Painting commemorating First Pam-Am Boeing B-747 flight to London
Pan Am Menu Cover: Clipper Young America arrives in London on the first commercial flight by the new generation of wide-body jets, January 22, 1970, Boeing B-747

Amsterdam - launch to USA


Amsterdam - launch to USA


{Header images from the Pan Am Historical Foundation, which I found looking for information on my flight, and could not resist sharing with you. Unfortunately nothing on Amsterdam to Boston but 'My Flight to London on the “Queen of the Skies,” by Glenn Little'  gives some insight.}

Returning back from our second overland trip to Asia we travelled back with the coach and picked up passengers on the way, having sold the truck in Nepal.

Pete and I applied for driving jobs in Germany on the way through, and following a brief spell in England, returned to Germany separately. Pete got work driving trucks but I did not, and so continued to travel. I went to Amsterdam and stayed with one of the passengers and his girlfriend. It was a pleasant stay with both of them. The passenger owed us money from the trip, so I set up a bank account with Deutsche Bank whist I was there to make it easy for him to pay it back.

I was in town one day and I remember a bus full of school girls drove past a little distance away, but not far enough to drown out to collective singing of Saturday Night Fever. Sung with gusto. Apparently new to the streets of Amsterdam. Defiantly new to me. I only found out what they were singing sometime later, when I heard it again.

On a day trip out with my hosts, we picked up another person, and drove into the countryside, stopping to look around a derelict ruin. Not a tourist attraction, just a ruin in the middle of nowhere. After that, a cry of "lets go to the beach." I said I haven't got any swimwear with me. "You won't need any" was the reply. I found out why later. We went to a nudist beach. It was interesting lying down in the sunshine next to a beautiful naked woman, chatting as if we were on the sofa at their house, whilst he and the friend explored the dunes behind the beach. Then to swim in the sea, and dry off in the sun after. Unexpected, and interesting. Different thoughts about the body, British to European.

The beach was probably Zandvoort area, just past Haarlem, but I can't be sure.

Whilst I was in Amsterdam I saw an advert. Pan Am had launched a new service between Amsterdam and Boston, at a very reduced price of 115 guilders. I already had an America Visa and so was ready to travel. An opportunity not to be missed. I was living out of a rucksack already, so it was just a case of persuading Pam Am that I would successfully gain entry to USA, and a one way ticket was bought. I was flying to USA without a plan of any sort. I can't remember if I was on the first flight, or first week of their new service between Amsterdam and Boston. One or the other.

Exchange of 115 guilders at a rate of 4.2608  which equates to about £27. In 2022, the relative value of £27.00 from 1977 ranges from £180.70 to £420.90. However, airfares have come down a lot since then, for the time, this was an extraordinary deal. In 1970, a return flight between New York and London retailed for $550. With inflation, that’s around $5,350 in today’s money.

Dollar Pound exchange rate, say 1st July 1977, 0.5815, = £320. Say half for one way, £160. A saving of, in 2022, the relative value of £133.00 from 1977 ranges from £890.00 to £2,073.00. A significant saving, which was the intention of Pam-Am. Drum up passengers to fill the seats on their new route.

Hence my first trip to the USA started in Amsterdam, in Europe, not to New Amsterdam in the States, (New York), but to Boston. 

My passport had occupation as Civil Engineer, which is more highly regarded in the US than Britain, so there were no troubles with me being allowed to enter the US. However, I do understand why the office in Amsterdam was reluctant to sell me a one way ticket. If I was refused entry, they would have had to fly me back. A seat they could not sell.

According to my old passport I arrived in the States on


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 The flag counter below is for my original travelogue, which is slowly being replaced by this one, but can still be found here.

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News Flash

Change of host Sept 2023


Change of host Sept 2023


In the begining of August 2023 I transfered my sites, including this one from 123-reg to IONOS. It was meant to be a simple task. However, that was to to be the case. The reason for the move was primarily the hugh increase in price that 123-reg was applying regarding email boxes. Previously, the upto 500 of the boxes were included in the various hosting packages I had. Now they were going to charge for each mailbox based on size, and as far as I could make out, this was going to cost me nearly £2,000. This was not acceptable, and I did not get satisfactory answers from support. So I turned of all the auto renews and stated to move sites and domains accross to IONOS.

Travel data problems


Travel data problems

This is where it starts to get a little technical.

The site is built on a content management system, CMS, using Joomla. Joomla is moving forward and version 3.10.?? is being discontinued. Future developments are for version 4.??

Similarly, PHP 7 is being replaced with PHP 8.

Part of the migration is relatively simple, I have already changed to a new template which works on the new platforms.

However, some of the helper applications, which work within Joomla are not yet ready.

Fabrik is one of those applications, if fact a significant 'Joomla Custom Website Application Builder'.

Refresh 2021


Site refresh Easter 2021

I decided to give the site a bit of a refresh over Easter 2021 and install a new template and some additional functions. One of the things I didn't like about the old site was the delay in text appearing which probably meant some people left before the content appeared. This has been corrected now.