50 for 50 #33 – Swiss Chocolate

Lindt milk chocolate

This week, to celebrate turning 50 years old this year, I decided to eat some Swiss chocolate. I picked up a bar of Lindt classic milk chocolate from the grocery store. The package stated that it was actually made in New Hampshire but that the quality was guaranteed by Lindt & Sprungli of Switzerland. So it wasn’t actually Swiss chocolate but it was still yummy.

Almost 30 years ago, while I was playing volleyball at BYU, we took a month-long trip to Europe. One of the stops on our tour was Switzerland. I remember seeing the Chateau de Chillon with its stone walls by the lake, Bern and the LDS temple there, and finally the beauty and quiet of Interlaken. I’d love to visit Switzerland again some day.

Chateau de Chillon – 1983

60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 21 July 1952:

We had a continental breakfast at the hotel. I spent the morning trying to find the best deal for my money. I cashed $50 for marks; $10 for French francs; and $30 for Austrian schillings.

When we finally finished our money transactions, Helen and I took off for the famous Basel Zoo. We bought peanuts and saw many European animals that were strange to me. Signs by each one included the name of the animal in three languages plus a picture and explanation. Then a map marked in red showed the animal’s habitat. It was a clean zoo that didn’t smell. Very clever homes were fixed for the zoo animals to simulate natural habitats. I took pictures in front of the giraffes.

At 11:30 we hurried back to the hotel for lunch. I had three servings of Birchermussli as an appetizer. Our waiter, from Rome, brought me a delicious mushroom dish. Then I ended the meal with ice cream.

On our way out of Basel, we visited Dornach and the Goetheanum, the most unusual building in the world because it had no right angles. A school of spiritual science, it was founded by Dr. Rudolph Steiner. I caught sight of houses which had the same architecture. Plays of Goethe were produced here annually in an auditorium that seats 2000. They believed in the philosophy of reincarnation. Beautiful windows of colored glass, green, blue, lavender and gold, showed man’s struggle to reach goals. There were huge wood carvings from the original temple. The boards were placed on top of each other and then carved out to represent the struggle between light and dark.

We traveled over the Rhine River on a bridge that had dynamite holes from World War II. The bridge had been fortified. Street cars could go back and forth between Germany and Switzerland. The French usually traveled over to the German side to eat on Sunday, because it was much cheaper.

Then to Lorrach, a border town, where we crossed back into Germany. We had to declare all of our money and ran into lots of red tape. We spent our last few cents of Swisse change on chocolate. Kids talked about how the Germans hated us. I wondered if this was really true.
Then we proceeded back into French controlled Germany. I sighted the Black Forest in the distance which was black at night anyway. There was a cobblestone road that ran through the town. It was raining as we came into the countryside. I discovered a pretty clean stream of water that wasn’t milky like the water in Swisse streams. There was a man fishing. Another man stood by a watering trough combing his hair as he stared into a looking glass.

Then we passed a tall slender church spire in a little town called Silronaven. There was a sign going into town asking you to be careful, and a sign on the way out saying thank you.

I observed a steep hanging roof as we came into the Black Forest again. The houses and barns were mostly red tiled roofs. There was a crucifix along the road going into Todtnauer. We stopped to look around. In the middle of town there was a great big church with two clock towers on a hill. I saw a different ceiling octagonal shape in decorated wood, huge chandelier, and rounded arches. In front of the church there was a huge elaborate altar with a little fountain and rock garden on the side of the hill. Later, I passed by a bronze plaque with a monument to soldiers.

We were back on the road again. We drove past red hay piles on the hill and a big stack of wood leaning up against a pensione boarding house. I spotted scarecrows in a little field and a bench which sat on a hill by a tree. We traveled up a narrow winding road through the Black Forest to our hotel. And we passed a big ski jump and lift.

The bus stopped at a rest home. It looked like we had to walk from here. First we went into the rest home to find a WC and walked through a game room with table tennis. People of all ages were convalescing here. We found out the walk was 45 minutes to our hotel.

For this reason we traveled light without our baggage. As we started up the trail a man from the hotel was supposed to meet us. We didn’t see anyone so we hiked on. I had a refreshing walk over hill and dale with my trusty sandals. I kept wondering each time we saw a building in the distance if that was our hotel.

Here we were wandering around in the middle of the beautiful Black Forest on our first night in Germany. And there were wild flowers everywhere around us. Who knew what experiences were in store for us in Germany, the country of many of our ancestors?

Perhaps if we had not been so hungry we could have enjoyed our hike even more. When a little truck wagon came along loaded with part of our crew and a few small bags, we were glad to trade places with some of them for the remainder of the journey. We imagined and hoped that we had sighted our abode for the night up ahead.

It was the only building in view and we had already been hiking for some time. Immediately I discovered that the rocks in the road were much rougher riding than walking. Luckily, we were not far from the barn shaped house with the typical low hanging roof. The building we had spotted earlier turned out to be the place. Yea!

