60 Years Ago Today

 

Tuesday, 22 July 1952:

Dear diary for some peculiar reason I didn’t sleep as well last night as I was accustomed to. Of course, I was rather uncomfortable with my glasses, earrings, and copper belt on. However, I was thankful for everything else I had had on to keep me warm. I woke at 5 a.m. Usually it is rather hard for me to get up that early. This morning was different, because I woke up raring to go.

As I looked around I found a window open right at the foot of my bed. No wonder it was so cold last night. I cleaned my face and Alicia woke to solve the secret of my disappearing blanket. She had intended to just borrow it until I came to bed but she had fallen asleep. So had the rest of the crew so there was no one to tell me where my blanket was.

I found the washroom with the long trough and brushed my teeth. One of the kids asked for hotel stickers before we started back to the bus. The walk back was quite refreshing as it helped to get the kinks out of my muscles and bones. The forest was misty. It seemed much shorter than the night before.

At the bus we discovered our bags had been taken down and locked inside for the night. We got them out so they were ready to go back on top and then found some oranges at a stand nearby for breakfast. I snapped a picture of hay making on the slopes above the bus.

On the road to Titisee I observed straight pines growing close together with a thick underbrush. No wonder these forests appeared black far away. The road was being repaired. There was Lake Titisee, clear and sparkling below us with a beach and lots of boats. Herr Watkins and Rogers set off to check the temperature of the water. After checking they decided to spend 1½ hours here.
Watkins, Dick, Helen, Margaret, Virginia, Mary and I jumped in to go swimming. Others soon joined us. What a refreshing swim and bath for about ten of us. It was cold at first, but very invigorating. We had a good scrub down with soap and a wash cloth. We took turns scrubbing each other’s backs. We even attracted an audience. Then we dried out in the sun.

Back on the bus we watched the beautiful Black Forest country go by. Andre stopped on a hill above Triberg for a shot of the valley below. It was my last picture so I tried to get a new roll loaded in my camera but the bus was ready to go. In my hurry I accidentally broke the film.

After awhile we stopped in Triberg to shop for cuckoo clocks and eat lunch. We found a nice place to eat at a hotel after wandering in several cafes. I had a delicious meal of soup, roast pork, salad, and potatoes for three marks. I asked for bread and water. It cost extra for bread whereas in Italy it was included in our first and second courses. Watkins read an article in the Hamburg paper to us about friends from Utah while we ate.

We discovered the stores were closed till 2 p.m. and that was the time we had arranged to leave so we decided it would be okay to stay a little longer.

We wandered around the stores for about 15 minutes. As Alicia went back to the bus I told her to honk the horn if the group was ready to go. As I browsed around the book shop there were lots of interesting German books, Reader’s Digest, and children’s books. I thought I heard the horn so I went outside and there was the bus. Some of the kids had been waiting since 2 p.m. and I was really in the dog house. There was a big meeting and the group decided to fine late comers. What a “dealy”!

Next stop was the Rhine Valley where men were putting up hay with ox teams. I glimpsed rows of crucifixes. As we neared Strasbourg, France, I saw typical Strasbourg architecture of medieval structures with black and white timber-framed buildings. Then we reached the border at Kehl, Germany, where there was more red tape. I walked through customs and my passport was stamped twice.

As we crossed the Rhine River, Andre was happy to be back in France. I spotted kids swimming. We crossed the international bridge, and Place des Vosges, the oldest planned city square.
The hotel in Strasbourg was quite different from the rustic hotel the night before. Narrow and tall it sat on a big square near a station with a sidewalk café in front. Our room had two double beds and pink toilet paper. As soon as we were settled I went down to check with the hotel man about Lyon tapestries.

22 July 1952
Hi Folks,
We’re back in France for one night. Last Sunday I gave my German talk twice, once in Zurich in the morning and again in Basel at night. Last night we really roughed it for the first time way up in the middle of the beautiful Black Forest. We slept on beds like we had in the dorm but they weren’t nearly so clean or comfortable.

Then I noticed Bev and the gang. I chased them down to Cook’s to find out about sending money to the missionaries, but they were closed. A fellow came to the door, but he couldn’t give us the information we needed.

Strasbourg was a picturesque city. I went over to the Gothic and Renaissance cathedral to get pictures and I met up with part of the gang there. The cathedral had a beautiful ornate facade facing west. The building was so tall and the surrounding structures were close. Because of this it was hard for me to get pictures of the facade up close. I never finished getting that shot, but I got a picture of one spire.

I met some Egyptian students who were studying medicine at the Strasbourg University. They said the United States was 50 years ahead of Europe in science and invited us to eat with them. I passed on the invitation to dinner and wandered around the older section of the town down by the river. I found more of the typical Strasbourg architecture with sagging buildings, narrow structures, and window flower boxes.

As I continued through Strasbourg, I saw war ruins. Some buildings were gone except for the facade or side walls. Other structures looked like they had been cut in half. Strasbourg was a bilingual city that passed back and forth from France to Germany many times. The older population in the city spoke German whereas the younger population spoke French.

Overall prices were higher here in France compared to Germany. I bought a pastry and ate it along with the lunch that I had purchased in Germany. Then I was off to bed early to make up for the night before.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s