1976

Student days

One escape from studying was a short camping trip to the Lake District.

For more on student life read here >

Thirlmere, Cumbria
Thirlmere, Cumbria
View from Helvellyn
View from Helvellyn

This climb has become a by-word for determination when walking – even later in low-lying Kent. If a certain person accompanying us could make it, so could Marg!

Pat and Marg, Leeds to Liverpool Canal
Pat and Marg, Leeds to Liverpool Canal

This canal-side walk must have been a precursor for our various canal boat holidays.


Gus in Greece
Gus in Thessaloniki

In September, Steve Gross and Gus went to Istanbul by Eurorail, via Turin, Venice, Thessaloniki, through Yugoslavia and back through Vienna. It generated many stories and Marg and Gus went to Yugoslavia in 1985 and Istanbul in 1988.

Smuggling

After an uncomfortable night sleeping outside through a thunderstorm in Venice, Steve and I headed for Trieste and re-joined the supposedly “Orient Express” to Thessaloniki in Greece. In truth it was a local train with many stops and it was packed with very jumpy people. In our compartment was an old couple including a woman wrapped in peasant-style costume and a man in a heavily worn brown worsted suit. He had a two-pronged wooden-leg and rubber-stopper at the end. It had a fixed-hinged which he had to adjust when he sat down.

There was much coming-and-going in this journey. We were asked by a young man, in very broken English, if we would wear some denim coats for the journey into Yugoslavia but we declined imagining they had something dangerous sewn into the seams. Think: Midnight Express. He was dressed top-to-tail in denim looking over-stuffed with two pairs of jeans, shirt, waistcoat, jacket and coat.

Eventually the train stopped at the border with Yugoslavia and the controls and customs passed through the train. Once on our way the passengers seemed to relax. Then we reached a station where the old couple reached up for a small battered suitcase from the luggage rack. Slowly lowered onto the seat, it was opened to reveal it was full of denim clothes.

We travelled from Greece into Turkey while there were military tensions. Our single carriage was left in the middle of no-where while one loco re-treated and another appeared from the othe direction. We were very concerned when an American woman was hanging out of the window taking photographs of the soldiers encamped on the hillside.

Turkey on the Asian side

Schonbrun Palace, ViennaIstanbul was a real delight, with the markets, the Blue Mosque and the Pudding Shops – and we made our way across the Bosphorus for a lightning visit to Asia. It seems like a little fishing village from the photograph.

Turkey was a place I had to take Marg.

Steve Gross and Gus at the Schonbrun Palace, Vienna.

To 1977 >

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