Wednesday, October 11, 2006

THE JOURNEY

THE JOURNEY

On the overnight coach travelling to London the time passed pleasantly enough as we reminisced, like an old married couple about the wedding and the guests.  It was bliss to think of three whole weeks in the mountains – and foreign ones at that, Nowadays everybody goes abroad but then it was really special.  On arrival we felt tired and travel stained.  Fortunately William was a member of the Victory Club so we left our luggage there and had a wash and brush up.

After breakfast we ambled up Petticoat Lane and William bought me some nylons.  The boat to France didn’t leave till 5pm so we spent the day visiting museums, walking round  parks and seeing as much of the sights of London as possible.  At last we were on the boat and ready to sail for France.  We were standing on deck in a crowd.  There was a vague smell of petrol and a man was violently sick.  We were just out of range, fortunately.  He picked up a cloth that was lying on the deck and wiped himself down with it.  We stared, unbelievingly as a matelot rushed up, pulled energetically on a rope and hoisted the besmirched flag.

By the time we got ourselves on the train that would take us through France and Switzerland to Austria, we were exhausted.  We squeezed ourselves into a carriage full of travellers.  Sometime, in the early hours of Monday morning I wriggled from under Williams head, which weighed a ton, looked down at the smelly-socked feet of the man sitting opposite me, which were resting beside me, and thought ‘This is my wedding night.  It’s not meant to be like this!’

At last we arrived in Brand.  The hotel Scesaplana, named after the local mountain, looked charming with geranium-decked balconies, but the mountain was shrouded in thick cloud and we could see nothing beyond the remains of an avalanche which had struck the village that week.  It was now Monday afternoon and as we were shown into our twin bedded room we reflected that a shorter honeymoon and an easier journey would have made life easier.  We were too exhausted to do anything but sleep and I would have sold my soul for a cup of tea.

Over the next two days we recovered from the journey, I unpacked my trousseau and we did the deed.  Rome wasn’t built in a day but when the clouds lifted and the magnificent mountain was revealed our spirits lifted and we started to enjoy our honeymoon.  It was exciting being surrounded by foreigners; in the bar an enormous Dutchman introduced us to Grand Marnier which he said was ‘liquid velvet fire’ and it became our digestif each evening.

One day a coach full of young men arrived and, incredibly, turned out to be from Metro Vickers where William worked.  Even that didn’t dampen our spirits.  We got friendly with two older ladies from Edinburgh who were seasoned travellers.  They had a very good relationship with the rather dour head waiter who, following their example we called Rudolph.  Gently they explained that, as they were older and had known Rudolph for some time it was permissible for them to address him as Rudolph but we should address him as Herr Ober.  We learnt a valuable lesson and relations with Herr Ober improved.

Although some people left in disgust during the three days of thick cloud, it
was a very popular hotel and a favourite with the Dutch Royal family.  The 2,985 metres mountain was saying ‘Climb me!’ and when I heard the Metro Vickers lads were planning a climb I persuaded William that we should do it first rather than go up in a crowd.  So that’s what we planned to do.

15 comments:

Fat Sparrow said...

Pat -- Great story, and I am slowly catching up through your archives. I must confess, I've been lurking.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Well I know YOU didn't fall down a crevasse... ooh can't wait for the next instalment!!

PI said...

Fat Sparrow: welcome! I'm grateful for commenters and lurkers all, but it is specially nice to get feed back.

PI said...

Zinnia: it's not all exciting alas - like real life. Well it was:)

R. Sherman said...

I hope you have some photos.

Cheers.

FOUR DINNERS said...

You climbed a mountain???? On yer honeymoon???? You're amazing!!!! (I couldn't even climb the stairs on mine!)

apprentice said...

"Did the deed" indeed! Pat that simply won't do! Did you use the manual, and a la Doris Day did you both have one foot on the floor of that single bed? ;)

BTW I'll get back to my blog later this week. Event is tonight, so stomach is churning, will be so glad when it's over.

PI said...

Randall: alas, alack! They do exist but I haven't seen them for years. Will try the boys but as they usually can't find their socks I'm not too hopeful.:)

4d; 'the days of our youth are the days of our glory' as Byron said. Look at your lovely daughter!

PI said...

apprentice: such a bore that I can't get an e-mail through. I'm sending ALL my good wishes and vibes. It's going to be great and when it's over you'll feel like a million dollars. Deep, calming breaths. I knew Wednesday was important this week. I will be with you in spirit and will be toasting you as soon as the sun is over the yard arm.
KNOCK 'EM DEAD!
PS More about sex later!

Life of a Banana said...

The nylons must have cost William a hefty mortgage.

PI said...

Hi Banana! There were a lots of spivs around. I can't remember what he paid but no way would it be over the odds. I vaguely remember being disappointed when i eventually opened them.

Dr Maroon said...

Great stuff. The tribulations of smelly foreign socks and so on must be worth the destination which sounds spectacular and not a little glamorous, especially in 51. Good for you.
By some quirk, Austria became a popular summer destination for the English, I wonder if you were in the vanguard, spreading the news on your return as seasoned travellers.
I would love to know how you got on, on the mountain. At 10,000 feet, it’s a biggie.

PI said...

Hi Doc! We cerainly talked endlessly about it for a long time. I think the fact that the Metro V boys were there at the same time meant the word was already spreading. William knew it had to be somewhere wih mountains. There was always Scotland but with Austria we were going to get endless sunshine- and we did - after three days of impenetrable cloud.

Guyana-Gyal said...

There's so much happening, I don't know where to start...the besmirched flag, doing the deed, the smelly socks, the sense of disappointment, this is your wedding night, "it's not meant to be like this," and PLANNING to climb the mountain...

wow!

PI said...

GG: that's not the half of it! I have quietened down a lot, although MTL ian't convinced:)