It’s been quite a long while since I’ve shared any of the Glimpses of the World photos.

Today’s photo doesn’t have any horses or vehicles in it … at least not that we can see. But, if you happen to have a copy of the January 2011 issue of The Carriage Journal, you may’ve read Andres Furger’s article on Swiss traveling carriages. In that article — and in his 2010 CAA / CWF International Carriage Symposium lecture, in case you were at Colonial Williamsburg and heard it — he talked about this very same St. Gotthard Pass.

.

.

The photo’s caption in Glimpses of the World says, “The king of Alpine routes from Switzerland to Italy is the St. Gotthard. It is impossible to speak too highly of this noble road. Scaling the loftiest cliffs, spanning the wildest torrents, and winding through the deepest gorges, it seems like a gigantic chain, which man, the Victor, has imposed upon the vanquished Alps; the first end guarded by the Lion of Lucerne, the last sunk deep in the Italian lakes, but all the intervening links kept gilded brightly by the hand of trade! It is a splendid instance of the way in which these roads are made to thwart at every turn the sudden fury of the avalanche or mountain torrent. For where experience proves a place to be unusually exposed, a solid roof extends to break the fall of rocks and ice. Still, in these days of steam and telegraph, even this mode of travel in the Alps appears too slow for those who journey here for business purposes, and one of the most important works of this or any age is the tunnel of St. Gotthard. This perforates yonder chain of mountains for a distance of nine and one half miles, yet is sufficiently wide for two railway trains to run abreast. What labor must have been expended here by myriads of men, who most of the time were thousands of feet beneath the mountains, yet who at last, by the perfection of engineering skill, met and shook hands through the narrow aperture which they had pierced from the opposite sides of Switzerland and Italy!”