Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

time the heights of the mountains, the depths of the lakes, the waterfalls, points of view, and other remarkable objects. It almost enables the traveller to dispense with a guide. Of course, it cannot be faultless, but its errors are remarkablyfew.

Travellers should provide themselves with the Swiss edition of this map, published by Keller himself, at Zurich, 1833. Both the English and French copies of it are very inferior both in clear

, . The little map published by the Useful Knowledge Society (London, 1838), under the able superintendence of Captain Beaufort, is remarkably correct and distinct for its size.

"The shoes ought to be double-soled, provided with iron heels and hob-hails, such as are worn in shooting in England : the weight of a shoe of this kind is counterbalanced by the effectual protection afforded to the feet against sharp rocks and loose stones, which cause contusions, and are a great source of fatigue and pain. They should be so large as not to pinch any part of the foot. The experienced pedestrian never commences a journey with new shoes, but with a pair that have already conformed to the shape of the feet. Cotton stockings cut the feet to pieces on a long walk; in their place, thick-knit worsted socks ought invariably to be worn. Gaiters are useful in wet weather to keep the socks clean; at other times to prevent small stones from falling into the shoes ; but they are liable to heat the ankles. It is advisable to travel in cloth trousers, not in linen, which afford no protection against rain or changes of temperature in mountain regions. A frockcoat is better than a shooting-jacket, which, though well enough in remote places, is strange, and will

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

attract notice in the streets of a foreign town. A straw hat is the most pleasant covering for the head, from its lightness and the protection afforded to the face by a broad brini."

"A very serviceable article in a traveller's wardrobe is å blouse (Kittel, or Staub - hemde, in German), somewhat resembling a ploughman's smock-frock in England, but by no means confined to the lower orders abroad, as it is a common travelling costume of nobles, gentles, and peasants. It may be worn either over the usual dress, to keep it clean and free from dust, or it may be substituted for the coai in hot weather. This kind of garment may be purchased ready-made in any German town. A knapsack (Germ. Tornister) may be purchased at a much cheaper rate abroad (10 fr.), and on a much better plan than those made in England, where they are scarcely to be got under 20$. or 30s. Portmanteaus are better. in England than anywhere else. A Mackintosh cloak is almost indispensable, and it is difficult to procure one abroad.

"A flask, to hold brandy and kirschenwasser, is necessary on mountain excursions; and very convenient cups of patent leather, capable of being folded, and so carried in the pocket, may be got at Paris and Geneva. It should be remembered, however, that spirits ought to be resorted to less as a restorative than as a protection against cold and wet, and to mix with water, which ought not to be drunk cold or unmixed after walking. The best restorative is tea; and, as there are some parts of the Continent in which this luxury cannot be procured, it is advisable to take a small quantity from England. Good tea, however, may be bought in all the large towns of Switzerland.”

"Carey, optician, 181, Strand, makes excellent

pocket telescopes, about four inches long, combining, with a small size, considerable

power

and an extensive range. A compass for ihe pocket is useful on Alpine journeys."—(From Hand-book N. Germany.)

Paper, pen and ink, and soap, should by all means be deposited in the knapsack, being articles difficult to meet with at every place. Berry's patent inkstands and fire-boxes are much to be re. commended for their portability.

The pedestrian, in packing his knapsack, if he intend to carry it on his own back, should not allow its weight to exceed 20 lbs., even if he be strong. The most part of travellers, however zealous at first in bearing their own pack, grow tired of it after a day or two, transferring it to a guide, who, if young and stout, will carry with the greatest ease a weight of 35 or 40 lbs.

The alpenstock is an almost indispensable companion upon mountain journeys, and may be procured everywhere in Switzerland for 2 fr. It is a stout pole, about 6 ft. long, with an iron spike at one end for use, and a chamois' horn for show at the other. The pedestrian who has once tried it will fully appreciate its uses as a staff and leapingpole, but chiefly as a support in descending the mountains; it then becomes, as it were, a third leg. It enables one to transfer a part of the weight of the body from the legs to the arms, which is a great relief in descending long and steep hills. By the aid of it, the chamois - hunters glide down snow-covered slopes, almost perpendicular, checking the velocity of their course, when it becomes too great, by leaning back, and driving the point deeper into the snow. In crossing glaciers, it is indispensable, to feel the strength of the ice, and

[ocr errors]

ascertain whether it be free from crevices and able to bear the weight.

When about to traverse the glaciers for any distance, the traveller should provide himself with a green gauze veil, and with coloured spectacles to protect his eyes from the glare of the snow, which is very painful, and often produces temporary blindness. Lip-salve, or some kind of grease, to anoint the skin of the face, and prevent it from blistering and peeling off should also be taken. Further requisites for such an expedition areropes to attach the travellers and their guides together, so that, in case one fall or slip into a crevice, his descent may be arrested by the others; iron crampons for the feet—the surface of the glacier, though soft in the middle of the day, becomes hard and very slippery as soon as the sun begins to decline ; a ladder, to cross those crevices which are too broad to leap over; and a hatchet, to cut steps, or resting-places for the feet, in the ice.

These preparations are quite unnecessary for a mere visit to the glaciers of Chamouny or Grindelwald, and are required only when a journey over them of many hours’, or of one or two days' duration, is meditated. S 13. OBJECTS MOST DESERVING OF NOTICE IN SWIT

ZERLAND THE COUNTRY AND PEOPLE.

In order to travel with advantage in a country previously unknown, something more seems necessary than a mere detail of certain lines of road, and an enumeration of towns, villages, mountains, etc. The following section has been prepared with a view to furnish such preliminary information as may enable the tourist to turn his time to the best account; to decide where to dwell, and where to pass quickly. The t:sk is difficult : let this serve as an excuse for its imperfect execution.

Switzerland owes the sublimity and diversified beauty of its scenery, which it possesses in a greater degree, perhaps, than any other country of the globe, to the presence of the Alps—the loftiest mountains of Europe, the dorsal ridge or backbone, as it were, of the Continent. These run ihrough the land, and occupy, with their main trunk, or minor spurs and offsets, nearly its whole surface. They attain the greatest height along the S. and E. frontier line of Switzerland; but, as they extend N., subsiding and gradually opening out to allow a passage to the Rhine and its tributaries, they are met by the minor chain of the Jura, which forms the N. W. boundary of Switzerland. It is from the apex of this advanced guard, as it were, of the Alps, or from one of the intermediate outlying hills. That the traveller, on entering the country, obtains the first view of the great central chain. From the brow of the hill, at the further extremity of a landscape, composed of undulating country-woods, hills, villages, lakes, and silvery, winding rivers-sufficient of itself to rivet the attention, he will discover what, if he has not before enjoyed the glorious spectacle of a snowy mountain, he will probably take for a border of fleecy cloud floating along the horizon. The eye, unaccustomed to objects of such magnitude, fails at first to convey to the mind the notion that these clearly defined white masses are mountains, 60 or 70 miles off. Distance and the intervening atmosphere have no effect in diminishing the intense white of the snow; it glitters as pure and unsullied as if it had just fallen close at hand.

There are many points of view whence the semicircular array of Alpine peaks, presented at

« AnteriorContinuar »