Meher Baba and his entourage flew by Swissair Flight 111 to Zurich, Switzerland on the
6th August from London.
After Meher Baba and his entourage cleared Swiss Customs, who had only checked one of their bags, were met by Irene Billo who had hired 2 cars along with 2 drivers for their journey to Locarno in the South of the country, near the Italian border where they were invited to stay with Hedi Merten at her home Ronco dei Fiori, in the suburb of Solduno & the next door residence which belonged
to **Professor Eischmann, who was away on holidays.
( ** Prof. Eischmann belonged to a Christian group called 'Eranos' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eranos ).
Both Hedi & Irene had stayed with Baba in India in the mid-1930s.
Meher Baba had come to Locarno once before on a day trip on the 29th April 1932. He and his companions were staying in Lugano at that time for 10 days.
The 1st car, a 1947 Chrysler carried Meher Baba & his Women Mandali.
The 2nd car, a 1946-8 Packard carried the rest of the women including Dr. Donkin.
( see "Road Trips" )
Only one of these vehicles was at Baba's disposal for the rest of his time in Switzerland, except on the last day when they used both cars again, to transport them all to Geneva to catch flights to India and elsewhere.
Irene travelled in Baba's car to Locarno.
This journey from Zurich took all day to reach Locarno arriving at 10:30 pm.
Irene Billo along with Max & Gisella Haefliger and their 3 daughter - Rona
(12), Monika (11 & Verena (8) had all agreed to help Hedi in hosting their guests. They all stayed at Hedi's.
There is little mention in any of the publications about this tour, about which exact route was taken by the cars to Locarno. Only sketchy details are given.
The common language in this part of Switzerland is Italian.
The following maps 1-5 ( in travel sequence ) shows the entire possible route
taken, marked in Yellow. Click on the maps to enlarge them. Alternative routes are marked in
There was only one stop for this trip. Lunch was served at Andermatt about halfway to Locarno.
1st Car : 1947 Chyrsler New Yorker 4-door
- see below
This car carried Meher Baba, Mehera Irani, Mani Irani ( Baba's sister ), Meheru & Dr. Goher Irani & Irene
2nd Car : 1946-8 Packard Super Clipper Touring Sedan
- see below
This car carried the rest of the women - Rano Gayley, Delia De Leon, Charmian Duce & Dr. Donkin.