On the S.S. Oceana

I’ve been transcribing my grandmother’s travel journal from the summer of 1928. She and my grandfather went on a long excursion traveling to Europe by boat and then boarding the Oceana in Hamburg, Germany, for a cruise to Norway. Though my grandfather was very much a part of my life growing up, my grandmother died a few years before I was born. This is the first time I’ve heard her “voice” and I’m enjoying it. Today my brother Doug sent me a photo from that cruise which syncs with a journal entry, so here goes:


July 10, 1928.  Tuesday.  Svarttisen, Norway.  Rain and sunshine.  Visited the little settlement at the foot of the black glacier.  We left the boat at 8:30 A.M., walked about 1 mile over foot paths and rocks to the edge of the mountain of ice, took pictures and then walked into the glacier for a short ways.  Though Mrs. Kolmos and Dr. and Mrs. Matter did not go all the way, I am glad we went on.  It was worth the effort.  We sailed about 12 o’clock on our way to Lyngseidet where we will see the Laplanders.  We passed the Lofoten Islands in the afternoon and also saw the town of Tromsa, a pretty good sized town on the islands.  We had a very fine sailing day.  They had a great celebration on board boat when we crossed the Artic Circle.  Some of the sailors dressed in funny costumes and then Neptune was there and also the King and Queen of the Arctic ocean.  It was quite a sight.


  1. Oh my God! This is fantastic! If only I had known when I did my little power point. Are there more pictures? This is just great!

  2. I think there are–I’ve seen them. We don’t have them and Doug doesn’t either. We’ll be ransacking! When the journal is transcribed I’ll send it along.

  3. How nice to connect the words–the voice–and the photo. I can hardly wait to see the transcription. Thanks Bon. We’re here in Seattle with Bru and LeeAnn…I’ll ask Bruce if he knows of any photos. I am not able to bring to mind any stills from their trip, though knowing FLD’s inclination, I’m sure many were taken. The only images that come to mind for me are the movies.

  4. I’ve seen some stills of Cleda in a raincoat possibly getting out of the launch. I saw them a long time ago, but bet they’re there someplace.

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