Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: Come Fly with Me

Share a story about the furthest you’ve ever traveled from home. 

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRAVELS.

Me in hotel, New York

Do I have a sort of déja vue with this one. The furthest I have ever travelled from home is New York. We decided to put our sneakers on the surface of American soil probably on the first place of the bucket list, so we did it.

As you can see in the photo in the hotel room, somewhere on 43rd Street, I was then young and active and ready to conquer the world. I was 46, not a golden oldie but in the interesting years. Note the New York Yankees baseball cap, although I have never seen a baseball game in my life. Sorry for the poor quality but Mr. Swiss had to scan this into the computer as at that time we did not have a digital camera. I do not even know if they then existed.

Through some reason we were both given business class at Zürich airport – yes Mr. Swiss came too. Probably thanks to the fact that we were then both Nicotine addicts and they had no seats left in that part of the plane. The lady said don’t ask, just accept, so we did. After prolonging our day by seven hours flying across the Pond we eventually arrived in the Big Apple. I remember our first meal in a restaurant with bacon (as crisp as it comes) and eggs (three). There was also a pot of pickled cucumbers on each table – was it a Jewish restaurant? I cannot remember, but as bacon was served I do not think so. It was then that we learnt that normal food in America was what we call King Sized in Europe. Everything was in large helpings.

Do I have stories to tell? Not really, just been there, saw it all and did it all. This was 1993 so I actually saw the twin towers, had a meal in a restaurant in one of them and shot a few photos.  We visited a service at a gospel church especially for the tourists in Harlem. I can still remember the preacher today, although eleven years ago. He was an ex druggie and had been saved. “You might have big car, a house, eat in the best restaurants, but you have nothing without God in your heart” or something like that. Then he asked where all those wonderful people came from. I put my hand up (with the rest) and Mr. Swiss gave me a sideways look as if to say “what are you doing?”, but the preacher man asked me from where I came from. I decided to say “Bern, Switzerland” (we live about thirty miles from Bern) knowing that if I said Solothurn he would not have heard of the town. He of course took the opportunity to say he and his church choir would be visiting Switzerland the following year.

We spent a few evenings in Greenwich Village (I think we spent most evenings in Greenwich Village) at the Village Gate and saw the Geoff Keezer Trio with Billy Drummond on the drums, and David Ephross bass. Perhaps names that only mean something to a jazz fan. I remember the concerts today. It was the atmosphere of sitting in a New York jazz club that was the thrill of it all.

Taking a helicopter trip over New York was a must do. I was taking photos all the time and feeling very sick when we landed and was glad to leave the helicopter and have my feet back on the ground. Apparently now and again they fall into the Hudson River. We must have been the lucky ones.

We walked kilometres from South to North of Manhatten and return. We travelled by yellow taxi. I remember the drivers all had their permit on the dashboard showing their photo. I think the taxi driver photo must have been the event of the year. They were dressed in their best suit, smart haircut and clean looking, as if they were going to church. The reality was a little bit different of course. We actually survived an accident in a taxi near the Carnegie Hall. Just a little crash but we then got to know our taxi driver (I believe he was East European origin). Our driver and the other were having words with each other on the street, trying to smooth out details and we said we would find another taxi. Our driver found it was not necessary we should just stay put. When he had sorted things out, he would take us to our destination. He then climbed into the taxi again whilst the other driver was running around on the street, gathering witnesses (that he probably did not find) and talking excitedly through his mobile phone. Our taxi driver became quite friendly and offered us both a cigarette. We were surprised and asked if it was OK to smoke in a taxi. The driver said if he is smoking we could too. Eventually it was quite fun, we exchanged details my husband even gave him a card, although we heard no more.

Our return flight to Switzerland was not so luxurious. We had normal seating, and it was quite crowded, everyone trying to sleep through the short night that we had due to the time lapse.

And here we have a photo, taken from the helicopter showing the twin towers in 1993. Perhaps a special photo now as they no longer exist.

twin towers new york

Click here for more


  1. Although New York is not the furthest place I have travelled to, it is certainly the most interesting city I have visited. There is an atmosphere about it that I haven't experienced in any other city. I only had three days there, and that was an unexpected bonus at the end of a vacation to another part of the US, thanks to a certain Icelandic volcano blowing it's top. I'd love to return and explore it in greater detail.

  2. It was interesting to read about your New York experience, traveling from Switzerland. For us, the trip to New York can be a two hour train ride on the Metro North. There is a vibrancy about this city. I've been to Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia and although I like them well there 's something about New York that is different. That feeling begins as soon as you step out of the doors of Grand Central Terminal onto 42nd St. You converge with the crowd and walk their pace. At the end of the day, it's good to get back on the train and head back to Connecticut.