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Florin of 15 (light) batzen, or 40 schillings, or 60 kreutzers.
The lira contains 20 soldi, each of 4 quatrini.
"Accounts at inns and for posting are kept in French francs." C. D. Sometimes also in francs of Milan or Lire : = 16 French sous. Travellers in the Italian Cantons should remember this, and take care they are not cheated by being made to pay in French francs a bill charged in Italian francs.
Louis d'or =
Florin = 16 (good) batzen
from 34 to 37 lire.
60 kreutzers = 2 French francs 35 cents. =
1 Bavarian florin 6 kreutzers.
The Zurich florin is also divided into 16 (good) batzen and 40 rapps, and again into 40 schillings of 4 rapps each.
In 1834, twelve of the cantons agreed to appoint a commission to examine into the present complicated currency, and to devise a new and uniform system of coinage. They have already altered and corrected the weights and measures of Switzerland, but the result of their labours regarding the currency has not yet appeared.
There is not less perplexity and variation in the measurement of distances, than in the calculation of money, in Switzerland.
Distances are reckoned throughout Switzerland not by miles, but by stunden (hours, i. e. hours' walking) or leagues. The measures of length given in the following routes have been taken from the most perfect tables that could be procured; but the Editor is aware that there must be many errors, and that an approach to accuracy is all that can be expected from them. The length of the stunde has been calculated at 5278 mètres, = 1800 Bernese feet, or 3 Eng. miles, 1 furlong, 215 yards; 21,137 of such stunden go to a degree of the equator. To make this measurement agree with the actual
* Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Zug, Glarus, Freyburg, Soleure, Basle, Schaffhausen, St. Gall, Aargovie, and Thurgovie.
pace of walking, it is necessary to advance 288 English feet in a minute.
The Swiss stunde (hour or league) however varies according to the nature of the ground. In very steep ascents it does not exceed 2 Eng. miles; in lesser acclivities 2 miles, and in the mountains it is never more than 24 miles. It has been ascertained by an experienced Alpine traveller, that to clear 2 Eng. miles an hour up a steep mountain, requires very good walking.
It is a reproach to the Swiss Government that no authorised measurement of the roads throughout the country should have been undertaken by them at the public expense. Since the correction of weights and measures in 1833-34, 3-10ths of a mètre (= 3 decimètres, or 132,988 Paris lines) has been constituted the legal Swiss foot, and 16,000 Swiss feet = 1 stunde. In canton St. Gall, 2 Swiss stunden of 16,000 ft. make 1 post.
5. MODES OF TRAVELLING IN SWITZERLAND. -POSTING.
The means of travelling in Switzerland have been greatly improved and increased within the last fifteen or twenty years. The great roads are excellent, and those over the Alps stupendous in addition. Upon almost all of them diligences run; and since 1823, when the first experiment with steam was made on the Lake of Geneva, every one of the large lakes is navigated by steam-boats. Posting was scarcely known in any part of Switzerland before 1830. It is now introduced into the cantons St. Gall, Grisons, Basle, Neuchâtel, Aargovie? Ticino, Vaud, Vallais, Geneva. The tarifs, as far as can be ascertained, are as follows: Cantons Geneva, Vaud, Freyburg, and Vallais.
The tarif is the same as the old French tarif, viz., 1 fr. 50 centimes each horse per post, and 75 c. to the postboy, usually increased to 1 fr. 50 c. or 2 fr. per post.
The traveller with four horses need not take two postilions unless he wishes.
Bern. - Posting was established by the government in 1840, and afterwards suppressed; but on the road from Bern to Freyburg the former postmaster will always supply horses at the above
Canton Ticino. - 3 French francs per post for each horse. Trinkgeld to postilion small. - C. D.
Schaffhausen. The taxe or fixed charges are at the rate of 15 kr. each horse per post more than the Baden tarif. Thus, in Baden, the charge is I fl. 28 kr.; in Schaffhausen 1 fl. 43 kr. Postilion 20 kr. for each horse.
The only line on which post horses are kept is that from Schaffhausen to Bâle; an attempt to introduce them on the road to Zurich has failed.
§ 5. Posting. § 6. Diligences -- Luggage.
36 kr. for more horses. the postilion.
Rather less than double the tariff satisfies Tolls for roads and bridges are paid to the postmaster at each stage, who generally presents the traveller with a printed zettel or ticket. C. D.
Grisons. The tariff is somewhat complicated; the charges for a post up-hill, or in ascending the valley of the Rhine, varying from those down-hill or on the plain, and the amount being reckoned in Grison florins and kreutzers.
The total cost on the plain, for 2 horses and the postilion, one post, is 4 fl. 53 kr., or nearly 10 zwanzigers. The postilion's drinkmoney is paid to the postmaster (though not included in his bill), but it is usual to give the driver something independent at the end of the stage. 2 zwanzigers is perhaps more than enough, and will quite satisfy him. — C. Ď.
Posting is introduced upon the following routes:- From Constance to St. Gall, and through the Grisons to Coire; over the Splügen to Chiavenna and Milan; over the Bernardin to Bellinzona, Lugano, and Milan; from Geneva to Milan over the Simplon, along both shores of the Lake Leman, by Lausanne or by Thonon; from Altdorf over the St. Gothard to Airolo and Bellinzona; Bern to Lausanne and Geneva by Freyburg; Zurich to Coire by Wallenstadt and Ragatz; Neuchâtel to Yverdun and Geneva; Basle to Zurich (17 posts); Basle to Lucerne (153 posts). The traveller may likewise post from Basle to Schaffhausen, and from Schaffhausen to Constance, if he choose the routes through Baden on the rt. bank of the Rhine.
