The Diary of Evelyn Forrestâ€™s Trip to Palestine
Saturday, May 3, 1930
Could not sleep late this morning for we must pack up and get ready to fly. Mr. Bowman came promptly at 9:00 a.m. Richard went out with him for that conference . . . I did the packing and finished some letters for Africa. Mr. Bowman had lunch with us.
1:45 p.m. â€“ We left the central offices of Great Britain Imperial Air Service in the big bus for the Aerodrome.
2:45 p.m. â€“ We left the ground and were off for London. There was no unpleasant sensation in taking to the air. The seats are as comfortable as an easy chair at home. The view is wonderful, on, on we go, in a few minutes after leaving the ground we are flying 80 miles an hour and we do not feel as if we are going fast. Much of the time, we were making 90 miles an hour. At first, the sun was shining brightly and we could see the whole country below us, beautiful green fields and well-prepared soil ready for the planting, like a well-kept garden. Village after village disappeared as we flew on our way. A RR train beneath us looked like a small toy.
Finally, we could see in the distance a bank of white clouds and our pilot climbed another kilometers up and now between three and four kilometers. Up in the air. Soon the fleecy white clouds are rolling beneath us like great billows of cotton. By the time we reached the English Channel we are flying through the clouds. They are above, below, and all around us. Only dimly can we trace the shoreline. Now above, the sun is shining through a rift in the cloud. Below, we see a great steamer plowing through the water. It looks like a tiny toy boat. The sun has pierced the clouds below and a patch of gold glows and sparkles beneath us as the great ship nears the other shore.
Now, we are flying over England, and the fields spread out beneath us like a crazy patch work quilt with patches of every size and shape. Beautiful fruit orchards in full bloom and the trees look like small pot plants. We are flying over a landing fieldâ€”how smooth and inviting it looks, but we do not land there. We are still forty or fifty miles from London. Richard has written some cards up here in the air but I am busy looking.
5:00 p.m. â€“ Two hours and fifteen minutes later and we are circling over the landing fields of London. The red lights are flashing from the tall dome of a large building to guide the big ship down to safety. Three times we circled the field. Now, we are on the ground and running towards the buildings, the field is muddy. It is raining down here. Soon, we are through customs with our baggage and in the bus headed for the central station. â€œSo, this is London?â€