Learn from the Travel Experiences of Others
|Europe has now become an easily accessible playground
for many, but when two seventeen year-olds set out to hitch-hike from Scandinavia
to a sunny South of France in the Seventies, they were embarking on an adventure; a
personal encounter with life in alien surroundings.
There had to be more to life than under-age lunch-time drinking sessions, and late-night social gatherings with the same crowd; their same stance; running forward, yet standing still.
At seventeen, choosing the right career is never easy, and with three jobs in nine months, Danny Fisher only knew what he didn't want. His travelling companion was to be Andrew Bollinger, his longtime school-friend. Before they had shared a desk, copied each other's homework, and even followed the same team. Together they would also read a map, plot their course, and follow the same dream.
Danny worked out his month's notice, with all spare moments, thoughts and energies spent floating across the North Sea; daydreaming or making plans, there was little to distinguish his position.
They both joined the Youth Hostel Association, for those bleaker nights in lonely foreign cities, when blistered feet could take no more, or their odoured bodies needed cleansing to the pore.
After a visit to the camping shop, the friends came away with two sleeping-bags, two rucksacks, and a small two-man tent. They checked that their passports were valid, and exchanged the Queen's currency for some rather bland-looking traveller's cheques, but it felt good all the same.
Severing the umbilical cord of family reliance, the boys were bound for Denmark. As the ship set sail, they changed their remaining Sterling for some very interesting-looking Krone. The extravagant smorgasbord on offer in the buffet restaurant should have been sampled if they were to enter into the spirit of the occasion, but as Andrew was to quick to point out, they were budget travellers out to last. They settled for home-made egg sandwiches instead.
"See you in the disco!" a stranger shouted to the boys, as he bounded up the stairs two at a time.
"Come on Andrew, we may be on the cheap, but we are also out for a good time. Let's have a look at the disco."
The Danes in the forward bar seemed very tall, and the girls with them were drinking beers at the same rate; although they bought their drinks separately. Some lads from Grimsby were also interested in socializing with their Viking neighbours, and joined the two for a drink. None of the Brits could speak Danish, but the Scandinavian schooling system was so efficient, that the English party could converse in their mother tongue.
Dorter, a pure, blond-haired, blue-eyed personification of Danish beauty, soon became the centre of attraction. She seemed to enjoy all the hot-blooded Anglo-Saxon attention; giggling and teasing; flirting, but never cheaply yielding. She enticed the troupe onto the dance floor when Born To Be Alive was played, and stunned everyone with her movement.
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