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ains; then again we were on the summit of a mountain looking away down into flourishing, inhabited valleys, every available spot of which was under cultivation. So high were we that the rivers running through the valleys and cascades on the opposite mountain sides looked like silver threads in the sunlight. Now and then we passed a rustic dwelling, its projecting gable end to the south, snuggled in against a side hill or ledge to protect it from the cold blasts of winter. A considerable part of the way is through forests of spruce, pine, and hard wood, cords of which lie piled here and there by the roadside, and looking as though it had experienced rough usage, as it no doubt had, in being pitched down the steep mountains, scraping the bark off and bruising its cut ends like a beetle. It was near sundown when we reached Brienz, a village of some two thousand inhabitants, at the head of the lake by that name, and here we went immediately upon a small steamboat, which, in fifteen or twenty minutes, took us across to Giesbach, where we stopped over night to see the Giesbach Falls illuminated. Here is a succession of cataracts formed by a large body of water, tumbling and frolicking over rocky beds down a mountain several thousand feet high into the lake. Leaving our baggage, except what we carried in a shawl-strap, at the steamboat landing, we made our zig-zag way on foot up the side of the mountain one thousand feet to a magnificent hotel, situated on a plateau just large enough to afford suitable room for it, with its “dependence,” until recently the main hotel there, and an adjacent garden. From the new hotel to the “dependence there is a covered way. From the balcony of the hotel the falls, which have been bridged at several
points for beauty of effect, are in plain sight; but the stream much of the way is concealed by the woods. Between eight and nine o'clock lantern lights are seen moving through the forest up the mountain and stopping near the different cataracts. Men have been sent with their chemical preparations for Bengal, or some other kind of lights, and expectation is now on tip-toe for the signal of illumination. We have not long to wait. A rocket is let off, and instantly a bright light appears, first at the upper falls, then at the next, and so on until all are in a blaze of various brilliant colors. The rustic bridges looked like amber, then like iron at white heat, and then like molten gold, as the colors were changed. The illumination lasted four or five minutes only; but it is a charming sight no traveler should miss. The charge to meet the expense is one franc to each guest.
At half past eleven next morning we returned to the landing and awaited the arrival of the steamboat for Interlachen, meantime being entertained by four wandering women singers, whose music was quite unique. Whether native or Tyrolese we could not tell; but their singing was both odd and funny. In about an hour and a half later we were in Interlachen, comfortably lodged at Pension Reber, recommended to us by our landlady at Lucerne. Our room, with a balcony, looks out upon the Jungfrau, covered by snow all seasons of the year, and on either side, in full view, are other mountains of immense height nearer the village. Interlachen is situated between the Lakes of Thun and Brienz, some seventeen hundred feet above the level of the sea. It is surrounded by high mountains, and while there is little of interest here in the way of art, it is blessed with all the charms of nature. The walks in the vicinity are delightful; there is one handsome promenade in the village shaded by walnut trees, and the grounds around the Kursaal, where there is music by a band three times a day, are very pleasant. Invalids go to the Kursaal, or to an institution connected therewith, for goat's whey, prepared under medical supervision; there is here also a grape cure establishment. Goat's whey is dispensed at half past six every morning during the summer at five francs a week for each person. To meet the expenses of the Kursaal, all visitors to Interlachen are charged in their board bill a fee of half a franc for one day, one franc for two or three days, and two francs a week, no matter whether they visit the Kursaal or not. However, nearly everybody goes there to hear the music, and nobody, we imagine, objects to contributing his mite toward the general entertainment.
Sight-seeing is comparatively easy in Switzerland, provided one does not care to climb too many mountains. It does not fatigue like cathedrals, museums, and galleries of paintings. The grand scenery of nature and the pure air we breathe here seem to satisfy. The villages are quiet, the living generally excellent - what delicious bread, butter, and honey are served!- and everything invites to peaceful rest. One, too, must be insensible indeed not to have his devotional feelings excited in a high degree as he beholds here the wonderful works of the Creator:
Mark the sable woods
Of Minos and of Numa should forsake
Move to your pausing eye.”
From the lake the scenery is especially fine. The Jungfrau, Matterhorn, Monch, and other high mountains, whose names we did not learn, loom up in the distance, some covered with snow, while others are dark and frowning; and the banks of the lake smile with their beautiful villas and gardens. The village of Thun, containing about four thousand inhabitants, has, for the most part, a very ancient look, and we see here many odd - looking people, not a few of whom are stunted and suffering from that frightful malady, the goiter. Their dress is more or less singular. Here is a peasant woman returning in front of us from church on Sunday. She has on a short black petticoat, tight black velvet jacket, white muslin sleeves, starched stiflly, reaching to the elbow, long black mits, extending also to the elbow, with a silver necklace, attached to which are silver chains falling to and fastened at the waist in front. The river Aar runs through the town, along one side of which still stands a high wall built centuries ago; and there is on the hill overlooking the main village, and reached by long flights of stairs, an old cathedral, which looks as though it might have been built in the days of Moses the Prophet. Near by is the old Castle of Keyburg:
scarcely a decent looking store in the place. On the main street, which is narrow and dirty, there are rows of shops, one above the other, with side walks, as in the old town of Chester, England. Here and there are steps to go from one story to the other. In some parts there are two and in others three tiers of these little shops. The finest dwelling houses are outside of the village, as is also the principal hotel, the Bellevue. Mons. Rougemont, a wealthy gentleman of Paris, has a magnificent palace – a modern castle - on the margin of the lake, with extensive grounds beautifully laid out and kept in perfect order. Before leaving home Consul General Hitz advised us by all means to stop at least one day in Thun, and knowing now, after two days' sojourn here, what a delightful place it is for rest and recuperation, we are sure we should have been very much out of tune had we neglected to follow his kind advice.
REIBURG, SEPTEMBER 21.- We left Thun at
noon yesterday, and reached Berne, the capital of Switzerland, in about one hour by rail. The river Aar almost encircles the city, which is mainly situated on high ground. On the south side there is a platform or terrace, handsomely laid out in walks, provided with seats and planted with shade trees. From here we have a magnificent view of the Bernese Oberland - a long range of snow mountains — and the intervening landscape. On the side of this