As we entered there was a quaint and rustic dining room. We were so hungry we could have eaten most anything at that very moment. But first we went to our rooms or should I say room. Dr. Watkins was a little worried how we were going to like our room. There were 20 of the girls in my room and the balance in another room. And the men stayed in another room up in the attic.

The hotel had rickety stairs and candle light. This was indeed a new experience. I found a dirty unbleached sheet with only one dark horse blanket folded at the end of my bunk bed. There were ten two deck bunk beds lined up in a row in a room barely large enough to hold the beds. I navigated a narrow aisle that ran along the ends of the bed in the center of the room.

I don’t believe anyone particularly relished the prospects of this set up. At the same time we were all getting a big kick out of our experience. We went down to the underground area to find a couple of troughs for our toilet. There was running water no less, but cold running water.

Then we hurried back to the dining room for food. The waning prospects of a wonderful night’s rest had not dimmed our appetites though. I was worried about Irene, because she wasn’t there. Finally, Irene arrived. Virginia played the piano for us while we were waiting for chow. I must say that when the food came there was lots of it, but it wasn’t too well seasoned. But we sure had lots of food—soup, roast veal, potatoes, and salad.

The whole deal of dinner was a little confusing, because they didn’t have enough of one dish to serve all of us. The waitresses were all confused and there were different prices, but we all managed to get sufficient to eat. A soldier and French student were there also.
After dinner the lights kept dimming, but I decided to spend a little time on my diary. So when I could see from the candle light I wrote.

Irene kept rambling up and down and Andre wandered through as well. He had been dancing with the French people. Some of the other kids crashed the party too. There were four or five men at a table that were drinking, laughing, and talking. One man talked especially loud. The men were still going strong when I decided to give up and turn in about 1 a.m. or so.

The dungeon or wash room was so dark I skipped my tooth brushing ritual. I crawled up the stairs to find a candle burning in the corner of the room. Some of the kids were snoring already when I noticed that my blanket was missing from my bunk. I guess somebody figured they needed it worse than me? I reluctantly put my jacket on and my coat over my feet. As I put out the candle and tried to sleep, I was cussing the cuss who took my blanket!

Modern Pioneers:
Utah Group Touring Europe Gets Taste of ‘Roughing It’

Dear Friends;
Waiting at the border to enter Germany, where we filled our forms, counted and reported our money; where someone from around the corner snapped the picture of our bus; where we were hungry, hot and dry,— these were mere trifles to the remaining incidents of this Monday.

Monday, more than once, has been a somewhat grey day for us. Because so many museums are closed on this day we missed seeing the human dolls.
With a sudden clap of thunder and a downpour of rain, we entered Germany and were long in the Black Forest. A black horse standing near the dark, thickly placed pines was vigorously shaking his mane and tail against those black horse flies, which we found later to be so annoying.

Having expected tourist travel to be somewhat crowded in spots we were sharply made aware of it when we learned that our previously booked lodgings at Titisee were unavailable, and we were hoisted none too gently to the mountain. Once again, we took the least amount of baggage for an upward climb.

Said the director, “Some may ride, but some must walk. Take your choice. The hikers will fight horse flies, while the riders will be jostled on the floor (no seats) of a tractor drawn hay cart. Hikers may pick beautiful flowers along the way. Riders must move over to make room for the driver’s big, black, barking dog.” Thinking of our big black dog at home, I chose to ride. Anyway, I was suspicious of those 45 minutes hikes, which usually turn out to be twice as long for us. Luckily, the dog understood English, so “Get out” he did, running and barking through pines, grass, and flowers.

The hikers rationalized as they trudged—”Well, after a hike like this, the American Express Company must be leading us to a lovely spot in the mountains where we will have clean sheets, down pillows and coverlet and running water.”

Said another hiker, “Yes, but maybe the water will be running out of a large china pitcher into a large china bowl, the like of which we have used before.”

As the evening haze crept over the hills, we could see in the short distance, our abode for the night. Todtnauerhutte (Dead Valley Hut) with its steep roof and low overhanging eves, built thus, as a gesture against heavy snows.

Another group of 40 girls, staying for 15 days, had preceded us to the hut thereby, with us, creating an overcrowded condition.

Inside, the dimly lighted dark walled room we seated ourselves at long tables covered with green, brown and white checked table cloths. Served family style, the food was abundant, good and inexpensive. We ate heartily. Never again can we believe that Europeans go hungry.

The carved wooden crucifix hanging in the corner seemed as out of place as we did with the tousled, rugged mountaineers drinking beer at another table.

The sleeping rooms—oh my, oh my. Our small room, Koje IV, was fully packed with three double bunk beds, each having a grass filled mattress, no sheets, no pillow, just one small dark blanket. The comments, giggles and jokes of the girls were enough to keep us warm. We really were close friends that night. Without undressing, we put ourselves on the beds. After a short sleep we were disturbed by a happy chattering group, from a YMCA, preparing to go to Switzerland. About 1:30 a.m. they departed, and we slept again. It seems that many attempt crossing the border at night without passport.

