Photos – The Seattle Years – 1977-1979 (Set Nineteen – Bike Trip to England, Scotland, Wales and France)

This posting begins the series of photos from the bicycle trip that I took by myself thirty years ago in England, Scotland, Wales and France.  I left Seattle, WA, on a Pan Am 747 out of Sea-Tac Airport on May 29, 1979; and arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport on May 30, 1979.  My bike was in a large cardboard box along with my bike bags and gear; and I reassembled the bike and attached the bags over in a corner of the airport near Heathrow’s baggage claim area.  That first day I stopped at a home while still in the greater London area called “Little Place” in Farnham Common, and asked permission to camp in a little wood beside their property.  I was met by the most gracious family – Bet, Ian, George, David and Jayne; who not only took me into their home but showed me London as well.  From that first day of my bike trip onward, family after family in the U.K. took me in and treated me in a most gracious and hospitable way.

I regret not having kept in contact with every family that I met during my many travels and adventures, as I was never organized enough to keep in contact with so many people.  Perhaps someday the families that helped me along the way will know how much I appreciated their hospitality – and for that I say ‘Thank You’ from the bottom of my heart.

As usual, I traveled on a shoestring budget while on this bike trip, and didn’t have much of a budget for niceties like film and developing – but I did bring my camera.  I had an “open-ended” return ticket with Pan Am, because I had no idea how long my money would last.  I planned to travel around the British Isles and then head to the Continent.  As it turned out, that spring of 1979 was one of the wettest on record in England, and it wasn’t long before I decided to go to France to look for drier weather.  In France, I found out that I couldn’t communicate with anyone as I don’t speak French, so I returned to England and completed the bike tour up through Scotland and Wales prior to flying back to Seattle on July 14, 1979 from London Heathrow.

As this was my first overseas trip out of the country, I put all of my film through the x-ray machines at both Heathrow and Sea-Tac; and in the process, I lost much of the exposed film prior to developing it – as most of it turned out “blank.”  So what I’m posting here are all 57 photos that survived, which being better than nothing, still provides you with a “flavor” of my adventure.  Enjoy!  🙂

Cheers,

Mark     

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