Dear Diary – Page 72 (Late 1960’s – French Riviera)

We left Rome and headed for Pisa to see the famous tower.

While the lean on the tower was very impressive, the tower itself was much smaller than we expected and, due to some work being done on it, it was not possible for us to get close to it. Pete decided to “hit the road” again and we made our way up the east coast of Italy until we reached the border with France. This seemed to be a very prudent move because we were running low on Italian lira, but we had quite a few French francs with us!

The Italian border guards were apparently not happy with us, and we had to pay a fine before we were going to be allowed to continue! The problem was that Pete had not read the “fine print” in his petrol coupons book and the reduced cost of fuel was subject to a daily kilometer limit. We had used up well over a week’s supply of fuel in the four days that we were there, and therefore had to come up with the cost difference. We did not have enough Italian lira to pay the fine, but they were prepared to accept all that we had, with the difference being made up with French francs. I can only imagine what the conversion rate was under those circumstances!

We entered France, and it was not long before we saw signs pointing to Monaco! Pete was concerned that the Italian border incident had severely depleted our supply of French francs however, with some persuasion by the rest of us, he was tempted into driving us to the French Riviera!

We arrived in Monte Carlo late at night and, after parking the car along the beach front, we explored a little and found that the hotels had shower facilities on the beach. We made good use of those showers!

I cannot recall how we spent that night in Monte Carlo, but I suspect that it was on the beach. The next morning, we needed to find a post office so that we could send some cards home …… with a Monaco stamp on them! We found a post office, and what a building it was! There was a huge customer area with leather seating; classical music was being played, and off to one side was a bar! Imagine going to a post office; ordering a drink, and then sinking into a leather seat and relaxing for a while until business dictated otherwise!

We then went to spend some time on the beach and were stunned at what we saw!

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15 thoughts on “Dear Diary – Page 72 (Late 1960’s – French Riviera)

  1. Before the euro changeover, I went to Luxembourg, Geneva and Milan on banking business, and thus took currency accordingly. My boss and I thought we were being very generous in giving our Italian porter a 3000 lira tip, until we got back to the UK and discovered it was the equivalent of about 70p. Poor bloke couldn’t even afford to buy a bottle of coke even with staff discount due to our gratuity! It explained why he burst out laughing though, so I guess he was used to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Foreign currencies (relative to cost of living) can be very tricky. When I emigrated to Canada, I brought a fair amount of UK money with me …… but it went nowhere against the Canadian cost of living. My leisurely look for employment turned into a scramble out of necessity! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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