Monday, 17 January 1927
Dull, cloudy day. Snow in the evening. Children skied. We all lunched at Kaps. I walked up to Eincidal ? in afternoon. Pippa, Betty, Wilma, the three Reynolds and Mrs ? took luges up to Einsch? to luge down after a supper at the restaurant there. They did not get back till after 11 pm.
Tuesday, 18 January
Lovely bright morning. We changed money and did various chores. Had our lunch at Toeffenbrunner and then walked up to nursery slopes and saw the children go off. Polly had a short talk with Colonel Bilghen. We then went back and packed. P and B went with the Reynolds trio to the Forbes Dennis party for Charlestoning before tea. Dinner as usual then finished our packing. Sleigh came around at 10.20 pm. Said goodbye to Countess and Colonel Clay and Mrs Buchanan and Polly Anne. Wilma and I went to station. Got into our train comfortably and put our kit into our sleeping carriages. P, B and the Reynolds flashed a torch from Kaps as we passed in the train (11.7 pm). Fine moonlit night.
Wednesday, 19 January
In train - with the customs - Geneva
No trouble at border, in fact slept all the time! Arrived at Zurich. Just had time to move ourselves and baggage to the other train for Lausanne. Had some coffee and rolls at Berne. Arrived Lausanne at 12 noon. Put Anne and Wilma and their kit into a taxi for Brillantmont. After wash-up and lunch at the station. Polly and I bought two plants and some things and went up to Brillantmont...... [?] others went up to the Tods [?] bedrooms where we showed them their last term reports, which were very good. Said goodbye and went back to station. Polly had lost her spectacles and so we took a taxi to hunt for them; without success at Brillantmont and in some shops. We took a slow train to Geneva arriving about 7.15 pm. Went to Hotel International near the station.
Very cold wind at Lausanne and Geneva. No snow except high up on mountains.
Thursday, 20 January
We went to Cook and Sons office - changed some money. Also got some food at an excellent shop for our lunch and left by 11.35 train. Had to get out with all our kit at the frontier at Bellegarde - then on to Lyons where we had to get out and wait for two hours. So we chartered a taxi and drove about - very cold. Had tea at station and boarded train for Avignon, which we reached about 7.45 having had dinner in the train. On arrival at Avignon we went to the Hôtel de l'Europe which is an old mansion with a courtyard. Quite comfortable but expensive. Polly did not get to sleep early and did not sleep very well at first.
Hôtel d'Europe charges: 7 frs 60 per room
also 15% per person
+ 3% tax
9 petit déjeuner
Friday, 21 January
Got up late, petit déjeuner in our room. Went straight off to the Syndicat d'Initiative to ask about other hotels etc. Inspected Hôtel Crillon in Rue de la République, then took bus to Villeneuve les Avignon. Looked at an English pension "Le Chien Blanc". Nothing doing. Then lunched at a little wayside café "Le Printemps" - then inspected a little restaurant and pension, Restaurant et Pension du Midi kept by Alsaciens. Very simple and clean. We would have put up here but thought better of it as our stay may be short. Then we visited the Fort St André - very fine with splendid views. Then the old church with a wonderful vierge carved in ivory.
Then back to Avignon by bus, engaged room at Hôtel Crillon and paid our bill at Hôtel d'Europe and moved our kit - then had tea in a tea shop and walked round outside Palais des Papes and under the old bridge in the dusk. We visited the Cardinals' House in Villeneuve.
Saturday, 22 January
Fine sunny day - cold - but no rain.
Polly and I visited the Palais des Papes and went round with a party. Afterwards visited the Rocher des Doms and admired the view from there. Lunched at a little restaurant for 11 francs each "vin compris". Went to the syndicat d'initiative - changed some money on letter of credit - visited the Chapel of the Grey Penitents (a dreadful place!) - walked round a bit of Avignon town walls - had tea in a tea shop in afternoon. Did some accounts before dinner - Polly wrote some letters after dinner. Polly's spectacles, lost at Lausanne, came by post, sent by Anne from Brillantmont. We engaged a car for tomorrow to take us to Arles. Wired to London, Kitzbühel Lausanne to address letters to Poste Restante Toulon.
Sunday, 23 February
We left the Hôtel Crillon at Avignon at 10 am with our kit in a car and drove to Arles arriving about 3 pm, and went to Hôtel du Forum which we found better than the Nord. At least the room we got was better and cheaper. We travelled through St Rémy and saw the wonderful Roman Triumphal Arch and Mausoleum, pleasant talk with the custodian, a veteran of the 1870 war. Lunched at Les Baux, a dead town on the rock, after walking round the ruins. Wonderful views. Lovely sunshine. Very nice inn "La Reine Jeanne" (see Notes). Then on past Fontvieille and the Moulin Daudet (where Lettres de Mon Moulin were written). Then on to the Abbey of Montmajour which we were shown over, and then on to Arles. We visited the Roman Theatre and Arena. Had tea at a tea shop - walked over the bridge and back - along left bank of the Rhône and back to the hotel via Boulevard Georges Clemenceau.