Stege - Sanfrancisco - Stege

Jens Sund

(1891 - 1960)

Danish Telegrapher & Postmaster in the town of Stege


January 8th - March 14th

Well, the journey actually began a year ago.

I had written to Carla and Victor, telling them that we thought a trip home was overdue after all these years; but Victor answered that they couldn’t due to lack of time and money, but they thought I should come visit them. And when he offered to pay for all my expenses in the States, well, then the temptation became irresistible. But, even then; it was a lot of money, just for the trip to New York, so there were still a lot of considerations.

Then, when the connection finally opened in the summer of 1946 via Norway, we finally got them on the phone; the quality of the connection wasn’t good, but the voices were recognizable, and Victor kept repeating: “You have to come, Jens!”.

The desire to go was definitely there, and soon all sails were being rigged, for a journey to America in January and February 1947.

By combining my vacation days for 2 years, and getting 3 weeks of additional time off, the necessary amount of time had been acquired. And then came all the exciting preparations for such a long journey. First there was the visa. At the American Embassy they estimated it would take 4-5 months to get everything in order. I wrote to Christmas Møller, and then everything got done in a couple of weeks, after I got a signed proof from Victor, witnessed by Notary Public, that I was to be their guest. Then there was the ticket. It was to be paid in Crowns, so it had to be through the Norwegian or Swedish American Line, since the Danish Steamships were too expensive for my wallet.

The SS “Drottningholm” fit my schedule, so that I could travel with it there and back again, which offered the advantage of being able to leave some of my things aboard, avoid taxes on the whisky and tobacco, and then retrieve it for the journey home.

Also, since Drottningholm was to leave from Göteborg, I could use the opportunity for a little detour to Oslo, and visit some old friends up there.

Time went by quickly with all the preparations, and soon it was the big day:

(scroll to bottom to change date)

This diary was written by Jens Sund (my great-great-grandfather) back in 1947. He was one of the first danish telegraphers, and began his career sailing around the world and ended it as Postmaster in the small town of Stege.

I am currently working on translating this diary from danish to english, while trying to maintain the witty and nonchalant language and attitude of the original work. I will continuously add dates as they are translated.

A memoir of his early adventures at sea from 1908-1927 will be translated next, and added here (currently only in danish).

Read along and follow Jens on an adventure in the past, through Copenhagen, Oslo, Göteborg, New York, San Francisco and aboard the S.S. Drottningholm, in this interesting and detailed look into the people and culture of a post-war Europe and America.

If you want to skip ahead to the journey across the atlantic go to January 17th below:

Read another date: