Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 1920

We smile as we remind each other that we must be on our good behavior, for we are all registered with the police!

This was a perfect spring day. We walked and walked and drank in the beautiful scenery. As it neared time for church, wended my way to a little German Protestant church. We were early and sat on the porch, lost in thought. Big sleek cows were grazing about the church yard, each wearing a huge bell. - Everything was so peaceful and quiet - only the tinkling of the bells broke the silence.

The people were gathering and our party went in and filled several seats, although all did not go to this one church. The sermon seemed to be for the young people at least they were given front seats, and the minister seemed to be directing his discourse to them. Not one word of the bible reading could we understand, Songs, prayers or sermon, but the spirit of worship was there and we could feel that it was beautiful. We remarked upon the close attention and reverence of the young people - in fact we have noticed this in all foreign churches, and compared it with the restlessness in our own. We remembered the story of a little Catholic boy who went to one of the protestant churches for a service and was very anxious to go again. When asked why, answered, “because they let me wiggle.”

In the afternoon we went to the Kursaal and attended a Swiss Singing festival - their Sangerfest. This was indeed an unexpected pleasure. 5000 people were present and they gave the Bells by Schiller, as only Swiss Singers can interpret it. There were thirty singing societies represented and they were here for two days to test one’s ability, and contest for prizes - In all 1200 voices, 800 male and 400 female. The soloist came from Berne. Not a musical instrument was heard - every eye was fixed upon the leader who gave them the pitch. There were clear, bird like sopranos, deep, heavy basses and the alto and tenor blended perfectly. Each of the 22 Cantonments in Switzerland have their own costume, and their parades were full of color and quaint costumes. We had the good fortune to sit near a Swiss woman who spoke English and she told me many things in answer to my questions. The length of ribbons the girls wore indicated their wealth, which was computed in goats. Thus, if she wore a short ribbon, she owned one goat, if her ribbon reached near her waist line she owned two goats, if it reached below, she owned three etc. and to own 3 or 4 was to be wealthy. Some of the women wore bright colored kerchiefs on their heads, but the elderly women usually had on broad ugly brown hats and carried little brown baskets filled with dried apples and pears to give the children. They wore so much filagree silver especially chains. After dinner took a walk for a last view of Jungfrau by moonlight and we watched to see the chamois come down from the mountain side.

We are told that we must be up by 5-30 to-morrow, breakfast at 6-15 in order to make our train for Montreaux. We shut our ears and eyes to the music and the marching etc. and soon are in dreamland.

No comments:

Post a Comment