Dear Diary – Page 74 (Late 1960’s – Paris)

Our visit to Paris was quick and uneventful. Pete found his way to the Champs Elysees and found somewhere to park so that we could wander around a little.

Our biggest surprise was how the French (or at least the Parisians) treated their cars! One car that was rather expensive, but seen periodically in England, was one of the “higher end” Citroens

1967 Citroen

Photo Courtesy autocar.co.uk

The car was a rather avant-garde design considering the general styles of the 1960s and we loved it. We never got to sit in one, and were never likely to be able to own one, but we could certainly stare and dream! This particular model was quite prevalent in Paris, and we watched in excitement as one was being parked quite close to where we were standing. So quiet. So streamlined. So beautiful!

We then watched the driver get out and kick the door shut before walking away! We were horrified. How could he treat such a beautiful car in such a manner? In the few hours that we were there, we saw this routine repeated so many times, we concluded that they (Parisians) had no respect for their cars!

We left Paris and, this time, were totally committed to driving to Calais and home! We did however have one final challenge to overcome. Pete had calculated that we not only had insufficient French francs between us to get us to Calais, but the ferry to Dover was not going to be free either! We decided that we only had one course of action. We had to convert some our remaining English money.

For reasons that I cannot recall, we decided to flag down the first vehicle that was displaying a GB plate* and see if they would convert for us. We were very lucky. The people in the first car we stopped were extremely pleased to help us out, and gave us a straight exchange based the current rates. We then continued on our journey and eventually arrived back in Peterborough happy, destitute, and with many experiences to digest and talk about. It was a true adventure in traveling. There was no detailed planning, but just an end goal …Rome!

*Vehicles traveling in Europe had to display a plate showing their country of origin. GB = Great Britain.

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