I’ve hit 1000 followers (thank you!) and thought I should share a celebratory post with you all. This blog started two years ago now, but we did a lot of travelling when I was younger, and I’ve gone through the archives of my family’s collective memories to find some old photos and favourite moments.
After rummaging through photo albums and quizzing my parents I’ve pieced together the trip my parents took with me and my brother back in 2000, when I was 5 and he was 1. We sold our house in Norwich, set out in our 8-seater Toyata Previa, and headed South…
France and Spain
Our first stop (naturally) was France, where we visited various castles and villages, and stayed with friends in Anduze before heading down through the Pyrenees into Spain.
Seville remains one of my favourite places in Europe. I love the abundant orange trees and visiting the Alcazar, which is filled with tropical plants and amazing architecture. We also saw the Alhambra in Granada, the city’s famous palace. We stayed in Nerja, on the South coast, for a couple of months, mainly on the beach but also exploring the surrounding mountains, and our family came out there to stay for Christmas.
From Spain we took the ferry to Tangier and started off towards the Sahara. We stopped at Chefchaouen, ‘the Blue City’, and Fes, where I remember visiting the dyers’ vats and exploring medinas.
From there our route took us through the Atlas Mountains. This was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. Some of the drive takes you up through the snowy peaks, other parts round hairpin mountain bends – always with another view around the corner. This was also my favourite part of the roadtrip last May I did with two friends; it’s such an epic drive!
Visiting the Sahara for the first time is one of my favourite, and most vivid childhood memories. We rolled down dunes, and my dad and I got up for a camel trek to see the sun rise one cold morning. I went again last year, and this place is still as breathtaking, and one of my favourite places I’ve been.
In Marrakech the food and belly dancing stood out the most as a child – now it’s the jewellery shopping in the souks! It’s busy and noisy, but an exciting city that’s easy to get lost in and discover new corners each time. I don’t remember much of Essouira or Rabat except the wonder of seeing camels on the beach, and exploring old buildings and beautiful architecture.
Spain, France (again) and Italy
After Morocco we headed back up to the UK, stopping again in Spain and France, before renting a place in Tuscany for a month. Tuscany’s my favourite region of Italy; the good pizza and ice cream, and the dreamlike Italian countryside meant we spent quite a few family holidays there. From there we visited Venice, Siena and many places which don’t have labels in the photo albums.
Looking back through the photos and seeing where we went has made me realise that nearly all of them I’ve revisited in the last few years. A few I’ve fallen in love with and will probably end up going to often. Travelling with two young children couldn’t have been easy, but I’ve got memories that far outweigh those another year in school would have given me. And, of course, constant wanderlust and a lot of inspiration for future adventures…