« 上一頁繼續 »
$ 12. Requisites for Travelling.- 13. Objects worth notice. xxv
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 recommended 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 leaping-pole, 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 snowcovered 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 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 frorn 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 are-ropes 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 Chamouni or Grindelwald, and are required only when a journey over them of many hours', or of one or two days' duration, is meditated.
§ 13. OBJECTS MOST DESERVING OF NOTICE IN SWITZERLAND-THE
COUNTRY AND PEOPLE.
In order to travel with advantage in a country previously
xxvi § 13. Objects worth notice in Switzerland. known, something more seems necessary than a mere detail of certain lines of road, and an enumeration of towns, villages, mountains, &c. 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 task is difficult : let this serve as an excuse for its imperfect execution.
Switzerland owes the sublimity and diversified beauty of its scenery, which
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 back-bone, as it were, of the Continent. These run through 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 sîlvery, winding rivers-sufticient 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 once to the eye, extends for more than 120 miles, from the Mont Blanc to the Titlis, and comprises between 200 and 300 distinct summits, capped with snow, or bristling with bare rocks, having their interstices filled with towering glaciers :
“ Who first beholds those everlasting clouds
Those mighty hills, so shadowy, so sublime,
Whence he may date henceforward and for ever."— Rogers.
$ 13. Objects most deserving of notice in Switzerland. xxvii
“ Above me are the Alps,
Gather around these sumınits, as to show
How earth may soar to heaven, yet leave vain man below.” The points from which such an Alpine panorama may be enjoyed to the greatest advantage are
The Dôle, above St. Cergues, on the road from Dijon to Geneva ;
The Upper and Lower Hauenstein, on the road from Basle to Soleure and Lucerne;
The Albis, between Zurich and Zug;
Of these the Rigħi is probably the finest, as it is certainly one of the most accessible; some give the preference to the Faulhorn, from its proximity to the great chain. The passion for climbing mountains so ardent in a young traveller, soon cools; and they who have surmounted the Righi, the Faulhorn, and the Dôle, may fairly consider any further ascents a waste of time and labour. For å near view of alpine scenery, amidst the recesses of the mountains, the spots which afford a concentration of the most grand and sublime objects are the valleys of the Bernese Oberland, and those around the base of Mont Blanc, including, of course, Chamouni. It is in these two districts that the combination of fine forms, and great elevation in the mountains; of vast extent of glaciers and snow fields, with the accompaniments of the roar of the avalanche and the rush of the falling torrent-are most remarkable. Here, in particular, the glaciers, the most characteristic feature of this country, are seen to greatest advantage--not only those fantastically fractured masses of iceberg which descend into the low grounds, but those vast fields of ice, called Mers de Glace. To Chamouni, and the neighbourhood of Mont Blanc, of the two, must be given the preference, in point of sublimity; and the traveller will, for this reason, do well in reserving, for the termination of his tour, and the crowning act of his journey-Mont Blanc, with its attendant aiguilles and circumambient leagues of ice.
The glaciers of the Aar, near the Grimsel (which may be comprised in the Bernese Oberland); that of the Rhone, near the Furca ;
those of the Rhine, above Splügen; and of the Bernina, in the Engadine - are likewise deserving of mention from their extent. That of Rosenlaui is celebrated for its extreme purity, and the dark blue colour of its chasms.
xxviii 13. Objects most deserving of notice in Switzerland.
Lakes. — Madame de Staël has somewhere remarked, on the proximity of lakes to mountains, that nature seems to have placed them in the midst of her grandest scenes, at the foot of the Alps, in order to serve as mirrors, and multiply their enchanting forms. The lakes of Switzerland are very numerous, and they certainly add a principal charm to its scenery. It is difficult to classify them according to their respective merits, as almost every one has some peculiarity which characterises it and renders it worthy of attention. The most remarkable are, the Lake of Lucerne, which exhibits, in perfection, savage grandeur and sublimity; Wallenstadt, Thun, and Brienz, all thoroughly Swiss; the Lake of Geneva, or Lac Leman, distinguished for its great extent, and for the diversified character it presents, heing, at one end, rugged and sublime, at the other, soft and smiling -it occupies an intermediate rank between the Swiss and Italian lakes. These last, that is to say, Maggiore, Lugano, and Como, may be included in the tour of Switzerland, either from portions of them being actually situated within its territory, or from their vicinity to it. Their character is rather smiling than frowning ; they are blessed with a southern climate, in addition to their own attractions; their thickets are groves of orange, olive, myrtle, and pomegranate; and their habitations are villas and palaces. Along with the lakes named above must be mentioned the little Lake of Orta, which, though situated in Piedmont, lies so close to the Simplon, and possesses such high claims to notice from its surpassing beauty, that no traveller, approaching that corner of Switzerland to which it is a neighbour, should omit to visit it.
