Saturday July 25th
We were up today at 6.30 a.m. as we had packing to do. Breakfast
at 8. We took the 8.45 boat to Beatenbucht, and then the mountain railway to St
Beatenberg. The railway journey lasted about sixteen minutes. Arrived at the
top we proceeded along the village street, and bought some P.Cs at a little
shop. The charge was very reasonable. The day was splendid and very clear,
consequently the view of the snow mountains was grand. Not a cloud intervened
between us and the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Eiger, Finsteraashorn, Monch,
Jungfrau &c. It seemed to be a fete day of some kind, as a great many
children in gala dress came up by the railway to spend the day at this
delightful place. We were sorry we had such a very short time to spend there.
We took a walk along the village street and then returned to the station,
thence to Beatenbucht once more. We took steamer to Gunten, where we had to
change and wait for the boat from Thun. We found on board, other members of the
party, who had made Thun their place of visitation. We got home in good time
for lunch , and immediately after had to make preparations for travelling to
Grindelwald. Our luggage was taken to the station by the Hotel bus a
great relief to us. We had a few minutes to spare which were enlivened by
music. The songsters were a choir of men, and they sang with great gusto. They
were evidently on tramp and had stopped at the Kurhaus for lunch. We enjoyed
their singing very much. On the way to the station poor Phys was attacked by a
dog. It rushed out from one of the houses, and snapped at her. Fortunately it
was only her dress that was torn, and not her flesh. She looked for someone
with whom to lodge a complaint, but of course, no one was to be seen. When we
got to the station she tackled the porter. Said she, What do you do with
dogs that bite, in this country? The man looked at her amazed, so she
went on: One bit me as I was going quietly along. We shoot dogs
that bite in our country. (all this in the meekest of voices so
unlike friend Phys). Oh, so do we, replied the porter, as serious
as an owl. I wanted to laugh muchly.
Our train arrived on the scene, so we grabbed our luggage and
endeavoured to run (no success the heat was terrible). We got a
seat all right , and had a nice run along the lake side to Interlaken, How
lovely it looked and how sorry we were to leave it. At Interlaken, we changed
to the mountain railway for Grindelwald. The engines are rather peculiar
look as if they were on their knees. We all had a peep at the lock wheel. The
scenery was very grand, and we came gradually nearer to the snow capped
mountains. On our arrival at Grindelwald, we saw our luggage on to the Hotel
cart, & then walked to the Hotel Eiger. We were shown to our rooms, which
were mostly in the dipendance. We were greatly disappointed when we saw our
rooms. They are by no means so nice as the ones we have just left. Mrs Smith
made a great noise about her bedroom, which, truth to tell, is a trifle close.
She bombarded Mr Thomas and made her moan, with the result that she has been
given another. T and I have a fine view from our windows of a midden,
but we have lodged no complaint. We all went down to claim our luggage, and
some of it had been in the wars. Attie Phemie received hers with a
great hole in the bottom, and another ladys was in still worse condition.
Our boxes were intact, but beautifully peppered with dust. We dressed quickly
for dinner and were in good time. We succeeded in finding seats at the same
table, but oh: the dining room is not like the Kurhaus one. It is much lower in
the roof, and the decorations are not so simple or tasteful. Mr Ball occupies
the seat at the head of our table. After dinner we trotted about the verandah,
and saw all the little lights, twinkling like stars, among the mountains. The
sight was very pretty and interesting. Mr Thomas pointed out to us the lights
of the Baregg Hut which we shall perhaps see one of these days. This seems to
be a favourite place for mountain climbers, and there are certainly mountains
worth climbing to be had, in super-abundance. One continual stream of
mountaineers pass this hotel. A small army of boys in uniform passed, and we
supposed that they had come from the camp we passed in the train. They raised
their melodious voices, and treated us to a song, as they passed. They were
evidently enjoying themselves.
We retired early. I had to attend to my arms, which are swollen
to about twice their size the result of being exposed to the sun on
Friday last. They are very painful.
