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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Book?

Certain people have been bugging me for years to write a book and tell the story of my life. At one point I started writing, but somehow the idea of a book seemed kind of too pretentious to me, so except for a few chapters I never got anywhere with that idea.

Today, I was struck by the possibility of putting chapters of it into this blog. Now, I don't know whether you guys would like that, but I'm sure you wouldn't hesitate a minute to send me your protesting comments, and then we could get back to travel topics......hmm....actually, when thinking of it, my entire life has been one long journey. 

Let's see where that gets us.
Yep, it all started in a small fishing town in Northern Germany.  It was in the summer of 1962, when  my parents decided to go camping. Dad ran an upholstery business and had the means to sew a canvas tent just after his own ideas and needs.
So that summer we piled into our station wagon and drove 12 miles out of town to a beach and campground. In those days there was nothing else than tents. Toilets were of the Pit-toilett type, little green houses at the edge of a meadow, where cows were grazing. Every morning and evening the farmer came out for milking the cows. And everybody could buy fresh milk right from the cow.  Also a bakery van showed up offering fresh buns and bread to the campers. If there ever was one, these three or two weeks we stayed,  were paradise for us.

Of course we were back in the summer of 1963 for a repeat.
During the winter 1963/64 Dad had a new project. He built his very own travel trailer! It was about 12ft long and featured a very simple kitchen unit, a closet, two tables with benches and 4 beds, whereof one was a hanging contraption over top of my bed for my little brother. The trailer was build of fiber glass and had  windows Dad had salvaged from an old bus. The trailer had no brakes, weighed about 1900 pounds and could just be pulled with our Ford Station Wagon which boasted 65 horse powers.

1960 FORD TAUNUS 17M Station Wagon
So when the summer of 1964 neared, Dad had it all ready for our first vacation with the travel trailer. The destination was Switzerland. See, my parents loved the mountains. We zapped down the German Autobahn with 50mph, overnighting in a rest area and reaching our mountainous destination the 2. day. Meanwhile, brother and me were busy in the backseat counting the various brands of cars passing us in the left lane.
Typical 12ft. trailer from the late sixties
Contraptions like this could be seen on
 European Highways in the sixties.

The trip South became a yearly undertaking for our family, and needless to say, we children loved every minute of it, and it all got into our blood stream, hmm.. especially MY blood stream.

So, as soon as I had my own money I picked up where my parents had left me --- on the road to adventure!!

Read more tomorrow! Going North...

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