Planning Overseas Journey
No matter the journey one has to do research, know more about the destination. Quintessential streetwise South African (I had traveled overseas on bus tours with my Mother four years earlier), always make copious notes before going, with a Plan B, planning is half the journey, anticipate things you wish to see and do.
In 1978 there was no internet connection, my golf-ball typewriter, researching books, popping into travel agencies to source brochures, wherever possible maps, you going a long way from home, no regrets/surprises are needed when you reach your destination.
Places of interest and possible routes to follow all noted down.....
After passports were arranged, visited banks to obtain foreign currencies in Travelers Cheques along with Travel Packs, these were small amounts of local currency for as many countries you planned on visiting, each country had their own currency, Bank advised recording a note of Traveler cheque numbers in case anything untoward happened.
At a glance exchange rates noted before leaving, need to know what you are working with....
Visit the South African Youth Hostel Association pay membership fee and arrange cards allowing use throughout Europe.
Arrange EuroPass for a month allowing 1st class train travel throughout Western Europe (the East still divided by the 'wall').
Travel through Britain was planned and paid for in South Africa, a Combi Camper to travel for a month, geared to sleep 4, fortunately only 2 of us. The cost of EuroPass and Car Hire at the time was USD $500 each.
With notes typed, small diary prepared with all numbers, additional places to stay if things went haywire we flew out of Jan Smuts Airport Johannesburg. Having arranged paid and unpaid leave to cover our time away, paid flat rental for period locked up and got driven to start the adventure of a lifetime.
Open viewing deck filled with some friends who came to see us off, flights were marvelous those days people had leg room, you were allowed to smoke (for those who enjoy the habit), after walking the tarmac you lighted the plane by staircase. There were no movies so you watched out the window as town lights slipped by below.
Interesting reading about airport links attached for convenience.
Source Photograph Wikimedia
Source: Viewing Deck Jan Smuts Airport +/-1978 (Martin S Olivier)
Front of airport. - Source - Art Work in Jan Smuts Airport
Flickr - Airport 1978 Traffic interesting to see the airlines arrive and leave. https://www.flickr.com/photos/61761410@N05/albums/72157626504465182/
Being South African we mainly hugged the West Coast up not being allowed to stop due to sanctions, so travel was around the 'bulge' of Africa normally stopping over to top up fuel at Ilha do Sal where you could stretch your legs and have a coffee, or stay onboard.
For some reason I never kept a note on how much air-tickets cost at the time.
First few days in London was spent visiting meeting up with friends living in London Town,, seeing Houses of Parliament from the river trip to Kew gardens taking in the sights exploring enjoying a picnic at the park.
Following day made our way to St Paul's Cathedral, after exploring inside took to the stairwell to viewing deck to orientate ourselves from elevated view.
Having friends made life interesting with them strewn across the city, each able to take us to places of interest they had found off the beaten track of tourists, pubs, clubs, dinners with them or local eateries.
Next will be train travel to Dover and crossing over by ferry to Europe, taking us on the next leg of the trip.
Photographs originally from film camera, converted in early 2000's to digital so please excuse the age, memories are wrapped up here!
Thought for Today: "The wise traveler leaves his heart at home." - African Proverb
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