« 上一頁繼續 »
the river. Within these 60 years the present road, to avoid this liability, has been made on the other side, high above all risk from such an accident.
Not far from this spot the road turns abruptly to the left, and the alpine bridge and village of La Tuile, and the glacier of the Ruitor open upon the traveller. The bridge is crossed, and wine and refreshment may be found in the little auberge of La Tuile.
A short way above La Tuile the stream from the glacier of the Ruitor may be crossed, and a path taken to descend into the valley of Aosta, by some beautiful pasturages, and through a forest that overhangs the precipices above St. Didier, whence the view of Mont Blanc is inferior only to that from the Crammont; after crossing the camp of Prince Thomas, the path descends down the steep mountain side on the right bank of the Doire. It is nearly in this course that the Sardinian government contemplates the formation of a good road over the Little St. Bernard, to connect the Pays d'Aosta with the Tarentaise.
From La Tuile the road ascends rapidly to Pont Serrant - the last village towards the Little St. Bernard, — and after crossing a very deep ravine over a wooden bridge, a striking scene, and passing the village, the road becomes more steep, but presents little interest except to the geologist. About two hours above Pont Serrant the col is reached a fine pasturage on a plain about a league long, and half a league wide, bounded on the left by the Belvidere and the Valaisin, and on the right by the Belle-face, at foot of which mountain lies a little lake-ihc Vernai, which is left in its deep basin on the right, in ascending to the Col of the Little St. Bernard.
After passing the ruins of some mural defences thrown up during the war of the Revolution, when France and Sardinia struggled for possession of these summits, the road enters upon the plain, and the traveller sees before him, at the opposite extremity of the plain, the hospice lately rebuilt.
On the plain, however, there are objects of high antiquity. A circle of stones on the highest point of the plain bears still the name of the Cirque d'Annibal. The siones are rude masses, varying in size, none very large; they are about 10 feet apart, and the circle measures nearly 200 yards round. The tradition is, that Hannibal here held a council of war. That he slaid on the summit of the Alps, and waited for his stragglers, is an historical fact ; and, independent of other and abundant evidence, no plain on the summit of any other of the alpine passes is so well adapted for the encampment of his army as this.
Near to the circle there is a column standing, the Colonne de Joux, supposed to be of Celtic origin. It is nearly 20 feet
high, and 3 feet in diameter. It is composed of Cipolino, a Variety of marble which abounds in the Crammont. About a mile and half from the Colonne de Joux is the hospice, situated at the south-western extremity of the plain. Here formerly a peasant, appointed by the government, used to administer hospitality; but since it has been rebuilt, some brethren of the Hospice of the Great St. Bernard have taken this duty upon themselves.
If the traveller determine to visit the Belvidere, and has already visited the Crammont, it will be too much for one day, and he will do well to sleep at the hospice, and either ascend the Belvidere in thcevening,or on the following morning. It is of easy accomplishment: the ascent may be made in an hour. Mont Blanc, which is also seen from every part of the Col of the Little St. Bernard, is from the Belvidere i more magnificent object. The view is of great extent com manding the mountains far south of the Tarentaise, and look
own upon enormous glaciers streaming into the valleys east of the Belvidere; but the scenes are very iuserior lo those discovered from the Crammont.
The Hospice was founded by St. Bernard, but nothing of its history is preserved. The Great St. Bernard has absorbed all the interest, though, if the veil of the obscure history of the Little St. Bernard could be removed, it would perhaps surpass in early importance that of its great riyal, for celtic remains still exist there, and the foundations of a temple constructed of Roman brick are traced on the col, near the column.
From the hospice, the road winds down the mountain side, and in two hours the traveller reaches the village of St. Germain. Thence a zigzag path descends to a stream called the Reclus, which is overhung at the point of passage by an enormous bank of gypsum, bearing the name of the Roche Blanche. In situation it perfectly agrees with Polybius' ac count in the passage of Hannibal, of such a rock, and the events which occurred there. This is one of the chief points of evidence, and, taken with the others, furnish a mass which must force conviction on the minds of unprejudiced inquirers-hat by this pass of the Alps, Hannibal entered Italy, General Melville, in his examination, the basis of De Luc's treatise; Wickham and Cramer from their rescarches; and Brockedon from his repeated visits; all travellers in the Alps, who have examined the other passes also, in reference to this question, have, come to the conclusion that, on this line, only can the narrative of Polybius, the only worthy authority upon the question, be borne out.
Below the Roche Blanche the ancient road by the Reclus is avoided, from its constant exposure to destruction by falls from the Mont de Scez. It now passes by cultivated fields through the hamlet of Villars to the village of Seez (Route 113.) and thence to Bourg St. Maurice.
GENEVA TO CHAMOUNY.* Crowds of voituriers loiter about the streets of Geneva, and especially in the neighbourhood of the principal inns, ready to start at a minute's notice for Chamouny, or any other excursion upon which the traveller may determine. Few travellers take their own carriages from Geneva to Chamouny. A light char with a pair of horses, to take four persons, may be hired for twenty francs, to go to Sallenches or to St. Martin, where another, and lighter vehicle, can be taken to convey two or three persons to Chamouny. In Savoy the charges are regulated by tariff; the expenses are now moderate, and imposition is immediately punished upon complaint to the syndic. A diligence goes every day, in the season, to SalTenches.
If the traveller have a carriage, and intend after visiting Chamouny, to cross, by the Tête Noire or Col de Balme, to Martigny, on the way to the Simplon, he should direct his carriage to be forwarded to Martigny, from Geneva, to await his arrival there. The daily steam-boat from Geneva to Villeneuve, if it do not greatly reduce the expense of such conveyance, will insure its arrival in time at Martigny.
