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  • Flea Market Love Letters

June 26, 1945.




Edinburgh, Scotland

26 June, 45

Darling Betty:

I am dog tired – I don’t think I could walk another block. Pounded the pavements of Edinburgh (and they are hard) practically all day. I finally found a guy who likes to walk around as much as I do and it seems to have developed into a test of who will break first. His name is Frank Panetta – I talked him to making the trip to the place and now I am almost sorry I did, but we do get around and it is not necessary for me to plead with him to go places. We just take off and see whatever falls into our paths.

We left last evening from London around 10 o’clock in a 3rd class coach. Did you ever try to get a good nites rest sleeping in a chair?? After a hard day of picking them up and putting them down in London we tried to recover by napping a few minutes at a time during our trip here. We did get some rest, but the closer we came to our destination the colder it became and more uncomfortable.

We reached here at 8 o’clock this morning after seeing practically nothing en route and it was cold. I wrote my blouse and wool shirt, but I still shivered. The nationals here were wearing top-coats – and that in June – almost July. However it tends to rejuvenate a person and is better than terrific heat. We reported at once to the Red Cross Service Club – on the main drag (Princes St) and were assigned a room. We quickly washed and headed for breakfast because we were really hungry. We have a very nice room overlooking the park across the street. I haven’t tried t he bed for sleep yet but I know I’ll do well tonite.

You were with me today Darling. You were because after breakfast we walked around the town and noticed that each and every building was constructed of quarried stone – solid, rugged and very impressive – Each and every building looked like a monument of some kind. You wanted to ride in the funny double decker trolleys but as they would not take us to the castle or top of the hill, we walked. But I promised the ride before we left Edinburgh. We noticed the girls here, as in London, are not very pretty or attractive and that many girls are in uniform – Army, Navy, or Air Corps.

We wandered to the famous Edinburgh Castle and entered its massive gates. This place was started in the year 626 and was really ancient but stout. The sone walls were 5 or 6 feet of solid stone. We had an excellent view of the city from the height and already could pick out the the highspots of the city. We noticed the uniform building arrangements and the gold greyness of the stone used in the building. This city ill endure for thousands of years. At the castle we visited the Scotch soliders shrine and other rooms in some of the buildings. On the battlements we saw “Mon Meg” the largest cast cannon tube of history. After taking a last look at the city we left the castle and continued our walk of exploration and proceeded to get lost.

Finally a kind hearted Scotsman put us on the right direction and we reached the hotel around noon. We were both tired and hungry but anxious to learn more about the city. After dinner (meatloaf, cabbage, lettuce, ginger bread with sauce, and coffee) we chiseled into a private bus trip into the outskirts of the city. Here we suddenly came into sight of the great bridge – Firth of Fourth, one the first long span bridges in the world. The massive structure of steel towered above us and the train crossing from one green side to the other looked to us like a toy train under an Xmas tree.  There were warships lying in the water, but the bed of the rails was high above the highest mast of the vessels. We took a few pictures and then headed.

Thence slept enroute to Edinburgh, saw the houses of Parliament, Hyde Park, had my money changed to pounds, shillings, pence, crowns, half-crowns, florins, three pence, slept on a boat — on a train – in a double deck bunch – everything is a confused mixture of events and places, faces, languages and habits.  I think this is English speaking country but I catch myself trying or attempting to answer in French. The cars here drive on the left hand side – but I continue to look to the right and end up running back to the curb to regain my thoughts and start over again. I am looking at Princes Street from my room and the sun is hidden behind the clouds – everyone is wearing a coat – wool coat – that can’t be right – because back in Mariselle the women wore light, thin dresses and didn’t I go swimming several times and get sun burned. Althought everything is green it reminds of me fall – I almost fell over this morning when I saw a Scotchman with a pair of ice skates in his hand.

I am confused, bewildered, tired, but interested in everything I can see and do without suffering a breakdown. – I am looking forward to a good nites rest on a real bed tonite – I need it.

Tomorrow you shall have your trolley ride.

All my love Darling – I do miss you so much and wish you could be with me so we could enjoy this together.

Woody

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