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We drove down the pass to Brigue, which we reached about 5 o'clock; stopped at Hotel des Comounes et Poste (the Crown Post Hotel) for the night. We were in the heart of the Alps, and that evening we almost had the afterglow, which is so beautiful. The cows here are of a soft gray color, with kind eyes and faces. They all wear bells strapped around their necks, and when driven through the streets the bells form a musical chime, as they are sweet toned. I was so anxious to hear a yodel, but did not.
Sunday, October 2. We started early on our drive down the valley of the Rhone, stopping for lunch at Martigny, Hotel du Mt. Blanc. This is quite an old town and the hotel very good. On the side of a mountain, in full view of the hotel, stands an old Roman tower. This has been restored and is now cared for.
In the afternoon we drove along Lake Geneva to Lausanne, where we stopped over night at Hotel Gibbon. This is named after the historian, as a great deal of his writings were done in the garden here. This has been a most charming day's ride along the shores of the lake most of the afternoon. This is also the most beautiful end of the lake.
Much to my regret, we have been obliged to cut Geneva and Chamouni out of our trip, the mileage being too great to permit our motoring there and to reach Paris by October 5, the date I am due. This I considered well before fully deciding. There is a beautiful vine, seemingly wild, that grows about here, covering almost everything. Houses, fences, trees, etc., that has turned a vivid red among its green leaves, giving a most charming and unique effect. One old church was almost entirely covered with it. We passed many beautiful pleasure resorts all along the lake, as it is built almost solid up to Lausanne. Soon after reaching the lake, we passed the Castle of Chillon, made famous by Byron's poem, “Prisoner of Chillon.” It stands on a rock some distance from the shore, and its grim old walls and towers are plainly outlined against the blue of sky and lake. This is a beautiful city built on the hills, as there seem to be a number of them, and quite steep, too, as we drove up one and down another before reaching our hotel. We have delightful rooms overlooking the lake.
Monday, October 3. We started early, motoring through Lausanne. We saw the cathedral, which appears quite plain after seeing its beautiful sister in Milan. It is located on a hillside. We had a fine view of the town, Lake Geneva, and the Alps beyond.
We motored along this lovely lake for an hour or more before turning off into the country. We lunched at Ballaigues, Hotel de la Poste (the Post Hotel). We stopped first at a larger town, but, finding it full of
soldiers, decided to drive on further. This little Swiss hotel is very plain, but they served us a most excellent luncheon, the best stewed chicken and mashed potatoes I have had in a long time.
After leaving here, we crossed the frontier into France, passing the French customs. The French officers thought we had too many packages, I was very solicitous about my post-cards, which I had very carefully made into two packages and tied up to protect them. The customs officers, thinking I had something else besides post-cards in them, while I had assured them to the contrary, they took the small package to examine. I could see two men and one woman who seemed more curious than the men, open and look carefully through them. Finding I had told the truth, they were nice enough to tie them lip again almost as carefully as I had done, and did not offer to open the other package. I had a small marble statue of Venus de Medici, which I had purchased in Florence for my Cousin Lute, who had expressed a desire for it. I had not permitted any one to handle this but myself. It was neither large nor heavy, and was marked glass on the outside for the benefit of hotel porters. I did not think of the customs officers when marking it, but they made no inquiry about it. They looked in Gusty's bag, then asked Gaston if he had any tobacco. He gave them a small package of cigarettes and cigars which he was taking home to his companions as a souvenir of the trip. He had only paid a dollar for them, saying he could not afford higher priced ones. The duty on them was three dollars a dozen. The head officer advised him to give them up as they were not worth the price of the duty. This was nice in the officer, as he said much as he would like to swell the money in his safe, he would not advise Gaston to pay the duty. I would gladly have paid it myself if it had not been so high on cheap cigars. It seems they are very strict here, as it is the usual thing for Frenchmen to bring in tobacco in some form from Italy, and had Gaston deceived them, everything in our car would have been searched. We all felt glad to be back in France again.
We motored on to Dole, where we spent the night at Hotel de Lyon, a very poor hotel, and I suffered from cold during the night. This is a large place and a manufacturing center, but it has the appearance of a sleepy little village. It is the birthplace of Pasteur, the great physician. We left here Tuesday morning, October 4, having a fine morning ride and stopping at Dijon, Hotel de la Choche (Bell's Hotel) for lunch. This is quite a pretty city and a busy place. It was once the capital of the Duchy of Bergundy. It was an independent province until Louis XI took possession, after the death of Charles, the last Duke of Burgundy, in the fifteenth century. We saw his tomb in the Church of Notre Dame in Bruges. Since this time it has belonged to France. When it was a duchy its