Wednesday, February 09, 2011

06May1878, Then Farewell to Bex

BEX, May 6th-12th, 1878.
—Wednesday still cloudy but with lovely lights. F. still a poor creature, so we did a very pleasing drive up the valley of the Rhone to the Gorges du Trient, getting out there and walking along the clever stage hung against the rocks into the depths of the wonderful chasm. Not all the full-blown cockneyism of tickets and advertisements and sale of Alpine "objects," and names scrabbled on the rocks, and pistol firing to show off the echo, could spoil the wonder and awfulness of the gorge.

--Thurs. Outburst of radiant sun and summer. Drove zig-zagging up to Gryon. The contrast something delightful between our 2 glorious experiences of this place. The abounding flowers (gentians high up) and vivid intense green are great delights.

—Friday. F. was himself again, which was as well, for though we drove peacefully to Frémières, we had afterwards a perpendicular climb up a water-course to the top of a mountain, and got to within half an hour of the perpetual snow. Here were to be found lovely little "pastures of the blessed" set thick with buttercups, anemones, alpine heartsease, oxlips, and many another; and from one of these was a glorious view of the Mont Blanc range, Lake Léman and the distant Juras. Came home thro' the woods, amid crowds of wood-sorrel blossom.

—Saturday. Hot and dreamy: climbed very slow and leisurely behind the hotel up the lower slopes of the mountain.

--Sunday. Dismal rain. Church (i.e., a poor English service in the gaunt naked "temple") and then farewell to Bex, which is set up in my heart along with English and Irish lakes, Mount Edgcumbe, Craigton, Jamaica, and other idols.

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