Nightmare Over Bats, Bees, And Stairs:
We are not turning life into a nightmare over bats and bees. You are by not taking simple precautions. It is ordinary and typical here to put up screens. It is NOT normal NOT to have screens. Europe is behind the times putting up with pests that have been banished here. Obviously you don’t want bats, bees, hornets, or flies in your house if you can easily prevent it. Besides, you are starting to get mosquitoes back in Britain again. Did you know that? You drained the fens in Elizabethan times, but they are starting to come back. This is especially true in the south of England. You don’t want to get bitten by mosquitoes, do you? Screens also by the way help to keep thieves out, human thieves.
And some of those European stairs, by the way, are dangerous. Rick Steves, the travel guide and travel writers, takes tours to Europe every year. He warns the American tourists to watch out for the stairs which are not at all typical of stairs in the US. Last year a lady on one of his tours was injured by falling down the stairs in Europe.
I should send you photos of stairs in the US. You would immediately perceive the difference. Of course Tucson is such that most houses are ranches on a single level and so are most shopping centers. You rarely use stairs at all here. Besides, a second story would be bad for air-conditioning because warm air rises and cold air falls.
But traveling to Europe was a study in stairs starting with the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. We walked up three flights of 12 stairs each or 36 stairs to access the ship’s boarding ramp. Most people were waiting in line for the escalator so we took the short cut and had the stairs to ourselves. We boarded the ship on deck 3. Our cabin was on deck 4. We had to go to deck 7 almost right away for lunch. Then later in the afternoon we had to return to deck 7 for lifeboat drill. Dinner was back on deck 3, and so it went for the rest of the voyage to Europe.
But as soon as we got to Germany the “stair trial” began at once. The first hotel we looked at we rejected solely on the basis of the stairs. They looked horrendous. We instead checked into the Best Western in Oldenburg which had stairs that were OK. In fact, we were to return to this hotel again on the return trip to the cruise terminal in Hamburg. The best turned out to be the Hotel du Lac in Genval which had rooms believe it or not on the ground level. That was certainly much safer.
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How About This For An Edward Ware Thrillers Plot?
Dora and Edward have traveled to some strange places in their career of hiding the Lawrence maps and keeping them away from Hitler’s spies. They even had a stint where they were hiding the maps in Hamlet’s Castle in Elsinore, Denmark. This travel plot should be right up their alley.
Start in Tucson, Arizona and drive east in an indirect fashion. Perhaps you travel north to Yellowstone first. Why not? Dora and Edward just had a Yellowstone plot, too, in Old Faithful Plot. Travel directly east on I-90 or I-80 which didn’t exist at that point. Perhaps use the Lincoln Highway instead, again featured in Old Faithful Plot. Go all the way through to New York, perhaps stopping in Dora’a hometown of Pittsburgh first.
Board the QM2 (in those days the original Queen Mary) and sail across the ocean blue to England to Southampton. There they could meet with Churchill in the Churchill Room on the ship where you can smoke cigars and figure out what to do next. From there they could stop in Hamburg and visit the nautical bookstore with which they have become familiar. Why? He is an operative, of course, in Nazi Germany just like Putlitz, ace of double spies.
From there it is onward to Elsinore in Denmark with Hamlet’s Castle facing you in the dock. No doubt here Edward and Dora want to take a shore excursion to deposit those valuable Lawrence maps in the basement where Danish troops used to be billeted in the Middle Ages during the time of Hamlet.
From there it is homeward bound. First they have to stop in Oslo, Norway of all places. Don’t you think by now they should have earned a Nobel Prize for all their efforts? After that they must return to Hamburg without the Lawrence maps, of course, since they are lunching with Hitler. In Southampton they meet with Churchill and toast with champagne for a job well done. Then they return to New York.
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Which Travel Plot Would You Vote For?
Which one plot of these travel plots will actually appear in an Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel? The first plot: Drive from Tucson, Arizona through Las Cruces to Santa Fe. Pause awhile in Denver, Colorado. Then continue on through Cheyenne, Wyoming to Pinedale. And from there you drive to Jackson Hole, the Tetons, and Yellowstone beyond that.
