Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland.

[Footnote 73:  The true Cimetiere des Bourguignons is the enclosure where Rene, the victor of Nancy, buried the Burgundians who fell on the sad Sunday when Charles the Bold went down before the deaf chatelain Claude de Bagemont.]

[Footnote 74:  Neither of my companions, I fear, would have acted as Sejanus did, when another emperor was in danger of his life in the cave on the Gulf of Amyclae. (Tacit.  Ann. iv. 59.)]

[Footnote 75:  Water reduced to a temperature below 32 deg. without freezing, begins to freeze as soon as a crystal is dropped into it, the ice forming first on the faces of the crystal.]

[Footnote 76:  Water attains its maximum of specific gravity at 40 deg..  Below 40 deg. it becomes lighter.]

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The bill a la Parfaite Union was as small as the accommodation at that auberge, and it was an immense relief to get away from the scene of my sufferings.  The path to Bonneville lies for the earlier part of the way through pleasant scenery; and when the highest ground is reached, there is a lovely view of the Lake of Geneva, which may be enjoyed under the cool shade of a high hedge of trees, in the intervals of browsing upon wild strawberries.  But after passing the curious old town of La Roche, two hours’ walk from Thorens, the heat and dust of the dreary high road became insupportable; and no pedestrian who undertakes that march with a heavy knapsack, under a blazing noonday sun, will arrive at Bonneville without infinite thankfulness that he has got through it.  The road is of the same character as that between Bonneville and Geneva, and that will sufficiently express its unpleasantness in baking times of drought.

The Glaciere of the Brezon lies at no great distance from Bonneville—­perhaps not more than four or five miles to the SE.—­but its elevation is more than 4,000 feet, and the approach is steep.  The Glaciere of the Valley of Reposoir, a valley which falls into the main road between Bonneville and Chamouni at the village of Scionzier, is considerably higher, and a good deal of climbing is necessary in visiting it.  When I arrived at Bonneville, the whole mass of mountains in which these caves lie was enveloped in thick dark clouds, and the faint roar of thunder reached our ears now and then, so that it seemed useless to attempt to penetrate into the high valleys.  Moreover, I was due for an attempt upon Mont Blanc in the beginning of the next week, and an incipient bilious fever, with a painful lameness of one leg, warned me that my powers were coming to an end, and that another day such as the last had been would put a total stop upon the proposed ascent; and so I determined to take the fever and the leg to Geneva, and submit them to medical skill.  This determination was

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Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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