francs to be taken along but it was worth it.
We began to climb immediately first one hairpin turn then another until I got tired of counting as well as losing count a couple of times. We were soon above the lowest patches of snow and then we began to see snow along beside the road. The turning of these hairpin curves and sharp corners is awfully dangerous and I wonder that the bus drivers don’t lose their nerve because the road is very narrow too. (Learned on Tuesday morning that a bus carrying 18 persons went over one of these turns on Furka Pass, the day after we took the trip, killing most of the passengers and injuring the rest.)
This scenery is glorious with rugged peaks, steep descents, wild appearing life and once and a while a Swiss house with its broad, overhanging roof, unpainted wooden sides, and carved balconies and cornices. As we started to descend toward Gletch we caught glimpses of a glacier and soon we were up to it and stopped. An unexpected treat was this, the Rhone Glacier and we stopped for ten minutes.
I bought a roll of film as my bags were secure on the bus and we went out to the edge of the mammoth piece of ice with its brilliant white surface and here and there by the cracks I saw down to the beautiful pale blue-green interior of the solid ice. On the way back I stopped to take a drink from a little rushing stream of cold water which flowed from the glacier’s edge below us.
Then on we went to the little town of Gletch which is nestled in the valley at the foot of the Rhone Glacier. This is a very hot day and we understand that Paris and London are in the midst of a hot spell.
We are traveling hatless and vestless and our sleeves turned up to our
elbows and still we are boiling in the Alps…