Saturday, November 26, 2011

Postcards - Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia. - 3.4.1970

Dubrovnik.   3rd April 1970

To.  Mrs M E Griffiths, Deakin. A.C.T. 2600

Dear Mum,

Doing very well so far, been to Paris, Lausanne, Montreux, St Bernard Tunnel to Italy, back into Switzerland to Lugano, around the lakes to Como and Milan. Cecile and Jimmy, took us out for a fabulous Italian meal.  Onto Venice, supurb, had masses of Italian food, wine at 300L (3/6) a litre.  Been to Trieste, Rijeka, Split, now here in Dubrovik.

Weather so - so, pretty wet in Switzerland, (now we are at the P.O. writing)  Hoped to meet Trevor J. and Mary-Liz here on their way from Greece, but Poste Restante is closed so we don't know where they are.

Yugoslavia okay, not many police etc, less than in Spain, fuel 3/- a gallon, cheap wine, fruit, etc.  Photos of Tito in EVERY shop.  Fair shops, etc.  Much love D.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Croatia (Yugoslavia) - Dubrovnik- April 1970

 We loved this town, we spent days just walking around these alleyways, the waterfront, the walls and camped in the bush at night.

One of the alleyways from Google below.

 A camera man filming??  We never found out, he just seemed to wander about with the camera under his arm.

Same spot from Google below.

We eventually had to give up on hoping to meet with Trevor and Mary-Liz, leaving Dubrovnik and heading for Sarajevo.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Postcards - Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia - 3.4.1970

 Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.     3rd April 1970

To:  The Rodds, Newport. 2106 N.S.W.  Australia.

Dear All,

We have been pleasantly surprised by Yugoslavia.  The coast is almost as good as our own but the beaches have no sand.  When we first arrived the Army was everywhere but haven't seen a soul since.

The peasants are very friendly and harmless so far.  Things seem about as cheap as they are in the U.K.  Photos of Tito in every shop but less police than in Spain.   Raining heavily now but it had been sunny for a bit.  You can see by the card what a spectacular place it looks, no cars go inside the walls.  Have met lots of Aussies and Americans, not here but in Italy and France.

Will write a long letter soon, love to Phelans, Cobcrofts and Mama.  Have spent $Aus5. per day so far so pretty good.

Love P & D.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Letter - David's Mother - Dubrovnik - 4.4.1970

Dear Mum, Dad, Andrew and Julia,                                                              Written by Pennie.

      I'm sitting in the glorious sunshine on a rough dirt track overlooking the beautiful crystal clear Adriatic Sea, Dave is putting some plastic padding on the muffler and I've just done some washing, people walk by now and then and by their looks they give us, I'm sure they think we're mad.

     Well I'll start at the beginning - We left Dover early on March 16th by Hovercraft, it was terrific the way it set off on the land and just skimmed over the channel to France in just 35 minutes instead of about 2 1/2 hours by Ferry, I still threw up a couple of times though, unfortunately.

     We drove on the wrong (right) side of the road again and headed for Paris arriving in the evening rush hour and had to go right through from North to South, we made it after taking several wrong turns and trying to look at everything, Dave at the Trams me at the Shops.  We stayed at the Youth Hostel the whole time and had bed and breakfast for $A1.20 each.  Breakfast was a real experience with plenty of French Bread, Butter, Jam and big breakfast bowls full of coffee or chocolate, but it wasn't hard to get used to.

     First day we visited Notre Dame which is a really simple but beautiful Cathedral, walked along the River Seine which is so clean it hardly seems possible in such a dusty place as Paris.  Caught an old bus to the Eiffel Tower but didn't go up because it costs $A1.50 each.  We really did a lot in Paris for very little but if you wanted to you could spend a bomb on very little.  Next the Arc de Triomphe and a slow wander down the Avenue Champs Elysee's past all the super night clubs and dress shops and car shops.  We ate crepes from little old ladies making them on the sidewalk and had a couple of drinks in the real sidewalk cafe, coke costs 20c for a small bottle and wine costs 25c a litre, so I've discovered I like wine at last. (I'm surprised I wrote this my preference for wine didn't last long, it's the wine's fault, it doesn't like me!)

      Next day was spent at the Louvre which is really too big to see in one day but we did try.   The only things that really took our fancy were the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo and the State Apartments.  Next day we went to Montmartre and visited the fantastic Church on top of the hill (you'll see all these things in our photos)  caught the funicular railway to the bottom and went back to the Louvre and saw the French Impressionists, the lovely Renior's, Degas' and Surat's, this was our favourite place, we spent ages there just staring at everything.

