Friday, March 1, 2013

Then and Now


The planning and plotting of the 2013 European adventure is well underway here at Chez Decomama.  I have been reminiscing about the last one in 1977.  I even pulled out my old journal from that trip to try and find the  name of a few landmarks, names and restaurants that I experienced the first time to arm me with some clues as to where I might find a few things that I want to revisit.

This exercise got me to comparing and contrasting the two adventures and how vastly different it is this time.  I also came across something that I had totally forgotten about.  When I flipped to the back pages of the partially filled notebook that followed me everywhere in 1977, I found the autographs in the photo above.  Cher and Gregg Allman were taking a trip up to the top of the Eiffel Tower the same day we were and as we started chatting to a fellow in the parking lot, we discovered in conversation that he was their manager and he said to hang around if we wanted to meet them.  At 19, this was like some sort of thrill I had only dreamed of, so there we stood, the three of us waiting as though it was just an ordinary thing that was about to occur.

Sure enough, we stood and watched as they started to make their way through the parking lot toward us, no one else noticing their celebrity.  The manager (forget his name of course), introduced us to them, we actually stood around and had a bit of small talk and then we asked if we could take a photo and I had forgotten we also had asked for an autograph.  It was not our only celebrity siting on that trip - a few days later in Zermatt, we watched Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland on a set of a movie being filmed there.  We could not believe our luck - a couple of kids from small town Ontario bumping into stars like this!  My photos are still on slides so I don't have anything to publish here, but one day I just have to get those slides turned into photos...been saying that for over 30 years!

Anyway, back to my "compare and contrast".  

1977

Guide Book - Europe on $10 a Day (our bible)

2013

Guide Book - Forget the Book - Just Google it and hope for Europe on $200 a Day!

1977

Luggage - Canadian Flag embossed Back Pack with adjustable straps

2013

Luggage - Extra large Suitcase on Wheels - "WTF will we do on cobblestones?"

1977

Flight - Economy seats with full service free bar and meals served on fine china - Return Airfare - about $325


2013

Economy seats - bring your own grub and buy your own booze - Return Airfare - about $1200

1977

Itinerary - Figure it out when we get there.

2013

Itinerary - Every hotel and pension and apartment booked 2 months ahead - deposits taken. Drive time between stops calculated and estimated to avoid arriving in foreign town/village in the dark - God forbid!

1977

Packing List - Clothes, Europe on $10 A Day, Folding Map of Europe, No make-up, Swiss Army Knife

2013

Packing List - Clothes, I Pad, GPS, Lots of Make-up, Same Swiss Army Knife - but not in carry-on!  

1977

Camera - Fully Manual Rollei 35 mm, Several rolls of Kodachrome film



2013

Camera - Will bring a digital, but will likely end up taking most shots with IPhone.

1977

Travelling Companion - Best Girlfriend

2013

Travelling Companion - Man I met on 1977 Trip in Spain 

1977

Hairstyle - Long Brown Hair - Centre Part a la Peggy Lipton

2013

Hairstyle - Chin Length Dirty Blonde - Note to Self - Book Root Touch-up day before we leave.

1977

Travel Insurance - What's that?

2013

Travel Insurance - Gazillion dollars - medical,  flight cancellation, car, life - travel is risky you know!

1977

First Aid Kit - Band-aids, aspirin, Coppertone Coconut Oil SPF - 0

2013

First Aid Kit - Advil, Tylenol, Imodium, Polysporin...one for cuts, one for eye infections, emergency antibiotics, Aloe for sunburns, Vitamins, Band aids,  Sunscreen - SPF 60 - extra piece of luggage to carry it all!

1977

Shoes - Hiking Boots, flip flops

2013

Shoes - Tennis Shoes, Running Shoes, Walking shoes, Sandals, Flip Flops, One pair of heels...just in case.

1977

Typical Meal on the Road - Hard Cheese, Crusty Bread, Red Wine

2013

Typical Meal on the Road - Hard Cheese, Crusty Bread, Red Wine (fuck the diet!)

1977

Connecting to folks back home - Postcards and Letters 

2013

Connecting to folks back home - texting and email

1977

Number of Countries Visited - 12 over 3 months

2013 

Number of Countries Visiting - 2 over 3 weeks (all we can afford!)
Ola! Bonjour! (fewer language phrases to learn as well)

1977

Excitement Level prior to departure - 10/10

2013

Excitement Level prior to departure - 10/10

Some things never change!










3 comments:

Beth said...

There's nothing like that first backpacking trip to Europe, is there? I could never backpack (and stay in hostels) again, but I'm so glad I did it when I was young. Loved the "typical meal on the road", 1977 and 2013 versions. Some things just can't be improved.

j e t s e t WISDOM said...

Since this is your first trip to Europe since ours in 1977 - I found the outlined map of the viaggio in my filing today, while waiting for new windows at the farmhouse.. Do you want me to send it to you - it would most likely add to your anticipation, and probably get your readers even more excited about a trip to "Europe" after 35 years....let me know.

Carla Sandrin said...

I could almost do the backpack thing (if I weren't afraid of bed bugs!). Looking forward to your blogs and pics from afar...
Bon voyage!