Sir: “YHA Memories” (“Post Box”, Autumn 2016) reminded me of similar experiences. In 1961 I left Cape Town, South Africa, for London on an Australian liner Southern Cross (some people called it the “Suffering Cross”).
After a very exciting two weeks we arrived in England when a South African citizen was still accepted on a working holiday. Between various jobs, a South-african friend and I decided to hitch-hike through Europe, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This took us seven months and I still possess my two YHA cards.
Carrying a rucksack each we went through France, Holland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, down to Switzerland, Austria and Germany and continued down south to Turkey, Greece, Spain and Italy. It was a wonderful experience never to be forgotten.
Hitch-hiking was reasonably easy and safe. I returned to England in 1964/65 when I had to obtain a work permit. I then spent another two years in London. From the time I arrived I fell in love with the country and have returned on holiday a further seven times. I have a son who lives in the UK, he sends me air tickets and I stay with him.
I am now 78 and until last year my son still took the two of us to Europe for 10 days at a time (with rucksacks). Seeing the countries again made me feel very nostalgic and I have memories I shall never let go of. I still remain in constant contact with friends from those trips more than 50 years ago. —
LORRAINE SCHOLTZ, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA.
A reader’s first car was the source of poetic inspiration. See “Motoring Verse”.