Sunday July 26th
I aroused myself several times during the night to wet my
bandages. We were up rather early this morning, as I was not quite sure that my
watch was keeping good time. It was behaving very well however, and we were up
before any of the others were stirring. Some youngsters began to run along the
passage, and acted as a rising bell. Phys was getting dressed, and Nan was
supposed to be slumbering. All of a sudden, a voice from the blankets said:
Is this a race course? It did not seem as if the race
course had been an effectual rising bell, so far as Nan was concerned,
for we were all seated at breakfast, before she appeared on the scene. We had
breakfast in a sort of morning room, seated at little tables,
grubbery being much the same as at Spiez.
We took a little walk to the Protestant Church and saw the
people going in. Some of our party stayed outside and watched what was going
on. Two babies were being baptised. The minister touched them three times on
the brow with water. They had their names pinned on as they came out. The
mothers wore wreaths of white blossom in their hair and a spray on their
breasts. One of them passed the hotel on the way to church, another woman
carrying the baby. This we saw from the verandah. T as usual, was
grave-ly inclined and stayed to inspect the tombstones in the
churchyard. A very melancholy little place it is. Most of the people there
buried have been killed on the mountains around, by lightening, avalanches
&c. Two Germans were killed just before we came here, and their bodies are
at present lying in the School House. They were staying at this hotel. The
accident happened on the Wetterhorn. Some Englishmen had been the last to see
them, and had advised them to follow in the steps, which they were cutting. The
Germans would not do this, and preferred to go their own way, with the result
that they fell over a precipice, and are very badly mutilated. This is rather
Miss cassels, Miss Bryce and I took a little walk up the valley,
returning in time for the service to be held in the Drawing room. Mr Lister
preached the sermon and a very good one it was too. We were found by some
strangers. Before luncheon, we had another short walk with Phys and Miss Abbot
in the station direction. As we were returning, Mr Thomas passed with Miss R.
hanging on his arm. He called to us to come and see the Jungfrau, which we did.
The hills were beautifully clear, but we only saw a tiny scrap of the Jungfrau,
as the Eiger eclipsed the rest.
After lunch, I retired to my room, to doctor my poor arms and
write letters. Afterwards I went on to the balcony, where Agnes Miller and I
scribbled in company. The others were off for a walk to the Glacier.
Unfortunately it began to rain, and there was a short thunderstorm. We rather
liked hearing the thunder roll and echo amongst the mountains. We had (had) a
view of those same mountains this morning before breakfast, through the
telescope, and we could see people climbing quite distinctly, cutting steps
with their ice axes, & so on. We now went inside to the reading room (or
whatever it is called) to escape the rain, and soon the wanderers returned,
some of them rather wet. A band commenced to play over in the Dependance lower
flat. Sousa &c. The shops too are all open, and there is really
nothing to suggest that this is the Lords Day, unless perhaps, the
Salvation Army, which passed down the streets with tambourines &c. They
held a meeting further down, and we heard their voices raised in opposition to
the strains of the band.
Dinner was much as usual. Nan had a spasm of the
Joke fever, and perpetrated a good many on poor Mr Ball. We laughed
a good deal, and I am sure a certain lady would be of the opinion that our
surroundings were having an evil effect, and that we, like them, had forgotten
which particular day of the week it was. Aye, we were gey bad! After dinner
some good people went to the English Church. Mr Lister was seized upon and made
a deacon, much to his amazement. He had to help to take the collection, a new
occupation for him. He evidently was not spotted as a parson this time. The
service was much the same as Mr Hunters. Phys had to wrestle with an
inclination to laugh. We baduns got chattering to Mr Thomas about
excursions, and continued in our evil ways, till it was too late to go to
church. He gave cheek and got as good.
To bed, when the folk returned from church. Margets arms
very bad doctored with zinc ointment borrowed from Phys.
Notes / Glossary:
Gey bad - Naughty.
To be continued...
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