By 6:30 a.m. we were ready to find the bathroom. What, no water? Oh yes, down through a catacomb-like corridor we found it. A long cement trough with three cold water taps. Refreshed with cold water and warm humor, we once again waited to be lifted down the mountain. Hearing a familiar noise back of the house someone said, “This must be it, I recognize the bark.”

Bumping over the hill and vale, rocks and ruts, in the early morning was delightful. We were soon back on the bus, on our way to Strassbourg, happy and none the worse for the Monday Fare.

Afton A. Hansen

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

Saturday, 19 July 1952:

Carmen and Maxine came up to the room about 8:30 a.m. to see us off. We walked over to the river and captured pictures of the towers. Then we shopped at the Migros Bar where I purchased a tub of jam. At 9 a.m. we hurried back to the bus and said goodbye for the last time.

We were off to Zurich for our next stop. Since Switzerland had no coal, I saw many wood piles near the houses. Then I napped and practiced my talk for Sunday. At 11 a.m. we reached the hotel In Zurich. We went up the wrong set of stairs the first time. Our room 503 was on the other side. As we proceeded to go upstairs again to our rooms we found they were not quite ready. The missionaries were courteous and carried our bags up the two sets of stairs.

Most everybody went to dinner with the missionaries, Merrill, Bradshaw, and Moss. However, I stayed to work on my talk for tomorrow. At 1:30 p.m. we went sightseeing on the bus with the missionaries as guides. It was good because they had not done much sightseeing. We drove along Lake Zurich and through residential areas to the big cathedral. Then we reached the statue of Zwingli who was a protestant preacher here.

All the churches were closed today. There were churches built by Charlemagne. Soon after we discovered a modern hospital and University of Zurich with black and white murals of Aristotle, Homer, and Michelangelo on the outside. There was a monument on the hill to the women warriors who saved Zurich. I took pictures of the University on the opposite hill. What a wonderful view of the city!

There was a puritan atmosphere in Zurich. I could not see any makeup here on the women or any night life advertised. We went back to the bus to find the rest of the crew. Then we hurried back to the hotel to get ready for the wiener roast with the members and missionaries.

At 6:30 p.m. we left the hotel in the bus to start hiking in the foothills. There were winding trails and beautiful trees. As we neared the top we had a bird’s eye view of Zurich. We trekked past a hotel, then continued on to more trails and stairs until we reached the top of the mountain. Down the other side we went off the trail in order to get to the bonfire. Some of the members had the fire going with a big pot hanging over it. We boiled some of the wieners and split others on each end and roasted them on a stick. The mustard was in tubes.

All of us sang around the bonfire. Church members sang and yodeled Swiss songs. We sang for them and then we all sang church hymns together. We had prayer and went back down a dark trail where we stopped to gaze at the city lights below. Everybody was happy. Church members on bikes were hanging onto the bus. Alice had a good visit with the Ringlers.

60 Years Ago Today

Friday, 18 July 1952:

At 7:30 a.m. I was up and dashed out to the hotel next door to call Carmen again. The operator rattled on so fast that I couldn’t understand her. Finally, I decided there was no answer and I went in the rest room for a few minutes. I accidentally left my coin purse and address book, so I waited for the next lady to come out of a bathroom stall. Everything looked like it was in order.

This time a little girl helped me with my call and I was successful! Carmen was really excited as we made plans to meet at Bahnhof. It was 1.20 francs for my call. I opened my purse to get it out and discovered my 5 francs were gone. The pretty shrewd lady in the rest room after me, took my money. I noticed her in the dining room, followed her out and accused her of taking my money. I couldn’t speak German well enough to argue with her, so I chalked it up to bad experience. It was my first loss in Switzerland. I can’t wait to get to the Lucerne part of the trip.

When we drove through Robiata, the Swisse were making hay with a rake, by hand no less. There were machines in some parts of Switzerland for raking hay however. We arrived in Lucerne a little after 10:30 a.m. We headed straight up to Bahnhof. But I couldn’t see Carmen and her companions. So as Andre parked the bus I went searching for them. They found us first.

Later they told me how they had discovered the bus right after we had left it. It was quite a reunion. Carmen had brought her companion, Maxine Lamborn. They guided me on a short tour of the city. Sights included the glacier gardens, big lion monument, glacial mills, topographical map, and house of mirrors. Lucerne and surroundings were typical Swisse mountains. There was an artificial glacial pot to show how the geological process worked. At the end of the tour we reached a tower for a view of the stunning city.

I hurried back to the bus because I thought I’d be late again. Thankfully everybody else was late this time. Then we were off for a drive past the towers. And back to our three hotels: Rutli first up, then mine, and the Wieldermann.

My hotel had been a private residence at one time. The elevator had a door on one side to get in and one on the other side to get out. The lady behind the desk said she would appreciate it if we would have our meals there. It was a nice little room with only a slightly thicker comforter, kinda like a mattress.

