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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

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Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper

46.6482045, 8.1497133

Kurhaus Rosenlaui Monday. Dearest Mother. I had a most luxurious journey - a carriage all to myself from Calais to Berne [Bern] and again (by dint of paying 2 frcs and coming 1st class) from Lucerne [Luzern] to Meiringen where I arrived at 7. My 2 guides met me, I dined and made plans and went to bed and slept for 11 hours! The result was that was rather rushed this morning and had to pack and make all my arrangements in such a hurry that I had no time to write to you before I left. We got up to this enchanting place in time for lunch and I was received with rapture by my friend the inn keeper - oh I must tell you that the guard on the train of the Brünig line asked me if I were Miss Bell who had climbed the Engelhörner last year. This is fame. There is another climbing woman here, Frl Kuntze - very good indeed she is, but not very well pleased to see me as I deprive her of Ulrich Fuhrer with whom she has been climbing. She has got a German called Hosler with her, a distinguished climber (he does nothing else) from Berne and I sat and talked to them this afternoon when they came in from a little expedition. They have done several new things in the Engelhörner, but the best thing here abouts remains to be done and Ulrich and I are going to have an inspective walk the day after tomorrow. Tomorrow we propose to do a new rock which will probably give us an amusing climb and which will, I hope, be short. I'm dreadfully out of training! At 4 this afternoon I walked straight up hill for an hour for training purposes and sat on a moraine by the edge of the glacier on a carpet of pink silenes and though what a lucky dog I was to be there. The flowers are entrancing. All the things are out which I have only seen seeding hitherto, daphne and ranunculus, rhododendron just coming into bloom and piles of things of which I remember the pictures in my alpine book and forget the names. I wish Moll wd send me that book - Alpine Flora I think it's called - a picture book, she will know it and I think it is one of the shelves above my writing table at Redcar. Also I shd be so grateful if Lizzie wd buy me at Coverdale's 2 gold safety pins, a big one and a little one, and send them here. I find I can't fasten my tie properly without them. And I shd like her to make and post me a pair of black garters, of extra good wide elastic. Those I have are rather old and I can't get good elastic here. To think that you are in London while I am among pine trees by the edge of a rushing stream and watching the light fade on the Engelhörner and the snows of the Wetterhorn! Do come out as soon as you can - it is so perfect. I am now enchanted that I came so early - it's well worth while seeing Switzerland at this time of year. Only I shall be glad when I've had a climb or two and don't feel such a jellyfish. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude
I expect I had better send this home.

IIIF Manifest