On 15 June 1961, at 18.05, Escher left Baarn together with his wife Jetta. They took the train to Rotterdam where they boarded the night train to Bern at 20.03. The next morning they arrived in Bern at 7.44. There they were picked up by Escher’s friend Paul Keller and his daughter Theresa. Together with Theresa, Jetta left for the Keller home in Münsingen. Maurits and Paul took the train to Venice where they boarded the Cagliari.
It was the start of a boat trip that took the two friends to Trieste, Bari, Naples, Salerno, Catania, Messina, Palermo, Algiers, Lisbon, London and Hamburg. We know all this in detail because Escher kept a careful record of the trip in his travel journal. For example, he wrote that Paul had booked a room in Bern in an ‘ absurdly expensive, modern and luxurious hotel: Parc Hotel. Half board Frs. 42 per person!’ Escher could afford it by now, but spending freely was not something he was comfortable with yet. Though he hugely enjoyed travelling by boat, it was putting him under more and more physical strain too. It was not planned, but the trip with Keller in 1961 proved to be his last one by boat.
Travel journal 1961
Escher’s complete travel journal containing notes about the places he and Keller visited, itineraries, anecdotes, the letters Escher wrote and overviews of the expenses they incurred.