I dumped my stuff and took off with Carmen and Maxine to find some chow. We traveled across a bridge to the Kresses which was commonly called A.G. The menu of the day was done, so we crossed back over the bridge to a cute little terraced café along the other side of the river.
Then we had a delicious one franc dish with a wine sauce. It was kind of like a meat pie only the pastry was much lighter and crispier. The dinner ended up with a delicious pineapple pie pastry. We treated the missionaries. Herr Rogers said he would take care of paying for the missionaries, but he hasn’t so far, 6 francs worth now.

Down below the café we ran across a little change dealy where the lady said she’d give us 470 francs for $10. What a deal! We could hardly believe our ears. Everybody decided to change their money at that kind of rate. Even the missionaries decided they had really been missing the boat by going to American Express to exchange their money. But guess what? Our bubble broke before we all got away though. Apparently a man came in and gave the lady a clue about the really good rate she was giving. When I wandered back in to see what was holding up the other kids, she decided she had made a mistake. She must be kind of new at this money changing job. She gave 427 francs instead of 470 francs per dollar.

We crawled around looking for a bike rental place, so we could go bike riding with the missionaries. We found a good cheap place, but they only had one bike. By that time we had lost everyone except Alice and Betty. Ione, Cherie, and Bev had gone back to the hotel to put some clothes on, because a nun had called them dirty. It was because they were wearing shorts. Betty and Alice had decided not to go either, so yours truly paid two francs for the lone bike till 6 p.m. I took off with the missionaries.

We rode out till we came to the place where the lady lived who the missionaries were going to visit. I waited for a few minutes outside before going bike riding. The missionaries soon returned, because she wasn’t there. However, before we got away, she turned up and gave us a hearty welcome. This time I was invited in the flat on the second floor into the living room. It was very similar to our living room at home. The flat was quite well furnished. The lady was about 28 years old, nice looking, and the mother of eight cute little kiddies. The only flaw in her ointment was a drinking and unfaithful husband. This I found out from the missionaries before we went in to talk to her.

She began talking as soon as we met her and didn’t stop except to take a breath until we left. I gleaned several bits of information from the conversation. She was quite nervous and she was afraid her husband was driving her crazy. She was going to a rest home for two weeks. We met four of the children: Bruno who was a little blond boy who looked like a girl with curls and all, Erika who was one of the oldest girls with straight bangs and hair like I wore in the first grade, Hansie and Joseph who were two darling little boys who looked a lot like twins but weren’t.

After talking for a little while we went in and helped with her washing which a hired man was doing. We rang clothes out by hand and took them up on the roof to hang out. Only we rinsed them out again in three long tubs and then hung them up. It was a beautiful view from the roof. I ran down to get my camera and returned to the wrong flat. A surprised man greeted me when I opened the door. After correcting my mistake I took a picture from the roof of hay making, mountains, and roof tops.

After we had finished with the wash, we returned to the living room for some delicious apple juice and pastries. Then we bicycled through the streets of Lucerne signaling just like the cars did. I passed some of the group and then stopped to capture a shot of the cathedral from the middle of the street. I cycled up a low hill to the missionaries’ abode then and down again flying low.

We entered into the missionaries’ apartment building from a garage. Upstairs there was a one room flat with feather comforters. The missionaries had access to a bathroom down the hall. I met the missionaries’ grey haired and witty landlady and her dark haired and Italian looking granddaughter. I took their picture on the little balcony. Then I had prayer with the missionaries, and left to go back to the locale two blocks from the hotel to take the bike back. Missionaries had an appointment for 6 p.m., so I left them and went back to the hotel.

After returning my bike no one was home so I found my way to the A.G. There was a bunch of kids just finishing. The menu of the day was done so I had a ham sandwich, gelatin salad and ice cream. I had to take part of it with me to eat, because they were closing. Gee! The place really was a lot like Kresses or ZCMI’s snack bar where you stand up to eat. I got to look at the food and decide what I wanted.

I window shopped on the way back to the hotel. Then the kids got together to go practice at the locale. The missionaries met us just as we were going to the church, since their cottage meeting had fallen through. We all had a fun time practicing. Some little boys came in and sang for us. They really enjoyed singing and yodeling and we enjoyed talking to them.

Afterwards we crossed the river over the bridge of death to an ice cream spot on the opposite bank. The waitress had an accident and dumped a whole tray of pastries on the floor. We all had delicious ice cream sundaes. I bid adieu till morning and hit the hay.

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.

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.

60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 14 July 1952:

Helen was up in order to go swimming. I was going to go as well, but that was last night, not in the morning! I actually crawled out of bed at 10 a.m. and tried to finish the letter I was writing to Aunt Caroline and Anna.

Again we were off but this time to Berne via Neuchatel. I was waiting on the corner for the bus when it came rolling up with Florence and Alice. They had helped Andre clean the seats on our bus most beautifully. We were ready to go except for a little bottleneck, Bev had lost one of two engagement rings. Rumor had it that she had already lost one of her rings and had to replace the other one earlier. Nuf said it was just fodder for gossipers.

After awhile we stopped at Neuchatel for lunch. We tried to see a museum and some mechanical dolls. The buildings were closed on Mondays. Some of the Swisse people, especially through here, look like the people in Utah and Idaho. We just hit the German speaking section of Switzerland. I could tell by the signs. Next Sunday we were scheduled to give a program in German. Now back to the scenery where there was a covered bridge on the way to Berne. Then we drove through a beautiful forest.

Arriving in Berne, the capital of Switzerland, was as Swisse German as Geneva and Lauanne had been Swisse French. The clock tower had a bear symbol just below the clock. We found Hotel Poste et France right in the center of a shop with a desk on the second floor again. This time we nosed around the shops till our rooms were assigned.

After awhile we received a key with a great big ball attached so we wouldn’t walk off with it. My darling room 26 had great huge pillows for a comforter, just like last night. There was an extra settee lounge that was big enough for an extra bed with two big pillows per usual. The window flower box had petunias in it.

Later I nosed around the shops and got my money changed at a big bank across from the church. I went back to window shopping before the bus left for sightseeing at 5 p.m. Dickie boy came in with a huge bar of Swisse chocolate which he handed to me. All this fuss because I had fixed his pants. Gee, why how nice can you be?

Then we waited for two missionaries who were coming to be our guides. It was Everett Fisher from Rexburg and MacKay from Salt Lake. They came and we were off to the Swisse Capitol building which had symmetrical flower beds. Next was a 13th century Gothic Münster Cathedral which was Catholic at one time but now was Protestant. Both of these buildings were closed on Mondays as well. We caught a glimpse of bear pits where bears would fight. Before dinner we observed a gold clock with little men on the top hitting the bell on the hour. Finally back to the hotel for dinner.

Traveler Gives Vivid Picture of Swiss Alps, Chillon Castle

Letter to the Editor

Dear Friends;
Over the Swiss Alps through the Simpton Pass is a thrill and exciting and adventurous for the eyes watching through the windows of our bus as it slowly crawls up the paved slopes. The towering rocky mountains decorated with snow, the lower slopes draped in green and gold of farm patchwork design, and the foamy pale green stream below are objects of amazement.

Switzerland is merely a postage stamp size of a country on the map, but the cragged peaks and beautiful scenery are rated high with the travelers. Some go to Switzerland for health and rest, others for mountain climbing and skiing. It is always clean, comfortable and peaceful. Here the children are put to work early to learn that “life is earnest,” consequently we find a thoroughness and love of quality in their skills and trades. They are deeply united in their love of the soil and we see the whole family out pitching hay or bundling grain.

Natural Protection
These mountain passes are somewhat of a natural protection to the country, but they are also well fortified with explosives. In so many places, we see the camouflaged mines and artillery. It would be absolute suicide for an enemy to attempt to enter. The Swiss mean to maintain their political and economic independence.

But we suddenly come to a halt. Why? The road has been washed out by mountain rains and heavy water. Taking the necessary baggage under our arms, on shoulders and head, we walk through the rural country along narrow footpaths, to the next town, Brige, so we can ride on the train up the mountain to Zermatt.

Zermatt is a beautiful little town at the base of the Matterhorn, where mountain climbers from the world over assemble, clad in rugged clothes, to accept the challenges of the mountain.
Hear Bells

Early in the morning we hear the silver tinkle of small bells hung on the necks of goats being taken to their mountain pasture. I learn that, all summer Herman and Rudolph Truffler take care of the goat heard. As the patter along the main cobblestone street, other neighbors bring their two or three goats to join the main herd, of about 25 goats. We are reminded so much of the story of Heidi, especially when Little Sonja comes running out of the house to greet the goats talking to them, patting their heads and lovingly caressing them.

The chair lift, which carries passengers, two by two, up the steep mountain, or the real funicular, cog by cog, railway up to Gornegrat, offers a breath taking panorama of the wedge shaped towering Matterhorn and its neighboring peaks. With the silvery streams, hurrying on their way to the river below. Riffulhaus at the top must have been a great challenge to buildings of houses and trails. But homes on hills are most usual here and so picturesque.

Quiet Day
Sunday was rather quiet at United Nations offices in Geneva. Perhaps the day lent a sanctity to our impressions of the place, as we were escorted through the buildings and grounds. The beautiful peacock resting peacefully in the doorway was a brilliant surprise which almost startled us. He was easily shooed into the sunshine to have his picture taken by the amateur photographers.

We did stir up a bit of mental activity, however when we visited the University of Geneva, where Jean Jacques Rousseau taught his stimulating philosophy. By the side of the first edition of his “Social Contract” was a letter from Leon Tolstoy, written in longhand in March of 1905, in which he accepts the invitation to become a member of the Rousseau Society, expressing sentiment of the elevation of the soul, saying that since he was 15 years old Rousseau has been master of his life with a beneficial influence.

Origin of Red Cross
Did you know that the International Red Cross was first organized here in Geneva? The Red Cross emblem is the revers of the Swiss national flag, which is a white cross on a red background. The white cross of Christian mercy on the battlefield of red.

