Traveling with Grace: Finishing Up Her 1950 Travels
This week, Grace returns shipboard. She also shares some of her impressions from her time in Denmark and Sweden. Special thanks go to JMM volunteer Harold Toppall for his transcriptions of Grace’s travel diary.
To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.
August 9, 1950
Mr. A. met us at the boat at 7 A.M. & we came back to the Hotel Angleterre where we got out beautiful suite for another day. Had breakfast at the sidewalk café with its fascinating kaleidoscope of the passing parade.
At 10 o’clock Helene & I started out for Frederiksborg Castle with its Rocostone carvings all over the facade. Within are paintings, carvings, & plastic models from which one can get a resume of the whole history of Denmark. Many of the famous landmarks we have visited are here seen in miniature scale models including a number of castles & churches. In this Palace is a small gem of a church, the prettiest we have seen, the ceiling finely painted & carved, the sides a mosaic of inlaid woods of many kinds, the altar & pulpit of solid gold & silver, a private glass enclosed box for the king & queen & their court, lovely stained glass windows, & chairs for the congregation covered in cowhide. They hold services here for the town folk every Sun. From here we went to the Store Kro, a justly famous restaurant in a lovely garden where we enjoyed a delicious lunch.
Then we rode over to visit Fredensborg Palace (exterior & beautiful gardens) rode around the near-by lake where there are many beaches all crowded with young people on this lovely sunny day. Then back to Copenhagen for last hasty tour of the city: Christiansborg & Amalienborg Palaces, National Museum, Stock Exchange (distinctive ornamental façade) church with spiral tower, Roof of [Fre………..] with dome of four dragons whose twisted tails form the pointed spire, the old Runde Tarn up whose spiral [r……….] horse drawn vehicles were driven in years of old, out Oster Sogade with its 4 ornamental lakes on which many swans float in stately procession, a restaurant pavilion & many groups of statuary, including that of Father Nile with his vast progeny forming one group.
At 6:30 we met Anne at her nephew Kai’s apt. where he & his charming wife were hosts at a delightful dinner. As usual the American & Danish flags formed the central decoration. The Moller’s beautiful 17-year-old daughter Birthe, her 2 brothers, Kai’s brother & parents were there. After dinner we looked at snap shots taken during the yrs. they spent in America (they were married there) & later in the eve. they served coffee & “appleskiver” a great Danish delicacy. Mr. A. joined us. Toward midnight, we left & rode down by the waterfront to see the tenderloin district at its toughest. Mr. A. made us shut the windows for safety. We saw a lot of cheap joints, sailors & prostitutes on the street the police on the look out to keep order.
August 10, 1950
En route to Gothenborg, Sweden
Left Copenhagen at 8 A.M. for the ferry. Anne’s sister Ellen Jergessen & husband were there to see us off. They brought us plums & flowers from their garden & liqueur chocolates & waited till the ferry was out of sight. We had a good breakfast on board (A German train was on the ferry & Helene went thru the cars). On leaving the ferry we rode thru Malmo & a number of Swedish towns, saw the castle Trolleholm (exterior we could see thru the windows, lower floors decorated with many antlers) Lund (2nd time) Estore Landskrova, Hilsingborg, (beautiful fountain of man & woman dancing) Halmstad, Milles” Europa & the Bull fountain in square (Mr. A’s mother wanted us to come up to her 3rd floor walkup for coffee & cakes!).
We had lunch at Tylohus at the nearby beach of Tylos and one of the finest in Sweden, where we ate in an attractive glass enclosed pavilion with and dunes, rocks & sail studded blue water stretched out before us. Then on thru Falkanberg, Varberg (where we were to have spent the night) & on to Gotenborg about 7:30. We see many windmills in this part of the country, one of them was converted into a very good & well known restaurant. As we rode along in the early evening the farmers & dairy maids were out in full force milking the cows, a pretty rural picture. Back at Hotel Hagelund tonight.
August 11, 1950
Walked around the shopping section this morning & made several purchases. Then rode out to Langedrag restaurant on the Rattegat for lunch. The yacht club is nearby & walls of restaurant are decorated with model hulls of yachts of various sizes. This afternoon we rode around the city. There are 4 large red double-decker British buses here broadcasting English music & advertising a British festival to be held next summer (rather optimistic in view of the present world situation) each with an exhibit of a different part of England & they are attracting a lot of attention. Tonight Mr. & Mrs. Anderson were our guests at dinner at the Hagelund. We started with Swedish snaps & “crafte” which they liked very much & the music is very pretty.
August 12, 1950
On Board Gripsholm
On our way to the boat Mr. Anderson stopped at a florist shop & bought us each a bouquet, roses, carnations & cyclamen. We had a warm reception on the Gripsholm by all the old personnel. Mr. A. stayed & we played a game of bridge & had tea and sandwiches & after work his wife joined us. The orchestra played & the crowd milled around just like in N.Y. The Andersons stayed until the “All Ashore” trumpet was blown & they stood on the pier for almost an hour, though it was cold, windy & rainy & they waved to us until we were out of sight. I must say he was wonderfully kind and attentive throughout our entire trip, a perfect gentleman, dependable & efficient until the last. We were all given rolls of blue & yellow confetti (the Swedish colors) everyone threw them out until the shore side of boat & pier were festooned.
Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager