My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 26 – 27

January 12th, 2016 by Alexia Hagler
Drawing of the train at Martigny by John Radford Abbot

Drawing of the train at Martigny, by John Radford Abbot

Thursday, August 26

Zermatt, Visp, Chamonix(?)

Left Zermatt at 11 o’clock. It rained off and on all day. However, we had a very nice ride to Visp with occasional view of the Breithorn. We got our wonderful complé at Visp. it was a corker. Left Visp at 2:13 and arrived at Martigny(?) where we changed into the electric road for Chamonix(?). It was a wonderful ride, although the views were shoded(?) by the rain. We rose 2,000 ft. in 2 miles. We changed time at Chatelard 1 hour. No customs. Got to Chamonix(?) at 7:48 and went to the Central Hotel. Walked round the town in the evening. Punk(?) weather.

Mer de Glace, the longest glacier in France

Mer de Glace, the longest glacier in France

Friday, August 27

Chamonix (Merde Glace)

Very poor weather. Clouds low although we did get a view of Mont Blanc from our window through a rift in the clouds. It is a beautiful mt. We set out for the Mer de Glace about 9:30. It took us not quite 2 hours to get to Montenvert(?). When we got there everything was in the clouds.We climbed higher up the mt. but could not get above the clouds. When we descended again we found that the clouds had lifted from the glacier and we got a good view of that. We walked across the glacier in about half an hour. It is literally a sea of ice, with great crevasses. It was bully short crossing it. On the other side we descended a steep rocky path, the last part called the Mauvais(?) Pas, where the path descends along the face of a cliff and iron rails are used, to the Chapeau, a little but with a good view of the Mer de Glace from there it took us an hour and 10 minutes to descend to Chamonix. It began to rain before we got there and we got pretty wet. We got lunch at the hotel at 3 o’clock and spent the afternoon doing the town, buying post cards etc. After dinner we went to a moving picture show of the ascent if Mt. Blanc, etc. It was corking.

Drawing of Aiguille du Dru in the Chamonix Valley, by John Radford Abbot

Drawing of Aiguille du Dru, part of the Mont Blanc massif, by John Radford Abbot

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