National Geographic : 1955 Jul
"Sure and begorra," I laughed, "and it's a wee bit of a brogue you've got there." She twisted her mouth to the side and produced an excellent imitation of a Hollywood gang ster's gun moll. "It's easy to mimic you," she said. "You all talk through your nose." The next morning in the common room I met Collin and Trevor. Everything from Collin's huge pack was laid neatly on the table. He was muttering to himself. "Now it's the salt. First the tea box came apart in Ostend. Next night the sugar bag broke. Now it's the salt. It seems all I do is unpack, clean, and repack this bloomin' rucksack." I introduced these lads from Northern Ire land to the colleens from the Republic. While they exchanged witticisms about the two Ire lands, I left with two attractive girls from Missouri and Iowa who were going my way. Elizabeth and Sylvia, their names were, but they preferred Biff and Syb (page 129). We 130 visited several of Brussels' shops, where we watched the famous Belgian lace being made, then headed our cycles toward Germany. On the road to Aachen both girls left me far behind, although my bike had three gears, theirs only one. I felt like an old, old man at 25. War Damage Still Apparent Aachen, like Cologne (Koln), Essen, and Koblenz, was a prime target of Allied bomb ers during the war and contained vast areas of building skeletons. Cologne, despite much rebuilding, still showed many scars left by the bombardment. Pouring rain greeted us when we rode into Cologne, and three thoroughly soaked Ameri cans entered that hostel, or Jugendherberge, as it is called in Germany. The interior of the three-story converted bomb shelter was polished stone, tile, and hardwood. It had the clean efficient look of a hospital but the atmosphere of a camp reunion.