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Monday, July 25. We left Cologne this morning at 8:05 for Rheims, France. We started in fine shape, but in a pouring rain, which continued in hard showers during the entire day. We changed cars twice and were obliged to get out once to have our luggage examined by the custom officers. Here a woman was assisting, and on opening my suitcase she asked, “Any dogs or tobacco ?” I doubt if she spoke any English but the few words pertaining to her business.
Fortunately it was not raining at any of the times we were obliged to get out. It is such a nuisance to get out, unlock your baggage and have it looked into every new country you enter. It is a mere form over here, but they are not permitted to pass any by. They generally know who is trying to smuggle. The men are more closely watched than the women. Part of this road is rough and full of curves, so much so that it made both Augusta and myself ill. We arrived at Rheims at 4 P. M., going to the Grand Hotel. As soon as we were located, I made Gusty go to bed, for she was ill from the rough ride. I had my dinner sent to my room. Gusty took hot milk after she was in bed.
Tuesday, July 26. Gusty wakened refreshed and well, and after breakfast called a carriage for a drive over the town. The cathedral is the great attraction here. It is a magnificent building, elaborately and handsomely sculptured. Very old and valuable tapestries cover the walls of the interior. It has beautiful old stained glass windows. Many of the kings of France have been crowned here. Joan d'Arc brought Charles VII to be crowned here. A fine marble figure of the Maid of Orleans is in the choir. From here we went to the very old church of St. Remi. The exterior is plain. The old stained glass is very beautiful. We saw in here the golden shrine or reliquary of St. Remi, who was one of the very early bishops. The original reliquary was destroyed or disappeared during one of the revolutions, and this one was given partly by subscription and partly by a wealthy man of the town. We did not visit the celebrated wine cellars, as it was a long, hard way down to them. They cover acres under ground, and are a wonderful sight. The famous Pomery cellars are here. The buildings are handsome. Here in France, as well as through Germany and Holland, vehicles a little like our own victorias, though smaller, are used. On the elevated seat, at the right of the driver, is a small wheel with a handle. This he grinds and ungrinds with a crank, as he goes up or down grades. I can not see that it helps any way, but suppose it does, or they would not use it.
We left Rheims at 2:20 P. M. for Paris, arriving there at 4:20 P. M. We went to Hotel du Jardin, just opposite the Tuileries, where Gusty had engaged our rooms. We refreshed ourselves from our journey, sat out on the balcony and looked at the beautiful gardens and the busy scene before us. Miss Fisher, Gusty's good little friend and neighbor in Paris, joined us in time for dinner, and we enjoyed a pleasant evening together. Mr. Millet came in a little later to complete with Gusty arrangements for our motor trip through Normandy, Brittany and Touraine, the chateau country, which we commence to-morrow. Mr. Millet, who is a personal friend of Miss Fisher's and to whom she introduced Gusty when she found we expected to take a motor trip, we found an agreeable and pleasant gentleman, and he seemed to take a personal interest in our intended trip. When he found we were making it by ourselves, he assured us he had given us an excellent and reliable chauffeur and a fine car. It was really a city limousine. Our good nights were said and we retired early.
Wednesday, July 27. We left Paris at 2:30 P. M., an hour and a half late, as we had set the hour at i
We passed through St. Germain-en-Laye. Saw here the outside of the old chateau, which had
been thoroughly restored and is now a museum. We drove through a number of small towns, saw beautiful country under full cultivation. We reached Bauvais in time to see the old town, what there is of it. There is a fine old cathedral here, but the choir is all that ever was completed. It was built so high that they were obliged to put supports inside to hold it up. We saw some fine old tapestries in here. We drove to the market place to see the quiet life of this provincial town, and stopped for the night at Hotel de France et d'Angleterre.
We left the next morning, Thursday, July 28, and enjoyed a most beautiful ride. We lunched at Hotel du Rhein in Amiens, and then went to see the cathedral, which is another one of the magnificent Gothic cathedrals. We motored on through a beautiful country, seeing pretty villages and stopping at Neuchatel for our first French gouter (a little lunch), then motoring on to Rouen, where we stopped for the night at Hotel d'Angleterre. This is the capital of the old province of Normandy. Our hotel is on the banks of the River Seine, and my window looks out upon it. They have a suspended bridge over the river which flows through the town. It is suspended from a heavy overhead cable, these cables supporting the bridge, which it carries across on pulleys, the passengers being underneath, close to the water, instead of on top, high above.
Friday, July 29. We went to St. Quen Church. It is one of the finest Gothic churches in northern France and is noted for the beautiful proportions of its interior. It has three towers, the center tower being shorter than the other two. There is a sculptured crown on it, which is called the Crown of Normandy. They have here a wonderful old clock in an arch over