(3). GERMANY & TURKEY

1958 SUMMER VACATION: TEACHING IN TURKEY

PART ONE: HITCH-HIKING ROUND NORTHERN WEST GERMANY

PART TWO: TWO MONTHS IN TURKEY

The summer of 1958 was the first “long vac” for my old friend Tony Kemp and myself. We were both studying languages at Cambridge: we had been friends at boarding school (Christ’s Hospital) from 1946 to 1955, where we had chosen the ‘language’ option in 1950 (?) and learned German to round out the Latin and French that we had had since 1947. During our military service, I had been on the ‘Joint Services School for Linguists’ and learned some Russian; Tony had not been accepted onto the Russian course and had been posted to Cyprus, where the British were ‘keeping the peace’ between the Greeks and the Turks. He had learned some Turkish, which came in useful in 1958, when we volunteered for two months’ teaching English in Turkey.

We were due to meet up with the rest of the group of student teachers at the station in Cologne on July 5th, to travel on the train to Istanbul with them; since the term at Cambridge finished in mid-June (earlier?), we decided to have two weeks ‘exploring’ Germany, travelling using our thumbs, overnighting in Youth Hostels and eating frugally. Hitchhiking was quite safe and quite reliable in the 1950s; I had ‘hitched’ from Lindau in Germany to Venice one year previously and found just one section difficult (over the Tauern mountains in Austria).

Luckily I sent a description of my holiday in letters to my sister June (then living in Adelaide, South Australia); she kept them for me and I have them still. Verbatim copies of what I wrote then are in italics on these pages. The photographs are Tony’s. Some pictures in the ‘Germany’ section, and many in the ‘Turkey’ section, are from the internet.

Go to: GERMANY

At 02:20 on July 5th we were waiting on the platform at Cologne and joined the rest of the party on the Istanbul train.

We had sleepers from Cologne to Munich, where we stopped off for a 24-hour rest…

Go to:   TURKEY