kolff: biographies: algeria: 1

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A Voyage to Algeria in 1921: 1 - Paris

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Rotterdam 31 January 1921

The whole day is used for the final preparations for the journey. Herman and Jantje will go to Oma Kolff with Ninna, they will stay there. We dine with Father and will spend the night there to be able to go to the train early in the morning. Ella with children

1 February 1921

At nine o'clock in the morning we board the car and our luggage is being loaded in; however after we are properly seated it seems that the car needs some heavy repairs before it will move. Agitation, phonecalls. Finally, at 9h25 a second car drives up and we and our luggage are transferred and with flying speed we are driven to the D.P. station. Here Moes, with a box filled with delicious hopjes, is awaiting us accompanied by the children and Ninna.

The train departs 9h42 and Herman is calling "safe journey" while we start to move. We take our reserved window seats. At Roosendaal some sjappies check our larger baggage only. At Esschen, we are all - including our smaller and bigger baggage - being filtered through a narrow passage, where they also check our passports. Between Antwerp and Brussels we have lunch in the dining car.

At 8h40 in the evening we arrive at Paris, dusty and tired. After an hour of waiting for our larger luggage we have ourselves brought to the Hotel Continental Rue Rivoli. We have quite an appetite and walk into Paris to drop in the Café de Madrid to feast ourselves on Potage Petite Marmite and a tasty chicken.

Deux Couverts?
Non, merci monsieur, à la carte!
Alors seulement pour madame?

Paris 2 February 1921

We start to run and fly through the running and flying Paris. Place Vendôme, Rue de la Paix, Boulevard des Capucines, - des Italiens, - Montmartre. Our cup of coffee we take at the gezellige Café de la Paix, and after this we go to les Magazins de la Fayette. Lunch at the café Pocardi. Having brought our shoppings at the hotel we walk through the Jardin des Tuileries to the Seine. Then we wonder around Les Halles and we take a trolleybus along la Bourse to our familiar area at the Place de l'Opéra. We have dinner at Duval, and go to Les Folies Bergères after that, here we see "l'Amour en Folie" and "La plus belle femme de France" Agnès Souret. Ella with guide

3 February

We continue our shopping at les Magazins du Louvre. A delicious lunch was taken at the restaurant 'Ciro'.
We bring our shoppings back to the hotel and go to the Eiffel Tower. The weather is dark and foggy so we only go to the first floor and trip the hundreds of steps of the staircase down to the ground floor. In vain we look for Helvetia's in the empty river the Seine. A car takes us further through the Bois de Boulogne and along the Arc de Triomphe, where just at that moment the head of state of Poland, Marshal Pilsudski, is bringing a flower tribute at the grave of the unknown soldier.
We visit La Fayette and the Louvre. Our dinner we have at the charming restaurant Rizzi, Avenue de l'Opéra. Jan with guide

Paris 4 February Marseilles

Departure at seven o'clock in the morning from our hotel to "Le Gare de Lyon" from where our train leaves at 8 o'clock. We find our reserved seats and in our compartment are some French travellers and an English lady with her lady-help. Six series of luncheons and dinners are being served in the dining car so we spend almost the entire journey eating. Lunch was between Mâcon and Lyon, and dinner somewhere near Avignon and Tarascon. We arrive 9h40 at Marseilles. We stay at the Grand Hotel du Louvre et de la Paix, a fine room with bath.

Photo's at this page are not of Paris, but were found on these pages in the original Journal
oma - grandmother ('granny')
Ninna - name of the German nanny (many Dutch families had German nannies in the 1920s)
D.P. station - Rotterdam railway station Delftsche Poort
Moes - sweet name for grandmother ('granny')
sjappie(s) - whipper-snapper(s)
gezellig - cosy, pleasant
Helvetia's - ships of Jan's shipping company named Helvetia
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