Houses built into the hills on the way to Granada
We left for Granada and the drive was beautiful. We saw the strangest houses just before reaching Granada. They are caves dugout into the mountain sides. But some have doors and windows and fronts of stucco. Others just have holes in the rocks. Sometimes you only see a chimney and smoke above the ground.
Thatched roof and mud buildings near Valencia
Today we walked around Valencia. We drove out to Albutera and saw the fresh water lake, the rice fields and the mud huts with grass roofs.
Valencia's main square and fountain
We also went to the main square and the open market then to an amusement park where we rode the bumper cars and shot a rifle at targets.
Louie, the car, packed and ready to go
We got up early and packed the car.
Drove first to Tibidabo. Really a beautiful place but the view of the city wasn’t good because it was too smoggy. Then headed for Valencia via Tarragonia. The drive was beautiful – mostly along the sea with its lovely beaches.
rock wall and donkey powered well
Most of the near 300 kilometers we drove through orange and olive groves. The land in this area is very rocky. To clear it, they pick the rocks up by hand and stack them like fences. For every car or truck on the highway we saw at least 3 or 4 horse drawn wagons. Even Barcelona (1.5 million) has few cars – mostly taxis. Arrived in Valencia and finally ended up at the Hotel Bristol.
This morning we were informed that the American Navy had arrived. We went down to the dock and there were at least 10 ships. We walked back to The Cosmos and then to the Kit Kat Club for hot chocolate. There the excitement began. We watched a guy go out in the street and talk to two American sailors. He brought them inside and suddenly there were two girls beside them and it dawned on us that he was a pimp. The first words exchanged were “you got any cigarettes?” He was in and out a dozen times and every 5 minutes a new girl came in. Inside he kept playing with one of the girls, rubbing her arm and pinching her butt, all the time talking to the sailors. We were horrified that when they left they went straight into our hotel. Juan and Jesus told us that the girls cost 200 – 300 pesetas for the Americans and 6 for the Spaniards! Our street was full of them, they come out from everywhere when the sailors come to town by the boat full. Finally we left the Kit Kat to buy some food for the trip and were really surprised that the sailors never gave us a second look. (Maybe it was the knee socks, the penny loafers or the sun glasses.)
Had breakfast then ventured into Barcelona. Went to the docks, Montjuic and the Palau Nacionale. Along the way, a bunch of guys started following us. We stopped for a Pepsi in the funicular station and they talked us into going with them to a place where they practice bullfighting Juan and Jesus got the horns and cape and showed us how it was done. They told us that they fought bulls in the ring in Malaga.
In the evening they went with us to a grubby little bar across the Ramblas from our street - Flamenco music and dancing. Later we walked back down the Ramblas and went to the Cosmos for dinner at 11pm That's dinner time in Barcalona.
Boys in - Barcelona
As we were leaving the hostel at Perpignon, the man at the desk handed us a broom and said "sweep." So we did. It was our first hostel duty.
We arrived in Barcelona determined to find a place with heat and hot water. After checking a couple of places we took the Hotel Cosmos in the Gothic Quarter, near the docks just off the Ramblas. It was on the narrowest street we’d ever seen, barely wide enough for our car. We took a bath and washed hair. What a relief.
Today, we drove through the vineyards to Perpignon by way of Cannes and Marseille. We found a hostel in Perpignon.but it was so cold that we are sleeping in our levis and ski sweaters. and there was no hot water. After 10 days we have got to find a place to take a bath.
Jeannine, Dede and Pat - Promenade des Anglais
Left Milano very early. Drove to Genova and along the Italian Riviera to Nice by way of the Riviera - beautiful beaches. There is a lovely tree lined walk along the sea in Nice called the Promenade des Anglais. We went to American Express and picked up our money and mail from home. Found the Auberge de la Jeaunesse on top of the mountain. It had a lovely view but no heat or hot water. Talked to some boys who informed us that in Tangiers we could have a room in the hostel with or without marijuana.
We left Lugano early to go to Locarno amd drove to the medieval village of Ronco In Locarno, we saw Anna Maria Banfi from the Sunadele., then on to Milano and the hostel. It was a beautiful new building but no heat or hot water - only every third day and, of course, we were there on the wrong day. But we met an Irish girl who was bicycling to India. She told us that she thought it would take her 5 months and complained about getting her tires stuck in the trolley tracks all the time.
Arosa horse races
We left Arosa and went through San Mortitz to Lugano driving along Lake Como. It was sunny but still quite cold. We are now in the Italian sector of Switzerland and the only thing Swiss is the money. A man at tourist bureau helped us wrap our packages and fill out the customs papers.
A daily diary of a journey in 1962. Please post comments about where you were then on the Background page.
1962 was pivotal. This is the background:
It was a year colored by the Cuban Missile Crisis, an escalating involvement in Vietnam, the Berlin Wall and the Cold War with Russia, Civil Rights issues, a nascent space program, Nelson Mandela in prison, Betty Friedan's, The Feminist Mystique, the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the death of Marilyn Monroe.