“Eternal spirit of the chainless mind;
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty thou art,
For there thy habitations is the hear.”

The castle of Chillon reflects much tragic and revolutionary history. Both Rousseau and Byron have contributed to the glory of this old feudal castle. In the beautiful aqua blue of the water of Lake Geneva is reflected the warm color of the turrets and towers, which hold such a gruesome story (as well as romantic) of so many who have “appealed to God from the tyranny of man,”

Carves Name
Byron carved his name in the stone pillar to which the prisoner Bonivard was chained. In imagination we saw him lying on the cold stone bed, or being cast into the pit where only a slight gleam of light entered, twice renewed from the narrow slit in the thick stone wall or again we saw him hanging from the scaffold with weights on his feet. Foot marks in the stone below have been worn by the dropping prisoners.

Yet, from all the torture stories that these moats and walls tell, there comes the spirit of the harmonies of nature and in all fairness to this “chainless mind.” we must look to the future with Jacquest Barzun of this country of solid minds, when he says “the future may revive jollier times where in the life of the mind again seems desirable and needs no apology.”

—Afton A. Hansen

Just before dinner we dashed over to get tickets for Knie Circus before 7 p.m. People were lined up and we tried to find out about the tickets that started to sell at 7 p.m. “Parle Anglais? Parle Anglais?” Finally a man tried to help us. We decided on cheaper tickets for 2.75 francs. It was 7:15 p.m. by the time we got back from dinner which was delicious. It was my fifth time for french fries. My main dish was rare beefsteak. Some of the other kids said the tickets had sold out for the circus and they couldn’t get in.

Our seats were on the top row which was a good deal for the cheaper seats. We weren’t sure if we were going to have any seats at first, but the usher made the people move over. First act was comprised of white bears and black bears drinking milk out of bottles. The orchestra was playing “trink, trink” with the bears climbing up and sliding down a slippery slide. Then some of them went down the slide backwards. Then the clowns, four midgets and a big guy filled in while the scenery was changed.

The second act included animals with a big horse, little horse and three dogs. The dogs jumped from one horse to the other and finally all the dogs ended up together on one horse. In between the clowns appeared again.

The third act had two men that worked on the trapeze. A little boy, girl, big boy and two men took turns as well on the trapeze. A girl, who seemed to be the star of the show, did 50 somersaults without stopping. There were chorus girls with tails, a ballet dancer, and horse costumes.

The fourth act involved two men and a girl that performed the ballet, Slaughter on 10th Avenue, which turned into a comedy. They had a volunteer “plant” from the audience.

The next act showcased a juggler to Sentimental Journey with three balls. Then he juggled three hats and three books. In the sixth act the performers were five seals and a blonde trainer. The seals used balls and clapped their fins. The act also included tightrope walkers, old fashioned bicycles, red headed clowns, and three elephants. The elephants sat down and danced on the stools to the song My Foolish Heart. A girl rode on an elephant’s trunk. Another elephant climbed the stairs and walked the plank.

Leading into the seventh act was an acrobatic spring board act with two men, two boys, and three girls in a family affair. They sprang into chairs with three layers on top of each other.

The eighth act was a racing act with four horses, four Shetland ponies, four drivers in carts, two dogs and eight horses. Amazingly there was an acrobatic horse. A comedian act in German with a jack in box was the ninth act where I missed a few of the punch lines. The tenth act had six horses and six red-coated riders where the horses danced to music. The eleventh act included a little boy juggler. He was a wonder boy. He did just about every kind of acrobatic stunt imaginable.

At intermission a lady asked me in Swisse-French where the ice cream was. Of course, she asked the wrong person for information, but the right person for my love of ice cream. Then the last part of the show included an acrobatic water act with a fellow and girl covered with glitter, a blonde in boat, a big snake act that wound around her, a chorus with little snakes, clowns with one huge snake, a camera man pushed in the water, an alligator act and a fountain dealy. Hoola! What a finale! Finally back to the hotel to go to bed.

60 Years Ago Today

Sunday, 13 July 1952:

I had breakfast in bed, an orange and apple, and finished altering Dick’s pants. I needed to pack up I guess. I really needed a little overnight case. Then when suitcases didn’t come off the bus, I would have a change of clothes. I noticed I had my souvenir of Assisi, but had lost the one I had bought via Herr Watkins.

Now off to Sunday School. Missionaries and most of the members had gone to Paris for a mission conference with President McKay last night. I almost went myself, but we were giving the program today. There were half a dozen adult members and about the same number of cute clean little children. We had a wonderful Sunday School. The little kids went to a separate class during our special program, but I don’t think they wanted to.

After Sunday School, we stopped by the restaurant from the night before. About 20 of us ordered from the souvenir menu that I had procured yesterday. The other kids had made their own lunches. Then we hurried back to the hotel to pack up and check out.

There was confusion on the bus. Where were we going to sit today? Two seats behind yesterday or four? Confusion was caused by the fact that yesterday we just sat where it was convenient on the ride to the boat from the hotel. Boy, 36 people sure got confused when their signals were crossed.

