January means Chateau d'Oex, and Paul's Journal covers the action at the 23rd Annual Alpine Balloon Festival. As always, there are lots and lots of photos!
We invite you to browse through the journal, clicking on links to photo pages where they might interest you. You also might want to take a look at what a "web translator" did with the Ermitage menus, which are not generally available in English.
After Chateau d'Oex, Alf and Watcharee spent a month in Florida. Alf's Journal is in five parts:
Between visits to Florida, Alf and Watcharee spent March and April at home in Bangkok. Alf's Journal extends through nine sections:
Between Bangkok and the big balloon trip, Watcharee and Alf spent a couple of weeks in May visiting Florida. That stay has now come to an end, and we're now in the middle of our European Balloon Tour. My Florida Journal is complete. Its final entry shares Edith Wharton's musings on the little things.
The 2001 European Balloon Tour spanned two weeks and three countries.
Esbjerg, Denmark was the site of the annual meeting of Helix Scandinavica ... a Scandinavian corkscrew club. Despite winds that make this area of Denmark one of the most active windmill locations on earth, we were able to get in some flights along with our sightseeing.
After Denmark, we moved on to Germany ... and the remarkable hospitality of Hermann Sieger on his home turf. In addition to some marvelous ballooning, we also toured the Mercedes museum, plus the Zeppelin museum and factory (where Wolfgang von Zeppelin was our tourguide).
Finally, we moved on to Bern, Switzerland. From our base at the Bellevue Palace, we set out on some final balloon adventures before dispersing for our various homes.
After the Corkscrew-Balloon 2001 European Tour, Watcharee and Alf returned to Florida, and Alf took back the pen from Paul. Alf's Florida Journal covers the approximately 34,852 minutes that they spent in Fort Lauderdale before flying back to The Oriental Hotel just in time for the Fourth of July.
Watcharee and Alf spent the first few days of July in transit between Miami and Bangkok. After thirty-six hours en route, they finally arrived in Bangkok on July 3. A couple of months had passed since Alf's last report from Bangkok, and so the next few weeks were spent catching up ... on the French embassy roof ... the dot photos in the Bangkok Daily News ... the latest happenings around the Oriental Hotel ... and more. It's all in Alf's July Journal.
In August, goings-on in Bangkok were covered by three journalists: At the beginning of the month, Paul's Journal covered his first-ever visit to the wonders of Bangkok, The Oriental Hotel, Pantip Plaza, Thai politics, and the world of ladyboys.
After Paul flew back to Washinton, Alf covered an interim period of one week.
The month closed with Susan's Journal of her return to Bangkok.
In September, Alf and Watcharee spent the first couple of weeks in Bangkok by themselves. In the middle of the month, they traveled to Hua Hin for the first-ever Thai Elephant Polo competition. Alf's Hua Hin Journal tells the story. Included: the Bangkok Post's coverage of Saturday's matches and Alf's photo album of the Sunday championships.
After returning from Hua Hin, Alf and Watcharee spent the fall watching the leavest turn in Bangkok. Alf's journal spans ten parts and runs all the way to the end of November.
In early December, Alf and Watcharee spent a fortnight (well, almost) in London. All of the details are in Alf's London Journal.
Alf was in Bangkok on December 11, 2001. Nevertheless, Christie's South Kensington went ahead and held a corkscrew auction in London on that day. We have excerpts from the catalog here, with fourteen plates of corkscrews that were offered.
Alf and Watcharee spent the end of 2001 back at The Oriental in Bangkok. Alf's journal covers the first part of the month, including the the first Annual General Meeting of the Patpong Corkscrew Club.
On Christmas Eve, Paul's Bangkok Journal jumped in to continue the Bangkok story through the end of one year and the beginning of the next.
In recognition of the valiant Corkscrew Balloon crew, Annie created a special 2001 Calendar to honor them. The illustrations for each month are available here.