Posts Tagged ‘train’

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

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
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


My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 7 – 8

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
View of Murren, Switzerland

View of Mürren

Saturday, August 7th

Lucerne, Interlaken(?), Mürren(?)

After eating breakfast and paying our bill at the Eden we took the 9:18 train for Interlaken(?). We had to go 1st class and had a great time. It was a very pretty ride. Part of the time we were on a cog R.R. right over the Brunig(?) pass. We then descended to Brienz(?) and took the steamer there across the lake to Interlaken(?). We ate the lunch we had brought from Lucerne on the boat. At Interlaken(?) we changed into Lauterbrunnen(?) train and went up to that town on the cog R.R. All the way up we got a beautiful view of the Jungfrau(?) at the head of the valley. At Lauterbrunnen(?) we visited the great falls where the water leaps over a crag 380 ft. high. From Interlaken(?) we went up the steepest R.R. in the world and the longest cable road. The maximum grade is 64½ ft. in 100 and the average is 55. From the top of the funicular(?) we took an electric tram to the little village of Mürren(?), situated on the side of a steep mt. 5,000 ft. high. We put up at the Grand Hotel and Kurhaus(?), getting there by a little horse tram that cost 30cts. apiece. We had wonderful rooms with a splendid view of the three great mts. the Jungfrau(?), the Eiger(?) and the Monch. A castle further on the right was the beautiful Breithorn(?). Mürren has one of the finest views in Switzerland and we enjoyed the place immensely. After dinner we bought postals, looked through the telescope, and watched the dance.

Staubbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen - over 300 m (1000 ft) tall

Staubbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen – over 300 m (1000 ft) tall

Sunday, August 8th

Murren, Grindelwald, Oberhifen(?)

Aunt Amy got us up early to look at the sunrise on the mts. It was certainly ^beautiful. Those 3 mts. are corkers. After breakfast we got packed up and left Mürren at 10:05 on the tram. We descended to Lauterbrunnen(?) on the funicular(?), and then took another cog road, this time steam up to Scheidegg(?), where the Jungfrau bahn starts. The views of the mts. from the R.R. were superb, and at Scheidegg(?), 7,000 ft. we were very near the great 3 mts. We had lunch at the R.R. restaurant  at Scheidegg(?). It was very poor. We left Scheidegg(?) at 1:05 and descended to Grindelwald, having all the time a splendid view of the Eiger and Wetterhorn. At Grindelwald we hired two carriages and rode out to see the upper glacier on the Wetterhorn. It was great. We went into the ice grotto there, 100 yds, into the solid ice. The color there was ghastly. Leaving Grindelwald at 4:35 we got back to Interlaken at 5:48. We had to change there and go across the town to the boat landing. Thayer and Dale stayed to get the Black Maria which we had left at Interlaken and the rest of us took the 6:12 boat, arriving at Oberhofen at 7:12. We ate supper just as we were. It is a very swell place. Thayer and Dale arrived with the luggage on the next boat. Uncle S., Aunt Amy, and Caroline have rooms at the hotel with a fine view of the big 3, Abe and Dale at the villa below, and Thayer and I in the village. Ours are great.


My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 6

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

East side of Mt. Pilatus

Friday, August 6th

Lucerne, [Mt. Pilatus]