Back to sightseeing in Geneva and our discoveries from the day before at the Monument de la Reformation and University of Geneva. In Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s room, a major Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century, there were pictures and busts of him. Also there were original manuscripts and prints of his writings like Emile.

Then off to the United Nations. Joyce tripped on the last step and fell as she left the bus. People nearby were kind and took her someplace close by to help her wash up and rest. We met the Armenian fellow from Palestine that we talked to at the concert last night. He was with his mother and some other friends to whom he introduced us. His mother lived in Geneva and he was studying at a Bible school in Louder, England. He was quite amazed to find that all 36 of us were Mormons with 32 women and 4 men. “A likely ratio,” he said. We introduced him to Herr Watkins and some of the other kids. Then we wandered around taking pictures and then headed back to the bus and off for Lausanne.

Today we saw the shore line from the road while yesterday we saw it from the boat. It gave a different perspective of the lake with mountains as a background. Alice commented that it looked like Minnesota along the Great Lakes. I wanted to take pictures of grain fields standing in shocks to show Daddy. Just then Mrs. McDonald made an announcement about jam and cleaning out the baskets overhead. And Nelda made an announcement about the seating arrangement. We moved every day regardless.

Well now that was taken care of. Herr Rogers advised us to pick up 100 marks and 5 pounds. We passed a beautiful cemetery on the way into Lausanne. Flowers were growing on every grave with trees in between them. The graves were so close, they were almost piled on top of each other.
We had to stop several times for directions. Lausanne was a two story city. Some place farther on around the city, we came upon some excitement. I never would’ve believed we could clear the bus so fast.

There was a group parading up the street in clown costumes with huge plumes for hats. It was very colorful with all the prancing around. We followed them up the street and I took a couple of pictures. They even posed for one for me. It seemed they were from Belgium and there had been a big festival in Lausanne Saturday and Sunday. Rumor had it that the festival was at 8:30 p.m.
After the excitement calmed down, we looked around and discovered our hotel right beside us. The Hotel Des Voyageurs didn’t have much of a lobby. The office was actually one flight up.

Helen, Margaret and I were in room 33. I followed Helen in but there was only one bed. After some confusion, we discovered the error. We had gone into room 35 with one bed instead of Room 33 with three beds. Then we had a snack in room with Mary and Helen and added 3 glasses of milk from the hotel dining room for 1 franc. Then we headed off to find the festival. Finally we discovered the right spot on the top story of Lausanne. It cost 1 franc to stand up and another to sit down. So we stood.

There was a band in dark uniforms with gold braid. We found out from a boy, a fellow standee, that they came from Alsace Loraine in France for the festival. It consisted of a Bugle Corp, Drum Corp, and Concert Band. The drummers clicked their sticks and the buglers twirled their bugles like the military bands we saw in Nice. We decided to leave before the last number to find the men with the plumy hats.We crossed the bridge, then down some stairs and up into a big theatre.

We went in and saw the last few pictures flash by. Not sure which way to go we asked the usher the way back to our hotel. He explained that the theatre covered both stories of Lausanne. We walked back up to the top story and through the theatre. It was very luxurious, and interesting too. We discovered a hotel lit-up in neon lights next to the sky. With a star we navigated our way home. Next morning we found out our plumed friends performance followed the band. Shucks!

60 Years Ago Today

Saturday, 12 July 1952:

The bed was almost as good as Zermatt’s bed and I didn’t want to get up for a second day in a row. Besides nobody had knocked on our door. I quickly ran down to the WC and got lost on the way back. This hotel had more hallways than I could imagine. Everybody else had their bags down in the lobby except “I.”

Finally, I was ready. I madly dashed out the door and ran down the hall. Five minutes later I think I took the wrong path. I didn’t even come to the elevators, but instead found cement stairs. So hoping to save time by not retracing my steps I charged down the stairs and ended up in the laundry. A little maid showed me the way out.

Upstairs again I finally found the street but what street! I took off in the direction of what I supposed was the lake. Then one block later I was on the street in front of the hotel. The gang was coming down the sidewalk on the other side of the street. A nice man said, “Didn’t you stay here last night?” and told me “I’ll be back in a minute to help you with that bag.” But I couldn’t wait. Herr Rogers and Alicia were standing by the bus waiting. Dot helped me carry my suitcase the last mile. Alicia had gone back to try and find me.

We drove by a large lake boat to Geneva. Alicia was out foraging for food. So I ended up with two oranges and a roll for breakfast. However after getting on the boat, we found out they were serving breakfast. So before long, I found myself downstairs eating more breakfast. I had hot milk, ham and eggs baked in a casserole, and bread. It was delicious to say the least.
Back on deck, I raved so much about it that some of the other kids decided they were hungry. When they returned and we compared notes, we discovered they had eaten in the first class dining room. It cost 1 franc more for the same meal.

