SS Neuralia

Sunday, noon,

200 miles from Copenhagen

 

Dear Mum and Dad,

We are still having lovely weather – yesterday we got to Stockholm, at about 8am, and were all ready to go ashore but had to wait till 10.30 am to do that.

–                           From the ship we could see that bicycles all had numbers and that trams consisted of two single-decker coaches coupled together – the only difference between English and Swedish people was the language.

–                           Most Swedes were fair haired and blue eyed – when we got to the quay we found men and girls selling “Eskimo pies” (ice-creams).

–                           Two boy scouts and a girl, who could speak English fairly well took us about.

–                           The city stands on a peninsular in which are many bays, so that one could easily get lost, and the road ran right by the water in many cases.

–                           First we went to the Town Hall, which is only a few years old, it was in the form of a hollow square with a tower in one corner  then we went to the biggest stores in Stockholm, the “Nordiska Kompaniet” but things were very dear.

–                           I sent off your letter and seven postcards from there – as we thought food would be very dear, we went back to the ship for dinner but we afterwards found that food was about the only cheap thing there.

–                           After dinner it rained a bit, so we rested a bit and then set off to go round the shops – we afterwards found out that some had been to the zoo and that the baths there were 45’ deep.

–                           We saw the Royal Palace, the Houses of Parliament and several other important buildings – there were many blocks of flats, several stories high, and most of the buildings were of three or four stories.

–                           I bought a key-purse for Fred and some postcards and by the time we got back to the ship for 5 o’clock I had spent 6/6d – there were two or three markets, where you could get raspberries for about 5d, gooseberries 6d and cherries 4d.

–                           All the bicycles had only a back pedalling brake and upturned handles, while many were fitted with a tiny engine – all the traffic was moving very fast, and there was much one way traffic.

–                           When the ship was ready to sail, it was found that two boys were missing, and the ship waited till about 8pm and then started.

–                           This morning we heard that they were joining the boat at Copenhagen – when the boat did move off there was quite a crowd at the quay and there was much cheering from both the quay and the ship. We retraced our way back through the islands we had passed in the morning and there were many small motor boats and yachts out from those islands which were inhabited, there was much cheering and waving and much laughter when these boats got caught in the wash.

–                           We went to bed about 9.30pm and went to sleep nearly straightaway.

–                           When we got up about 6.0am this morning we could see Gotland.

–                           For breakfast we had egg and bacon etc. at 10 o’clock there was a short service for boys, taken by the Rev.S Gordon Wilson  he talked about the Olympic Games and St Paul – there was an adults service at 11am – we were told about the arrangements for Copenhagen by the Commandant, Major Stevenson, nicknamed ‘Whiskers’.

–                           We sunbathed till dinner time, stew, macaroni and custard, bananas – after that I sat down to write this.

–                           At about 1.30pm we saw Celand – we had tea, jam and cake etc – at 5.30 there was a concert, community singing – after the concert we got our money changed – 5/0 for 5 kroner – I got 2 ½ kroner – we drew our hammocks, and went to bed about 9.30. At 2.30am this morning (Monday) a man came down to close all the portholes and woke us all up.

–                           About 5am we woke up and were nearly in the harbour – we got up and at 6am we were just near the ‘Empress of Australia’ which was berthed there.

–                           At 7.15 we were tied up to a quay.

–                           We shall disembark at 9.0am, but I will write from Gothenburg to tell you about it.

–                           I do not think we are going to Stavanger, but are having 2 days in Oslo because on the cruise ship before this, the Scotch boys complained that Stavanger was no good – hoping you are wel.l

Love

Chris

PS. If you see Fred, tell him I am having a good time and will not forget his postcard.

 

 

 

 

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(Document origin:-  www.balmaha.net/mnavy/L/neuralia_letter.htm)