28 Route 3. SIMPLON. From Martigny
much finer. The road quits the valley of the Rhone at Brieg, and
ascends in numerous windings.
9 M. Berisal (5006 ft.), the Third Refuge (*H6tel de la Poste,
R. 272 fr.). Above the Fourth Refuge (5645 ft.) a retrospect is
obtained in clear weather of the Bernese Alps (to the N.), from
which the huge Aletsch Glacier descends. The part of the road
between the Fifth Refuge (6358 ft.) and the culminating point
is the most dangerous during the period of avalanches and storms.
The road passes through the Kaltwasser Glacier Gallery (6460 ft.),
over which the stream issuing from the glacier is precipitated into
the depths below, forming a waterfall which is visible through a
side opening. The road then passes through two other galleries.
From the Sixth Refuge (6540 ft.) a splendid final view is enjoyed
of the Bernese Alps; far below in the Rhone Valley lies Brieg.
The Simplon Pass (6595 ft.) is 6 M. from Be'risal. About
3/4 M. beyond the summit is the Hospice (no payment demanded
for hospitality, but travellers should contribute at least as much
to the poor-box as they would have paid at an hotel), a spacious
building founded by Napoleon , but not completed till 1825. A
broad, open valley, bounded by snow-capped heights and glaciers,
forms the highest portion of the Pass. The imposing Raut Glacier
is a conspicuous object on the mountains to the S.; to the E. rises
the Monte Leone (11,696 ft.). The Old Hospice, a lofty square tower
now tenanted by herdsmen, lies on the right far below the road.
20^2 M. Simplon, Ger. Simpeln, Ital. Sempione (4856 ft.; *Poste,
R. 2, D. 37.2 fr-; * Hotel Fletschhorn). The road now describes a long-
curve to the S., which pedestrians may cut off by a rough path regain¬
ing the road at the Alqaby Gallery, where the most interesting part
of the Simplon route begins. It leads through the *Ravine of Gondo,
one of the wildest and grandest in the Alps, becoming narrower
and more profound at every step, until its smooth and precipitous
walls of mica-slate completely overhang the road, below which
rushes the impetuous Doveria. The most remarkable of the cut¬
tings by which the road penetrates the rocks is the Gallery of
Gondo , a tunnel 245 yds. in length, constructed by Napoleon in
1805 and fortified by the Swiss in 1830. At the end of the tunnel
the Fressinone (or Alpienbach) forms a fine waterfall, which is cross¬
ed by a slender bridge. On both sides the rocks tower to a dizzy
height of 2000 ft. The dark entrance of the tunnel forms a striking
contrast to the white foam of the falling torrent. This magnificent
*Alpine Scene, especially when viewed at a distance of 40-50 paces,
surpasses the Via Mala (p. 37). Gondo (2818 ft.) is the last Swiss
village ; 72 M- beyond it is the Italian boundary-column. S. Marco,
74 M. farther, is the first Italian village.
29 M. Iselle (2175 ft.; Potto) is the seat of the Italian
custom-house. The valley, although now less wild, continues to be
extremely picturesque. It unites with the broad and fertile valley