The scenery was superb all around the lake as we stopped at each lakeside town. We were impressed with the beautiful fountain in Lausanne on our way to Geneva. Lac Leman was also known as Lake Geneva. Andre was waiting for us when we landed at the Promenade du Lac. There was a beautiful park and monument.

Then we arrived at the Hotel Residence which had a nice dining room and lobby. My room 139 was on the 5th floor. It had a balcony and a bathroom at the end of the hall that I made immediate use of. Then I felt like a new woman! I helped Dick by fitting his pants on him so I could fix them. Afterwards I did my washing and organizing.

Next I was off to do some shopping for food. Geneva had nice clean shops. Soon after we had a banquet for 3.50 francs each. Alicia took a can of tuna down to the kitchen to get it opened, and it turned out to be quite the operation.

We were off to see the town of Geneva at 5:30 p.m. We found out the shops were closed. As we tried to find Promenade du Lac, we lost our way and ended up at Promenade du Bastian. In our journey we saw a grade school with a statue of Donald Duck and the headquarters of the American Red Cross. We found an open door and music at De l’ Athenee. Then we snuck a peek in a room filled with paintings by very young artists.

Afterwards, we caught sight of little minnows swimming in a pond in front of the Monument de la Reformation. We discovered statues and bas-reliefs showing the steps in the Reformation process and those who brought it about. It featured documents such as the Bill of Rights, the Mayflower Compact and the Lord’s Prayer. There were large statues of Calvin, Foral, Breze and Knox, who were four great leaders of the Reformation as well as Cromwell and Roger Williams. I took pictures of people from India in front of this monument.

Soon after I spotted a statue of Antoine Carter in front of the University of Geneva. At the University we passed through the library and Musee d’Histoire Naturelle. Inside the library of the University we discovered a notice for U.S. GI’s to pick up their checks. There was a fence around the University campus or at least part of it.

I took pictures of the pond in front of Dufour’s statues which is across from the Musee Rath at Place Neuve. As we continued the tour at the Grand Opera Conservatory of Music, Alicia lost her talk for church tomorrow. I spied a Plaque Republic of Geneva on a wall built in 1600 a.d. Everything was closed up. This was really different. Then we moved on to Pont de l’Ile with its old tower from 1700’s a.d. I attempted a conversation with a waiter to find out about it. He told me Philibert Berthelier, a Swiss patriot, was decapitated here. There were historical pictures in charcoal on burlap that decorated the walls of the bar. We wandered down the river bank.

Hunger pangs were rising again, but I had to think of the budget. Then I spotted fish swarming below the bridge on Rousseau Island. At the other side of this bridge we finally located the Promenade de Lac where the concert was scheduled to be held later that night. Before the concert, we had to find food else we would never enjoy said concert.

We priced several restaurants, but they seemed a little high. After talking to a waiter at an expensive restaurant, we got some directions for a good economical restaurant. We set out to search and found the street, but I’ll be damned if that restaurant was there. After awhile we gave up and tried to find our way back to one café that seemed to be within the higher limits of our budget.

We ran across an old tower that we had passed previously. We nabbed onto it as a landmark. Funny thing how they build the new building right over the old building. After wandering around a couple of blocks we sighted Herr Watkins in a café right next to the one we were trying to find. He had just finished a light lunch, because he had indulged with too many souvenirs. Herr said he was still hungry, but would cinch up his belt instead of eating. He had eaten in the café next door for lunch and recommended it.

We tried to sit down in the fore part of the café, but when we mentioned dinner they ushered us into the dining room with table cloths. By leaving off one course we had a delicious dinner and twice as much as we could eat for 5 francs plus tip. We had to leave a big plate of french fries, large piece of roast beef, and a roll.

With a little encouragement from Alicia and a reminder that after all she had gotten the tuna opened via the bellboy, kitchen, and scullery. I asked the waiter for a napkin to wrap up the piece of meat and roll sandwich since we had decided to take it back to Herr Watkins. A lady and man nearby had a fit. Dessert by the way was the most delicious I had experienced—sherbert, fresh strawberries and cream. Emptier stomachs to enjoy it on would have been the only thing that could have improved the dessert.

We rushed over to the concert slightly late. In fact, when we sighted two seats and sat down, the fellow sitting next told us there was only one number left by Rimsky Korsakov. We discovered afterwards that audience members on the sit down seats were supposed to pay. The fellow next to us made a remark to this effect, but it was hardly worth it for one number. We were not accosted for money, so we didn’t pay.

The gentleman asked us where we were from? When Alicia said BYU in Provo, Utah, he asked if we were Mormons. We were quite amazed that he had even heard about the Mormons. He explained that he was a theology student and had studied about us. He had met male members of our church, but not any Mormon women.

We ran into part of our group after the concert and went window shopping. Then we found our way home via the tracks. Just when we thought surely we were lost and we had gone too far, there ahead of us sat our pretty blue bus. We were lost no more. I said good night to the fish aquarium by the kitchen and started to fix Dick’s pants after crawling into bed. Lights went out and I coughed myself to sleep.

Side note about Switzerland, streetside “dealies” were thankfully much more modest than in Italy and France.