The attempt to fix an order of precedence for the Swiss Waterfalls is not likely to meet with general approval, because so much depends on the seasons and the weather, as well as on the taste and temper of the spectator. A fine waterfall is, indeed, a magnificent spectacle; but it will be appreciated, not merely by its own merits, but, to use a mercantile phrase, according to the ahundance of the supply. Now, in Switzerland, waterfalls are as numerous as blackberries. The traveller, after a week or fortnight's journey, is pestered by them, and will hardly turn his head aside to look at a fall which, if it were in Great Britain, would make the fortune of an English watering-place, and attract visitors half-way across our island to behold it. The, fact seems to be that there is a certain monotony and similarity in all falls of water; and, after the curiosity has once been satiated by the sight of three or four, it is tiresome to go out of one's way to visit another, unless it be much finer, and have a distinctive character from any seen before. Thus, then, there is utility even in an attempt to classify these natural objects.
1. The Fall of the Rhine, at Schaffhausen, deserves the first rank, from the volume of water ; but it is rather a cataract than a cascade-it wants height.
2. Fall of the Aar, at Handek, combines a graceful shoot with great elevation; an abounding river and a grand situation. It may be said to attain almost to perfection-(Terni being a perfect waterfall).
§ 13. Objects most deserving of notice in Switzerland. xxix 3. Fall of the Tosa, in the Val Formazza: remarkable less for its form than for the vast volume of water, but in this respect very fine,
4. The Staubbach, or Dust Fall: a thread or scarf of water, so thin that it is dispersed into spray before it reaches the ground; beautiful, however, from its height and graceful wavings.
5. The Giesbach. 6. The Fall of the Sallenchc, near Martigny, sometimes called Pissevache.
7. Reichenbach Fall. 8. The Fall of Pianazzo, or of the Medessiino, on the Splügen. 9. Turtmagne Fall, near the Simplon road.
Other falls, too numerous to mention, are not placed (to use the language of the race-course); though, in any other country but Switzerland or Norway, they would deserve especial notice.
The design of this enumeration is to spare the traveller a long walk, or a day's journey, to see a fall, probably inferior to others which he has already seen.
The principal and most interesting of the Swiss Alpine Passes (see § 15) are the Simplon, the St. Gothard, the Splügen, and the Bernardin, regarding at once their scenery, and the magnificent and skilfully constructed carriage-roads which have been made over them. Of passes not traversed by carriage-roads, the most striking, in point of scenery, are those of the Monte Moro and Cervin, between the Vallais and Piedmont; the Tête Noire and Col de Balme, leading to Chamouni; the Grimsel, Furca, and the Gries, branching off at the head of the valley of the Rhone; the Gemmi, one of the most singular of all the passes; and the Great St. Bernard, chiefly visited on account of its celebrated Hospice.
Alpine Gorges.-Especially deserving of notice are some of the avenues leading up to these passes; in many instances mere cracks, or fissures, cleaving the mountains to the depth of several thousand feet.
None of these defiles at all approach the Ravine of the Via klala, one of the most sublime and terrific scenes anywhere among the Alps-unless, perhaps, it be equalled by another magnificent but little-visited gorge on the way to the Monte Moro. The gorge of the Schöllenen, on the St. Gothard ; that of Gondo, on the Simplon; and that extraordinary glen, in whose depths the Baths of Pfeffers are sunk-one of the most wonderful scenes in Switzerlarid -also deserve mention.
The most beautiful Suiss Valleys are those of Hasli, near Meyringen ; the Simmenthal ; the Vale of Sarnen; the Kanderthal ; and the Emmenthal-all distinguished for their quiet pastoral character, and the softness and luxuriance of their verdure. And here it may be remarked that the traveller in Switzerland must not suppose that beauty of scenery is confined to the High Alps: the Jura, and the intermediate undulating country, which, though still greatly elevated above the sea, may be called the Lowlands,