Summer at home in Daisy Hill

Thursday, January 21, 2016

ESCAPING THE SNOW FOR SUNNY AUSTRALIA IN 1970.

Continuing My Story

When we were living in Switzerland in 1970, we drove to England to visit where I was born and where I lived. When it was time to return to Switzerland we booked the car onto a Bristol aeroplane from Lydd to Le Torquet. Bill wasn't taking any chances of me throwing up on the Channel Ferry again. It was a bumpy flight as we were very low but it only took 20 mins.There were 3 cars and five passengers. They were all Swiss. One of them offered to show us a quick way through Paris. So we followed him and we kept driving all day, only stopping for lunch and tea. On the border of France and Switzerland it was snowing. I was excited to see snow again after such a long time, but it was difficult to drive in it. However, we arrived home in Thun near Bern at 10:00pm.
The snow was covering the mountains around Bill's town and they looked awesome
.
We drove up to Beatenberg where the snow was deeper than in town. I was laughing at the snow on the bench.I had fun playing in the snow and throwing it at Bill, who was bemused at my excitement. He was more concerned about us being able to drive through the Alps to get to Italy and the ship to take us back to Australia.

We had another month in Switzerland. Bill went back to work. He had been given a casual job before we went to England. I went shopping with my in-laws for warm clothes.We did a lot of last minute sight seeing and saying goodbyes to friends and relatives.

Soon the sad day came when we must say goodbye to Mutter and Vater. It was hard for them as Bill is their only child and he was going to live in Australia on the other side of the world.

With the car packed to the roof with our newly acquired belongings we set of for Kanderstag in the mountains where we were putting the car on a train to go through the Alps to  Domodossola in northern Italy. We didn't have chains and only summer tyres because we knew we weren't staying so we were worried about making it up to the station.

I heaved a sigh of relief when the station came into view. I was also struck by the beauty of the snow/ice in the trees. 

We drove the car onto the train and opted to stay in the car as Bill was concerned about getting our gear stolen in Italy.  It wasn't a good move as we nearly froze because we couldn't turn the engine on.We both snuggled under my Kangaroo fur coat but still shivered all the way.

Genoa
We drove to Genoa staying overnight in Domodossola on the way. I remember trucks trundling past our window all night. It was much warmer though. Bill was worried about someone breaking into the car.We were a day early for the ship departure so we stayed in a hotel .

We were excited when we saw the Marconi at the dock. We found our trunk we had sent ahead and got it and the car loaded onto the ship. After a long wait we finally got on board and found our cabin. However, we were informed that we were not sailing for another 24 hours due to a strike. So with some other Aussie and Swiss passengers we walked into town and had a meal.The next morning we did the same for breakfast and we spent the day walking and walking around Genoa. The next day we set sail for sunny Australia.

25 comments:

  1. That was quite a drive. Even with the modern roads today it would still be a long drive. I can't imagine how sad his parents must have felt saying goodbye to you both that day. Considering the age of your photos they are remarkably good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Diane, the mountains are beautiful covered in snow. It must have been a scary drive but then I can not imagine being on a ship from Italy to Australia. I get seasick. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow Diane I love reading these stories of your adventures. I can see you both huddled under that kangaroo coat shivering and wondering when you would ever be warm again. Hug B

    ReplyDelete
  4. The idea of sailing to sunny Australia is particularly appealing today as temperatures hover around freezing and it's drab and grey.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It must have been quite an adventure to travel through that much snow on the roads of 1970. I was surprised to know you could put your car on a plane.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow it was a brave decision but living in hot climate is an advantage

    ReplyDelete
  7. You were good not to get all screechy about the snow -- that drive would have scared me to death. But good you got a chance to know what you were (not*) missing living in Australia.

    *(in my opinion. I hate snow.)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Absolutely fascinating reading, Diane! Genoa was the port where my dad left from to emigrate to Australia in 1925. He had had to get from Sicily to there so that would have been an adventure on its own for a 15 year old.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your picture of the snow on the Alps is gorgeous. I do find the idea of sailing to sunny Australia to be very appealing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That tree is certainly what is called snow laden. It strikes me that how different making bookings and arranging holiday plans were in the days before the internet. We seemed to manage perfectly well though.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That bench sure has a lot of snow on it. The mountains beautiful with the snow.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the icy tree. It's amazing what young people achieve.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You guys were (are) so adventurous. Love how you weave a story of your travels. The pictures are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would not think twice about returning to the sunny world of Australia, I hate winter. It just seems to be arriving here after a mild Christmas, hopefully the snow stays away though! Take care t'other Diane

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is such a fun read Diane. You must have been very excited at the thought of returning home. Great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good memories; Diane. Yes, I can understand it is always hard for parents to say goodbye to a child, even when grown up, especially as far as Australia in the 1970s. We were stranded in Naples because of a strike from the crew about wages. It was the Galileo Galilei.




    g

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good memories; Diane. Yes, I can understand it is always hard for parents to say goodbye to a child, even when grown up, especially as far as Australia in the 1970s. We were stranded in Naples because of a strike from the crew about wages. It was the Galileo Galilei.




    g

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great stories - I laughed at the bit about staying in the car and freezing! I recall doing a similar think in a northern Scottish railway station waiting room!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  19. I learned something new ! I didn't know that you could take your car on a plane from the UK to France ! I always thought you had to take the ferry ! I didn't mind because I was never sea sick. I was more lucky when I started to go very often to England, because 2 weeks after my son had moved the Eurostar and the shuttle worked and we could put the car on the train ! What a great trip you have done at this time ! Snow maybe nice for wintersports but not for every day's life ! I prefer warmth and a green landscape !

    ReplyDelete
  20. Unbelievable how the ships look like. Also love the mountains.

    Greetings,
    Filip

    ReplyDelete
  21. As usual I love the photos, yeah it could be a worry about the car being broken into and such on the train, but no bloody way I would stay in the car, in fact I remember when we and by we I mean me and my parents and two sisters to the car with us on the train when we Melbourne staying with the car was not allowed, now way, no how.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Good on you for sharing your trips.. I came back to Australia in late 68 on the Marconi from Genoa also.. so loved that photo (or was it a postcard?) Cheers Andrew

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can just picture you two snuggling up to keep warm in your car on the train Diana :) I think folk who grow up with snow don't understand our fascination with the cold white stuff :)

    ReplyDelete