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Letter, March [28?], 1919

[Letter on stationery of the Atlantic Hotel, Nice. Envelope postmarked March 28. Received April 14, 1919.]

Ettelbruck Luxemburg March

My dear Cecil -

Upon returning I find a letter from you of what I judge to be Feb 23 altho you have it dated Feb 3.

No doubt by this time you have cards I sent you from time to time while on leave to Nice. This is the picture of the hotel we put up at. Uncle Sam sure has treated us in a way almost royal; compared to what we have been experiencing.

The wonderful weather, and beautiful scenes Also the tropical vegetation that grows here in abundance, - with that deep blue Mediterranean stretching out before you, & the meritime Alps as a back ground, with their beautiful white tops shining in the sun - A picture indiscribable, in its glorious beauty. Those giant mountains standing there so firm and imposing in their rugged grandeur - matching their strength against the elements since the beginning of time and as staunch & immovable before mortal man as great & undeniable truths - you stand and feel - see and in a small way understand, You have a sensation of awe, as if you were in the presence of some great & mighty god - having once more returned to grip the imaginations of man.

That sea - whose shores saw the dawn of civilization - and witnessed its progress for hundreds of years - and until after Christs time was the center of the world; and every thing that was, that we have any record of.

The history and traditions of those ancient places & ruins are fascinating beyond any thing I've experienced before. The more you see & study - the more you seem to feel the atmosphere of ancient times, and these relics take form in their ancient grandeur and again become a part in this wonderful old worlds history. You have a fuller appreciation of ancient history, for here are relics of the results of ancient education and ideas and you may say ideals. You can see or seem to feel the conditions that existed at that time, you can appreciate the efforts made by those men, that ever dominate element you find in human nature, to push forward, having gained one objective, start on another & more difficult one. The will to fight against odds and conquor in face of the gravest danger. Had not this been so - America would now be a wilderness as it was in the days of Columbus; and this old world would never have attained its present state of effeciency.

We traveled over a road up over the mountains - built by Caesar - B.C. so as to open a road to move troops north into France & conquor over the savage tribes then occuping this part of France. The road is as if hewn into the side of the mountain - straight up on one side and almost straight down on the other, and as smooth & beautiful drive as could be built from cement. The assent is pretty rapid - but the machine we were in went sailing up & around those curves at a rate of speed that would have satisfied an ordinary person on straight & level roads - not saying any thing about being from 1700 to 2000 feet above sea level where a slip ment a dash of a few hundred feet down & on rugged rocks at that.

We stoped at one point - an over hanging rock - walked out on it - & there - far below lay the peaceful sea & the peninsula of Monaco, City of Monte Carlo & all the wonderful palaces built in their picturesque way along the shore & into the rocky cliffs - They looked minature - street cars like very small toys and in all it was a beautiful fairy garden tropical vegatation & terraced gardens far up the side of the mountain.

When we were high up in the clouds we came to a village of La Turbie - here we saw the monument built by Caesar to commerate his victory over the alpine tribes & their final submission to his rule - B.C. 13. There is a wonderful chapel here. Beautiful designed in a gorgeous and impressive way - with some of the finest pieces of marbel I have seen any place.

Then for a distance after leaving here we traveled on the very top of the ridge and such a scene - down on either side and out across the high ridges of the Alps.

Every day we were there it was balmy and the sun was shining bright. Just to be alive and there was a pleasure in itself. The city is made up largely of hotels and has an abundance of beautiful women. Fine promenades along the sea shore, Wonderful moon light nites - and the cafes & wine parlors wide open.

In old Nice - its a queer place - streets are not more than 8 or 10 feet wide & buildings are 6 stories high. They are crooked - you can see only 2 to 3 hundred feet ahead - just like cool dark canyons such a mysterious place.

Well no doubt we will soon be on our way home - we are hoping so at least - but I will be looking for that picture, hope it comes soon.

How are you coming by this time with your short hand - will you be able to finish the book by the 16th of May? I may be getting pretty close to home by then.

Time is going pretty fast lately - we may go for 2 weeks to play at some leave area. We hope so at least. Hoping you are feeling OK and wishing you best of luck I am as ever your Pal

Paul Hendrickson

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March 1919