TWO girls who set out from London on a hitch-hike pilgrimage to Rome with no money at all for food, fares and lodging-except the cost of the cross-Channel trip have arrived in Switzerland in only four days.
They are ex-Wren Miss Sheila Clements, of Earls Court, and Miss Josephine Fransquie, of Richmond, who answered her appeal for a companion to make the Pilgrimage for Nothing.
They made a start on foot from Calais to Amiens, but soon hitched a car which took them into the city. They set out on foot again from Amiens to Paris. But after a mile on the road they jumped on a farmer's lorry and did the next 100 miles in that, A sight-seeing walk through Paris brought them to the foot of the Eiffel Tower. They wanted to go to the top, but with no money in their pockets they just had to sit on the steps and look at it. They were happier, though, than the four priests they met on the steps. They had just returned from Rome and were wondering what to do about the 80 members of their party who had somehow or other been mislaid on the journey.
The walk from Paris to Fontainebleau took the two girls just 12 minutes: in other words. they had hardly started when they hitched another car.
Fontainebleau to Sens was no walk at all. The girls went by car through this charming country-hilly, cultivated and beautiful.
A little way out of Sens the next morning they hitched a car driven by a Civil servant. He drove them 380 miles, right into lhe heart of the vine country and through villages clustering round castles. The journey from Chalon to Macon-an " avenue " of fields full of lilies of the valley-was made in an enormous petrol lorry. A husband and wife drove them from Macon to Bourg and, the following day, on to Bellegarde, at the beginning of the French Alps, From there they danced along the road to Geneva -danced at the realisation that they were reaching Seatzerland in four days.
The girls got their first long look at the mountains through the bars of a cattle truck as it bumped its wayand them-through a long procession of orchards.
" Geneva," says Josephine Fransquid, in a message to Tim CATHOl IC HERALD, " stared at us because we looked so wild-tired, dirty and hungry. We stared back at Geneva, not liking it over-much-too modernlooking after the old villages and houses and castles of France."
But so far all has been friendliness and courtesy and willingness to help. Nowhere has there been any difficulty about sleeping quarters: convents have been only too happy to accommodate the girls. With everybody, indeed, it has been sufficient to mention the Holy Year and A nglais and the way is smoothed.