60 Years Ago Today

Tuesday, 15 July 1952:

In the morning it was my turn to pray. Afterwards I enjoyed a huge continental breakfast. Then our group walked to meet Elder Hill from Provo, Elder Alder from Logan, and Elder Zern from Malad. The missionaries were being released and could take us on a tour. We walked through the market to the Capitol building, across the bridge, and to the Art Museum Monument that commemorated the founding of International Telegraphic Union. It was initiated by France in Paris in 1865. A sculpture by Giuseppe Romagnoli in 1915 had a lady sitting in the middle with her hands out to people on both sides. I found every county’s name except for the United States. From the bridge I snapped pictures of Berne. I took two more pictures of the Cathedral Spire.

An automobile dealer used me as a model for his brand new black 30,000 franc car. He said he would send me a picture. Then I went back across the bridge to the Capitol Building to meet the group, but somehow I missed them. Then I went up to the second story of the bank and took pictures of the market from the window. I joined a 9:30 a.m. tour of the Capitol. Our guide told us everything in four languages. He was a real jewel.

At the Federal Council Senate there was a wrought iron chandelier and mural of an open air canton meeting. A canton represents member states of the federal state of Switzerland. One member from each of seven cantons acts as a rotating chairman. There was one member for every 24,000 inhabitants. All positions were by election every four years. This form of government was originated in 1848 and each representative speaks in the mother tongue. We continued through the committee rooms and a national council hall. A mural of the cradle of Switzerland had an angel of peace sitting in the cloud on the lake.

Then we progressed to the reception room with a mural on the ceiling. This most important mural was in remembrance of the Red Cross. It featured ladies in black uniforms and nurses. We finished and were off to the meat market on the way to a Münster church. It had a Gothic ceiling and was almost our first visit to a non Catholic Church. The beautifully decorated church had diamond and rectangular shapes of wood with a sculpture at each intersection and black scroll designs in between. There were beautiful stained glass windows. For 20 centimes we climbed the bell tower on a circular staircase.

There was such a wonderful, beautiful view of Berne and could you believe it? I was out of film. Berne had many roofed sidewalks. I spotted the Opera House and a famous tavern next to it from the tower. Back to the hotel for lunch, the missionaries ate with us. It was a delicious meal with hors d’oeuvres, pork, potatoes, salad, spinach and custard.

Off for Interlaken at 12:30p.m. There was a beautiful valley below with patchwork fields. And it started to rain as we hit Lakeshore Road, Bunderstadt Federal City. A truck and our bus had a tight squeeze on the road. Inside Interlaken Park there were pretty white seats with hedges around the park on three sides.

We found Hotel Victoria Jungren. Gee! It was a wonder we didn’t miss it, because it was almost a block long. We drove nonchalantly by as our main interest at the moment was American Express. Yours truly rated only one letter from Lucy. Guess I better be thankful for my blessings and get busy and write some letters myself.

We checked at the casino next door for information on entertainment. There was a concert tonight and a ballet tomorrow. It started to rain as we walked next door to the Hotel Victoria. American Express really outdid themselves on some of our hotels. They really went hog wild on this hotel, first class no less and really nice. There were pretty silk comforters on our beds with soap and tissue in the bathrooms.

Then we went out to pick up ballet tickets for tomorrow night, cased the town, and got some food. I have got to weigh myself , because I feel I have gained five pounds! Drats! As we shopped Alice found a little watch for Everett as the rest of us examined the trinkets. Some shopkeepers weren’t so nice and polite to us as they were cracked up to be. Guess they had had a hard day.

We had a banquet in our room, and then we cleaned up for the concert at the casino. There were beautiful grounds at the casino that had a famous flower clock. It cost 1.80 francs to get in and 1.50 francs for a delicious glace with whipped cream. I enjoyed the blonde soprano’s voice. The orchestra took 15 minute intermission between each set. I spied the roulette table at one intermission since it was interesting to watch other people gambling, especially one little girl. The concert was good and played several familiar numbers. Estrelita, one of the numbers, was possibly from Snow White.

Just as we were ready to go back to the hotel, it decided to rain again. We waited a little and then draped ourselves with what we could and took off as the flower clock struck 11:00 p.m.

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