60 Years Ago Today

Sunday, 20 July 1952:

Up at 7:15 a.m. all four of us had to bathe in the wash bowl. Alice and Carol had the best turn at the wash basin. Then we ate breakfast at the hotel. Song practice was scheduled at 8 a.m. but the sopranos were late. So I went over to the church with Elders Merrill and Bradshaw.

Chorus practice started at 9 a.m. Then I wandered out into the garden to practice my talk. I was hardly nervous at all. Church began at 10 a.m. with Dr. Rogers first on our program and then the sextet singing group. However, Alice didn’t sing. Virginia talked and then yours truly was next.

I’m sorry to admit that I didn’t know it as well as I could have. Afterwards the chorus sang, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Alene and Betty talked. Both of them did well. Then Florence sang, Herr Watkins talked, chorus sang America and the Branch President talked with Elder Merrill translating. He thanked us for the program, and told us how wonderful it was to have us there and wished us a pleasant trip. The clerk took care of business and the meeting lasted over the allotted time.

We dashed back to the hotel to get our bags down the stairs. Then we went to eat at a cute restaurant down the street. I had my first birchermussli. At the bus members and missionaries were there to see us off. I got a picture of the missionaries and our whole group by the bus.

On our way to Basel, I spied a tank barricade along railroad tracks. In Basel we stayed at another Hotel Victoria. It was as nice as the other Hotel Victorias had been. We cleaned up and left to visit the mission home about 5 or 5:30 p.m. Then we walked down past the Münster Cathedral that had green vines on the front. I spotted the mission home that was a big white house. It was comfortable, modern and clean, just like home.

I met Dr. Kezerean’s brother, Ethelyn Taylor, Nola Allerman, Palowski, and other new missionaries. Brother Meyer and his mother were from South Africa. President and Mrs. Bringhurst found the Deseret News for the last month and we really had a field day with the news from home.

We were off to church with the whole crew strung out over several blocks. Missionaries lined up to greet us. There was an Elder Wendell Stucki from Rexburg. The group did a repeat performance of the morning program. Herr Rogers introduced us all again and we had a great time. I don’t think I did any better on my talk or even as well as I had done in the morning program. However, I did catch a few pronunciation errors which Herr Rogers brought to my attention. President Bringhurst seemed quite thrilled with all our talks.

After church I met one little lady who was related to or knows Jack Sommer in Rexburg and another one who knows someone I didn’t know. I met a little man and his wife who were coming to Ricks College to work in about three months. They wrote their names for me on the back of my talk. As we were leaving I talked to a man whose daughter was in Salt Lake. I had to dash off to get to the hotel for dinner at 9 p.m.

I was almost the last one around so Herr Rogers let me ride in President Bringhurst’s car with them. We drove to the hotel and the chicken was really delicious. Afterwards, I walked over to the station across the street to see about getting my money changed. Unfortunately it had closed five minutes earlier. So I went for a walk down to the Rhine with Elder Telford. We saw the monument to the Swisse by the same sculptor who had made the Statue of Liberty. The Rhine River looked quite beautiful at night. We talked for awhile and then strolled back home past the Migros shopping center.

Traveler Describes Scenic Wonders of Switzerland

Editor’s note: This is another in the series of articles being written by Mrs. Afton A. Hansen of Provo, who is touring Europe with a group of college students.

Dear Friends;
Would you like to hear something about the Jungfrau (mountain) and the Glacier Garden before you leave Switzerland in world travel with us?

From the town of Interlaken, on a clear day, the top of Jungfrau can easily be seen. For us today, it is veiled in cloudy mystery with peaks so high that they seem to belong more to heaven than to earth.

As we wind our way up on the electrically powered cog by cog railway, we catch glimpses through the clouds of the mighty Jungfrau. Three railway systems undertake the ascent. Twice, do we change trains and get a better view of the abundant Alpine flowers and cream colored cows, shaking their tinkling bells, as well as the patted foot path, for those who have the courage to take it on foot. It is all a peaceful combination of heaven and earth.

Safety Devices
Traveling at a speed of about six miles per hour both going up and coming down, we feel the intimacy of the atmosphere around us. Even though we do have faith in the engineers of these mountain-railways, we are happy to learn of the many automatic breaks and safety devices. These Swiss engineers have planned mountain railways through the world. This particular project was ten years in the making.

Several times on the way up we stopped at viewing stations which are masterpieces in the art of chiseling. The last stop opens up into a well-lighted reception room, dining room, bedrooms for guests, lounge, store, rest rooms, and a terrace where our eyes are almost blinded by the white brilliance of the largest glacier in Europe, the great Aletsch, which is 15½ miles long and can be seen in almost its entire length.

A few minutes easy walk in the snow leads to a point overlooking the gruesome depths of another glacier, Guggi, where shining masses of green hued ice open into deep crevasses. A sound as of a booming cannon is heard when enormous blocks of ice break from the masses and dash to a thousand pieces as they roar and tumble down the steep slopes. Twenty glaciers in all nestle around these peaks of dark rock which stand out so vividly against the intense blue of the sky.

Intrepid Climbers
Jungfrau jock (saddle) station is 11,340 feet above sea level, but these intrepid alpine climbers go on for another 24 hours to reach the top.

Skating on the aqua colored crystal floor of the ice palace, felt like skating in a refrigerator. Nature’s refrigerator, however, is most beautiful with lighted rooms and halls, which contain objects carved from ice. There is a car, stove, vase of flowers, Swiss flag and many others.
A sleigh ride, behind Eskimo dogs, over the glacier was also a delight. What a day it was.

Having seen such beautiful tres jolie and sehr schon scenes and objects, we were dubious about any interest a glacial garden could have for us, especially after seeing snow of years packed around the Jungfrau and Matterhorn.

Gingerly we paid our franc to go inside, where at once we realized that this was different. Here was evidence, samples and remains in reality, in relief map, and pictures, dating from the great Ice Age, a period in the history of our globe which takes us far back beyond oldest tradition and historical records; when ice, of about 3000 feet in depth covered the area. In 1842, by mere chance, the first glacier was discovered. It is a caldron shaped cavity, which owes its existence to the friction of a large stone driven round and round by the force of water currents cascading down the icy crevasses and at the same time polishing themselves.

A few feet from the first pit are found other and larger glacier mills, the largest being about 26 feet in diameter and about 52 feet in depth, with the large smooth bolder in the bottom.

Original Finds
In the museum are original finds from a cavern on Rigi Mountain near by which give evidence of the ethical and religious life of man who lived there 520,000 to 20,000 years ago.
Switzerland must be a glorious spot for geologists and archaeologist.

These student and professors of Brigham Young University are really stretching their language wings, giving most excellent programs of music and speech, in Deutsch, to the great delight of local members of the LDS Church.

Sunday evening at Basel, more than 600 people were in attendance in their beautiful chapel. A picnic party hike given for us by Zurich church members offered us a sample of the ease with which Swiss people saunter along the steep mountain trails, for enjoyable pastime. Evening bells from many towers chimed the hour and the rhythm of the hikers.

As a parting glimpse of Switzerland, we visited the Goetheanum, a school for spiritual activity in science and art, at Cornach. This and other buildings are built to emphasize the rhythm and harmony of nature, with no right angles. Their philosophy is based on Goethe’s theory and knowledge, and depicts the struggle between idealism and materialism.

A thought picked up en route is that—one does not become educated by way of institution or formal act of learning alone, but also by self education and that education like virtue is its own reward. Sojourn in Switzerland is an education.


60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 16 July 1952:

At 8 a.m. we jaunted down to the train station for the Jungfrau excursion today. It was kind of cloudy with the sun shining now and then on the lower slopes. Houses dotted the slopes with a clear blue swimming pool below. We changed trains at Grindelwald.

Cows wandering around on the slopes were pastured out here to save feed for the winter. The train had to stop so the train workers could remove one cow from the track. The clouds broke and we got a glimpse of the mountain peak. Herr Watkins said “that’s just a foothill.”

As the day wore on we changed trains again. This train was kind of plush and had glass in the windows, our last train didn’t. The temperature had gone down quite a bit particularly when we traveled in a long tunnel. It took five minutes to get out and look at the mountains again. It was like an ice box at the first stop and it took one more stop to be able to look through a window at the mountains.

Clouds hung around the peaks as we traveled through the tunnel to the top. When the train stopped and the conductor said this was the stop, we were still in the tunnel or refrigerator. Take your choice.

As we arrived we found tunnels going every which way. We took a tunnel and were reminded of the catacombs. Five minutes later we came to the ticket coin machine and elevator to the observatory so we were told.

With everyone’s insides growling, we weren’t much interested in that particular phase of Jungfrau Yoke at that moment. So we back tracked past the train into a lobby affair with a little café on one side. There were rest rooms along with a porch that gave a beautiful view of the mountains.

Afterwards we bounded up a few stairs and found a big dining room with a view. We joined the others who were supplementing lunch with a hot bowl of soup. All tourists like ourselves enjoyed the beauties of nature in Switzerland.

With our stomachs comfortably full again, we were ready to enjoy the wonders of the Alps with greater enthusiasm. Several flights of stairs up at the first stop was the Ice Palace where we paid one franc to experience it. It was quite an experience being inside a block of ice. There was a hallway as a tunnel through the ice that went past a car sculptured in ice.

Then I caught sight of a little ice carved bar with booths, tables, and benches. It included an ice clock, piano, bar, skating rink with Roman arches, and square pillars. A thermometer inside stated that it was 10 degrees below 0 centigrade. Outside again we climbed up the snow bank and out to the flag pole. A little man gave bobsled rides for one franc, so I took one. It was quite a thrill, but the ride wasn’t long.

From where the ride stopped we could see the Jaeger Mountain to the left of Monch. We helped the little man push the sled back up. Some of the kids were sun bathing on a big rock and I climbed up just in time to get in the pictures Herr Watkins was taking.

What a luxury this was lying on a rock in the sun surrounded by and gazing at these majestic peaks. The Jungfrau was said to have less snow this time of year than ever before. Eager for an even better view of our magnificent environment, Mrs. Hansen, Carmela, and I decided to go back to the spot of our first sojourn.

We hurried through the tunnels and individually put our little one franc coin in the box in order to get a ticket for the lift to the observatory tower. We were presently gazing down from the highest spot of comfort of the Jungfrau Yoke. We moved first from one side to another. We had a most splendid view of the big glaciers and white clouds that were like feather beds below us making a fluffy blanket over the valley and blue skies overhead. At one spot the blanket thinned out ever so little to give us a hazy view of a small part of the valley below.

Henry came up to the observatory soon after we did and went partially wild about all the radical apparatuses around the tower. Everyone dashed back down to go elsewhere. I hated to leave so I didn’t.

I ended up talking to an interesting fellow from Pennsylvania. He wanted very much to have a picture of Jungfrau, so I took a picture and promised to send it on to him. Time was growing short so I tried to get on the next elevator. Unfortunately, too many others had the same idea as me. As I waited for the next elevator ir seemed interminably long time arriving. By the time I finally reached the bottom there was about one minute to spare before our train was due to pull out.
I ran madly through the catacomb tunnel leaving the Philadelphia man in my dust. As I rounded the corner I saw the train which I hoped to be on. I had only twenty seconds left. I looked around for familiar faces and found the kids. Herr Rogers was leaning anxiously from the window. As I crawled breathlessly into the train without any wind left to apologize with, I realized my late coming had caused some consternation. Herr and others all thought for sure, I would be left behind. I jumped on just as the train had pulled ahead to go.

Then I was duly chastised and kidded. Herr Rogers had been trying to explain to the conductor that one of our group was missing and would he please let me come on the next train. It would have been rather expensive for me if I had had to pay for a one way ticket back.

16 July 1952 – Interlaken, Swizterland:

Dear Folks, we are on our way down from the top of the highest railroad in Europe which took us to the Jangrau Yoke way up high in the midst of high peaks. It was high enough to be above the clouds. It was so beautiful we kind of hated to come back and I almost missed the slow moving train. Right now we were going down through the middle of the mountain. Switzerland has been quite restful after Italy.

However, I think I liked Italy the best. There were so many things to see and we almost ran ourselves ragged. Switzerland is kind of restful with lots of beautiful scenery, good food, nice hotels, swimming, etc. Like Herr Watkins commented when we came into Switzerland, “The academic part of the trip is ending for awhile and the aesthetic was beginning.”

Europe has really been different from what people have given me to expect. We could have gotten along fine without bringing three months supply of everything. It’s really quite civilized over here. You can get most anything you need. The people can’t afford to buy everything that’s available, but they were glad to have tourists buy it.

Italy has been the cheapest country we have been in so far and the people were very friendly. We visited the Pope in Rome. He shook hands with all of us, and we presented him with a triple combination for the Vatican Library. I loved Rome, Florence, Capri, Sorrento, Venice and Milan. I want to go back and spend months there. We have had running water in our rooms everyplace except one. We seem to be able to find baths every twice in a while, so we really haven’t had to go around real dirty.

Tonight we were going to Monte Carlo ballet. In Bern we saw Europe’s best circus and believe me it was good. We were certainly lucky so far, no sickness or serious trouble of any kind. There was only one thing about Switzerland that disappointed me and that was their grey rivers. The rivers were filled with limestone or something and they were a kind of a milky grey instead of a sparkling clear blue. We had to change trains twice going up today.

As things settled down there was some beautiful scenery coming back down under the clouds. The sunshine was all gone so I tried to write a letter to the folks on the way down. There were three changes of trains and we always seemed to get a reserved car.

Now back to the hotel and out to get food for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. The prices at the hotel were too expensive for us so I purchased cheese, bread, and fruit. It cost one franc for each of them. Then I bought milk and cheese for dinner and smuggled it into hotel.

Afterwards, I cleaned up and dressed for the ballet. The ballet was in Kursaal but in the theatre part of it. Our six franc seats weren’t the best, but we could see pretty well. The hall, where we had been the night before, was decorated with candles in bottles and lanterns. In the ballet the first number was Swan Lake. There were intermissions between the numbers so the gambling tables had a break. It gave us the chance to listen to A Night in Vienna music as well. Romeo and Juliet was the next ballet. All the numbers were good. The Monte Carlo Ballet had just finished touring the United States.

I saw a fellow from Jungfrau whose picture I had taken. I said hello to him on the way out and talked about how I almost missed my train. I waited for the city clock to chime on our way home after looking in the bar to see what it was like. It was enchanting as all the lights went out as the clock got a good start for Thursday.