My Flying trip to Sweden
April 21, 1952
Started from Boston 1 o'clock. Landed in Providence 1:30 took off in ten min. Landed in Springfield 2.00, took off again in 15 minutes and landed at Idlewild Airport, New York 3.00. by that time I had made so many landings and take-offs that I was already used to travel by air, and the sensation of being in the air and looking down on the earth had already disappeared.
At Idlewild, I immediately looked up the Scandinavian Airline Systems office and there I identified myself without any trouble, sat down to wait, and pretty soon some more people came and I could see that they were Scandinavians. One woman was very old, probably in her eighties and evidently of some prominence for she was the only one they took pictures of. 5:15 we boarded the plane for Sweden. It was beautiful going up and the sun in the west just as warm and clear as can be. We kept to the shoreline for a long while and I began to wonder why that was, but pretty soon a voice came through a loud speaker that we were now over Boston, and that we were to follow the coast of Maine up to New Foundland, for refueling, I suppose.
Well after a while a steward came and asked if I would care for a drink and I could have the choice of either a Manhattan or a Martini. I said I would like a Manhattan and it was just what I needed. I admit I was a little low in spirit, after that came the appetizer, shrimp cocktail, pate foie gras, ripe olives and other things, then a bean soup and a big glass of wine. As a main course we were served roast turkey, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, salad and all kinds of rolls, cheese and hard tack, lastly a desert of some kind of fruit and custard, very good, and a glass of sherry. All this was served in a tray that they attached to the seat and the service was really excellent. The going over the ocean is so smooth that I asked if I could keep the tray for a while and do some writing. Some of the passengers are already getting to make themselves comfortable for the night. Is is only 8 o'clock so I think I will wait a little while.
Well, I think I had a short nap and woke up feeling that we were landing and I knew that we were already in Halifax, Canada for we had been told that they were to refuel there. They also had some slight engine trouble and we all (were only 10 passengers) had to get off and go into the terminal. We waited only an hour and half.
Such contrast in weather - we had left New York 4 hours earlier in full summer, 80 degrees. It was almost too warm, but there was a gentle wind blowing in from the ocean though. In Halifax there was lots of snow and it looked as if it had been snowing in the evening.
After we had started off again I tried to look out, but could see nothing but a few stars so I had one more nap and when I woke up I looked out and saw what I am sure was northern lights for they were flashing back and forth, and a little later I saw a streak of light in the east, so I could see that it was beginning to be morning. We were flying at 9000 feet so we were far above the clouds, it is full daylight now and we just had breakfast on the same little tray as I am writing on now and I am looking out as I write over the clouds something very blue, just air I guess for we could not see the ocean. We have not seen it since we left New York yesterday afternoon. The waiter said it is about 10:00 and it won't be long now before we land in Prestwick, Scotland. Looks to be just as beautiful weather today, hope it lasts for a few days.
Stopped at Prestwick for one hour but before landing the most fantastic scenery unfolded before our eyes.
When we began to go down we ploughed right through the white towers and all kind of shapes of clouds and a little lower we could see countryside and cities of Scotland where the sun shone in patches and left shadows in some places. I thought it was wonderful.
We all went off the plane to the waiting room, where the walls were covered all around with hand paintings from all over the world. It seems most countries were represented, but perhaps they were not.
While there, I bought and sent a picture card from the airport, and sent a message to Wanda.
After we boarded the plane again, a waiter came and asked if I would like a glass of wine and I gratefully accepted. After a while, dinner was served, sirloin steak and all kinds of vegetables. More wine, they serve it with the meals in fruit glasses. I think they are short of water, or maybe they do do care for water in a place like this.
I won't take long now before we are in Hamburg and then I'll soon be in Sweden. I am writing all this for two reasons: It is all so new to me to be up in the air, and the noise is too strong for anyone to carry on a conversation with any of the the other passengers on board.
The old lady who they took pictures of is still with us. I don't where she is going. She seems to be quite spry and has made friends with an old gentleman, probably in his 70's. Later when we came to Copenhagen I found out that she was going to Stockholm.
We saw a little of Holland as we went along and then we came through a country that seemed very rich and cultivated with neat little villas and gardens. The towns and city almost ran together and pretty soon we went down in Hamburg. The airport was very way out in the country and we did not see the city and its devastation from the war. We were at this airport for about 20 minutes and then we took off again for Copenhagen. When we landed there after 1 1/2 hours I was the only passenger leaving the ship and a couple of attendants waited for me at the landing stairs, asked if I was Mrs Anderson and I said yes, We have reservations for you on a plane ready to fly to Malmö. So I went with them, and the change was a little sudden.
All the passengers were evidently farmers for there was a decided smell of earth in the air, but the flight did not last more than 10 minutes. The sight of Sweden was quite a thrill. The city from the air looked to me very big and beautiful. I thought I was for sure mistaken and perhaps we were still outside of Copenhagen. Arrived at Bulltofta Airport and took a taxi to a hotel, rather a swanky one - Hotel Savoy, one of the best in Malmö. It was rather cold and my black coat seemed very comfortable when I when I went out for a walk to see if I recognized the city where I tramped around as a young girl. I also had a little something to eat and then I went back to the hotel and went to bed early. I slept pretty good and woke up early or so I thought> I could not go by my watch for the time had been changed so many time that I did not know what time it was, so I rang for a waitress and she informed me that is was 9 o'clock and I felt that it was best to hurry and set something done.