Blog Exchange: Memories of Travelling and Rome by Heather Cowper

Blog Exchange: Introduction to Guest Blogger
Today’s post was written by Heather Cowper from Heather on Her Travels. She is a prolific blogger who describes her travels near (she lives in Bristol England and writes about her home city) and far (from Malaysia to Morocco and from Paris to Trinidad and Tobago). Heather very graciously accepted my invitation to participate in this blog exchange (my first!) and today she reflects on Rome, past and present, as part of her current series of posts about Rome.

If you are looking for me (Teacher Girl), you will find today’s post Teacher Meets Europe at Heather´s blog!

Memories of Travelling and Rome
When we were children, my parents would pack up our Morris Minor Traveller with the roofrack on the top and we would go camping all around Europe. If it was raining in one place we just moved further south, like sunflowers turning towards the sun. We were masters of packing light, each of us girls was allowed two sundresses and the tent was crammed into the well of the car where our legs should go.

My memories from these holidays are patchy – like postcards in the back of my mind. Like the getting up early to brush the damp grass from our tent before a seemingly endless drive to the next campsite. Like the time when we were caught in a thunder-storm at Lake Garda and our tent flooded – the only people who came to help us were the French and Germans, while the English stayed dry in their caravans. These days I’m not very fond of camping.

But I can also remember that we were allowed one ice cream a day and started pestering for it at as early in the day as possible. I remember eating cool red watermelon and spitting the pips out on the dusty grass and my first Paella in a restaurant in Spain.

I don’t remember much about our holiday in Rome when I was seven years old and my sisters even younger. I think we were only in Rome a few days because on that holiday we also visited Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius, Lake Garda, Orvieto and Lake Trasimeno.

On the first day my mother was turned away from St Peter’s because her skirt was too short and we had to return the next day more suitably dressed. At the Trevi fountain my mother bought a pair of sandals that were reduced in the sales – she was pleased to find the shop still there 40 years on.

Something must of rubbed off on us all from those holidays. One of my sisters followed the sun to Greece where she met her husband and now lives with her family on the island of Zakynthos. The other lived in Kenya for a couple of years and also loves travelling the world with her family – her last holiday was to Oman.
As for me, it started with the summers I spent in France as a schoolgirl and au-pair, continued with trips to Kenya and Papua New Guinea as a university student and … well, I could go on.

When I asked my son what he’d remember about our holiday in Rome, he said it would be the cool shower in the hotel, the queue at the Coliseum and the beggars – oh and the ice cream.

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