Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 30 September 2023

Friday = Isabella Day (56)

Isabella is now three years old. This means that her car seat can be set up for her to face forwards, so she can see what the driver can see. She can also see the sunroof, and duly demands that it remain open. No problem on a warm day like this.

Once at Timperley, there were cards to open and a Duplo toy to unwrap. It was a good choice of present as she quickly assembled it and kept coming back to it in order to quell the imagined flames that seemed to afflict her various other toys, as well as having to rescue the cat that was firmly stuck at the top of a tree.

The ingredients for a birthday cake were mixed and ovened, and a felt butterfly was worked on while the mixture cooked and cooled. The backing to the little pieces of felt is small bits of paper from which a snowstorm can be enjoyed. And it was!

The Brio trains, both in Timperley and more extensively in Didsbury, are the most brilliant of toys. They keep Isabella entertained for hours on end in all sorts of different set-ups..

The cake soon cooled, and we found some candles for Isabella to blow out.

Before we knew it, lunchtime was upon us.

Then a bit of Jake and the Never Land Pirates sent the little girl away into dreamland for an hour or so. I wonder what three year olds dream about?

 After her nap, a visit to nearby Newton Park, where we were the sole visitors on a sunny afternoon. There was much running.

Teddy was taken for a walk, a favourite activity now that Isabella is tall enough to drive the pushchair without any help.

Apparently Teddy loves going down the slide.

We went across to the river, Baguley Brook, where the ground is almost covered in conkers. In my day these would have been harvested by the children at the adjoining junior school.

Back at home, it was dinner time. A spoilt child enjoyed a birthday treat. Her meal took on a strange order of courses, starting with apple crumble and ice cream, and followed by (after a refusal to be allowed more of the same) a main course of sausages, roast vegetables, beans and peas. Yummy!

Then, before going home, it was back to the Duplo fire engine and the Duplo house that her dad used to play with.

Another lovely day with a happy little girl.

Thursday 28 September 2023

October 1977 - A European Road Trip (Part 4)

See here for Part 1 (Days 0 to 7)
See here for Part 2 (Days 8 to 14)
See here for Part 3 (Days 15 to 21)

Saturday 22 October 1977 (Day 22)

Start: Kartal
Finish: Kartal
Mileage: 0
Cumulative Mileage: 3681
Weather: Fine

Visited the Fortress (Rumeli Hisari Fort).

                                      Rumeli Hisary Fort (dating from 1451/2)

Tayfun on the lower citadel of Rumeli Hisari Fort

Rumeli Hisari Fort - Southern Citadel

View from Upper Citadel

View from Southern Citadel

View of Lower and Upper Citadels

Lots of rich food. [A constant bombardment of sweet pastries etc whilst in Istanbul.]

The Egyptian Embassy - it used to be a palace

Istanbul street, and another mosque

The Blue Mosque

Istanbul University

Went to see a film - Suspiria - in English with Turkish sub-titles. Shame the sound was turned down!

Above and below: The Blue Mosque at sunset

Sultan Ahmet pudding shop was visited.

Above and below: Istanbul at dusk

Sunday 23 October 1977 (Day 23)

Start: Kartal
Finish: Kartal
Mileage: 70
Cumulative Mileage: 3751
Weather: Fine

Went to Surije for the day with Tayfun's family. Lots of traffic. Very slow. Continuous jam verging on gridlock. Signs ignored. Visited casino to watch singers and belly dancer. Sunday family outing.

The Casino, and a Turkish Classical Singer

Nice fish meal. Then we went to a beauty spot in the dark.

Tayfun and family

Monday 24 October 1977 (Day 24)

Start: Kartal
Finish: In car, 50 miles over Yugoslavian border before Nis
Mileage: 527
Cumulative Mileage: 4278
Weather: Another beautiful day

Up at 7am, pack up and leave Tayfun at 9:30.

Top up with fuel and extricate myself from the traffic jam that is Istanbul, by 10:30. Go through Tekirdag at 12:30 after 109 miles. Give a lift to Mike and Jim.
The road out of Turkey, near Kesan

Use many coupons to keep topped up with fuel, and also use a plastic container for fuel.

Reach the Yugoslavian border [probably via Thessalonika and Skopje] at 11:30pm after 471 miles. Border officials try to remove my back seats, looking for drugs. They fail. Stop at 1am after 527 miles for the day.

A good run - pity I feel tired. [I remember the pleasure of reverting to my stock of baked beans tins, which were most welcome after all the rich food of the previous week.]

Tuesday 25 October 1977 (Day 25)

Start: In car, 50 miles over Yugoslavian border before Nis
Finish: In car near Maribor just before Austrian border
Mileage: 622
Cumulative Mileage: 4900
Weather: Foggy, then fine, then overcast, then very foggy

7am start. Lots of lorries. Mist at 8am. Stop for breakfast 9 - 9:30. 

Fog in Yugoslavia, near Titov Veles

Reach Nis at 11am, but it's really 10am as the clocks go back. 500Dr changed for 220Din, and £10 changed for 318Din. Nis is a nice place - pleasant cobbled streets and not too busy. 160 miles from start of day.

Nis - Town Centre

Overcast as I skirt Belgrade airport around 2:15. Encounter a fleet of portable houses down a side road. 

Approaching Belgrade

Bad fog around Zagreb.

In traffic jam for 2 hours, then all vehicles disappear after I'm stopped at a level crossing. Very foggy. Somewhere near Maribor I stop for the night, at midnight.

