Subject: RE: Taking children to Europe
I guess it was easy for our parents to travel around Europe when we were small (after all, itīs only an hour to the french border), but I have to agree with William and Barbara. Take them as soon as possible, although it can be dangerous. Some of us get the bug and cannot avoid it. I still remember the time I got lost in a Pau department store, just four years old, and managed to get an assistant to find my parents. Or my sister, 4 years old, talking to the squirrels at 6 a.m. in a camping ground in Chamonix. That was our first big one, 1977, I was ten, my brother was 8 and Alicia was 4. We were reliving the first part of my parentsī honeymoon, and they took us to Chamonix, Geneve, down the Simplon into Italy, and accross the Aosta Valley (with a detour to Breouil-Cervinia, to see Matterhorn from the place where is called Cervino) into Chamonix (Mont-Blanc tunnel) and back home. As you can see, more than 20 years after that, the memories are still vivid. Our first gelato was in Courmayeur. I had rapsberry, Eloy had chocolate, and Alicia suffered a lot when pronouncing it, but she got her all-time favourite since then, strataciella (I donīt know how to write it down). We rode up the Aiguille du Midi cable-car, but got down at the middle and walked up to the Mer de Glace, Montanvers, saw the zoo, and walked down into Chamonix. My brother decided that Geneve would be a brilliant place to live, because if women were driving Porsches, men should drive Ferraris (his italian side...). Afterwards, we have been to Bretagne and to Roma (many times, but never enough), to Norway and to Austria, to Yugoslavia (I could have died in Sarajevo, thatīs what my brother says, and I am afraid heīs right) and to Berlin before the Wall falled down. But, if my parents hadnīt decided to bring us with them, hadnīt decided to swap hotels (for two) for camping-places (for five), hadnīt decided to make us learn languages, and read guidebooks, and stories about other countries...

Well, I guess everybody is in a different situation, but if you can afford it, get your children to travel with you while they are young, not only abroad, also in your own country. It helps to broaden your points of view, even if you donīt realize it, and they will always remember it fondly, even the bad things.

Have a nice weekend,

Covadonga in Bilbao