     Drove to Versailles to the Palace and Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon these were really spectacular, they really knew how to live in those days.  That evening we headed south and slept two nights by the road in France then into Switzerland.  The brilliant sunshine and several feet of snow were a real treat after miles and miles of dusty France.  The first impression one gets is how clean and neat everything is, the people are friendly and love Tabitha Taxi.  We stayed at Montreux in a closed camping area for free which was right on Lake Geneva and the view - still lake, rugged mountains going straight up and tops covered in snow.  Beautiful.   No sooner than we'd washed Tabitha it started to rain.  Everything looks wealthy, we were told the unemployment figure is 20 so there is no poverty.  Had a great filling meal with terrific cooking and service for $A2 each.  Soup as much as we wanted, 2 bowls even and meat, Dave had pork with a delicious sauce and I had veal and beautiful spinach and piles of thin french fries and a pudding, bread and two wines - not bad.

     We caught a few trains because there was nothing else to do because of the rain and drove into Italy through the Grand St Bernard Tunnel, the change into Italy is obvious with roads bad, dirty and untidy, everyone throws their rubbish into the lovely rivers and waterfalls and spoils them.  Next day we drove along the base of the mountains and back into Switzerland at Lugano and stay at the Best Youth Hostel we've seen yet, swimming pool the lot and spotlessly clean.  We have a meal there for 60c which consisted of soup one rather large white sausage, piles of salad and rice and big breakfast bowls of tea, it was delicious but haven't a clue what the sausage was.  While there we went to Swiss Miniature, all the old and famous buildings in Switzerland in miniature, you just walk all around them and watch the cars, trains and boats go around, it was cute but poured with rain the whole time.  Back to Italy along the lovely lake Como and into Milan, showered at the Youth Hostel and went to see your friends the Jamison's, Cecile looks very well much better than she did last year and full of beans, they seemed pleased to see us and we all chatted non stop.  Elizabeth arrived from England the day before and the next day they were all off to Sardinia for Easter - we really had a slap up meal at a lovely restaurant, you didn't order anything, trolleys laden with food were bought to the table and you helped yourself, 6 courses we had of real Italian food and gallons of wine and bread.  Stayed a the hostel that night and had our suitcase stolen, it was our own fault it was strapped onto the luggage rack not locked in the car as it should have been.  All our clothes went, 320 cigarettes (David was a smoker in those days)  and all our important documents for the Taxi and about shipping the Taxi home.  We had one change of clothes in the Hostel luckily but they are good ones and too warm for down here now.  The really annoying part is we've thrown everything out that didn't fit in the trunks and that now leaves us no clothes at all except a couple of good things we had no intention of taking to Russia or the U.S.A.  I'm going to be busy sewing when I get back to the UK for three weeks.  The Police and the Australian Consul is looking into it for us but we haven't much hope of recovery - we are double sure now after the loss.  The drive from Milan to Venice was a bit dull, we camped the night near a cemetery and awoke late the next morning in the middle of a funeral and boy oh boy, what a funeral, everybody was in it.

What a beautiful place Venice is, so like all the paintings you see, all the canals were quite clean for Italy and St Marks, beautiful mosaics in gold.  Hoards of people there because of Easter and the souvenir sellers pestering everyone and the Gondolas charge $A5 for a short trip so we dipped out again. We spent three days in Venice just walking and looking.  Everything was closed because of Easter but we found a great Pizzeria with a little old lady making Pizzas in front of you and they were really delicious.

From Venice straight to Yugoslavia.  At the border there is a lot of soldiers but as we got further south we saw none, the country is so rugged it seems impossible to do anything with but every square patch of flat earth has lettuce growing in it, the Peasants are charming, we wave to them and they stop what they're doing and wave and wave.  Split then Dubrovnik.  The coastline is something out of this world, the water is so clear and clean, the small beaches so cute.  The countryside is very clean and the people are willing to help.  Dubrovnik is terrific completely walled and is in very good condition, today for 3 dinars (20c) each we will walk along the top of the walls.  Last night for dinner I cooked some sort of fish and squid it was delicious even if I do say so myself.  I think David agrees.

