Tags " wine"
Aug 15, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Venice to Stresa

We left the hotel about 9, rode in a gondola to the station. It’s best not to look at the water in the canal too closely -ugh! We had decided to take the train instead of the bus, a 6-hour ride vs. an 11-hour one. We bought wine & sandwiches at the terminal & ate them for lunch. Allen & I played gin & the trip was over quickly. Even so, I was pretty tired upon arrival.

Our hotel, was on the lakefront and our room on the 5th & top floor overlooked the water with mountains all around – surely must be the Alps in the distance. A beautiful sight – we could hardly leave the window. After resting & some drinks, we had dinner – practically alone – in the huge dining room. This is an Excelsior Hotel, the first we’ve stayed in, and tho’ our room is excellent, it seems a bit stuffy.

Harry and I walked on the wide promenade for quite a while by the waterfront. All the big hotels seemed deserted or just quiet, while further down, the cafes were jumping with music – both real & canned. The mountains in the distance with lights of villages were most interesting.

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Aug 16, 1961 - Europe 1961    2 Comments


We slept late – it was a delightful change not to have to meet a schedule. Breakfasted in the room, wrote letters, did some washing. Met the Earlys & took a boat-taxi to Isola Bella, the island we can see most clearly from the hotel.

It was full of tourists but they seemed to be for the most part Europeans. Many bazaars & outdoor cafes but the most amazing thing was the Chateau Borromes and the gardens. The Chateau had only recently been re-decorated tho’ it belonged to the Duke of Milan in the 15th century & is quite old. We enjoyed seeing the rooms which tho’ elaborate  were more to our taste than the more garish decor we’d seen lately. The gardens were extensive – many levels, hundreds of varieties of flowers & trees, fountains, statues – just fabulous.

We returned to the hotel for lunch – there was a crowd this meal time outside on the patio – we saw more young people but still few Americans. After a brief rest, we sat on the hotel private waterfront (cabanas furnished free) and swam in the lake & sunned. The water was cold & had waves – felt good tho’. We all played a round of miniature golf in the hotel’s beautiful gardens. Had drinks in the room before going out. Found a clean-looking Ristorante and ate supper in the patio. Food & service only fair but the wine was good.

We strolled on the boulevard briefly – there was a wind off the lake & it was chilly. Stopped for coffee & brandy and to listen to some music, then went to the hotel and to bed.

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Aug 20, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments


We slept late – tho’ it was difficult with the noise of Vespas, buses, trolleys, etc. and with the sun blaring into the room – first place we haven’t had shutters.

The Early’s went on a guided tour but we took our own self-conducted walking tour, guide books in hand. The “old town” is so picturesque & not very large so we saw all we wanted to included [sic] Maximillian’s tomb with the 28 life size bronze statues. Had coffee on a balcony overlooking Rennweg Square with the fountain, Leopoldsbrunnes, right under us. In walking home through the streets near the station, we saw many buildings which had been damaged during the air raids in 1944. All the buildings around the station and the depot itself are new, so presumably all this area was destroyed & has been rebuilt.

Harry says he hasn’t seen a pretty girl since arriving in Innsbruck & doesn’t like their hair-do’s – surprisingly enough there is a “Friseur” (barber shop & beauty salon) in every block. He does, however, admire their short skirts (above the knees at times) & their figures (sometimes) in sweaters & pants. Roaring through all the little towns yesterday, he swore there was always a pretty girl at an intersection to distract him.

After dinner in the hotel dining room & a rest, we and Jeannette got in the car & took a drive around the town. Harry stopped & investigated one of the many new apartment buildings going up to see their construction – he approved of everything but the plumbing and wiring. We went up to BergiselThe Bergisel is a hill (746 m) that lies to the south of Innsbruck, Austria, in the area of Wilten, where the Sill river meets the Inn Valley. In 1809, Bergisel was the site of the four Battles of Bergisel under the command of the freedom fighter Andreas Hofer. In 1892, the Andreas Hofer monument was erected in order to commemorate the battles., saw the Andreas-Hofer monument & had a good view of the city & valley from the observation platform.

We had supper at the Hockhaus (High bldg) on the top floor in a modern pretty room with large windows on all 4 sides. There was a combo playing American tunes and lots of young people jitterbugging. It must be a popular hangout for the young Austrians – the food & wine was good and inexpensive.

The Early’s again wanted to go to the Stiftskeller (they had been too late the night before) but we went on home to bed.

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Aug 25, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Heidelburg to Wiesbaden

We were asked to go by the Helbig’s apartment in Ludwigshaven which is across the river from Mannheim. We were ages finding our way but finally found the right address.

Their apartment is a modern one on the main street, nicely furnished (except for the kitchen – no ice box) and has the balcony with the inevitable pots of flowers & plants. They were extremely cordial – offered us several different kinds of wines & liqueurs instead of the coffee we expected – and wanted. They even got in their Volkswagon and showed us the way to the Wiesbaden highway – a good thing too – we could never have found it.

We had crossed the Rhine at Mainz and now the highway paralleled it. Many more factories and much activity on the river. We bought a picnic lunch – bread, cheese, meat & wine – and found a spot on the river to eat. It was a nice day – cloudy occasionally but no rain.

By the time we reached Wiesbaden & located the Hotel Rose, I was thoroughly tired & ready for bed. Rested all afternoon but for the first time, didn’t feel very good. Had one drink – with lots of soda – and a very light supper & went on to the room while the others went to see a little of the town.

Harry had to buy cigarettes for the first time – we’d left the ship with 9 cartons and gave one to Joanne Abeel and they’d lasted until now.

We saw very little of Wiesbaden but our impression is that it is quite a city – wide streets, many large stores – it reminds us of Paris with all the hustle & bustle.

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