Journal of Billings Grinnell Almy (1407-1C74)
Following is the continuation from the last Newsletter of the journal of Billings Grinnell Almy.
(See introduction in Newsletter No. 85, January 1996.)
Friday, August 26, 1898
Started on about 7:00 a.m. Two men told me that J was two towns ahead of me. Rode fast,
reached town to find he had rode on half hour before. Changed my plan and went to Strassburg
instead of Freiburg as I had written him. Went on into Strassburg, found Physical Lab before he
reached it. Caught him on the street an hour later. Saw lots of soldiers crossing Rhine bridges at
Strassburg. Fine University buildings and grounds. Left after dinner, reached Herzholzheim. 60 m.
Saturday, August 27, 1898
Rode into Freiburg 20 minutes looked up room and mail -"aber nit" -before dinner. After dinner
saw some of the Univ. Buildings. Not very good buildings like Bonn Univ. Afterwards worked
out a route for travel to Schweiz. Freiburg has a great deal of water flowing along beneath the
Sunday, August 28, 1898
Morning slept to make up for mosquitoes (Fri. Night) and straighten up accounts which had
gotten tangled when we were lost. After dinner went up the Schlossberg. Wind and rain
threatened, but we went on. As we came down were delayed about two hours waiting for rain to
cease. Saw clouds settle and raise on the mountains. Wrote to Ada.
Monday, August 29, 1898
Freiburg to Neustadt on train. Rode 40 miles. Very slow and steep grade on a "cog" track.
Scenery very good following along a brook and chausee. The hills were up about 1500 - 1800 feet
high. Wooded and with projecting rocks. After dinner rode on wheels to Schaffhausen. About six
miles uphill then a long downgrade. Coasted 4 miles & 2 miles at two different times. Hotel on the
Rhine - very rapid here. Saw Rhine Falls at night. Illuminated and with fireworks. Aluminium
Tuesday, August 30, 1898
Crossed Rhine bridge at Schaffhausen rode up above the town opposite to Rhine Falls. Saw them
again by daylight. Rode on then to Zurich taking dinner at Winterthur. Swiss seem to be a more
energetic people. Roads straighter, more manufacturing. Use their rapid streams for power. Lunch
at 3:30, Distance 38 miles. Visited Uethbergh, a climb of 2 hours. Fine view of city, country to N
& W and Alps to South.
Wednesday, August 31, 1898
Visited city of Zurich, quay and lake, parks, business streets and windows, Polytechnic and Univ.
Fine collection for practical mechanics, wood, steel, iron, stone specimens. Large physical &
chemical building. Progressive town, more building going on than any before visited. East half of
town almost on a mountainside. Streets wide, cross-streets narrow and steep. R. Linnat down the
center from the lake. Several bridges.
Thursday, September 1, 1898
Left Zurich at 8:00. Reached Zug 22 miles at noon. Along west shore of Lake Zurich over a range
of hills, 3 mi. walk with good coast on opp. side along a rapid running stream. Zug an old town
with over-projecting houses built together into a wall. Cloudy and wet, roads muddy. Afternoon
ran into Lucerne before we knew it. Passed Roch(?) See. Letter at Lucerne from ACA. Zurich to
Lucerne 38 miles.
Friday, September 2, 1898
Visited cathedral. Climbed the terrace to N.E. of city and down via the Lucerne Lion and Glacier
garden with its pots. In afternoon took steamboat for Rigi. Left Weggis for climb at 6:00 p.m.
After 2-1/2 hours of very hard work reached Kalb Bad and left orders for "sunrise call" in order to
see Rigi Kul?. J received two papers, N.Y. "Outlook" which we eagerly read before leaving
Saturday, September 3, 1898
Called at 4:30. Hurried to Kul? 3/4 hour, good view, fine, clear above, dense clouds below. Could
see all the peaks all around. No land visible below. Clouds resembled water very much in the
twilight. As sun came up became snowy white. Most of the distant points were snow-covered.
Esp. Mention Scheerhorn, Tithis, Todi, Monch, Eiger, and Jungfrau. Started down at 11, reached
bottom about 12:30. After repairing my wheel (4 punctures) rode down along east side of lake,
great, lake on left high mts. On right. Road "Axn-Strasse" cut out of solid rock. Tunnels. Reached
Amstig late. Distance 30 miles.
Sunday, September 4, 1898
Rode from Amstig to Turka Pass, 27 miles. Rode or walked 20 m., including 6000 ft up. Very
rugged scenery up rapid-flowing Ruess River. Winding ascent Goshenen to Andehat 1:14 and up
Turka 1:12. Very tired at night too, slept above snow about 8000 feet above sea.
Monday, September 5, 1898
In morning went out to Rhone Glacier. Then down Turka. Very winding road, hard to "brake",
had to walk some. Reached bottom at 11:00 and rode to Munster for dinner. Road very dusty on
account of stage-coach and hacks. Funny brake, board, under one hind wheel. Disappointed on
lack of coasting. Quite tired when we reached Visp about 6:00. Rode on wheel 43 m.
Tuesday, September 6, 1898
Didn't get up very early, consequently missed 7:00 a.m. train for Zermatt. Walked because had to
wait 5 hours. Distance 22 miles, very steep in parts. Tired about 3-4 o'clock. Sun went behind
mts. At 4, when it became much cooler. Fraulein von Berlin made the journey 12 mi. As fast as
we. Very rugged valley and rapid river. Rocks tumbled loose and great delta's of washed stone
and dirt among trees.
Wednesday, September 7, 1898
A day of sore feet and legs. Somewhat so day before. However climbed to Gorner Grat 10290
feet. Fine view Mt. Rosa and Matterhorn first Weishin?, Lysas, Dom and Tascher good. Glacier
superb. Great Gorner Glacier into which pass 6 others showing moraines good. 3-3/4 climb.
Started down about noon, easily reached Zermatt by 3:00. Train to Visp 6:30. Letter from FEA,
one to Ada.
Thursday, September 8, 1898
Fast ride for Veyrey 8:30 to 11:30 made 13, 13 and 12 miles. Down Rhone alley, good road, nice
ride. At noon struck ?, Got an omelet and soup (H20) was all. Afternoon very windy so we could
only ride slow, and hard work at that. Passed a cascade where the entire stream was shot over the
rock in a mist. Hungry and ate supper at Villanuev at east end of Lake Geneva. To Montereux
with its hundreds of hotels and Veyrey by dark. Distance rode 79 miles.
Friday, September 9, 1898
A day off for rest and repairs. J bought a pair of shoes and I got tape and cement to repair
punctures. Visited most of business part of town and quays. Lake Geneva very clear and smooth.
Afternoon rode to Lausanne and back. L. Built among hills. Streets very steep. Town cut up by
canyons. Large cathedral two towers. Trip 26.
Saturday, September 10, 1898
Fairly early start for Berne but stuck on a 6-mi. hill which looked level or down but couldn't be
ridden. So tired at noon that we lay down and slept an hour. Good afternoon riding, averaged
down grade. Country more level and woody. Pretty. Reached Berne about 6:00 p.m. A very lively
town indeed. Wide streets with stores built out over sidewalks. Cellar doors in front & raised.
Saw some of the town by night. Rode 57.
Continuation in Newsletter 90
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