Had our last English breakfast after which we all went our separate ways – Ruth, Harold & I took a walk through St. James Park – a beautiful cool but bright morning – flowers were beautiful – On through the Court of St. James where many diplomatic functions are held – We saw the guards boarding busses to go to their various stations – Saw the Queen Mother’s Home with its beautiful window boxes Passed Buckingham Palace where the Queen was confined to her apartment with a cold –
On our way back to the hotel we witnessed the passing of the Horse Guard in its red black and gold splendor –
When we got back to the hotel our bags were aboard the bus & soon we were too –
In route to the airport we passed the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace & Kensington Palace – the home of Princess Margaret.
In the airport we spent the last of our British coins & left the airport at 14:00 for Paris – Still not having seen the British Museum ( must for tourists) –
We flew at 19,000 feet – The air was a little turbulent but above the clouds bright & smooth – Before getting up this high we did see the coast line and the English Channel –
Thoughts of London
This was a beautiful time of the year in London – the grass a soft green over the gently rolling hills – The Spring flowers were in bloom & made such spots of beauty everywhere –
The Pubs were small & very friendly – We found the people every where very helpful & even anxious to be of service – Several times as we stood looking at a map of the city someone would stop & ask if they could help.
The British do have a sense of humor!
The Women looked very smart in Midi Coats & boots – The men in bowlers & wish their black silk umbrellas on the “Underground” looked very proper –
No pot holes in the streets – no rust on the cars – very few gasoline stations – (none like we have ) & those that exist are right on the curb where the cars are on the street as they get a “fill-up”
The street lights are yellow – to penetrate the fogg I guess –
Many double-houses & the dwellings are very similar Lots of red-tile roofs & in the suburbs nearly every house had a small greenhouse in the back yard –
We saw lots of fresh flowers – very very few artificial ones –
The “Bobbys” are held in great respect –
The number of live theatres outnumbers movie houses
The weather can change rapidly –
A great mass transit system:
The Natives were still having some trouble with their new decimal system – it made us feel a little less stupid
Day 7 London-Paris Cross Channel flight takes less than an hour. Rest of day and night free.
In about an hour we landed at Aeroport de Paris – Orly – just South of Paris – Went through Customs – got ourselves some francs & made ready to see “Gay Paree”
Our guide loaded us and our luggage on the bus & we were off –
She warned us of several things: Not to let the cab drivers “diddle you” – Not to buy from street vendors and to Remember that as far as the Parisians were concerned the traffic lights, lines, and markings on the street are there simply for decoration – No one paid them any attention –
Also a reminder that we’d need 10 francs per person to get out of the country –
We traveled over the Boulevard Raspul [Raspail?] (one of the very last cobble stone streets of Paris) along the left bank – We crossed the Seine & passed the Louvre and arrived at our Hotel – just one block of the Champs Élysées and the reported hang out for American Journalists –
This – the Patio was beautiful
The [California] hotel was lovely – even halls, stairs, and landings held beautiful pieces of furniture
Hungry we set out in search of a place to eat – found one very near “Jour-Nuit” (Day & Nite) & had a wonderful dinner after more than a little language problem & with all those students of French in our company –
Our biggest problem was Earl getting his German & French mixed & in an effort to say “no” to the waitress he came up with “nein” and she smiled & promptly came back with 9 bottles of beer – He’d hit on the one word she knew in English –
Full & feeling the need of exercise we set out on a walk that took us past many of the high Fashion Houses – on Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré down to Place Vendôme and back toward the Hotel to see the Avenue des Champs Élysées at night –
Volume labeled “The Pennsylvania Lawyer’s Diary 1971”, used as travel journal by Elizabeth W. Ruffner, for a trip taken in March-April 1971; held by Malissa Ruffner, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Baltimore, MD; 2011.
For background information on this series of posts, see Spring Break, 1971.