Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sepia Saturday - From Here to There - Near East Travels

This week I am sharing more images and some ephemera from my paternal grandparents' trip to the Near East in 1938 to survey the expeditions of the Oriental Institute of which my grandfather was Executive Secretary.

My grandparents left on their adventure aboard the S.S. Rex from New York to Naples.  A caption under a blank space in the album tells me there was a developed photo of the ship at one point, but all I have for now is their Passage Contract, a map of the ship and two photos taken from on board.

After a day in Naples they sailed on the S.S. Esperia to Alexandria, Egypt. Interestingly, both ships were to be casualties of WWII.

"Top Hat" was the movie aboard the Esperia.

From Alexandria to Cairo to Luxor to visit the Institute's Epigraphic Survey. While in Luxor, one of my grandparents snapped this photo of a ship on the Nile.


Next it was back to Cairo to get a train to Palestine to visit the Megiddo Expedition. After a week in Palestine it was ten days of travel to get from Megiddo to the Persepolis Expedition in Iran. After leaving Megiddo, they slept in Damascus, Syria where this carriage took them from the hotel to the bus station.

And then it was all aboard the air-conditioned Nairn Bus, 600 miles across the desert to Baghdad.

While in Baghdad, one of them captured a photo of a double-deck horse-drawn street car.

More travel, this time from Baghdad to Kirkuk via train.

When they were on their way back to through Iraq to Syria, this 6-wheeled bus took them from Kirkuk to Mosul.

Sometime during their travels though Iran, their car ran into a little trouble.

Finally, though, it was time to start for home, beginning with a 6-day trip from Aleppo, Syria to London, England aboard the Orient Express.

Cover of the booklet that contained tickets for meals aboard the Orient Express

Stub from a meal ticket.

After eight days in London and Oxford, they sailed for home aboard the R.M.S. Aquitania.

By the time my grandparents returned to Chicago they had been gone for 111 days, spending more than a third of that time traveling from place to place. Even so, just one day after reaching the city, my grandfather was back at work at 9:00 a.m.

I am transcribing my grandfather's diaries and my grandmother's letters home and saving for a negative scanner so that one day soon, I'll be able to share their whole incredible adventure.