July, 1969, Part of an adventure

July, 1969, strike a chord? Moon Landing! We were on a long trip across Europe in my ’61 Plymouth Valiant when the moon rocket took off. We were back at the army base in Pirmasens, Germany by the time they walked on the moon. But that’s not part of this story.

Two of the other guys in my army platoon, Direct Support Platoon, for Nike Hercules Missiles, but we weren’t supposed to know they might have nuclear warheads and such( Ooops, another story) and I were heading to some parts of the continent and then to England and Scotland. We took the ferry across from Calais, France and landed at Dover – ahhh, the White Cliffs! I’m enough of a romantic to have stood as far forward as I could and be part of William, Duke of Normandy and the invasion of England – 1066. Ok, on with the story, but first about those student tourists having a good old time drinking and laughing until, until we passed the breakwaters and got into the rough waters of the English Channel and boy did they toss their cookies. I’d like to have made their lives miserable but knowing what death-at-sea is like with “mal de mer”, ‘taint much worse you can do than let than live, death would be welcome!
We landed and I’m driving an American made, left-hand drive in right-hand England! Panic City for a short time with one short breather at a
“lay by”. Then on with the trip. Stop at Rye and toured a very well preserved castle – all over the thing and we were in heaven! This was how we wanted rural England to be. We spent several hours there then on with the trip. We even picked up a hitch-hiker knowing that often this is a good way to get info on the area and such. And in those days in the ’60’s it was a bit safer than today. Our luck, he was French and didn’t speak English. Life!
We spent the night at a Band B in Stratfor – on – Avon but no theater that evening so ate (at a chinese restaurante) and then on the next day.
This part was more of the importance of this part of the trip. We made the Plains of Salisbury and Stonehenge. Now remember, this is July of 1969 and we were able to actually walk around the stone monoliths and crawl on and around and just have a good time. When we went in the ’80’s they were fenced off. We walked amongst the spirits of thousands of years ago! And I’ve been to enough places of a like-ilk to really have that feeling. Weird times.
From there we headed towards Scotland but first a stop at the ruins of Hadrian’s wall. This wall was built in the 2nd century under the emporer Hadrian for 70 some miles across the north of England between it and Scotland to keep those vicsious scots (see my last name!) at bay!! I found a marking on our map showing “roman ruins” so followed signs across fields and such to a stretch of the wall. We crawled along it for a short distance and paid homage to the battles of long ago! What fun! The wall doesn’t compare to the one in China but still and all, kinda cool!
From there to Edinburgh and another story. Love my memory!



One Response to “July, 1969, Part of an adventure”

  1. john knoll Says:

    Ah, Allen, yr just a beat away from allowingl yr soul to float into the beauty of song and poetry. the cliffs. the white cliffs of dover are but another another garment in the Lady’s infinite array of costumes. Heaven in a grain of sand. Infinity in an Hour. Eternity in the White Cliffs. Not exactly how Mr. Blake sang but songs are transformed on the tongue. I shut up now. Thanks for sharing.

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