Geneva is left for Chamouny, at the Port de la Rive; and the road, though hilly, is good to Chesne, half a league from the city, and one of the largest villages in the republic. The road offers some fine views of the Voirons, Mont Salève, and the range of the Jura. Soon after leaving Chesne, the road crosses a little stream, the Foron, which has ils source in the Voirons. This stream is the boundary, of the canton of Geneva and the Sardinian frontier; and a little beyond it, at Annemasse, is the station of the Sardinian douane Here the greatest civility is shown if the passport be en régle; and no search or trouble is given about baggage in passing this frontier of the Sardinian states. "On the first rising ground beyond, the Mole, a sugar-loaf mountain, is seen in all its height, 5800 feet,' partly concealing the only hollow in the range of mountains beyond, by which the course to Chamouny lies.
Beyond Annemasse the road runs high above the valley of the Arve, in which the blanched stones mark by their
* See Promenades à Chamouny, in-18.
breadth how furious the river must be in its winter course. Suddenly the road winds round the brow of a hill that overhangs the valley, and turns into an abrupt and steep hollow, to pass the Menoge on a good stone bridge, then, rising steeply on the other side, the road passes over an elevated plain, and soon reaches the village of Nangy, about three leagues from Geneva. A little beyond there are some ruins on the right; and, after passing Contamines, are seen thosc of the Château of Faucigny, that gives its name to the province of Faucigny, of which Bonneville is the chief place. The road now passes so near to the Mole, that this mountain is an imposing and beautiful object. Upon it an obelisk · has lately been built-one of the points in a trigonometrical survey of Savoy. Beyond Contamines the road declines. The mountains which bound the Arve present a bold aspect, and the entrance is striking, through an avenue of trees, to
Bonneville, five leagues from Geneva, which is generally travelled in a char jn four hours. Here the horses are usually rested; and the traveller, who will find the Couronne a better inn than any at Cluses, generally takes a lunch or early dinner.
This is the chief place in the province of Faucigny; it is in the diocese of Annecy, and has a prefecture. Its inhabitants were formerly 3000; at present they do not exceed 1300. *
There is a good stone bridge at Bonneville, which was built in 1753. It crosses the Arye; and near to it is a column not long since erected in honour of Carlo Felice, and in gratitude for his having added to the security of their town by the formation of strong embankments, to restrain the furious Arve.
This column, which is surmounted by a statue of the King, is 95 feet high.
The bridge is crossed in pursuing the route to Cluses. On the left, the Mole is flanked, and the road lies between the base of this mountain and the Mont Brézon, the range that on
* The inhabitants of a place seem to have as great a desire to claim antiquity for it, as for their families. Documents that only record their existence for five centuries, are despised. The people of Bonneville say, that their town was an important place in the time of the Romans; that it was sacked by the Franks, etc. When the Barons of Faucigny built their castle is uncertain : in the 13th century, however, a few houses near it, bore the name of Burgum Castri, which was changed by. Beatrix, sovereign of Faucigny, in 1283, into Bonneville, and granted to its inhabitants certain privileges.
the right bounds the valley of the Arve, which is here rich in cultivation. The road, after some time, undulates, and passes through the villages of Vaugier and Scionzier; beyond The former, the valley widens where the Arve is joined by the Gilfre; a torrent that descends from the Buet, flows through the valley of Samoëns, and by the town of Tanpinges, then, joining the kisse, below St. Jeoire, enters the valley of the Arve at Pont Marigny.
The road continues close under the Brezon until its precipices frown over the route near Cluses. Here, crossing the Arve on a stone bridge, it enters the town of Cluses, turns abruptly to the right, and passes between vast mountains, through a defile, in which Cluses is built, and the passage of which it entirely commands.
Cluses, an old town, eight leagues from Geneva. Inns: - Parfaite Union, Ecu de France. Many privileges were granted to Cluses. One of the earliest recorded, is by Hugues, dauphin of Vienne, Baron of Faucigny. who, in 1310, bestowed many municipal advantages; but in consideration of them, the inhabitants owed him military service: this, exercised in feudal times, and the almost impregnable character of their town, made them pugnácious and mischievous to their neighbours. They often attempted to burn Bonneville; and in 1340, sacked it. When, however, Faucigny passed into the hands of the counts of Savoy, it gained its object against Bonneville, in becoming the seat of the assembled states of Faucigny, and of the administration of provincial justice. Its history is however chiefly made up or ihe plagues and fires it has suffered. Those in 1310 and 1490 entirely destroyed it. ,
The population is about 1800. A large proportion of these are employed in watchmaking, for which this town has been celebrated above a century. They prepare movements. watches in a rough state, for the watchmakers in Geneva, and in Germany. Thirty years ago, above fourteen hundred persons were thus employed in Cluses, Maglan, Scionzier. and other villages in the neighbourhood; of these above a thousand persons were employed at Cluses,
For so retired a spot, its relation with commercial men is extraordinary. Their early habits of business, and fitness for conducting it, has led to the establishment of many natives of Cluses, in Alsace, at' Augsburg, Strasbourg, and Lyons, as bankers and manufacturers. The town is miserable enough in appearance, and excites not the least suspicion that rich men were ever born there.
On leaving Cluses, the road is carried through the defile on the borders of the river, and beneath precipices, that mark the first grand entrance into an alpine ravine. The valley is very