Wednesday 26 October 1977 (Day 26)

Start: In car near Maribor just before Austrian border
Finish: Salzburg
Mileage: 260
Cumulative Mileage: 5160
Weather: Foggy start, then sunny before clouding over

Foggy 6am start from Dravinje. Maribor is a nice place, but a bus crash is a bad sign. After buying fuel I only have 10Din left. 7:30 - cross border after 39 miles, in Setinje.

8:30 to 9am - breakfast near Graz. Decided to use autobahn to Salzburg.

View in the Salzkammergut, approaching Bad Ischl

View in the Salzkammergut, towards Salzburg

Castle near Altenmarkt

Austria bright compared with grey and foggy Yugoslavia.

The Gap to Salzburg

Caught speeding in a big group of cars all going the same speed, all stopped. On the spot fine paid for with my remaining cash - Turkish lire that are without value anyway.

Reach Salzburg 1:45 after a good run. Sunny, beautiful colours.

It's a Bank Holiday in Austria. Banks are shut and I have no money. Lots of English and US. Even Russians are here. Go to the chess board in a main square and persuade a lad to lend me the cost of a night in the hostel and go to a bank tomorrow, but eventually decide to drive to the outskirts and sleep in the car again.

Salzburg - Hohensalzburg (C11, 400ft) from Residenzplatz

Salzburg - street scene, Hofstallgasse, with a church

Salzburg - Horse Trough with Frescoes,1700

Salzburg - The Residence (1595)

Salzburg - The Cathedral (1614 - 55)

Dusk over Salzburg

Thursday 27 October 1977 (Day 27)

Start: Salzburg
Finish: Hostel in Meiringen
Mileage: 343
Cumulative Mileage: 5503
Weather: Beautiful sunny day, rain after dark

Gave a lift to an American - Reed. Fun driving over the mountain passes, but dark after Chur.

[That's the extent of today's notes. It appears from the photos that we went: Salzburg > Lofer > Innsbruck > Fluela Pas > Meiringen]

Hohensalzburg, from the south west

Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg - view west from below the castle

Lofer, with church

Lofer - general view with houses

Lofer - general view with mountains

Innsbruck - Maria Theresienstrasse

The Arlberg - near Landeck

Switzerland - the Fluela Pass

Good hostel in Meiringen.

Friday 28 October 1977 (Day 28)

Start: Hostel in Meiringen
Finish: Beyond Provins (in the car)
Mileage: 364
Cumulative Mileage: 5867
Weather: Wet but not raining

Spanish omelette for breakfast in Interlaken.

Interlaken at breakfast time

Fuel in France no hassle - get 160Fr for £20.

In France - near Pontarlier

Dropped Reed off at Dijon - a nice guy, I missed him. Gave him Fr20.

Stopped soon after Provins after 364 miles on good roads - the N71 and N19.

Beside the River Seine near Chatillon

Got a mediocre meal in Provins for Fr19. Have 45Fr left for tomorrow, including buying another film. [Probably didn't buy one, as there are very few more photos from the trip.]

Decide I need to leave early to get to Paris. Just a weekend left - how time flies!

Saturday 29 October 1977 (Day 29)

Start: Beyond Provins (in the car)
Finish: Lay-by near Beauvais
Mileage: 101
Cumulative Mileage: 5968
Weather: Very overcast

Good night's sleep in the car outside Provins.

Woke at 6:30, still dark. Depart for Paris 6:45. Stop for breakfast, 7:30 to 8:00. By 8:45 I've driven 40 miles and am parked near the Notre Dame.

Paris - Notre Dame, completed 1345 (towers 226ft)

Notre Dame - West Face Portals

Spend the day in Paris, just wandering around.

The Invalides - Cour D'Honneur

The Invalides - Facade

View from the Eiffel Tower to Ecole Militaire

Chaillot Palace from the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, from Chaillot Palace (1051ft, 1889)

Arc de Triomphe (1836)

Place de la Concorde - The Obelisque

The River Seine and Gare D'Orsay, from outside the Louvre

Leave Paris at 8 pm and get to 101 miles for the day to a layby at Beauvais. A good day, I must return to Paris. [I have done, several times, but not since the start of this blog in 2007.] It's rather like London compared with the other cities on this trip.

Sunday 30 October 1977 (Day 30)

Start: Lay-by near Beauvais
Finish: Blackley, Manchester
Mileage: 412
Cumulative Mileage: 6380
Weather: Improving to become a nice day

Last day. [No photos were taken; I may have been out of film.]

Up and away by 7am. Still dark - it's staying dark until late these days. Lots of traffic. I pick up a hitch hiker who has literally just emerged from the ditch and is very smelly. He is a New Zealander returning to the UK after a holiday in mainland Europe. We debate whether to go to Calais or Boulogne for a ferry. [My notes are unclear, and pictures end in Paris. I think it was Calais, either 11am or 1:30pm.]

My hitchhiker was refused entry to England and it took a while to get him back in. It needed confirmation from a senior partner at the law firm where he was working, that he was who he said he was.

I had another hitchhiker, Chris, and we stuck with the NZ lawyer, Rich, until he was allowed in. Eventually we got through Customs (all other vehicles were long gone) and had a meal in Dover at 4pm.

I left these last two companions at 6pm and got home at 10pm. Work tomorrow.
[Back to auditing Ferranti!]