A Travellerspoint blog

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Trip to Europe in 1950

The Summary


View 1950 - Post War Europe on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Back in 1948 we drove out to Colorado to visit family. Then my father's expenses were paid to International conferences in Paris and in Oxford in 1950. All he had to do was to find a way to fund us. So he worked at two jobs (commuting by train between Baltimore and Philadelphia) for the winter of 1949-1950

Passport photo

Passport photo

My mother prepared us for the trip by taking us to Berlitz for French lessons. She made the travel arrangements through Cook Travel Agency (who were an American Express Agency). She saved money in any way she could, so we had a joint passport for the three of us. I'm on the left - age 12. My mother is in the center, and my sister is on the right - age 10. My mother had her 41st birthday on the trip.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 12:40 Archived in USA Comments (0)

10 June 1950 - Sailing from New York

Tourist class on the Nieuw Amsterdam


View 1950 - Post War Europe on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We sailed from New York. In those days, people could come aboard and 'see you off'. My father's sister Margaret and three of her children came to see us off. I took a photo of the group,
My photo of the group- my dad is #2

My photo of the group- my dad is #2


and my dad took (better photos with a better camera) a photo of the group also.
Back row - Mom, Cousin Curtis, Aunt Margaret, Middle row friend of Burrowes, me, cousin Mariby - front row - friend of Burrowes, my sister, cousin Catherine

Back row - Mom, Cousin Curtis, Aunt Margaret, Middle row friend of Burrowes, me, cousin Mariby - front row - friend of Burrowes, my sister, cousin Catherine

Mom, Margaret, me, friend of Burrowes, cousin Curtis, Mariby - front - friend of Burrowes, my sisterBarbara, Catherine

Mom, Margaret, me, friend of Burrowes, cousin Curtis, Mariby - front - friend of Burrowes, my sisterBarbara, Catherine


Leaving the pier

Leaving the pier


New York skyline

New York skyline


Statue of Liberty National Monument

Statue of Liberty National Monument


We were Tourist Class. We had two bunk beds in the cabin and a sink and a toilet. If we wanted a bath, there was a bathtub in a separate room and you signed up on a sheet outside for the time you wanted, and the steward would draw your bath for you.
Bell and deck chairs

Bell and deck chairs

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June 11, 1950

June 11, 1950

Twiss kids, my sister and two other kids

Twiss kids, my sister and two other kids

Me and Therese (Dutch); Carol Scott from D.C.;   My sister and Helen Twiss

Me and Therese (Dutch); Carol Scott from D.C.; My sister and Helen Twiss


Tourist class had a separate (smaller) salt water pool than First Class. We had our own reserved deck chairs (with blankets) and they would bring soup or tea to you on the deck. There was shuffleboard, and they had Bingo (we did quite well at Bingo). The big card game of the time was Canasta, and we did well at that too. There was also Horse Racing (a dice game where they rolled the dice for the horse/jockey figures to move) and you could bet on that. We coudn't play - our dad had to place the bets. We had a set table and time to eat. All the crew was Dutch.
Our waiter

Our waiter


Sunset and birds at sea

Sunset and birds at sea

Sunset at sea

Sunset at sea


The weather was a little rough and that made us late - I think there was a hurricane. The ship stopped first at Southampton in England

Posted by greatgrandmaR 12:37 Archived in USA Comments (3)

Landing in France

A Day Late and A Country Missed


View 1950 - Post War Europe on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We landed in Le Havre and took the boat train to Paris. After a day here we proceeded on to Belgium (We would be back later)
Landing in Le Havre

Landing in Le Havre


Since we were a day late it threw off our schedule and we missed Luxembourg, one of the ten countries we planned to visit. My mother was afraid to let us drink the water, and so she let us drink tea or hot chocolate. She was highly incensed that the French did not say that the milk was Pasteurized. Instead they said "stérilisé". She was unaware that the two methods were not identical. This was also our first exposure to the Continental Breakfast - a breakfast without eggs or meat.

