Walter E. Dandy Letter 12/14/23

Here I am in the most wonderful country in many ways that I have yet seen. It is such a beautiful thrifty country, irrigated through every few yards by ditches. The great windmills scattered everywhere and flapping their huge wings is a wonderful sight. We arrived at the Hook of Holland at 7:00 a.m., crossing the North Sea at night. Again I had hoped to find some evidence of seasickness, but I slept the night through without waking. I had a cabin in the prow of the ship. She was lurching again a good deal when I went to bed but at least I wasn't thrown out of the berth. We left Harwich about 100 miles by train from London and Amsterdam is almost two hours by sea from Hook of Holland.

I was much impressed with the English railways. They have doubtless improved a great deal since you were here. The carriage, which was open by compartments outside, I have seen, but most often the cars have compartments for four people and they have at the end of the cars. I think they ride very well, about as well as American cars. I think they are more comfortable. I, of course, have traveled 1st class. I could bet with a high degree of assurance what class you travel.

I couldn't enjoy the English climate very much. Rain. Rain. Rain. It showered a little one day, they made a big fuss about it, but it was all water before noon.

Holland has been nice and clean and fairly cold - just about freezing, but I have missed the good skating which they usually have here most of the winter. This must be the place where the Dutch Cleanser got its name. You can't find dirt anywhere. It's a "spotless town" for sure. The buildings are all so beautiful, neat and tidy. The people dress so neatly and cleanly - none of the slovenliness that I have seen in France, England and America. There seems no one very rich and very poor, but everyone in good circumstances and well taken care of by their thrift. The people are all so open and friendly and kind. They go out of their way to help you for the love of doing it. They live sensibly. Not many motorcars. The cleanest little streetcars which move along at a snail pace, but you like it. Nearly everyone rides a bicycle. Holland is only about 25 miles radius from the center to the border and big thrifty cities are very close together. They have to speak German, English and French as well as their own Dutch because their neighbors are so close and they have to trade with them.

Tomorrow I go to Utrecht about an hour's ride south of here, then to The Hague and then Paris and Vienna. I hope to get a letter from you when I get to Vienna. I got a letter from Miss Cannet hoping she had been out to see you, but this is the only word I have had from America. They know much about my air work here and use it, but haven't a big material to work with as in America.

A month will have soon have passed. It won't be long 'til I'm back, but we won't "wish our lives away" will we. I wonder where I got that.

Love, Walter x x x x x x x x x x