This morning Thayer, Abe, Dale and I got up early and had breakfast at 7 ready to start on the 7:43 train to Mt. Pilatus. It was so cloudy however, that we decided it would be no use to start so we settled down to write letters. It was very cloudy and looked like rain. At about 8:45 we got a message saying that the top of the mountain was above the clouds and there was a wonderful view of the Burnese(?) Alps. We decided to go at once and hustled for the 9:18 train. The others were to follow at (:52. We bought 3rd class tickets but found out that the 9:18 train was only a 1st class train so we had to pay extra. After ½ hrs. ride we got to Aplnachstad(?) where both the railroad and the footpath goes up the mountain. We met an Englishman there who said it took him 5hrs. to climb the mountain and told us to buy alpine staffs(?). We started up the mountain at 9:50. About half way up we ran into a bank of clouds. When we were about ¾ the way up we came out of the clouds and got a superb view of snow capped peaks. We all thought that even if we didn’t see any more, that one view would more than repay us for the climb. After an hour more hard climb up steep rocks we arrived at the top, 2 hours before the others expected us. They had gone up on the funicular R.R. We arrived on the top at 12:48, just 3 hours from Alpnachstad(?). It was a great climb and fairly steep in parts. We all took turns carrying the lunch. We ate lunch on top and got a wonderful view of mountain peaks sticking up out of a great ocean of clouds. It was truly wonderful. Later the clouds broke up and we got a view of the valleys and villages and lakes. We walked up on to the higher peak, over 7,000 ft. Dale left a little memorial here. The ladies Uncle Sam and Dale went down on the 4:10 train and the rest of us ran. We beat the train, coming down in 1¼ hrs. Got back to Lucerne and had a fine bath in the lake. The water was cold but great. After supper, we met Mr. Stackpole and Mr. Walton and then walked out on the streets

The tallest summit of Mt. Pilatus is called Tomlishorn, and measures at 2,128 m (6,982 ft) tall. There are a number of other summits, the most well-known of which is Esel, as the Pilatus railway ends just below there. In the month of August, when John R. Abbot climbed, the daily mean temperature is about 7.8°C (46°F).


View from Mt. Pilatus in August


My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 5

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Lake Lucerne, c.1909

Lake Lucerne, c.1909


General view of Goschenen from the St. Gotthard Railway, c.1890-1900

Thursday, August 5th

Lucerne, [Axenstrassa]

After a corking breakfast at the Eden House which consisted mostly of honey, we all went down to the station pier and went on board the boat for Brunnen(?). On the boat we met the Morton’s and their party. The boat left at 10 and after 1½ hrs. ride up the beautiful Lake of the Lucerne we arrived at Brunnen. There we took the train on the St. Gotthard R.R. and rode to Göschenen(?), a little mountain village over 3,000 ft. high at the mouth of the St. Gotthard(?) tunnel, 9 miles long. From Brunnen to Göschenen(?) the ride was perfectly wonderful. It is considered the most magnificent and most wonderful railroad in the world. It is like the Black Forest R.R. only on a much larger scale and with more beautiful scenery. There were snow capped mountains on both sides of us. At one place we could look down and see two different levels of track that we had been over below us. At Göschenen(?) we had a lovely view of snow capped mountains. We stayed at Göschenen(?) ½ hr. and then took the train back to Fluellen(?). From there we walked along the beautiful Axenstrassa (the men did and Caroline, while the rest rode) to Lisicon(?), where we took the train back to Lucerne, arriving at 6:30. In the evening we took a walk about the Town, and bought postals

Axenstrasse (Axenstrassa in transcription), c. 1904

Axenstrasse (Axenstrassa in transcription), c. 1904


My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 3 – 4

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Heidelberg Castle

Tuesday, August 3

Mainz(?), Heidelberg(?)

We got up about 7:15 this morning so as to catch the 9 o’clock train for Heidelberg. Our breakfast was served to us so slowly that we didn’t have time to finish. We got to Darmstadt(?) at 9:57 and changed there to the express for Heidelberg. We had to pay extra for going on the express and then we didnt get a seat. After a very pretty ride we arrived in Heidelberg at 11:08 and went immediately to the Grand Hotel. We got the prize apartments with the only bathroom in the hotel. Walked down the Hauptstrassa(?) and had a light lunch. After lunch we took the funicular(?) railway up to the Heidelberg Castle. The railway is 60% grade most of the way. We went all over the castle, alow and aloft. The castle is on a side hill with a splendid view of Heidelberg and the R. Necker(?). It is the largest and, I believe, the finest ruined castle in the world. We saw the two great wine turns(?) in the cellar, one holding 10,000 gallons and the other 49,000. We then went up to the Königsberg(?) where we got a most wonderful view of the Necker(?) and Rhine valleys. Uncle S. and I went up on the funicular(?) R.R. while the rest walked, and we all walked down. A very steep descent. Listened to the band at the castle a few minutes. Had dinner at the hotel and all took a bath in the evening.