My mother's uncle was there on a sabbatical so we visited with him before we picked up with the pre-arranged itinerary. We went to see him at his fifth floor apartment. We didn't know how to operate the elevator, so we walked up the stairs. We found that the lights were on a timer and would go off after a period of time, so my sister and I went up the stairs pushing buttons as we went to keep the lights on. I'm sure that some of the buttons were doorbells, but we didn't know that.
Uncle Earle, Aunt Betty, my sister, me and Cousin Ann

Uncle Earle, Aunt Betty, my sister, me and Cousin Ann

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:28 Archived in France Comments (2)

Manniken Pis

The Little Boy at the Fountain


View 1950 - Post War Europe on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Brussels was the second place we went in Europe. On the way, we saw
Waterloo -1950

Waterloo -1950


from the train. (Flying was not as common in those days)
Brussels from hilltop

Brussels from hilltop


We stayed at the Le Grand Hotel.
Facade of the hotel 1950

Facade of the hotel 1950

Entrance to the hotel in 1950

Entrance to the hotel in 1950


I have my father's photos of it, and I have seen a historic postcard which has the address of this current hotel on it. This was the second place we stayed on our European trip. Since we were traveling by train, we mostly stayed at hotels near a train station. This was common practice back then and these were not just cheap and dirty hotels. I don't remember anything about the hotel - if it wasn't for the photos, I would not even have remembered that we stayed there. Plus I doubt if it is the same now as it was then
Street in front of hotel

Street in front of hotel


The current website says:
..rooms all have a classic décor with large windows. They come with a tea/coffee maker, ironing facilities and marble bathrooms. The rooms at the front of the hotel also have a balcony. A breakfast buffet is available in the breakfast area daily. Guests can relax in the bar and coffee shop or use the free internet computer in the Grand Place’s lobby. The Anneessens Metro Station is a 3-minute walk away, providing a connection to Gare du Midi Train Station and its Eurostar terminal in 5 minutes. Brussels Central Train Station is a 10-minute walk away.
View from hotel window - Whippet racing sign

View from hotel window - Whippet racing sign

Closeup of building decoration from hotel window

Closeup of building decoration from hotel window


My father took a lot of photos of buildings such as the Cathedral in Petit Sablou (which I do not remember at all)
Cathedral in Petit Sablou in 1950

Cathedral in Petit Sablou in 1950


2 Counts Egmont and Hornes - in Petit Sablou Square

2 Counts Egmont and Hornes - in Petit Sablou Square


and also of statues including several of the 48 bronze statuettes, each representing a different medieval guild.
One of the trade/guild statues around the church

One of the trade/guild statues around the church


My mother correctly labeled the
clock maker

clock maker


as well as the
Fisherman

Fisherman


Sword smith

Sword smith


She called one of them a street sweeper and I have found a picture of that one and he is a
Bleacher

Bleacher


The last photo I have not been able to identify the guild - he has an auger in his belt so my mother called him a carpenter, but the carpenter is supposed to have a chair or a saw.
What occupation is this?

What occupation is this?

And of course he took photos of the Mannikin Pis statue. Manneken Pis is the name of the statue of a little boy who is urinating - he supplies water to what was at one time a water supply for the city.
Manneken-Pis

Manneken-Pis

Mannikin Pis

Mannikin Pis

Manneken-Pis - closer

Manneken-Pis - closer


He no longer has that function. He was 'dressed' in costumes four times a year, but we did not see that. Now he has many costumes and there is a schedule that you can consult so that you can time your visit to the costume schedule.
Photo from a taxi in 1950

Photo from a taxi in 1950


In a city, we sometimes took taxis. Currently to take a city taxi, you can just go to any of the taxi stands on the side of the main streets. If you can't see a taxi stand, the taxi stand information is on the Brussels Maps. You can wave down a taxi if you see one and there is no nearby taxi stand.. Taxis come in all shapes and sizes without any markings on the car doors, but they have a white, yellow and blue triangle on the roof to identify them. All taxis are metered and you do not need to tip except to round to the next higher Euro. The standard fares will change over time; At present it is €2.40 at the start and €1.35 per km in the city. A €2 surcharge applies between 10pm and 6am
Unknown soldier

Unknown soldier

Statue of Antoine Depage (1862-1925) with unknown man

Statue of Antoine Depage (1862-1925) with unknown man

Hotel Ville (city hall

Hotel Ville (city hall

Note statues on top of town hall

Note statues on top of town hall

main square - city government buildings

main square - city government buildings

buildings in old square

buildings in old square

Brussels policeman

Brussels policeman

Street scene

Street scene

Belgium billboards

Belgium billboards

Belgium billboards

Belgium billboards


Peace palace

Peace palace


Peace Palace

Peace Palace

Kings Palace and grounds

Kings Palace and grounds

My sister (on the left) and myself - June 1950

My sister (on the left) and myself - June 1950


and we made a day trip to Antwerp

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:16 Archived in Belgium Comments (2)

Rubens and the Zoo

Daytrip

We also took a day trip to Antwerp
Street Scene in Antwerp - 1950

Street Scene in Antwerp - 1950


street scene - Antwerp

street scene - Antwerp


and we visited Ruben's house
Statues at Ruben's house

Statues at Ruben's house


Stained glass detail

Stained glass detail


and the zoo.
Mural in the zoo

Mural in the zoo


Male peacock from the front

Male peacock from the front

Peacock from the back

Peacock from the back


Our family outside the museum in the zoo

Our family outside the museum in the zoo


Antwerp RR station 1950

Antwerp RR station 1950


Station in 1950 from the zoo

Station in 1950 from the zoo


Daddy took photo of the poppies because of the poem "In Flander's Fields", the first part of which goes
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

F1531-_.jpgpoppies

poppies

poppies

poppies


The zoo was right next to the railway station. Then we took the train to Amsterdam
Train engine in 1950

Train engine in 1950

Table lamp and bottle in the train

Table lamp and bottle in the train

Inside the train looking out

Inside the train looking out


Station from inside the train

Station from inside the train

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:20 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Bicycles

June 21st, 1950


View 1950 - Post War Europe on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Painting at my moms

Painting at my moms


After we left Belgium, we took the train to Amsterdam.
Rosalie Ann with her paraphenalia in RR station in Europe

Rosalie Ann with her paraphenalia in RR station in Europe

Railroad station

Railroad station

Train approaching

Train approaching


hundreds of small gardens from the train

hundreds of small gardens from the train


windmill near Amsterdam

windmill near Amsterdam


Mint Tower - 1950 - Amsterdam

Mint Tower - 1950 - Amsterdam


Horse drawn carriage

Horse drawn carriage


My mother was particularly impressed by the number of bicycles and the cars with turn signals that flipped up so that you didn't have to stick your arm out the window like you still did in the USA. We met with some Dutch Girl Guides. My mother arranged for us to meet girls our age who were Scouts/Guides all over Europe.
Girl Guides with my sister and me

Girl Guides with my sister and me

Girl Guides

Girl Guides

Girl Guides

Girl Guides


Some years later, my sister's Girl Scout troup went to Europe. My father also met (not pre-arranged) his friend Ed Spear and family.
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Speers family - June 23, 1950

Speers family - June 23, 1950

Spear family

Spear family

Ed Spear - 1950 Amsterdam

Ed Spear - 1950 Amsterdam


Horse and carriage

Horse and carriage


We took a day trip to Marken and Volendam. Marken was a fishing village,
Marken horse and rider

Marken horse and rider


and we bought some wooden shoes there.
Wedding shoes

Wedding shoes


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Marken carved into a wooden shoe

Marken carved into a wooden shoe

Inside the heel

Inside the heel


and at that time, the people in Volendam still wore their original Dutch clothing.
National Dress

National Dress


My dad took movies of the children running around in their wooden shoes, and of the wooden shoes outside the doorways of the houses. I put it on YouTube - the whole of the Netherlands movies takes about 15 minutes to view

Netherlands 1950

My sister and I in 1950

My sister and I in 1950


We also visited the cheese market at Alkmaar.
Weighing house -Kaasmuseum - Alkmaar

Weighing house -Kaasmuseum - Alkmaar

carrying the cheeses - Alkmaar

carrying the cheeses - Alkmaar


The cheese market was where the cheese was inspected and weighed. My dad took movies of the bouncing cheeses and the men who carried the heavy sledges of cheese to be weighed and inspected.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:25 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Tivoli Gardens

The Ferry Train


View 1950 - Post War Europe on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Next we took the train to Copenhagen. Part of the time the train was on a ferry. They put the whole train cars on the ferry.
Train cars on the ferry

Train cars on the ferry

Danish seagull

Danish seagull

Wake of the ferry

Wake of the ferry

Denmark ferry - seen from our train at the dock

Denmark ferry - seen from our train at the dock


I remember Copenhagen for the
Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid


. I also remember the Danish breakfasts. We had a guide in Copenhagen who was very humorless
Guide in Copenhagen - very stern

Guide in Copenhagen - very stern


We stayed at the Terminus Hotel. When it was built in 1918, the Hotel was the most modern in Copenhagen - all the rooms had a telephone and bathroom. The beds were feather beds - you slept under a feather comforter or quilt with no sheets. The feather part was inside a kind of pillowcase which was changed like a sheet would be changed.
Our beds in Copenhagen at Hotel Terminus

Our beds in Copenhagen at Hotel Terminus


It was right next to the railroad station (it still is) and across the street diagonally from Tivoli. It was bought by Wagons-Lits (the railroad people) in 1968 (after we stayed there) and the name was changed to the Plaza Hotel in 1970. It is now the Copenhagen Plaza. We took a little motor boat through the canals of the city. We shopped at the Kunstindustrimuseet where I bought a charm bracelet with carved ivory animals with the money my grandmother had given me to get something for myself.
weather forecaster

weather forecaster

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King's Guard

King's Guard


Fredericksburg Castle

Fredericksburg Castle

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I particularly remember going to Tivoli. The Tivoli Gardens were a famous amusement park in the center of town. You could go there and eat, dance or ride a ferris wheel. I remember a ride where you went into a 'mountain', kind of a pre-Disney Matterhorn ride. We met up with local girl guides/scouts,
Scouts in Copenhagen

Scouts in Copenhagen


and while we were at Tivoli, and airplane dropped flyers which announced the beginning of the 'police action' in Korea. In Danish of course. The English of the Danish guides wasn't up to translating 'police action', so all we knew was that Truman had done something in Korea.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:30 Archived in Denmark Comments (2)

Hamlet's Castle and a Side Trip to Sweden

June 26, 1960


View 1950 - Post War Europe on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Hamlet's castle Helsinger Denmark

Hamlet's castle Helsinger Denmark


My mother was very into all the literature types of things so of course we had to visit Hamlet's Castle. Her note says "Very interesting - take sturdy shoes"
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When we went to see Hamlet's castle in Kronborg in 1950, we discovered that we could almost see Sweden and there was a ferry that went across. We had planned to visit ten countries, but when the ship was a day late, we missed going to Luxembourg. If we took the ferry across, we could pick up an extra country and make a round ten countries for our trip.
RR Station at Helsingor Denmark - from boat we took to Sweden

RR Station at Helsingor Denmark - from boat we took to Sweden

leaving Elsinore, Denmark

leaving Elsinore, Denmark


There are still frequent ferries across, and the trip takes only 20 minutes. According to the website:
All the Helsingborg Ferries have been recently modernised to high standards and are equipped with all the latest facilities such as restaurants and bars, spacious lounges, Cafes, toilets and disabled facilities.
Helsingborgs Fyr lighthouse - entering harbor

Helsingborgs Fyr lighthouse - entering harbor

Helsingborgs Fyr lighthouse

Helsingborgs Fyr lighthouse

Turrets - city hall

Turrets - city hall

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:12 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

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