This posting is Part 1 of 4 and takes me back to a road trip completed in 1977. It's a long posting. Readers may prefer to 'stay at home', or just skim through the pictures (click on one for a slideshow), seeing whether they recognise any of the places.
The opportunity to take all my four weeks' holiday at one go arose after I was appointed audit manager of Ferranti, at that time Thornton Baker's largest client. This was a full time occupation, apart from October, when I'm sure the client was pleased to have a rest from the auditors (though I did bump into one of their cost accountants during the trip!).
The diaries that are now up to Volume 105 had not been started in 1977, but I did make notes about the contents of the slides, as well as making a few rudimentary notes that I expanded upon up to Day 4, before life moved on. So those notes will supplement the scanned slides, and I'll include some of the indelible memories not recorded at the time.
I kept copious records of costs, but I'm not inclined to analyse them here. They would mainly relate to fuel, food and cheap accommodation in an assortment of currencies, some long gone, and Travellers Cheques were used to get cash.
I also sent a few postcards, but they don't add anything to the narrative.
Friday 30 September 1977 (Day 0)
Finish: Totteridge, North London
Cumulative Mileage: 200
Weather: Wet and windy
I set off from 40 Russet Road, Blackley, my first 'owned' home, at 7pm and drove in dreadful weather to London in my Ford Capri 1.6GT, armed with an AA map of Europe, reaching Totteridge after 200 miles. An old flatmate, Jacqui, was there to meet me at her parents' house. She had just returned from South Africa, and hadn't seen her parents, who were at the time living in Munich, for several years.
Saturday 1 October 1977 (Day 1)
Cumulative Mileage: 517
Weather: Bright but windy
8.45 start. Eventually got 1.30pm car ferry - Dover-Calais, because too rough for hovercraft.
Sunday 2 October 1977 (Day 2)
Cumulative Mileage: 975
Weather: Fair, with rain later
7.30 start in fair weather. Breakfast by a river near Toul.
Monday 3 October 1977 (Day 3)
Cumulative Mileage: 975
Tuesday 4 October 1977 (Day 4)
Finish: Five miles beyond the Italian border
Cumulative Mileage: 1180
9am start. Motorway to Kufstein. Gradually better views of the Alps.
Start: Five miles beyond the Italian border
Finish: Venice campsite
Cumulative Mileage: 1310
Weather: Beautiful sunshine in Cortina, overcast in Venice
Start: Venice campsite
Finish: Just beyond Rijeka, Bakarac Campsite
Cumulative Mileage: 1501
Depart Venice campsite at 7:45, after a good shower.
Start: Just beyond Rijeka, Bakarac Campsite
Finish: Split campsite
Cumulative Mileage: 1725
Weather: Another dull day