Second plot: You drive from Tucson, Arizona east through El Paso and West Texas. You drive through Little Rock and Memphis straight through Tennessee and into Virginia. You drive up the Valley of Virginia and proceed east to New York City and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Then you take ship across the Atlantic to Southampton where you transfer to another ship and continue on to the Mediterranean. First you stop in Porto in Portugal. Next it is on to Barcelona, Spain and Port Mahon, Spain. Next is Ajaccio, Corsica to say hello to where Napoleon was born. Beyond that you go to Rome, Cagliari, Sardinia, and Gibraltar to meet the apes before returning to Southampton and then back to New York.
Plot three is sort of a combination of the two plots above. You start the plot in Tucson, Arizona and proceed up to Yellowstone and the Tetons. From there you take a cross country route through Pittsburgh to New York. You sail across the Atlantic but this time to Hamburg, Germany. You take an overnight train to Rome and return a couple days later to return via the same sea route to New York.
Find out more tomorrow.
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Hitler’s Chief Spy Is Hitler’s Agent:
The villainess, Helga von Wessel, Hitler’s chief spy, struts boldly from page to page of this thriller with Europe at her back and all sorts of ambitious notions in her head during the lead up to WW2. As far as she is concerned it isn’t Hitler’s Reich. It is Helga’s Reich. She will wrap the hero, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, Churchill’s spy, around her little finger to prove it. Nor does it matter what Edward’s American wife, Dora, says. Hitler’s Agent, about Hitler’s chief spy, is the sixth volume of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. It will be published by Cheops Books LLC on October 15 in a special Kindle Edition of the historical thriller.
Chapter 1 in July of 1935 opens with a passage where the Colonel cannot find his wife:
Edward looked from one end of Hamburg Harbor
to the other, searching for his wife.
“Have you seen Lady Ware?” he asked Brigadier “Wickie” Roberts.
His superior was about to board the Deutschland.
The ship featured the new Hitler turret, which they had
just gotten a chance to review in the parade of ships up
the Elbe River. He and Brigadier Roberts were part of
the British military mission sent to Germany by Prime
Minister Baldwin to celebrate the recent signing of the
Anglo-German Naval Treaty.
The brigadier shrugged. “Not recently.”
“When was the last time you saw Dora?” Edward
“Right before the parade of ships. She was in a
heated discussion with Frau von Wessel, you know, the
wife of the Commercial Attaché at the German Embassy
The German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, had been
doing his best to distract Edward with probing questions.
Frau von Wessel, Hitler’s chief spy, was likely after his
wife about the same thing that Hitler was after him for
— the Lawrence maps.
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EU Should Reinstitute Border Checks:
One of the dangers is that the EU thinks that it is modeling itself on America. It calls itself the United States of Europe. It is implementing new rules and laws that are dangerously inappropriate. My aunt told me that she was on a train coming from Italy to Munich, Germany that went through the Alps. The train stopped in Innsbruck. I think this was in the very early 1970’s. Everybody had to get off the train in the station. Not only did the “putsfraus” or cleaning ladies go aboard to clean everything, the authorities insisted on looking at everybody’s documentation after crossing a border.
If the authorities had checked papers when the rioters entered Hamburg by train, they might have been stopped before they could riot and loot. Instead they marched freely through the train station where we parked 5 years ago looking for the Best Western St. Raphael Hotel nearby. They were carrying a huge sign in front of them saying something like the “war starts here”. It couldn’t have been more obvious what was going on. They were announcing themselves. They should have been arrested before they set any cars afire or looted any shops and told the shop owners that the needed to pay them protection money.
The EU should reinstitute border checks. That is what I am saying.
Hamburg is the setting for several Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels including Map Plot, Wall Street Swastika, and the Cherusci Plot. Germany itself in one of the main settings and themes of the whole series from Cherusci Plot on to Captive at the Berghof, Unlocking Trinity, and other World War 2 and World War 1 novels such as Dark Horse, Salisbury Plot, Map Plot, and Key to Lawrence Special Edition.
