August 10, 1924.
Dear Papa and Mama:
A letter written July 23 was waiting for us here but I was surprised that you had not yet heard from us. There was also a letter here from Mr. de Schweintz written July 23 saying he had that day received cards we mailed at Liverpool the same time we mailed yours, so I have no doubt you soon afterwards heard.
Well, Switzerland is the best of all. It is wonderful. We have had a great deal of cloudy weather and were sorry when we reached here Friday that there were so many clouds for they prevented our seeing the Jungfrau which would have been plainly invisible from our window if it were clear.
Yesterday it was cloudy so we postponed our trip up the Klein Scheidegg, a co-road which takes us part way up. We took in other wonderful things instead. This morning, too, was cloudy but we decided to go any way as it is our last day here. We started up and up. Soon we got into the clouds where it was quite cold. There suddenly, without a bit of warning apparently, we ran out of the clouds and there was the most glorious mountain before us that I ever saw. Snow qhite with green peaks [unreadable] on either side. As we went higher other snow covered peaks of the same range appeared on either side, but none equal to the Jungfrau. We had lunch at the hotel at Klein Scheidegg, on the veranda looking out on the glaciers and the survey peaks and below us the clouds looked like the ocean. Then we climbed by foot over the terminal moraine for an hours climb to the Elder glacier. Some of the men came back over the glacier, roped together with a guide. We came down the path. The clouds in the valley had lifted by that time and we could see the Jungfrau from our windows after our return.
But the most glorious view of all came at dinner time. After the second course, the waiter came to us and said “the Jungfrau is very beautiful just now” so every one in the dining room rushed to the veranda. The sun was just setting and there was a glow on the white snow which made it look just like a mass of gold. With the green mountains on either side and the moon just above it it was beyond description.
We had quite a celebration at dinner tonight. We entered to the dining room we found our table beautifully decorated with flowers and greens, a flower at each place. It proved to be Mr. Plimpton’s wedding anniversary and he said his wife always insists that he celebrate so he had ordered the decorations and our extra desert and after dinner coffee for us all. I must tell you about the desert. It is chalet-mernage. It is brought in on a platter and looks like a little house of white frosting, the windows outlined up with nuts, with an American and a Siwss flag in each end of the roof. The center is whipped cream. It is a most delicious tasting thing. We had some once before. They have most delicious meals here. There has been a great difference in the different countries in the food we had. In England we had so much meat and fish, at least two meat courses beside fruit and vegetables. In fact a little of everything.
In Belgium, the meals were a lot like ours. In Alsace Lorraine, everything was flavoured with liquor of some kind. Poor Arthur was so disappointed one night he saw the desert brought to another table before we were ready for it -- ice cream. He was so pleased for several deserts before had been rum soaked puddings but when he had his ice cream it even was flavoured with something, so he took one mouthful and didn’t want any more. Here in Switzerland our meals are delicious -- many fancy dishes like the desert I described. We found the greatest change in our breakfast. In Great Britain we had just porridge (our usual) then a fish course, then bacon, eggs, sometimes potato, rolls, coffee and toast. On the continent all one gets is rolls, marmalade or honey + chocolate or coffee. Here in Switzerland we sometimes have edelweiss honey.
You ought to see the beds. Every now and then we get to hotels where the beds are so high one almost needs a step ladder to get in and instead of heavy blankets, they have a sort of feather bed to put over you. You do not sleep on a feather bed but the idea is to have it over. It is light in weight but very warm and looks too funny for anything Arthur has one over him now.
We had two wonderful days motoring over the Firka and Grimse Passes. Arthur and the other young men snowballed each other and views were wonderful.
I believe I kept a card from Glitch where we spent the night.
I forgot to say we saw a small avalanche today. Tomorrow we go on to Zermatt where we expect mail again. We hope to see the Matterhorn there.
I have been much pleased with my clothes. Have not had any too many for one needs a good many, I find but have had just the right ones. Have had only one day warm enough for Arthur to wear his Pule Beach. Much of the time I have worn sweaters + gray coat or suits coat under the gray coat.
We are all enjoying every minute. I have bought a number of nice souvenirs at different places -- so has Arthur with his $5.00.
With much love,
Have lost track of the numbers of my letters. This is 9 or 10.