When we travel to new places we do so with preconceived ideas of what we’re going to see and experience.
When we think of Paris we think EiffelTower, The Louvre and Notre Dame. When we think of Rome it’s the Colosseum and with Venice it’s St Marks Square, the Bridge of Sighs and the Grand Canal. That’s what we think before we go and undoubtedly we do remember those iconic places but what do we as individuals bring away from visits to world renowned places?
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris on three separate occasions and what do I think of when I think of that city? I remember camping in the Bois de Bologne campsite with two young children, I remember witnessing a marriage proposal during a meal half way up the Eiffel Tower and I remember
being scared experiencing the thrill of driving around the Arc de Triomphe in a campervan.
When I think of Switzerland, it’s the walk through the forest that we took the day we free camped in a car park, it’s throwing snowballs in the shade of the Jungrau and it’s the free apricots we were given as part of a festival of apricots in some rural area of the country.
Rome brings to mind our 2 year old chasing pigeons at the Vatican on Palm Sunday and grumpy teenage daughters some years later when we visited for the second time on a very hot August day. We headed straight for the Adriatic coast after that visit.
In Venice in 1979 I remember my two daughters aged two and five sitting on the ground, with their backs against the wall, outside the Venetian equivalent of a lunchbar munching on ham sandwiches, it wasn’t easy to find something so simple for their lunch. And I remember the green glass horses we bought from a glass factory in Murano. We would have loved to come away with something more fancy but we couldn’t afford anything more than the practice pieces they made. We had them for years and they moved house with us several times, I wonder what happened to them.
The monuments, the museums, the ancient ruins and the natural wonders lure us to far flung places but it’s the personal memories that take us back there.
What memories do you have that would take you back?