The photo published with this blog is one that the authors took in Hamburg at the train station in 2012. It is the place that the protestors used as a port of entry.
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America Can’t Export Itself To Europe: Legacy Of The Hamburg G20
It is very disturbing that Europeans think it is normal for anti-capitalists and other such groups to constantly interrupt and plague their conferences such as the G20 just ended in Hamburg. It is even more disturbing to hear that they tend to avoid holding conferences in big cities because they can’t control them and tend to favor out of the way places in the country reachable only by helicopter. This lends the conferences an unnecessary elitist edge and also makes Americans wonder about politics in Europe and just how stable the continent really is.
The Roman mob was legendary. The English mob was fearsome. But at least in the old days before the G20 there were kings and emperors who could control them. The problem may be democracy itself which doesn’t totally fit Europe. Just one hundred years ago a lot of the continent was still controlled by royal families such as the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns and now there is not enough autocratic discipline to keep the citizens in line.
By analogy Americans would have to hold their Republican and Democratic Conventions in the country instead of in cities which would never happen. The last thing either party would want would be to look as if they were hiding from the people and were trying to appear elitist and exclusive. It shows that democracy fits America better than Europe. And American ways do not export well to the Old World. In fact they can even be dangerous there as evidenced by the G20.
The continent of Europe, particularly Western Europe, is a key setting of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels. Hero Edward Ware’s home base is England. He travels to Germany all the time and had had adventures in places as far flung as Italy, Russia, and Gibraltar.
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Merkel Fiddles While Hamburg Burns:
Here is one of my photos of the concert hall in Hafen City in Hamburg in the Harbor Area on the Elbe River surrounded by photos of rioters. This is where Trump and Melania Trump attended Merkel’s concert for the G-20 meeting on July 7. We sailed up and down the river four times in 2012 and 2015 and really liked the place. Hamburg looked very modern with all sorts of very neatly kept buildings and lots of greenery lining the streets. The Elbe River was well populated with swimming beaches and beach hotels and houses. There was also a Lion King hall where they kept on playing Disney’s Lion King in perpetuum. We passed the old Cora Verlag Building that used to house the editor I dealt with when publishing 48 books in the Mystery and Mystery Thriller Lines. We even found a fascinating bookstore that specialized in ships and the North Sea and bought a Hamburg calendar and lots of postcards. I wish I could have purchased one of his North Sea calendars, but alas they were too big to fit in my suitcase! We rented a car here twice and returned here twice to board the Queen Mary 2 in Hafen City. The place seemed prosperous and upbeat.
Now we hear how the ambience of the city of Hamburg has been shattered by violent riots in the streets. Policemen are battling with non capitalists. Ever since we left Europe two years ago there have been nothing but terrorist attacks and now this. Melania Trump was apparently trapped in her hotel room by the extreme violence. So was the Australian Prime Minister. You would think that the Germans of all people would be better at keeping order in the streets. It is really shocking and makes me fear that Europe isn’t safe anymore. Tanks in the streets of Hamburg? The army called in? Military helicopters hovering above the conference site? It’s really too much.
I think part of the problem must be Merkel’s immigration policy and all these Middle Easterners wandering around Europe committing terrorist acts. But these rioters run deeper. They remind me of the groups that Hitler was fighting 100 years ago in the streets of Munich, the German communists. I looked up photos of Hamburg on July 7, 2017, and they remind me of World War 1 and World War 2. Absolutely shocking! It rattles me to the core just to look at people tearing about the city we were driving through only two years ago, driving across the bridge out of town and returning to a hotel on the outskirts, Zur Linda, the water wheel restaurant on the edge of town, the Hors Muhle, and then returning to the harbor area. And all Merkel can do is play classical music? Somehow her reaction seems disconnected and ominous like the legendary image of the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Hamburg plays a role in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War. Hamburg is where Dora and Edward end up at the end of the novel Map Plot before returning to Britain together. It is the farthest expansion point of the Roman Empire into Germany. The Romans were trying to reach the Elbe River in the Cherusci Plot when the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest stopped them. Among them was one of Edward’s ancestors.
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