     We had our Yugoslav meal yesterday, a national dish - soup then grilled pork placed on top of rice and mixed vegetables, doesn't sound very exciting but it was good.  We are hoping to meet Trevor and Mary Liz today at the Youth Hostel which is closed so we will just wait around and hope.   Dave says if I don't let him say something you'll think he's forgotten you, so over to him.            Love Pennie

Well not much left to say, except we are having pretty good weather as a rule, we expected to be swimming in the Adriatic, but there's quite a chill in the air despite the bright sunshine.  The case lost in Milan was a bit of a shock, but a great nuisance, as Pen lost so many clothes, and me, the car documents which are replaceable I hope before we ship her off on May 26th.  Otherwise we can feel lucky it wasn't the whole car taken, or damaged in some way.  We are seeing all sorts of interesting buildings, museums, shops, trying restaurants and wines all over the place and of course seeing mind boggling amounts of fabulous scenery and talking to quite a lot of people, both locals and other travellers like ourselves.  There are dozens of VW Kombi campers around, from all over Europe, but mostly U.S.A. and Canada, a lot of Aussies, in Bedford Dormobiles mainly.    We've just been talking to a Canadian couple, (This is where we met Ted and Penny from Vancouver, we still keep in touch and have managed to see them a couple of times over all these years.) as we sat waiting hoping to meet Trevor and Mary Liz, this couple have two children, about 9 or 10 years and a VW and come from Vancouver.  They've been on the road about 7 months, all over Europe also into Asia and Africa, they gave us their address in Vancouver to come and stay a while if we get there from Carmel.  We also met a US couple in Venice who are living in Germany teaching US Air Force kids, in Beyreuth, (This was Doug and Frankie) who've asked us to stay a while if we get there a night there on our way through Germany.  It's wonderful sort of international friendship you find doing this sort of travelling, there is so much we all have in common to talk about, so much to lean about other countries by talking to each other.

We're beginning to think as the day wears on, that Trevor and Mary Liz aren't going to make it here - but we haven't had any message by post or though the Hostel - it's a bit depressing.  Mail is coming through well, the Bank is super efficient with it (although Trevor didn't get my Kangaroo skin belt, I think it's gone astray as I suspect the occasional letter from us and to us hence the occasional times when we haven't known what the other is on about) and the bank will carry on even after we've left UK, so carry on with it as the standard address until we get home.

We've just, about to compose another epistle to Dudu, we've sent the odd P.C. en route, but haven't written for ages, as we haven't to you.  Good on Cooma Cottage - hope it's all smooth progress , if involved and we really look forward to seeing what cooks when we get home.  Interesting about Clive Lucas - I've met him several times and he's a really nice chap.  Elizabeth Jamieson is a very poised little lady, going to be quite pretty I think - I always wonder what my little sister is gong to be when I see her again after 3 years!

No sign of Trevor yet, so we'll go off and park somewhere for the night cook up our canned beef, spuds, local bread and cheese, etc. and wash it all down with rough red wine.  (4 dinars a litre here: a dinar is 7c.)

Taking masses of photos, been through 5 reels so far in three weeks of 36 per reel!  Quite a developing bill if I don't start discriminating a bit.

Well that's about all, write again soon, we'll get it okay, yours of March 22 reached us April 3, which isn't bad.

Much love Dave.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Croatia (Yugoslavia) - Dubrovnik- April 1970

 This photo was taken out the window as we drove towards Dubrovnik.

 Lunch stop beside the Neretva River between Split and Dubrovnik.

The Adriatic Coastline.

We arrived in Dubrovnik on the exact date that we had planned to meet up with our friends Trevor and Mary-Liz who were travelling from Australia.  The plan was to meet at the Dubrovnik Youth Hostel, spend a couple of days here and travel back to England together.

The Youth Hostel was closed, one because it was Winter and two because they were doing renovations but we left a note and camped nearby.

We waited one day for them, we waited two days for them, we waited three days for Trevor and Mary-Liz to turn up or send a message but on the fourth day we had to move on.  When we arrived back in England we received a letter from them saying they thought Dubrovnik was the name of a Youth Hostel in Greece!!!!!    Trevor and Mary-Liz did get to Dubrovnik but days after we'd left but they got our message so they knew we'd made it on time.

I might add the waiting was not painful, we loved Dubrovnik, the food was good, the people were lovely but there was no where for us to shower!  so driving up some quite road, heating up some water, stripping off and tipping the water over us was the only way we managed to keep clean.

 Dubrovnik a walled city until 1808

 At the Gates, this bus was packed solid with passengers when it arrived and as soon as it disgorged it was quickly packed once again.

Almost the same spot below from Google.

 This chap was wearing leather pants and a skull cap, he's outside a masonry workshop.

From Split to Dubrovnik on Google Maps.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Croatia (Yugoslavia) - Split - April 1970

Doesn't this look idyllic!  This is where we pulled off the road to sleep our first night in Yugoslavia, right in the middle of these Olive Trees.  Lovely and peaceful it was too.  Till the next morning!

