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JahTours International in 1980
School holidays gave me a lot of time to travel and the biketours were inexpensive so I went for a week or two in Switzerland. Riding from youth hostel to youth hostel in spring was ok, although I also got the occasional snow flurries in the mountains. In that small country I quickly ended up in Geneve. A strong wind was blowing to the west so I thought instead going back east I'll give it a try and found out about the next youth hostel ... in Lyon. From other travellers I copied a map for the day and off I went for biking adventures in France.
The winds turned into Mistral and blue skies, so the decision where to go from Lyon was not difficult. Furthermore, the youth hostel was just besides the Route Nationale 7 which leads all the way to ... Menton! Once again I copied the map and let me blow by the wind. I made the 240 kilometers to Avignon in comfortable 8 hours. Frome there it was out of the question to go north again so I discovered the Provence and Cote d'Azur by bike.
In Frejus I teamed up with another cyclist and we went all along the Riviera until Genova and on to Milano. Spring on the Riviera was marvelous, a pity I had so little time left ...
Well, after the spring biketour, this summer I took the Inter Rail again and, you guessed it, I did not bother with Switzerland this time. Friends took me to Yougoslavia and I came to Menton from Italy. The best beach community was in front of the round thing, I made friends with a group of people from southern Germany and we had a very good time.
After one week in Menton in July, I still had this expensive Inter Rail card in my pocket, I went to Morroco, that was a very different experience. Then, back on my way north to England, I got another couple of days on my favorite beach in Menton.
Shure, the authorites were difficult to understand. We did our best to dialogue and everything was ok with our beach police and then the next morning they have us wake up early for a shower .. problems coordinating between themselves, perhaps [many years later I found out that they were independent police units, without any coordination]. The place in front of the round thing turned out to be the best protected and a little morning exercise did no harm.
Inter Rail in Morocco was fun!
Over the years many people came to the beach for fun and incredible cheap holidays. Whether or not you were a part of the Menton beach gang of the 80s, we'd like to hear from you.
mail to bernhard