"Generally, posting in Switzerland is far dearer than in Germany or Italy, and, in fact, approaches very near to the English charges, especially where the tariff requires the traveller to take an extra horse. The remuneration to the postilion, however, both by tariff and extra, is much less, in proportion to the price for the horses, than in Germany and Italy."— C. D.
6. DILIGENCES — LUGGAGE.
Diligences now run daily between most of the large towns of Switzerland, and there are few carriage roads in the country not traversed by them twice or thrice a week at least.
They generally belong to the government of the different cantons, and are attached to the post-office, as in Germany. The places are numbered, and all baggage exceeding a certain fixed weight is charged extra, and often greatly increases the expense of this mode of conveyance, which is one reason among many why travellers should reduce their baggage to the smallest possible compass. The public conveyances are by no means so well organised as in Germany. On some routes, particularly in going from one canton into another, passengers are sometimes transferred into another coach, and run the chance of waiting several hours for it, being set down in a remote spot to pass the interval as they may, and this not unfrequently in the middle of the night.
The conducteur's fee is included in the fare, but the postilion's trinkgeld is paid separately by the passengers in some parts of the country; in St. Gall, for instance, they expect from 6 to 9 kr. per stage.
Travellers in Switzerland will frequently be glad to avail themselves of the public conveyances to forward their luggage from one place to another, while they are making pedestrian excursions among the mountains. In such cases, they have only to book their packages at the coach-office, after carefully addressing them, and, in some cases, entering a specification of their value in a printed form. They will then receive a receipt, and the article will be forwarded and taken care of until reclaimed.
In making application for packages so consigned, as well as for letters at the post-office, the Englishman should present his name in writing, as our pronunciation is frequently unintelligible to foreigners, and without this precaution the applicant may be told that his luggage has not arrived, when in reality it is all the while lying in the depôt. The traveller may also request to look over the packages in search of his own.
7. VOITURIER. — LOHNKUTSCHER.
Posting, except along the routes mentioned already in p. xiii, ceases at the Swiss frontier, and those who have been travelling post must therefore engage a voiturier at the first Swiss town, with a suitable number of horses to draw their carriage. If it be light, and the party small, two horses will suffice; but the coachman must then drive from the box; with a heavy carriage, three or four horses must be taken, and the driver will ride as postilion. The towns of Basle, Schaffhausen, Zurich, Bern, Thun, Lausanne, and Geneva, are the head-quarters of the voituriers; at all of them there are many persons who keep job-horses for hire, and will either conduct the traveller themselves, or send coachmen in their employ. At most of the frontier towns return horses are to be met with, and the traveller may save some days of back fare by availing himself of them.
Before making an engagement, it is prudent to consult the landlord of the inn, or some other respectable inhabitant, to recommend a person of approved character to be employed. As there are many very roguish voituriers, ready to take advantage of the traveller on all occasions, such a recommendation will be a guarantee, to a certain extent, for good behaviour. The landlord should be referred to apart, not in the presence of the coachman, nor, indeed, with his cognizance. It is a bad plan to intrust an inferior person with the negotiation; he will most probably sell the traveller to the voiturier, and make a job for his own advantage. The most judicious mode of proceeding is, to discard all go-betweens and subordinates, to insist on seeing the principal, the owner of the horses, and to make the bargain at once with him. Besides ascertaining that the voiturier is a respectable man, that his horses are good, and his carriage (when a carriage is also required) be clean and stout, it is desirable in
many cases that he should speak French as well as German, and, in all, that he be acquainted with the roads to be traversed. The engagement should, in the first instance, not be made for any specific time, at least not for a long period, until man and horses have been tried and have given satisfaction. It is better to take him on from day to day, holding out the prospect of his being continued if he behaves well.
Some persons engage a voiturier for a certain sum, to perform a stated journey in a fixed number of days; a bad plan, since it ties down the traveller to a prescribed route, without the power of diverging, if he choose to alter his plans, or of tarrying by the way. The employer should reserve to himself the power of dismissing his voiturier as soon as he reaches a post-road (see the map).
The established charge throughout Switzerland, per diem, is 9 Fr. francs for each horse, and J Fr. franc per horse trinkgeld for the driver. This includes the hire of a carriage when wanted.
For this consideration the coachman keeps himself and his horses, supplying fresh ones if his own fall ill or lame; he ought also to pay all tolls, and the charge for leaders (vorspann) to drag the carriage up steep ascents. These two last conditions, however, are not always acceded to, and these charges often fall upon the master.
When the traveller has no servant of his own, the voiturier cleans the carriage, greases the wheels, and assists in packing and unpacking the baggage.
The usual rate of travelling is from ten to fourteen stunden, thirty-two to forty-six miles a-day, proceeding at the rate of about five miles an-hour - ten stunden a-day should be guaranteed by the driver. It is necessary to halt in the middle of the day, about two hours, to rest the horses. On the days during which a halt is made in a town or elsewhere, the charge is reduced one half; and, should the traveller require the horses for a short drive of an hour or two through the town, this should make no difference.
Back-Fare. In addition to the daily charges while employed, the voiturier requires, if dismissed at a distance from his own home, to be paid back-fare for the number of days necessary to take him thither. This payment should be calculated at the rate of the longest day's journey, say twelve stunden (nearly forty miles), which is not too much with an empty carriage. At this rate, the backfare to be paid between some of the principal places in Switzerland would be nearly according to the number of days set down in the following table: