It had been twenty-five years since I last travelled to Europe – 1980 to be precise.
But there was good reason to go this time. Hayden and Elisse were living there.
We travelled in England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland. We caught up with Hayden and Elisse in England and they joined us in Rome. We also caught up with many other friends.
No web site in those days, so my pictures were posted on Flickr. But Flickr have just announced they are limiting content unless you pay for the PRO version. So here are the pics from Nextgen Gallery.
First Day in London
Our fist day was chilling out in West Ealing, where Hayden & Elisse were living. It’d been along flight and we were shattered when the carefully carried cryo packed lamb was confiscated by customs at Heathrow.
Days in London
Elisse and Hayden showed us around their favourite parts of London. Royal College of Music where Elisse was studying, Elisse’s favourite flute shop and Greenwich, where Elisse would like to live.
We took the train to Durham to watch Austrlia vs England ODI. We slipped oit quietly when it was clear that Australia would win.
From Durham we hired a car and dove back to London via the village of Stainsby, and Manchester.
From London we flew to Berlin to look at the Bauhaus and see the city post-checkpoint Charlie. East Berlin was vibrant and West Berlin looked rather tired.
Hessen and Heidelberg
Train Berlin to Darmstadt and then we picked up a hire car to find the home of some of my ancestors in the region of Hessen. From there to Heidleberg to visit friends. I love Germany.
Continuing our train journey, from Mannheim to Paris where we caught up with Pete, ate crepes and scaled the Eiffel Tower.
The Olympic Games host of London was announced as we sat in a Paris cafe – another quiet exit.
Barcelona wasn’t on our hit list, Bilbao was, but going through Barcelona was the easiest way to reach Bilbao. We fell in love with the colourful, hip scene there, not knowing what a hold it would have over the Stainsby’s in later years.
Another art destination – the Guggenheim of Bilbao. We arrived bleary eyed after an overnight train from Barcelona and found the city hadn’t woken up yet.
We were fascinated by the stunning museum and it’s modern art, as well as the rejuvenated city and its consideration for people with mobility challenges. I like Spain!
London Last Visit
Back to London – our third visit. Elisse had called us in great excitement, inviting us to watch her perform at St Martin’s in the Fields.
Our last time with Hayden & Elisse was in Rome. Cousin Anthony hosted us and showed us around. Bruce & Anthony debated the charm of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The Porchetta dinner in Frascati, in the foothills of Rome was a highlight.
in 1972 I left a little bit of my heart in Italy. We chose Cinque Terra to relive some of my dreams from living in Genova. It didn’t disappoint.
Our last stop was to visit Bruce’s oldest friend Denis in Switzerland. Denis & Martine had suggested a short break in Zermatt to see some of the best of the country.