Tag Archives: Europe

Scrap Book Project – Bank Notes

Yugoslavia

Foreign travel and different bank notes remind me of my dad’s insistence on always returning home from foreign holidays with currency for his personal memory box.  The note above is from the former state of Yugoslavia which dad visited several times in the 198os.

Even if it was 90˚ in the shade and everyone was desperate for a last drink at the airport dad was determined to bring a souvenir note or coin home and would hang on with a steadfast determination that would deny last minute refreshment to everyone so long as he could get his monetary mementos back home safely.  How glad I am of that because now they belong to me and now my own left over bank notes from my travel adventures have been added to the collection.

The euro is useful because it has simplified travel to Europe but I miss the old pre-euro currencies. To have a wallet full of romantic and exciting sounding notes made you feel like a true international traveller. I liked the French franc and the Spanish peseta and the Greek drachma of course but my absolute favourite was the Italian lira simply because you just got so many.

When going on holiday to Italy you were, for just a short time anyway, a real millionaire. The first time I went to Italy, to Sorrento in 1976, the notes were so worthless that it was normal practice for shops to give change in the form of a postcard of a handful of sweets.

My most favourite bank notes are probably from Switzerland.  Everyone knows that the Swiss are fond of money and they leave no one in any doubt of this with the quality of their notes.  Not only are they brilliantly colourful but they are printed on high quality paper as well and one is thing for certain – these notes are not going to fall apart easily.  Another interesting thing about the Swiss Franc is that there is something about it which prevents it being scanned and half way through the process the scanner stops and produces a message on screen that it cannot copy a bank note.

 

Russia

Cyprus £1 front

Slovakian Pop Star – Braňo Hronec

Brano

Bargain flights to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was all that it took to persuade us to visit one of Europe’s newest sovereign states.

Hotel No. 16 was a curious place; in a Swiss chalet style building that is shared with the Liberian Embassy and had an intriguing collection of expensive furniture, cheesy bric-a-brac and a ceramic wood-burning stove that was providing far more heat in the reception area than was really necessary.  The rooms were excellent however (except for Micky’s which was a bit small) and had wooden beams and tasteful décor, which probably explained why it was a bit more expensive than I usually like to pay for a room.

The owner of the hotel is a man called Braňo Hronec who was a Czechoslovakian jazz musician and pop star in the 1970’s and there were some heavily moustachioed Brotherhood of Man look-alike photographs of him on one wall of the hotel reception.  Apparently he recorded three long play records before fading into obscurity as a conductor of the Slovak Television Dance Orchestra in the 1980s and finally becoming a hotel proprietor of the Hotel No. 16.

As a pop star he is remembered in Slovakia chiefly because in the mid 1960s he established his own jazz sextet, pioneering the use of the then rare and expensive Hammond organ, and for releasing a couple of singles of his own compositions as well as some cover versions of popular songs like Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In, but most of all for a version of Christie’s smash pop hit Yellow River with Slovak lyrics.  I bet that was good, but I’ve been unable to locate a copy, even on e-bay!

Interesting trivia: Slovakia is not well known for pop music evidenced by the fact that it has only made the Eurovision song contest finals five times and it has never finished higher than eighteenth.

http://www.hotelno16.sk/

European Bank Notes

 

The euro is useful because it has simplified travel to Europe but I miss the old pre-euro currencies. To have a wallet full of romantic and exciting sounding notes made you feel like a true international traveller. I liked the French franc and the Spanish peseta and the Greek drachma of course but my absolute favourite was the Italian lira simply because you just got so many.

When going on holiday to Italy you were, for just a short time anyway, a real millionaire. The first time I went to Italy, to Sorrento in 1976, the notes were so worthless that it was normal practice for shops to give change in the form of a postcard of a handful of sweets.

My most favourite bank notes are probably from Switzerland.  Everyone knows that the Swiss are fond of money and they leave no one in any doubt of this with the quality of their notes.  Not only are they brilliantly colourful but they are printed on high quality paper as well and one is thing for certain – these notes are not going to fall apart easily.

Another interesting thing about the Swiss Franc is that there is something about it which prevents it being scanned and half way through the process the scanner stops and produces a message on screen that it cannot copy a bank note.

