Friday, June 25, 2010

1967

In the summer of 1967, I spent six weeks in Europe visiting England, France, and Amsterdam.  Part of the trip was spent with a group of Methodist youth, but the majority of my trip was leaving the group and traveling to Marseille to be with Liliane and her family.  Liliane stayed with my family as an exchange student, graduating with me in 1966.  At the age of 19, I was very sheltered and naive. This trip was kind of a coming of age story for me.   As I travel back for the first time in 43 years, I thought it would be fun to blog my trip and revisit that journey so many years ago. Some of the entries in this blog will come from that trip 43 years ago.
n 1967, I took my first trip to Marseille, France. There was no cell phone or calling home, of course. There was no "mapquesting" or "GPSing"......just good old fashioned maps. It really never occurred to me to worry about getting lost. The only way to communicate with my parents was by snail mail. They had my itinerary, but really no idea where I was from day to day. It was an incredible journey for me at the age of 19. It was fun to go back and read my "blog".
July 12, 1967
My friend left this morning.  In a way I was glad, but it was kind of scary being alone in Paris.   I was determined to make the most of it, so I ordered my breakfast--delicious.  Then to steady my nerves, I wrote to my friend, Pat.  At 12:00, I had to check out of the hotel, but left my bags in the lobby.  I started off toward the Palais Royal, but I found nothing of interest there, so I decided to take off for the Eiffel Tower, quite a distance away.  It was very hot, and when I got there, I did not feel like going up in it.  I sat a while in the shade and two guys on their way to work stopped to talk.  I left the Eiffel Tower and set off for the Museum of Modern Art.  There were some real characters hanging around there.  I left the museum and headed for the  Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe  It was magnificient.  The Champs-Élysées was lined with flags in preparation for Bastille Day.  I talked to a Morocco guy who was studying medicine in Paris.  He was really very nice, but left because it was too hot in the sun.  I killed time some more and finally walked back to the hotel.  
The bus boy got a taxi for me to Nord station.  When we arrived at the station the taxi driver said, "London?"  I said, "No, Marseille."  He got real excited and said, "Oh, no train to Marseille--Lyon is the train station!"  Well, that kind of shook me up.  So I showed him my couchette ticket, and he left to go inside and check.  All this was kind of half sign language and half French/English.  So, he came back and said, "One train to Marseille!"  He was very proud of himself.  I thanked him, paid the fare, and started to give him a tip.  He said, "For Americans, yes, for you Mademoiselle, no!"

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