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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

47.2692124, 11.4041024

Sat. 8. [8 September 1894] Left Innsbr¸ck by the 7 o'clock train and
went to Brenner. Very cold, but bright and fine. It was the Nativity of
the Virgin and the train was crowded. At Brenner all the population
was at church so we waited before the Inn and had bread and milk.
This was the Inn Goethe stayed at on his way into Italy - Sep 9, 1785
was the date. Elsa and I went to the church door - further in we could
not go because the church was crowded full - and heard the end of
High Mass. The priest was just giving the benediction as we arrived.
The guide appeared but it turned out that he was doing duty as porter
that day as it was a Feier Tag! and couldn't come with us. So we
started off alone for the Wolfendorn, missed our path once but found it
again and arrived about 11 at the foot of a scree of stones covered
with snow. We scrambled up onto a snowy shoulder where the wind
was bitter cold and then, tumbling about in the snow, every now and
then finding an uncovered rock with a blue mark on it, we trudged on.
Oh, the cold! The snow was new fallen, a strong wind lifted in wreaths
of frozen dust round us; my fingers froze over and over again; the
rocks were swathed in icicles. At the top was a crag which I attempted
to climb before the others arrived but unsuccessfully. So we took
round it and clambered half way up the steep bank of it, knee deep in
snow, and then the sky looked so threatening that we determined to
turn. We were only about 50 feet from the top and we regretted
afterwards that we had not pushed on. Well we ran down as best we
could - Hugo executing sommersaults from rock to rock - he
confessed afterwards that he had seldom felt so miserable, certainly
never this year! When we got a little out of the wind we sat down and
lunched in the snow - this was 2.30 - and were very merry until our feet
quite froze and we were glad to move on. Hugo and I ran down
ahead; I found several new flowers, amongst them the two glacial
willows. At the Inn I had myself conducted in Goethe's suite - 8[?]
rooms for he travelled in style - and changed my shoes and
stockings. He had a nice sort of bow window in his room - I wonder if
he looked out and thought what a fine thing it was to be so near Italy,
and if those Roman hexameters had begun to echo in his head.
Home at 7.

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