Driving down the memory lane

It had been approximately 10 years since I had been in Spain (citytrip with friends to Barcelona). It had been 16 years since I had driven to Spain by car and 15 years since the last camps in the Provence, yet the drive felt very familiar.

During most of my childhood vacations we went down to the South of France or to Spain with our family. With the trunck full of suitcases and additional bags on righter passenger seat in the back, my sister and I camped in the back. We slept, sung child songs, played with a doll, watched the landscape and waved to all Belgian cars we crossed. I probably was bored to death most of the time, but I don't remember that anymore. I already got into the sleeping passenger habit very young (although I am also suspicious about the "anti motion sickness" drops that my mom gave me on pieces of apple just before we took off :p). When I was 11 and my sister 19 I killed the time by epilating her legs with a pincet for a while but in the end she had to shave after all. You can't believe how many hairs grow on our legs!

The parking lots along the French highways were little international villages with Dutch people in the toilet stools commenting loud on their activities inside to an invisible audience assuming nobody else could follow their conversations (or they didn't care), entire families brushing their teeth at the sinks, moslims unrolling their mats next to our car waving up and down, joggers zigzagging between the cars, dogs overly excited to get some freedom, huge truck drivers napping on an air mattrass on a piece of grass, ... Some parking lots had playgrounds but even those without them never seemed boring.
This weekend most of those parkings seemed to have shrunk considerably and much less exciting. Hmm growing up can be boring. Nevertheless I felt excited when recognising some of the gnome sculptures at the parking entrances when driving by but Jan only gave me a weird look when I pointed at them.

In the Provence and the border crossing of Spain I got most of my memories: the multiple bridges across the Rhône leaving the river either on the right or the left of the car, the fortresses on the hills in the Provence, the exit to Nîmes (youth camps), the exit to the Pont Du Gard and Remoulins (this painful adventure) , the cypresses (I could feel Van Gogh!), the windy area near Montpellier, the border crossing at a low pass near the Pyrenees mountains and the infamous parking lot in Spain for our family, the partial aquaduct near the highway. Only the big black bull picture on top of the mountain had disappeared. Too bad. Those childhood memories made the long dull drive a bit more fun.


Betsy said…
Hi! I thought you might like this site. At least it will make you feel like you're contributing! :-)
Jenn said…
Oh, I want to go to Spain!!


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