Friday, January 23, 2009

02Jul1864, Through Alpine Snow

MEYRINGEN, Saturday, July 2nd, 1864.
—A perfect, serene, summer day, with such hot sun, that we are as red as turkey-cocks this evening. We left Engelberg (n.b. unbitten by a single flea) at 6½ and went by the Joch Pass to Meyringen, resting for about 2 hours at a little chalet inn, which, though on the descent from the mountain, is 6,000 feet above the sea. We reached it about 12. I set off from Engelberg riding a pony, which carried me wonderfully up a tremendous mountain-side, of which I only got off at the steepest bit. We got once into clouds, but emerged from them into more and more glorious beauty. Coming to a glacier-stream, my pony thought proper to lie down in it and roll with me ! and soon after this we came to such deep patches of snow that I walked the rest of the way. We were often up to our knees, ascending considerably all the time, and I am not a little proud of my first great mountain-climb. It is such pleasure among these glorious Alps never to be disappointed. After our longest pull through snow, I was enough tired by the exertion, and thirsty withal, actually to enjoy and be refreshed by some of F.'s nasty kirchwasser mixed with snow ! Changing of boots (which were soaked), washing of feet, an excellent little dinner of soup, cutlets, omelette, bread and butter and ice-cold water, and a nice sit on the grass letting the beauty of the mountains sink into my heart, cured me of all tire. From the inn to Meyringen (Hotel Sauvage) I rode most of the way. To-night we have anointed our sun-burnt phizzes with milk and lemon. We are in a fix, a bag with clean things from Lucerne not having turned up.

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