So we'd woken up, got ourselves dressed and I ducked below the taxi to pee.  There I was, pants down and in a squat position when I heard this man shouting at me, it wasn't just a man it was a soldier pointing a rifle in my direction... YIKES!  Of course I had no idea what he was shouting but I got the message and quickly pulled up my pants and hurried back to the taxi where David was and saw another soldier sitting in a jeep. 

We indicated that we were heading south and off they went.   Phew!  When I asked David why he hadn't stopped him, he just said... 'He had a gun!'   Mmmmm....
Lets get away from that Olive Grove quick smart!  Heading for Split.

I'm not having much luck finding these same places on Google Maps, they haven't taken their camera in to these old Yugoslavian countries so no luck.
P.S.  A kind reader found this photo on my blog and wrote the below...
' great blog, love the photos.
regarding photo no. 4, it is Trogir, not Split. these days it looks like this'

 And sent links to these two photos... Just beautiful!   Thank you...

Lots of farming going on in these hills.

Google Maps from Rijeka to Split.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Slovenia (Yugoslavia) - Rijeka - April 1970

After Venice we camped the night beside the road just outside Trieste in Italy and were woken very early with all these fuel tankers rolling by.  Up and ready and into what was called, Yugoslavia.

I've been having fun on Google Maps finding which countries we actually visited in Yugoslavia, firstly - Slovenia!

 Drydock at Rijeka - David has written - An Austro-Hungarian seaport until 1918, then Italian, then Yugoslavia after WW11.

Below is a photo I found on Google.

The Adriatic Sea at Rijeka.

 Driving through a Dalmatian Village.

On the Adriatic coast.

From Google Maps from Trieste in Italy to Rijeka in Yugoslavia.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Postcards - Trieste, Italy - 1.4.1970.

Trieste, 1st April - Written by David.

To: Mrs D C Evans, Killara. NSW 2071 Australia.

Dear Dudu,

So far we've had a fabulous trip, in Milan Cecile and A.B. took us out for a great Italian meal in the best of style,  since when we have moved on to Venice where the weather was super, where despite fantastic Easter tourist crowds we were able to park and camp for 150 lire (2/-) per day, and buy wine at 3/- per litre and see the most lively and fascinating city I've yet to visit, Paris included.

We went all over Venice on ferries, walked miles, saw the famous glass-blowing, and met up with a young U.S. couple living in Germany, who've invited us to stay with them on our way through later on.  Spending $US.6 per day, all included and H.A.L.T.

love Pennie and David.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Italy - Venice #4 - April 1970

 Gondolas and Motoscafos and Vaporettos and Ferrys... boats, boats, boats.
 David has written under this photo - 'Bored, exploited Gondola - riders.'  They certainly look it don't they and it wasn't the best way to see Venice!   Walking and walking  and exploring through the alleyways and over the bridges... getting lost was so much fun and you really got the feel of the people who actually live in Venice!

 See the Guard there he's watching David as we boarded the Motoscafo, David was trying to avoid paying the fare!  He caught him!  David doesn't look like he cares much though does he!

 The Rialto Bridge from the other side from one of my other posts.

Time to leave Venice, which has to be one of our very favourite cities... heading towards Yugoslavia around the very north of the Mediterranean Sea.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Italy - Venice #3 - April 1970

 This was our best find in Venice... a Pizza Shop!  The shop was just a hole in the wall down several narrow alley ways and it was the very first Pizza we'd ever eaten!  Pizza wasn't big in Australia or England for that matter, not as it is now so this wonderful smelling, wonderfully tasty treat was a revelation!  They even threw the dough up in the air :-)

David has written beside this photo - 'Pizza Margherita with the little old lady near Ponte S. Gregorio.'  DAVID she looks younger than I do now!  LOL

We tried to find this Pizza shop again and again but all the alley ways, see below, looked the same...we were lucky on our third and last day in Venice!  Hurray!

 Oh dear... why would I need this hat?? I can't remember buying it but that's something in my hands I wonder what it was!
 Also sleeping in the Isola Car Park were these two Americans, Doug and Frankie who were teachers in the American Military Base in Germany, we called in to see them on our way back to the UK and kept in touch for a few years.  They had their second daughter on the same date and we had Tomos.

 On the Island of Murano watching the Glass blowing, I picked up a few mistakes that they were giving away free and we used them as swizzle sticks for years... I wonder if I still have them? Nah, can't find them.

Vetreria Murano Arte Glass Factory.