Wednesday 6 November 2013

16th - 17th October, 1947 - Tutty Frutty! Sea, Cinema, Silk & Syria...

"Home thoughts from Abroad.
Mediterranean breaking
on coast near
Beirut 1947."
Thursday, 16th October, 1947
This morning I walked around the town and bought some postage stamps for my collection.  My friend and I closed our walk at the American University where we enjoyed our first “Tutty Frutty,” the American concoction of ice cream and assorted tinned fruits.

In the afternoon we went swimming from the University Club shore.  It was a very pleasant afternoon.

I find it very amusing to hear the young Arabs attending the University speaking with a broad American accent.

“Little Giant” the Bud Abbot, Lou Costello film entertained us this evening

I have even seen some bad exhibitions in London but those were mild compared to those we saw returning to our hotel via side streets.  Women standing in doorways with just under ware (sic) on and little boys and a few little girls running after us to try and persuade us to enjoy the pleasures to be offered by girls of 16 or 17 years old.

Amawi Mosque
Friday, 17th October, 1947
Ron is second from Right , back row.
"The six pillars of the Roman Built
temple to Jupiter.  Baalbek 1947"
At 6am this morning we all set out for a trip in a local bus the owner of which is an Australian who runs a fleet of Buses including a Pulman, Damascus to Bagdad.[1]  Our trip which he provided free of charge took us first to the 3000 years old Greek & Roman ruins at Baalbek.  Then we went on into Syria to Damascus.  We were taken to our hotel where a guide met us.  We had our lunch then set off on a tour of the city.  Starting with the “Bazaar” we were shown through its long wide streets and on to the Amawi Mosque which is the 2nd largest in the world.  Inside the body of St John the Baptist is buried as this was a Christian Church at first.
Riding in a Gerry we went to watch the famous Damas[k] Silks being made.  Mosaic wood work is also made here.
The law forbids anyone to take photographs on the streets.  I think this is to prevent tourists photographing the lower elements of the city.  Returning to our hotel we waited for the bus to take us back to Beirut.

[1] I am greatly indebted to Børre Ludvigsen who among other interesting comments has informed me that the company to which Dad is referring was the Nairn Bus Company famed throughout the Middle East for its desert journeys.

I also thank the website for use of the image of the Nairns Pullman bus

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