Friday, January 8, 2010

Trip to Europe Itinerary

Here are the plans for our trip to freezing England and Belgium! We will be bringing our Canadian winter clothing, for sure.

Halifax to London – Monday/Tuesday, January 11/12
London – Tuesday to Friday, January 15
London to Brussels – Friday, January 15 - Eurostar (we are hoping and praying mightily!)
Brussels to As – Friday, January 15 (car rental)
Mardaga Hotel – Friday to Monday, January 18
As to Brussels – Monday, January 18 (car rental)
Brussels to London - Monday, January 18 (we continue to hope and pray mightily!)
London to Halifax – Tuesday, January 19

We hope to do some sight-seeing in London on buses and so on. I want to go to the Imperial War Museum and Harrods and Bill would like to see the Imperial War Museum and the Tate Gallery. On January 16th, the anniversary of Dad’s successful parachute jump from his disintegrating Spitfire, the wonderful people in Opglabbeek, which is where the WWII airfield Y.32 Ophoven was, have organized a reception by the mayor at the town hall, the opening of an exposition on the airfield and the airmen who served there and a tour of the place where the airfield used to be. We also hope to raise a glass to Dad and all the airmen who helped end WWII. Thanks so much to our new Belgian friend Karel Baeten.

I do hope to be able to post a journal of our time overseas with the blog and I hope you will find it interesting as well.

This is a wonderful print that my mother had. I am still trying to find out more about it. The printing on the bottom says "No. 369 B & M Wisbech "GENTLEMEN, THE ROYAL AIR FORCE!" D.L. Mays" All I've been able to deduce is that "B & M" may be either the printer or the distributor and that Wisbech is a town. D.L. Mays was an illustrator. And that's it. I have it hanging in my living room and it still intrigues and makes me smile (August 2011).

It has an interesting bit of writing that goes with it -


The time will come when thou shalt lift thine eyes
To watch a long-drawn battle in the skies,
While aged peasants, too amazed for words,
Stare at the flying fleet of wondrous birds,
England, so long the mistress of the sea,
Where winds and waves confess her sovereignty,
Her ancient triumphs yet on high shall bear,
And reign, the sovereign of the conquered air.

(Translated from Gray’s “Luna Habitatalis”, Cambridge, 1737)

And this is Dad in 1938 at the Ottawa Flying Club where he first learned how to fly.

1 comment:

  1. We too have the print 'Gentlemen the Royal Airforce' which belonged to my Father in Law. We have no idea how he came to have it but his brother was Air Vice Marshall David Saunders DFC, so maybe it came from him.