March 29 1944
Well, here we are back at our station after a lovely weeks leave. It was a wonderful week of sightseeing & walking. We went from here up to London, had a couple of days there & from to Glasgow, Cambuslang, Edinburgh, back to London and then back here this morning.
They have a wonderful system over here. When a person gets a leave, they give you a warrant free to wherever you want to go. You're entitled to four a year, so I'm going to use mine to the fullest extent in seeing this country.
The trains here are as you've seen in pictures, very small, but very good. The little compartments are funny but swell, & above all the trains fast & very punctual.
We left here a week ago today for London & arrived about 2 in the afternoon. After getting a place to sleep, we went out to look the place over, but didn't manage to see very much of anything except Trafalgar Square and a few of the streets.
We got our first introduction to the underground which is a really wonderful system. You don't see a thing of the city that way, but you do get around in the shortest time imaginable. They are still being used at night by some people as shelters, and they just make up their beds on platforms & go to sleep.
We went to a show or the cinema which are all Hollywood pictures, but usually a couple of months old for the best, and the prices are really exorbitant. The cheapest are over a dollar.
We got back to our room which was the Dominion Officer's Club in the blackout, but it really wasn't too difficult. Fortunately we were all in the same room so we got a good start in the morning,
I'm afraid I can't tell you everything we did in order, but we did see an awful lot in a short time. Well, here goes. Westminster Abbey, of which I was slightly disappointed, although the architecture and everything is wonderful. A great part of it is shut off, so we couldn't see it in its entirety. Next, the House of Commons & Big Ben which too was a disappointment. It wasn't (B.B.) nearly as large as I expected & didn't strike nearly as loud as you hear over the radio. We then saw the Palace. Shall I say it again. I really don't know what I expected to see in all these things, but I suppose the war has a deteriorating effect at least on the beauty & surroundings anyway. We then went to St. Paul's which struck me as wonderful. The Nazis have certainly been gunning for it, and have leveled buildings for acres all around it, but still it stands untouched or comparatively so. We all went up to the Whispering Gallery, and then on up to the top which, by the way, is 764 steps, & looked out over the city. It's from there you can really see the damage. We went from there to London Bridge & the Mmme Tussaud's wax works. They're really wonderful, so good in fact that Don asked a wax attendant where we went. We also saw 10 Downing, Scotland Yard, Guildhall and many other places. That night we again went to a show and after we got out they had an alert and two bombs were dropped, but nowhere near us. That was my first encounter, and I must say I had a funny feeling.
We left the next day for Glasgow and got in at 7 P.M. Got a room and went to bed. The next day we went to Cambuslang just out of Glasgow to out hostess' place, which was provided though Mrs. Ryder, who looks after and plans our leaves. We commuted between there and Glasgow which is an ugly, dirty place. You never see the sun through the haze.
Sunday I went to church with the Stewarts & and they brought the minister home for dinner. The Scotch are wonderful people, really friendly, and, ah!…the accent. There wasn't much to do or see there, so Tuesday we went to Edinburgh which is the nicest city we were in. We wasted the whole day looking for Ray though. He went to relatives in Langholm while we went to Glasgow.
So from there to London & then here. Not bad, eh? But I'm going back again.
Got two letters today 10th & 11th. Wish Bud and Gib my best & hope to see them soon. Haven't met anybody new yet. It's a wonderful country-afternoon tea is a wonderful idea, but I could stand a bit of heat in the house. Many happy returns, Paud. Don't work too hard everyone & and write airmail often. You can send a box of food if you like.
Love as ever