In other words, it's supposed to be about travel. Unfortunately, thus far in il dottore's retirement Pluto, the god of wealth, has become a stranger to him and he has been able to travel abroad (to Spain - ah!) only once thus far in slightly less than two years.
|Spain - ah! Plaza Mayor, Madrid, September 2013|
|Two Meeting Street Inn, Charleston, SC, May 2013|
So he reached a compromise. He will in this series of posts preserve the flavor of the original journals and will quote directly where possible, in those isolated spots where any flavor is still to be had. But this series of posts will focus mostly on the high- and low-lights, the "su e giù" of his trips abroad. He hopes that his readers will enjoy them, and so he plunges in.
BUT! Before he begins, he has determined that a Prequel is in order: the doctor's FIRST trip abroad was courtesy of the
|Airman Hrkach, 1967|
|The view from my barracks room, Hof AFB, spring 1968|
The su? (or "up")? He had finally accrued enough leave to take a month-long tour of the continent with three of his best buddies!
The giù (or "down")? Shortly before the grand tour was to occur he was robbed of the opportunity, unceremoniously yanked out of Europe and consigned to go back to the US of A (think the Beatles song "Back to the USSR" - you don't know how [un]lucky you are").
|Two of the postcards my pals sent - the front|
|And the rear of the two above cards|
|Expressionist-style sculpture at Dachau concentration camp, near Munich, 1968|
were introduced to a great German city! The giù? They spent one day of their four at Dachau, the WWII concentration camp. Some of you may not think of a visit there as a "downer" and it was not in the sense that the history of the place was a powerful and moving learning experience, but it was in the sense that it thoroughly depressed both young airmen.
|The Rhine, 1968|
|The German Alps, 1968|
|Neuschwanstein - no, Dottore Gianni|
did NOT take this photo
|Linderhof - another bought slide|
Shorter trips were embarked upon, day-trips, one to the nearby Kulmbach, which brewed some of the finest bier (beer) the good doctor has ever tasted - no giù there either!
|Airman Hrkach at the Kulmbach Brewery, Germany|
|Herr Doktor-Professor Hrkach (yes, he used to call|
himself that in those days) engaged in "research" at
the Hofbrauhaus, Munich much later, in 1999
Su? Eat, drink and be merry! Giù? The crawl up the hill to our little Air Force Base afterwards, completely potted!
Even though his time in Germany was cut short, simply being there should have been more than a pleasurable travel experience, and for the most part it was. But alas, Dottore Gianni never kept a journal back in those days. Actually, no - he lies - or forgot for a time. He somehow managed to write down the events of those four years - three years and nine months, actually, as he got an early "out" (discharge) for education (if you could prove you were accepted by a college they would allow you to be discharged a few months early) all on one side of a piece of paper. And he is very glad he did. He had little to say for the first year, approximately, then became more and more verbose! In fact he has kept that bedraggled piece of paper all this time - here's what it looks like - not sure you'll be able to read it, and that might be just as well!
Laughable, right? That he still remembers as much as he does, nearly 50 years later, goes a long way to proving that, even with its ups and downs, his time in Germany was much more su than giù.