France opens up to tourism with a 1986 ‘slow travel’ hit

“The reason I’ve launched an appeal for a ‘blue, white and red’ summer is precisely to encourage French people to rediscover our land. “You can go round the world by touring France; that’s what is tremendous in our country.” In a bid to persuade his fellow citizens to explore beyond the usual destinations, he invoked a 1986 hit from veteran French popster Didier Barbelivien: Quitter l’autoroute, which translates as “Get off the motorway”. But fans may claim the hit was positively avant-garde in its portrayal of the concept of “slow travel,” with lines such as Quitter l'autoroute pour voir les ruisseaux, les oiseaux, les châteaux – “Get off the motorway to see the streams, the birds, the castles.” Mr Lemoyne also set out a timetable for opening up to foreign tourists – indicating that France will join much of the rest of Europe in removing internal EU barriers next Monday, 15 June, and opening up to international visitors from 1 July.