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December 31, 1959

Dear Folks,

Ein gluckliches [Neues?] [Jahre?] - A Happy New Year from the Burg. And no plane crash or anything. But golly, in only 2 days so much has happened. We arrived in N.Y. comfortably after seeing nothing but clouds since about Denver. And when we landed it was SNOWING! We had a short layover in the Sabena lounge before boarding our chartered [DC7?] at 6:15 EST. An uneventful night - noisy engines (I sat right over them), but smooth air. Dinner at 8:30 EST (shrimp salad, filet steak, string beans, potatoes, chocolate eclair, milk). Then to "sleep" - only about 3 hours in spite of sleeping pill. Breakfast at 9AM European time (6 hrs "later" than N.Y., 9 hours "later" than S.F.) which was omlette, orange juice, bread + jam, milk, an orange. Stopped in Brussels for about 45 minutes (at 10:45) after brief views of the Irish channel, southern England, and some of France + Belgium (Ireland + London clouded over). The land was quite green, virtually all cultivated, and dotted with towns, though not too densely (much less a % of U.S. land is under cultivation, and it therefore looks brown and less colorful). We finally landed wearily in Stuttgart at 1:50pm, collected baggage, and boarded a bus for the Burg.

The area about Stuttgart (including the city itself) is quite hilly, and trees are everywhere, on the sides of many of the hills outside of town. It is not a forest, but not bare foot hills either, as are more common in the U.S. In the city itself (we passed only through the outskirts, most residential with local shopping areas) the buildings are pretty close together, with the bare spaces being only soil not lawn (a feature as yet not seen here). There are many cobblestone streets, almost all having sidewalks (paved) and a few more than two lanes wide. Only very rarely does one see bombed out buildings (we saw only two or three small ones on our side) and there is much architecture (esp. apartment houses) which looks less than 10 years old (these look more "Americanized" with little balconies off the rooms, etc.). Among the older looking houses there are a variety of finishes and details, but a similar basic shape. They are often 3 stories hish, with fairly steep roofs (usually in some shade of red, very often tile). The finishes are mostly stucco, occasionally stone or brick, never wood. Some of the stucco seems to be original (over wood frame), other appears perhaps to be over stone (perhaps

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