Black Forest Train

View of the Black Forest from Cologne-Mainz train

Wednesday, August 4th

Heidelberg, Lucerne

We got up early had breakfast and took the 7:58 train for Lucerne. We had almost a whole car to ourselves all the way. At Offenburg we branched off and went through the Black Forest. It was the most beautiful train ride I ever had. Besides being very beautiful the railroad is a marvel of engineering. It is a very steady up hill grade to the top, through tunnels, over viaducts. There are two great loops where you can look down from above and see the tracks you have just passed over. It was a wonderful ride. After passing the summit we went down through the Danube valley, following that river for many miles We had a good basket lunch with wine at Villigen(?) at 12. We reached Singen(?) about 1 and changed there to the Lucerne train. Passed through Lhaffanser(?) and a few minutes later we saw the massive and beautiful falls of the Rhine. We got to Zurich about 2:45 and left 20 min. later. After a fine ride with the mountains in the distance and Zurich Lake and the Lake of Zug(?) in the foreground, we arrived at Lucerne at 4:30. Aunt Amy, Caroline, and Mr. Morton after the greetings we took a cab to the Pension(?) Eden. We got three good rooms in the villa and take our meals in the pension. Before dinner we walked down and saw the famous “Lion of Lucerne.” It is surely a wonderful monument After dinner we started out about 8:30 to make a call on the Mortons who had rooms in the pension a little further up the hill. It took us an hour to get there, but when we did we had a nice call on Mr. and Mrs. Morton and they decided to accompany us on the morrow either to the Axenstrassa(?) or up Pilatus.


Lake Zug


My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: July 29

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

View from train (Amsterdam to Groningen)

Thursday, July 29

Hook of Holland, The Hague(?), Amsterdam

Rainy in the A.M. followed by clearing in the P.M. Got to the Hook of Holland about 5A.M. after a very comfortable night on the boat. Had breakfast aboard and left on the 7.30 train for the Hague(?), arriving at 9. Looked around a while and then took a tram for the Royal Palace in the wood. Went through the palace, the royal family being away. Very beautiful rooms, especially the Chinese and Japanese rooms, with fine paintings. Came back by tram and visited the Hague picture gallery. Saw some wonderful pictures by the old Dutch masters, Van Dyke, Reubens, and Rembrandt. All famous original. Next went into a post card shop and almost bought up the shop. About everyone spoke English. I forot to say That we visited the Dutch Houses of Parliament, both the houses of Commons and Lords. In the latter we had a very accomplished lady guide who spoke several languages. Wonderful picture of William of Orange that follows you around. Had a good luncheon at a little tea-room, but it took about an hour to serve it. After luncheon we went by tram to Scheveningen(?), a swell seashore resort. Walked along the beach and watched the people. A few in bathing. Later walked out on the pier and listened to the band. Went back to the Hague by tram and took the train at 5.44 for Amsterdam. 1st class part of the way. Very pretty ride through very flat country all cut up by canals. Saw a great many wind mills also. Passed through the cities of Leyden(?) and Harlem in the train. Thayer knew a good hotel, the Van Gelden(?), but on going there we found that it was full. We put up at the Novum(?), a very good hotel a little further down the street. Had supper at a dandy little Dutch café. Corking supper, beefsteaks, potatoes and ice cream. The waitress could only speak a little English but we got along finely. We were, however, the centre of attraction at the café, every eye being on us. After supper we walked about the streets a few minutes, bought some soap, and then went back to the hotel. wrote letters and diarys.


View of Haarlem (Harlem in transcription) from train