Foreign travel and different bank notes remind me of my dad’s insistence on always returning home from foreign holidays with currency for his personal memory box.  Even if it was 90˚ in the shade and everyone was desperate for a last drink at the airport dad was determined to bring a souvenir note or coin home and would hang on with a steadfast determination that would deny last minute refreshment to everyone so long as he could get his monetary mementos back home safely.

How glad I am of that because now they belong to me and now my own left over bank notes from my travel adventures have been added to the collection.

A Life in a Year – 31st December, Top Ten Blogs of 2011 (1)

At the end of another year of blogging in which I have managed a posting every day I was interested to see which blog posts received the highest number of hits:

No. 1

1957 – a Sister, Spaghetti, Scouting, Sputnik and Stanley Matthews

4,183 hits.  It seems that people have a continuing curiosity and interest in Robert Baden-Powell and the Boy Scout Movement which is what seems to bring visitors to this particular blog entry.

No. 2

Travel Journal

1,900 hits.  This is a simple link to my Travel Blog ‘Have Bag, Will Travel’

No 3

1955 – Polio, McDonalds and Disneyland

1,900 hits.  There is a lot of interest in the restaurant chain McDonalds and I think that is what brings people here.

No 4

A Life in a Year – 14th January, Henry Ford invents the Hamburger

1,860 hits.  This is another post about the McDonald brothers who started the restaurant chain in San Bernadino in California.

No. 5

A Life in a Year – 4th June, Naturism and Health and Efficiency Magazine

1,775 hits.  It would appear that a lot of people have a healthy interest in taking their clothes off on the beach and trying some natural sun bathing! I removed the pictures of the naked people because that is not the reason that I want people to visit the blog.

No. 6

1966 – Pickles the Dog and the Football World Cup

1,670 hits.  One of my favourites and a nice but rather bizarre story about how Pickles the dog discovered the stolen World Cup Trophy in 1966.

No. 7

A Life in a Year – 26th May, The European Flag

1,660 hits.  I can offer no explanation as to why this post has had so many visits.

No. 8

1956 – Suez, The Cold War, Airfix and Clean Air

1,520 hits. My story of 1956 seen through World news items. I think web surfers get to this page when reminiscing about Airfix model kits.

No. 9

A Life in a Year – 7th February, Monopoly and other Board (or Bored) Games

1,370 hits.  My recollections about the board (bored) game Monopoly which some enthusiasts did not appreciate!

No. 10

1967 – Che Guevara, Torrey Canyon and Francis Chichester

1,360 hits. A bit of a mystery to me, maybe the myth of Che Guevara just refuses to go away?

A Life in a Year – 7th October, Slovakian Pop Star – Braňo Hronec

Brano

Bargain flights to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was all that it took to persuade us to visit one of Europe’s newest sovereign states.

Hotel No. 16 was a curious place; in a Swiss chalet style building that is shared with the Liberian Embassy and had an intriguing collection of expensive furniture, cheesy bric-a-brac and a ceramic wood-burning stove that was providing far more heat in the reception area than was really necessary.  The rooms were excellent however (except for Micky’s which was a bit small) and had wooden beams and tasteful décor, which probably explained why it was a bit more expensive than I usually like to pay for a room.

The owner of the hotel is a man called Braňo Hronec who was a Czechoslovakian jazz musician and pop star in the 1970’s and there were some heavily moustachioed Brotherhood of Man look-alike photographs of him on one wall of the hotel reception.  Apparently he recorded three long play records before fading into obscurity as a conductor of the Slovak Television Dance Orchestra in the 1980s and finally becoming a hotel proprietor of the Hotel No. 16.

As a pop star he is remembered in Slovakia chiefly because in the mid 1960s he established his own jazz sextet, pioneering the use of the then rare and expensive Hammond organ, and for releasing a couple of singles of his own compositions as well as some cover versions of popular songs like Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In, but most of all for a version of Christie’s smash pop hit Yellow River with Slovak lyrics.  I bet that was good, but I’ve been unable to locate a copy, even on e-bay!

Interesting trivia: Slovakia is not well known for pop music evidenced by the fact that it has only made the Eurovision song contest finals five times and it has never finished higher than eighteenth.

http://www.hotelno16.sk/