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September 3rd 1912 - Letter from May Sladden to her father, Julius Sladden

3rd September 1912
Correspondence From
May Sladden, Hotel Bellevue, Interlaken
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Hotel Bellevue – Interlaken

Tuesday evening Sept 3rd

My dear Father,

We actually have some time this evening to sit & write letters, so I must let you have a fuller account of our doings than I can give on p.c.s.  

We are having a splendid time & enjoying it all very much.  Before we left the chalets we were told that our itinerary was slightly altered for this week, viz. we were to come to Interlaken first & Grindelwald afterwards instead of vice versa which was what we expected, however it didn’t matter to us.  We were quite sorry to say goodbye to Lucerne, our trips from there were very fine ones, especially the Andermatt one on Thursday which was a beautifully fine day, the best we have had so far, though the weather has on the whole been kind to us, & rain has come when it didn’t much matter.

We went right up to the head of the lake by steamer, thence by train up a valley with the grandest scenery, the train has to wind about in a most wonderful manner to get up, the line turns back on itself twice & describes a semi-circle twice in tunnels.  At Göschenen we got out & walked up a winding gorge to Andermatt, a most interesting place from both a historical & geographical point of view.  There was fighting here in Napoleon’s time, & in the gorge we crossed an old bridge bult by him.  Geographically it is interesting because roads lead to it over various mt. passes from all the surrounding countries France, Italy, Austria & Germany, consequently it is very strongly fortified.

Mr Mitchell, the head of the Polytechnic concern at the chalets, went with us & gave a very interesting lecture while we & all the other “Polys” sat on the mountain side.

We often go off to lunch on our own account, as we do not always want to join the rest of the party for that, but for some of the trips where a guide is useful to get information from it is quite an advantage to belong to the party.

Coming back along the lake in the evening was delightful, the sunset was very fine & the lake looked its loveliest.

On Friday we felt very “Poly ish” going round with the party to see the sights in Lucerne, but here again the guide was very interesting & told us a lot.  We went to an organ recital at the Cathedral from 12 to 1 just when we were glad to rest from wandering round, then after lunch & seeing the glacier garden we had some time to wander round & look at the shops.  Our old friend, the clergyman, tacked himself on to us & sat & smiled at some of our bargaining.  It came on to pour with rain so having no umbrellas as the morning had been fine we had to run to the boat which went from a quay near the shops, & so got back very little wet.

On Saturday morning we set off with our baggage to Meiringen, going over the Brünig pass where we had half an hour to get out of the train & just look round.  At Meiringen we found ourselves lodged at the Hotel Sauvage, the best in the place, so much so that we began to think it was not all joy travelling only with a gladstone bag!  Our room was very nice & we were altogether very much pleased with Meiringen, it is so prettily set.

The gorge of the Aar, a wonderful place, took up Sat. afternoon & on Sunday we had a lovely drive of about 3 hours up to Rosenlaui Hotel at the head of one of the valleys high up in the mts., there we lunched, then did a climb of nearly two hours up to the foot of the Rosenlaui Glacier, we were very pleased at getting so far, six of the party got there, but more started.  We sat on one of the lowest boulders of ice & one of the party who had a camera took a snap-shot of us.  On the drive back it came on wet, & we came down the long steep descent with our hearts rather near our mouths, for our driver seemed very casual, not to say careless, & even after he had let our horses collide once with the vehicle in front so that their splash-board was broken, he didn’t seem to realise at all that he ought to keep at a safer distance. However we got safely down & had thoroughly enjoyed the day.

On Monday we started by train to Brienz, then took steamer on the lake to Giessbach where we lunched & had some time to wander about near the beautiful falls, thence on to Interlaken & here rain came on as soon as we arrived, so that we had to wander about & explore under umbrellas & in the evening we went to the Kursaal.  It poured I think all night, but cleared this morning so that we were able to walk to the Henwelfluk this morning, a good place to get a view, but we could only just see glimpses of the Yung Frau, it was nearly hidden in clouds.  This afternoon we drove to St Beatus Caves passing the Bean Site Hotel, & Manor Farm on the way, both of which we looked at with interest.  Tell Mother this hotel is just on the bank of the Aar, it is not in quite the best part of the town but is very comfortable.

Tomorrow morning we leave at 9.10 for Grindelwald & go via the mt.  railway over the Kleine Scheidegg where we stop for two hours & lunch.  There was a lot of snow last night on the higher slopes of the mts. & we hear that there will be about 6 inches up there so we shall go well wrapped up.

We stay at the Hotel Adler – Grindelwald, & on Friday night we travel to Paris where we shall be at the Hotel du Palais, Cours la Reine.  I expect to hear from Jack at Grindelwald whether he will be able to join us or not.  I do hope he may be able to.

Kathleen’s letter written on Aug. 29th only reached me this evening, it was sent on from the Chalets, having missed me there.

I was glad to find a letter from Mother too inside, please give her my love & many thanks for it.  I am glad her business with the dentist won’t be such a very long job at present.

I suppose Kathleen goes tomorrow, you will all miss her when she goes.  I am afraid the weather with you does not get much better, there has been a great deal of rain here too & one effect is that we see the waterfalls at their very best.  I don’t think I ever saw a more beautiful fall than the Reichenbach, near Meiringen, which we saw on our drive on Sunday, & the one near St Beatus Cave that we saw today was very fine too.

We are delighted with the Interlaken shops & have spent some time shop-gazing.  I don’t think you need wait until you can afford the Ruffel Alo before you come to Switzerland, there are lots of other places that would please you very much I am, & at a moderate cost.

I am not sending many p.c.s because I want to keep most of those I buy.  We have not come across Marjory Slater, she is now at Beatenberg.

Well I must stop, we shall have to go & pack up soon, & then to bed.

Much love to you all from
your loving daughter 

May E Sladden


Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference