60 Years Ago Today

Thursday, 17 July 1952:

I crawled out of bed in time to finish packing and get my bag down by 8:30 a.m. There was quite a hubbub this morning. Many of the kids were complaining about the way our first class hotel personnel had treated us poor BYU students. They ignored some of the kids when a lady with fur and money came up to the desk. We didn’t tip porters because we understood it was included, and it was. Afton and Dora had paid 5 francs each for what was supposed to have been a special breakfast for 2.60 francs. Some of the kids were also overcharged for stamps and given low exchange rates on checks.

Herr Watkins and Rogers made formal complaints to the manager. I guess we were better off at second and third class hotels. Of course, when everyone ran around in peddle pushers, it was no wonder.

We stopped at American Express for our last mail call. I guess we had worn out our welcome here, too. The clerk refused to check again for mail, because she said she had already checked. Finally, we got everybody back in the bus. Several kids realized that they had missed seeing the flower clock. So we waited for them to quickly see the clock as well.

Then we were off to Brienz on a road along the shores of Lake Brienz. We stopped at a wood carving center where I talked to an English couple by the lakeside instead of shopping. The English couple had 25 sterling pounds for a vacation to Europe. They tried to wrangle extra money if possible from every situation. The fellow jokingly suggested we drop a card to Queen Elizabeth. Also they suggested while in England that we try to see one of the royal children in the morning at St. James Park. They were what I would call typically English and it was very interesting to talk to them. I gathered that even though they were restricted on their traveling that they always found some way to get around the restrictions.

Back on the bus again we had a jolly time examining our loot. Herr Watkins and Ione both had the most unique ugly little wooden nutcrackers. Today we crossed the Susten Pass. We stopped for lunch in the midst of nature’s finery with beautiful pictures on all four sides. Mrs. Hansen was sketching a waterfall with a mountain slope in the background with little cottages and meadows far up on the side of it. As we departed again two kids on bikes hooked rides on the tail end of our bus as we went over the pass. Henry passed carrots and cookies back to the boys through the windows.

The road was full of hairpin turns to the top of the pass. Looking down we saw the road below with cyclists and cars interspersed with each other. Five waterfalls trickled down one mountain wall with clouds hovering around the peaks. We stopped at the top of the mountain to stretch and rest. After talking to the boys who had hooked a ride behind us, we said goodbye.

As mountain sheep grazed on the hills nearby there was a big patch of snow by the bus. Alicia took a picture of me in my shorts in the middle of the snow. Then we boarded the bus and headed down the hill. The boys on their bikes passed us as we had the same hairpin turns that we experienced coming up. I decided to take a nap.

We traveled to Altdorf, Switzerland next. It was where William Tell, a folk hero of Switzerland in the 15th century, had his stomping grounds. I snapped a picture of the William Tell Monument while there. But I was more interested in the rest rooms than anything else. No luck.

Eventually we stopped at a little shop for cheese, bread, pastry, bananas, and oranges for supper tonight. I had too many little packages and got sugar from the pastries all over the bus.

Now on to Fleulen, a resort town by the seashore, where there wasn’t enough room in our original hotel. I followed Hermine up and discovered that there was a mistake and we were actually staying in three hotels.A bunch of us stayed in the Tell Hotel, while six of us had two rooms in the Stermen Hotel. The balance settled in Rosedeal way down the street. This particular hotel had no running water in the rooms, just pitchers.

Before dinner those of us staying at the Stermen Hotel snuck into the bathroom at the top of the stairs one by one and removed the layers of dirt on each one of us. There were piles of clean linen by the tub. In short we weren’t so sure we were supposed to be taking baths in there so we were kinda jittery, so to speak.

The superb dinner at the Tell Hotel had tons to eat for a small fee. After dinner, there was nothing going on so I decided to get busy writing letters and getting caught up in my diary. There were feather ticks for comforters again tonight with the same sloped Swisse beds. Some of the kids removed the extra padding on the bed.

Herr Watkins, Dick, and some of the kids jumped in the lake and reported it was ice cold. After dinner we went over to Tell Hotel to call Carmen. Two girls and a bellboy were nice and helpful. Finally, we found a phone number, but Carmen wasn’t home. The landlady reported she would return at midnight.


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