Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Is it better to travel hopefully?

I am still clearing out 'rubbish' - old jig-saws we will never do again, old books etc.   It is such a good feeling when yet another space has been cleared and the carpet sees the light of day for the first time in a year or two.

In the days before digital photography I always kept a diary to go along with the countless photographs I took.   As soon as we returned home I would dash to the chemist to get the films developed and then, while it was still fresh in my mind, I would mount the best snaps into albums, type up the diary and store them away.

I have enjoyed several holidays over the last few days - most enjoyable has to be the journey up the coast of Norway round to the Russian border at Kirkenes on the Hurtigruten Kong Harald Ferry.
I don't mean I have been; I mean I have sat down with a coffee and read the diary and looked at the photographs.   So many of the incidents I had forgotten and so many memories have been revived (without a horrible bout of seasickness which overtook me on the three hours of open sea out to the Lofoten Islands in a Force 8 Gale).  In that respect I enjoyed reading about it rather than experiencing it!

When I think of the queuing at the airports these days, all the hullabaloo of getting through to the Departure Gate, the rotten food on the flight, my lack of mobility and the packing, unpacking and washing afterwards, I am beginning to agree that it is maybe better to travel hopefully than it is to arrive.

Maybe this is because the only two places I still wish I had been to and obviously will now never go, are Alaska and India.

I first went abroad in 1953 staying in the Hotel St. Petersburg in the Rue Ceaumartin.   It is ingrained on my memory because I was only 21 and every experience was so new.  During my clearing out session today I came across this photograph of me, sitting in a cafe in Montmartre - with the waiter standing by my side.  Ah - those were the days.   It's a tatty old photograph, but you get the idea and maybe pick up a bit of my excitement at the adventure (when I could walk quickly - or even run if I so wished).


Rachel said...

That is such a wonderful photograph, you look so lovely.

I have cleared out lots of things in the past 12 months, as you know, and feel much better for it but I have kept the photographs of our holidays together. The other day my hand hovered over the old albums shelf but I dare not look. Maybe some time.

It doesn't matter quite so much not to go so long as you still research and look and plan and know about these places even if it will only be over the kitchen table, it is still good.

Joanne Noragon said...

My friend just returned from an Alaskan cruise. She was disappointed in the cruise, but enjoyed to little excursions into Alaska.
These sort of travel days are over for me, too. I can no longer walk long distances in any decent amount of time, and need the wheel chair to get to the gate and to the luggage area. Sometimes they are there promptly, some times I've waited for forty five minutes. Makes the thought of travel to all but very familiar places unpleasant.

Tom Stephenson said...

What a young beauty you were, Weave. I bet you're an old beauty now.

I love holidays, but I hate the planning of them, or at least the execution of the planning. It's all such hard work.

John Gray said...

You remind me of merle Oberon

Heather said...

I keep holiday diaries too - usually just a notebook with a daily record of what we did. The biggest one was for my trip to Seattle over 20years ago and that went into a ring binder! I love to dip into it now and then, and doubt that I shall ever go abroad again.
What a very elegant and beautiful young lady you are in your photo.

Doc said...

I must say now that I am older the getting too is far more work and I often think wouldn’t it be nicer to just stay home? But every time we get the chance to go I am right there standing in line. I do love looking at photo albums rather than scanning them on the computer.

Mary said...

Pat, you are stunning in that photo - it's like a still from a classic movie, elegant hair, pretty frock, and holding yourself so beautifully with a slightly naughty smile! "Yes Paris, I'm here at last", in your thoughts perhaps?

As you know I'm still traveling like a crazy person and have several journeys scheduled for the coming year. BUT, it is hard work and the planning alone can wear one out before even leaving home!

You might still manage seeing Alaska which is quite wonderful, however India you should just enjoy from afar, a very hard country to travel through, take my word for it!

Meanwhile, happy memories as you sort through your photos - hope you show us more like this one!

Mary -

angryparsnip said...

I loved traveling when I was younger and not just because of the ability to walk which I have almost lost.
But then traveling was fun and exciting. The planes were not such a cattle call of people into planes and smouched sitting with never enough room.
I remember one plane lunch that was a basket filled with cheeses, bread, fruit and veggies and wine.
Heaven !
Your photo is beautiful, and you look like Hercule Poirot is just walking up to have tea with with while talking about how could the murder take place in a closed room !

cheers, parsnip

jinxxxygirl said...

Husband.....lets just scan all the photos into the computer and be done with it.....Me... but i like hard compies to scrapbook with.... so we compromise...He gets them in the computer and i have boxes of photos waiting for my attention...sigh.. What a lovely picture of you Weaver. I hope you'll share more. Hugs! deb

Jayview said...

So glamourous! I am enjoying vicarious travel via friends' Instagrams. They put in the hard work and I get to see some stunning images. China near the Tibetan border right now! Jean

Anonymous said...

Pat, what a lovely pic of you in a lovely dress. You remind me a little of Princess Grace of Monaco. I keep all my pix on computer now, too. It's so easy to take so many snaps nowadays. I feel inundated!

Josephine is romping around on the bed with an acorn now. Just saying. >wink<

George said...

Wow, Pat! What a beautiful photograph of you in Paris in 1953. Once you've had the best, everything else is just commentary.
As for the current challenges of travel, I find them very disturbing. Every time I contemplate a trip somewhere, I find myself asking if I really want to go through the myriad insults to body and soul to get to my destination. Increasingly, I think the answer will be "no."

Cro Magnon said...

Oh I regret not having visited India too! Maybe it'll happen one day; nothing should stop me. Perhaps I'll see you there.

Pondside said...

Such a beautiful photo! You were quite an adventurous young woman - the look in your eyes says a lot.
I still like to travel, but feel the same way you feel about airports, line-ups and the feeling of being stuffed into a sardine can. The best trip I've taken in the past ten years was to Japan, on a ship that left right from Vancouver. So easy!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the flattering - the farmer (to whom I have only been married for twenty one years) didn't recognise me and couldn't guess who it was. So in answer to your comment Tom - no longer a beauty I'm afraid.

thelma said...

Beautiful photo Pat, and I suspect it is better to travel through photos and diaries then the long haul most journeys make today.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

I wish I'd ever been so beautiful!

It's one of the reasons I like blogging. Often when I look back to find a plant or an insect in my posts I'm reminded of what was happening when I took the photos even though I don't put many personal details there.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Old photo albums are the greatest. I love the photo of you with the waiter - such youth, such promise.

I'm sorry you never got to Alaska - it is a fabulous state - so much to see and do (I'm a bit prejudiced because I grew up there). Perhaps photo travel is the way to go there now.

I make digital albums now and they are as much fun to "flip through" as the old paper ones. And a lot less heavy to tote around.

I agree about flying - it is not fun at all now - crowded - lines - and in the US no food unless you are in first class - inspections - hordes of people crammed in a small area - I'd much rather travel through the old photos.

Terry and Linda said...

You are beautiful!