An SFG in Paris:
My European Vacation

Back in the Summer of 1985 my friend John Mabry, whom I had not seen in seven or eight years, called me out of the blue to invite me to accompany in on a European vacation. It turned out he had been about get married, but it was reciprocally called off. The European trip had already been paid for though, and he still wanted to, in effect, I went with him on his honeymoon!

    For me, the trip began with a flight from Detroit to Oakland, since John's trip package started from California. Here's my first shot, out the airplane window, of other Northwest planes at Detroit's Metro Airport.
Metro Airport
    The Rockies
The Rockies
    John's house in Benicia. Having never been to suburban California, I was struck by how much everything reminded me of the beginning of Poltergeist.
John's house
    Oakland Airport. Outside, our airplane awaits. Once again I had to fly cross country, for our stopover in Boston; and thence to England.
Oakland Airport
    Our trip overseas was rather dull. Cloud cover obscured the entire passage over the Atlantic, breaking as we finally reached land. Here is my first view of that "green and sceptre'd isle" (though it might actually be Ireland). Incidentally, our in-flight movie was The Sure Thing.
A view out the window
    After landing at Gatwick Airport, we took the train into London, arriving at Victoria Station.
Victoria Station
    As a Python fan, I got a kick out of seeing this. The Crimson Permanent Assurance.
'It's fun to charter an account and sail the wide accountant sea!'
    While waiting in line at a courtesy desk for hotel information, a kid walked up and offered to drive us to a hostel. Feeling brave, we agreed and were driven in a van to our lodgings. I think it was £9 a night, including a bun for breakfast. Evidently jet-lagged, I slept the rest of the day.
The view from the top bunk
    Touristy stuff: the Changing of the Guard.
The Changing of the Guard
    Buckingham Palace. (I know it's been said before, and my apologies for saying it again, but with all due respect this really looks more like a library than a palace.)
Buckingham Palace
    John's travel plans included a few days on the Continent, in Belgium. John is on the left, snapping pictures of the White Cliffs of Dover as we take a hydrofoil across the English Channel.
The White Cliffs of Dover

Next: To Brussels and beyond