Tags " airplane"
Aug 7, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Cannes to Rome

We packed and left the hotel a little after 9am, drove to the Nice Airport. I had time to buy perfume – paid American money – the prices were the same as Paris (if you used travellers’ checks & got 20% discount).

The jet to Rome took less than an hour. We got ourselves through customs easily & caught a bus to town to the terminal. Were met & taken to the hotel – Massimo d’Azeglis Another hotel still around today: 'In 1875 Maurizio Bettoja, passionate about wines, good food and hotels, opened a restaurant just above its wine cellars which today still host more than 30,000 bottles of wines and offer a unique setting for special candlelit dinners. Since the end of 1800 the hotel welcomes its guests in a classic setting that has preserved the ambience and the style of the end of the century despite regular renovations. The exterior is typical late 1800s. The Massimo d’Azeglio has hosted many illustrious historical figures: the King of Serbia, the air force hero Francesco Baracca, Benito Mussolini, General Diaz, Louis Armstrong, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Fausto Coppi, Mascagni and many others.'– which is air conditioned – and the room and the most convenient we have had (soap, toilet paper, stationery, & of course, bidet.)

We had lunch at the hotel ristorante (breakfast and one other meal included with room) – food very good & service extra good. Unpacked & rested until about 6 – drinks with A & J who had adjoining room.

Walked through Plaza de RepublicaPiazza della Repubblica is a semi-circular piazza in Rome, at the summit of the Viminal Hill, next to the Termini station. On it is to be found Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri which has tallest/largest fountain, on to Via Vittorio Veneto – the 5th Avenue or Champs Elysees. Sat at Cafe de Paris sidewalk cafe – had NegroniThe Negroni cocktail is made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso (red, semi-sweet), and one part bitters, traditionally Campari. One of the earliest reports of the drink came from Orson Welles in correspondence with the Coshocton Tribune while working in Rome on Cagliostro in 1947, where he described a new drink called the Negroni, 'The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.' (an aperitif Abeel told us to order). Crossed the street to Doney Restaurant – found hamburger on the menu & couldn’t resist.

The men had a time watching the girls, & watching the men watch the girls. Bill Moss walked by and talked for a minute – Harry and Allen saw him later while Jeannette and I were at the opera.

The opera was Aida and at the Baths of Caracolla. We went by bus – enormous crowd – the place seats 14,000. The production was magnificent – the setting was simply awesomeYes, mother was ahead of her time and employed 'awesome' before it was cool to do so. I might take this opportunity to point out that I've tried to type exactly what she wrote...I'm able to read 98% and figure out most of the rest. Some of the foreign language names have thrown me for a loop though. Most enjoyable. J & I got home after 1am but twas worth it.

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Aug 27, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Cologne to London

We were taken to the airport terminal by Cadillac, then to the airport by bus (an hour’s ride). We were to fly tourist class on Lufthansa but the had oversold it and as we were among the last checking in, we were put in first class. It was an hour & half flight to London – we were served coffee or a sandwich, given a bottle of Schnapps, a newspaper, our post cards were mailed free. Also a duty-free wagon was wheeled by with cigarettes, perfume, whiskey, etc. We had bought cigarettes (Winston) duty free at the airport for $1.75 a carton.

It had been cloudy & raining at Cologne but was clear & sunny in England. Went easily through customs & into town on another bus. Flowers everywhere here as on the continent – baby carriages prolific too. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to their driving on the “wrong” side of the street.

We were met at the terminal and taken to Mount Royal via one of the funny-looking cabs – there is no left hand door & the luggage is put in on that side. Our hotel is near Marble Arch & Hyde Park on Oxford St. – a tremendous hotel & a large room.

We had a sandwich in the room, unpacked & rested, then met the Early’s in the lobby. Rode a double-decker bus to Westminster Bridge – seeing many familiar names on the way. Rode down the Thames on an excursion boat to Greenwich seeing many landmarks along the way. The guide who point out things of interest was as hard to understand as the guides in Paris or Rome – his English wasn’t like ours! Twas Cockney! After the river trip, we caught another bus to the City of London, going thru Strand, Fleet St. to the Bank. But this turned out to be a mistake – the bars don’t open until 7 on Sundays – if at all. We wandered around through an old & interesting part of town – practically alone in the streets & finally found a “pub” open to try our first English beer.

Our destination was Simpsons where Bud had recommended but it was closed on Sunday. We rode a bus back to the Strand – found another pub open – with real character. Still looking for a restaurant, we walked to Leicester Square. It was full of activity – people of all races & types – mixed couples (black & white). Harry wanted chicken so we lucked into a cafeteria, leaving the Early’s to find a ritzier place while we ate.

After eating, we walked to Trafalgar Square to see the monument & fountains lighter. Then by the aid of the map, we rode the subway to Marble Arch, transferring once. The subways are easy to figure out, as are the buses. We must have set some kind of record today – we rode so many different kinds of vehicles.

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Sep 5, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Final Day!

It was so hot & sticky I had the bright idea of having a swim. It was delightfully refreshing. I packed – we had arranged to have our bags taken off separately so had not had to have them ready the night before.

It was foggy & terribly humid all morning – and we were barely moving. At one point it was announced that we would anchor at Ambrose Lighthouse at 11:30 and stay there until the fog lifted. This might mean having to wait until the late tide and docking at 9 o’clock instead of 2:30pm. We did anchor but it cleared and we slowly steamed past Long Island, past the Statue of Liberty into the Hudson. The first view of the city was so exciting, I could barely leave the railing. The tugs whistled, people waved, the fire boat saluted with a huge spray of water.

I ate hurriedly & as people were already lining up on B deck to get off, we did too. The heat there & on the pier was terrific. Harry grabbed a customs official as soon as our bags appeared & I called Braniff about our reservations. The customs inspector was thorough – he went into every bag & both cartons – but was very nice.

The porter situation was impossible so there was no choice but to carry the stuff ourselves. We managed some how & finally got out the gate, found someone to help us get downstairs & into a taxi. It was then about 3:30 and it took us an hour to get to Idlewild – traffic was heavy.

We made it to the deck just in time but they rushed us through so fast, we didn’t have time to call home or telegraph – and they didn’t have time to weigh all our luggage – with wine press & all, it must have weighed 200 lbs.

We were both breathless and exhausted from the effort – and then the plane sat on the ground for 30 minutes before taking off – with no air conditioning.

Drinks were served immediately however and were never needed worse. Then a grand dinner which I enjoyed – and which Harry couldn’t even look at.

Golly it was wonderful to get to Texas. We called Allen to borrow a car & took a taxi out to their house. Stayed long enough for Harry to eat something & then started home.

Arrived here at 9:30 – Serena bouncing out to welcome us, Gus, the cat, then Mrs. Bartley & Fay. Bud & Nelwyn came over with a bottle of champagne to put a perfect ending to a perfect trip!

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