Friday August 23, 1968
Awakened at 6 A.M with many thought of the previous days sorrow. Arose and started on the odds and ends of last minute packing and closing up the house. Picked up Joe’s ties at Laline and on hairdressers at 9:15 while Joe went to the bank and wrote sister who had phoned at 7:45 to say au revoir (really Auf Wiedersehen).
Had a lunch of remaining oddities. Checked out the Pryer’s cats in house (I have been caring for them since they left on their trip two weeks ago). Bathed and went on to school where last minute chores were taken care of. Delivered coco to Miss Williams in Willow Grove and at 2:45 pm we were on the turn-pike on our way to the airport at John F. Kennedy International. I checked in while Joe put the car in storage. We then had a sandwich, walked around, had a drink and boarded at 7:15 for the flight-Pan Am #72 to Frankfurt Germany. After takeoff, we managed to get Joe more room space for his knees and now at 9:30 we are in the front seat awaiting our dinners having had a drink and read some.
Because we were on the front seat (#23), we were the last to receive dinner. After eating, we sat our clock ahead five hours and dozed from 3:15 until 6:15 when the sun was up and the crowd awakened. Had orange juice, Danish pastry, and coffee.
Saturday, August 24, 1968
Arrived at Frankfurt at 8:15 am and after checking through customs and getting our luggage checked in we went to an adjoining building to view a German film made by Lufthansa. Then had a brie (Joe) and chocolate (K) at the airport luncheonette and boarded the plane at 10:20 for our flight to Berlin.
We were met by American Express but there was much confusion over lost bags and much waiting in a warm bus (although it was delightfully cold in the town). We reached the Hotel Schieferhof-in the hotel complex across from the Hilton.
Berlin has mostly new building (in fact, almost all new). In the rebuilding of the city, the streets were left wide and because there are few cars, there is a feeling of openness.
Upon arrival at the hotel we had lunch—what a weary bunch we were! Because our rooms were not made up, and because we could not shop after 2pm today, we rushed to The Hilton Colonnade and bought a frozen meal. We waited for our room to be cleaned, thru our possessions in it, and than walked to the aquarium and zoo right near the hotel. The aquarium was excellent, first floor fish, second floor amphibians and reptiles, and an international guppy show, third floor insects.
We were weary as after seeing some of the zoo we crawled into bed at 4:15. Arose, by 7 to dinner, congregating at 7:45.
We walked to The Porviat—Berlin, a large complex of shops, skating rink, etc. and had dinner at the top overlooking the city. Danced a bit—ate with The Cass couple from Arizona and then walked along Kurfurstendamm Strasse (the shopping street) with The Casses. Back to the hotel and into bed at 12:15.
Sunday, August 25, 1968
Had breakfast at 8 am. Unusual sliced meat, cheese, and good bread (brat and pumpernickel).
Our bust left at 9 am and we drove thru west Berlin. Damaged areas remain but new modern building also abound. The colorful window boxes make the city cheerful despite its gloomy past. The new planting of trees add to the scenery—during the war practically all the old trees were destroyed. We saw many views of the Berlin Wall and mounted stairs to look over at spots. We snapped many scenes saw The Charlottenburg Castle, The Victory Monument, the Olympic Stadium, Reichstag, “Check Point Charlie.” Brandenburg Gate. Stopped by a lake where we had an ice cream cone. Back to hotel for lunch at 12 o’clock.
At 2:30 our bus with the young blond German guide took us to the wall and we passed thru “Check Point Charlie” into east Berlin without her. The glory that was Berlin is scene here—sturdy buildings along The Unter den Linden. Our East Berlin guide seemed to give us a memorized lecture. We stopped at the Russian memorial—a tremendous park and came back via the newly constructed area. Because we were early after passing thru the “Check Point Charlie” our driver took us to a tavern where I had a Wien Hande (a German Cognac). Upon arrival at the hotel, we hiked across the street to see the Berlin Hilton and then to our room to rest for a few minutes. The nearby zoo park had a concert going—band, singing. We dressed for dinner at seven at the hotel and now at 8:45 we are waiting for the bus to take us to the night clubs on our evening tour.
Our first stop was at The Resi Club. There was an 18 piece band, a large dance floor, and dancing to varied types of music. The floor show was a lighted fountain display produced on a stage behind the orchestra. The most intriguing idea here was the table telephone and tube mail service. Where men and woman could arrange meetings. We had fun phoning and sending messages throughout the group. The second club was The Hofbranhaus where beer and schnapps were served. We danced to a German folk band (polka waltz style) and heard loud but not so melodious groups singing German songs.
On to The Eden Saloon where a scotch or bourbon drink was served. The show consisted of a male impersonating a female, string teasers, two lesbian dancers, a vocalist, and the first performer singing Spanish songs.
The last club was The Red Rose—the most plush where we had a champagne cocktail and where a young girl stripped, a chanteuse sang, and a juggler performed by flipping a piece around his feet. We decided to hike to the hotel arriving home at 2:30 am to bed by 3:15 after packing some.
Do you even remember what you had for dinner last night? Thanks to Cath's detailed journals, we know she accidentally had sloth soup for dinner 53 years ago while visiting the Amazon. Read through these interesting chronicles for memorable anecdotes from Cath's travels.