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Then we drove into the town and commenced searching for the hotel. After many different directions by as many different people, we finally found it, about midnight. We were thoroughly tired out. Hotel Three Kings (des Trois Rois) is a fine and very old house. We were given good connecting rooms with bath. The hotel is situated on the banks of the Rhine river, the water lapping its foundations, and our rooms front the river. We slept soundly.
The next morning, Wednesday, August 24, we spent resting and gazing on the swiftly rushing river. Gaston had reported that the car would have to remain in the shop all day for repairs. In putting the car in repair for us before we left Paris, new and heavier plates and chains had been used, and therein lay the cause of all our trouble, as they were too heavy for the rest of the machinery and caused the breaking of the plates every time. Gaston, having discovered this, was confident when the car was fixed this time we would have no further trouble. He told Gusty before coming for us, he would test the car himself.
The river here, as I have said, is very swift and no boats are seen on it. I noticed a small ferry in one place not far from here that made regular trips over and back, and I wondered how it was done, till I discovered a trolley wire overhead that carried it over and back. We saw also a long, narrow excursion steamboat, but no small boats of any kind. In the afternoon we took a carriage and drove all over the town and found it quite interesting. We went, of course, to the cathedral and saw a fine monument of Erasmus, one of the great philosophers of the middle ages. We saw two old towers and the old bridge with its little shrine chapel in the middle. We saw the Rathaus, which has bright-colored frescoes on its tower and facade. Then we drove back to the hotel.
Gaston reported about 9 P. M. that the car was all right, having put on heavier plates and lighter chains, of which he had duplicates in case of further trouble, and he had tested the car, which worked well. He said he would be ready for us at 9 A. M.
Thursday, August 25, we left at 9 A. M. as scheduled. The car did work finely and we had a beautiful trip. We stopped at Lagenthal for déjeuner. Here we had a boiled dinner and it was very good. We left at 1:30 P. M. and reached Bern at 3 P. M., stopping at Hotel Bernerhof. We freshened up a little, then, taking a bellboy from the hotel as a guide, we "did" Bern. It is a beautiful city, with fine public buildings and handsome residences. There are fountains on nearly every square, and each fountain has its public washing place, with boards at each end for the women's accommodation. We visited the cathedral, which has a handsomely sculptured interior and has a tall, ornamental spire. One feature of Bern is its arcades. There are squares of them. The houses extend out over the sidewalk, and stores of all kinds are in the buildings. No need for umbrellas while shopping in Bern, as everything is under cover. It reminds me a little of Chester, England, but the arcades are quite different. We went to the bear pit and fed the bears. They are the mascots of Bern, and bears are always protected. In here we saw seven or eight great fat, lazy fellows. They climb trees, dance, sit down and fold their hands, or lie down and look up at you in a lazy way and do all sorts of antics for visitors, who feed them everything, sugar, carrots, fruit, cake, etc.
The Rathaus here is very attractive, having a double outside stairway leading up to the entrance.
We motored down to see the old clock tower in the west gate. We waited till the clock struck the hour. There are several mechanical figures on it that move, and a cock that crows. With the exception of the cock, I think it fully equal to the Strasburg clock, but the cock and its crow are very poor imitations. We all enjoyed seeing this clock because it was in the open air and we were not crowded. Returning to the hotel, we had a good dinner, a good bed and a good sleep.
Friday, August 26. We left here a little after 9 A. M. for Interlaken. This is a gloriously beautiful ride. I have enjoyed many fine rides, but this eclipses all; the sky is so blue and the lake majestic. We passed along the shore of Lake Thum, then through the town of Thum, and saw Spiez, with its tower, on the opposite , side of the lake. We reached Interlaken about noon, stopping at the Grand Hotel National. It is one of the best hotels here and is well located on the river. From the promenade we had a splendid view of the Alps, with the Jungfrau (Young Maid) towering high above the other peaks. We left at 1:30 for Brunning Pass and Lucern, motoring along the shore of Lake Brienz. We had a beautiful drive over the pass, the
car making the steep climb perfectly. We stopped at Brunnig, the village at the top of the pass, to get our permit for going down on the other side. We were obliged to take two hours in which to make it. This law was made to compel slow driving. Consequently the chauffeurs kill time in every way possible. Soon after commencing the descent, it clouded and looked very like a thunder storm. I am afraid of these storms at any time, but particularly in the mountains, where they are always terrific. It did rain quite hard, but the thunder only grumbled. We stopped under shelter of some rocks and ate a little gouter of crackers and fruit, and then motored on, reaching our station in good time. Here we turned in our permit, and found we had taken ten minutes over the two hours allotted. This amused Gaston, as he had been so afraid he would arrive before his two hours were up. The Swiss houses and chalets are very attractive, and so quaint. The Swiss are extremely fond of flowers, and they have them everywhere, both in beds and window boxes. Their houses, except the modern ones, are built with the stable in one end and the living part in the other, all under one roof. They fertilize with manure, and you see great piles of it neatly stacked in their front yards, not far from their houses. This no doubt accounts for the fearful odors that we noticed very frequently while traveling through Switzerland. The chalets perched everywhere, on mountain sides and in the valleys, and are very picturesque. They are generally painted white or light tan in color and the roofs are