Thursday, May 20, 2010

On the road again

I can’t believe I have not made this into our theme song earlier.

On the road again -Resized_DSC04507
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again

Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again

And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again -
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends.
Insisting that the world keep turning our way

And our way
is on the road again…..

That’s right, emboldened by our previous Hollandaise success story – our little band of gypsies figured that Austria wThe Caravans Gypsy Encampment near Arles 1888ould be just the place to see on a four day weekend.  Many milestones were reached.  First, we broke 300,000 kilometers on Mr. Liberty.  That would be 186,000 miles on our little modern-day caravan.  To break 200,000 miles we’ll need to hit almost 322,000 KM – hmm… nResized_DSC04647ot sure if we can do it, but I’m sure we will try.  Second, we spent 3 nights in the car (only 2 when we went to Holland).  This time we didn’t drive until very late at night (it makes us too tired).   We discovered the boys are happier if they are both in the trunk and Callie likes the back seat.  Of course, there was one night that Griffin ended up on my seat with me.  What a face…  André and I were pretty squished but we did sleep.  In fact, it went so well, the kidsResized_DSC04645 were begging to stop and sleep for the 4th night rather than pushing for home!  Since gypsies have to live and work in their caravan, we packed light – one change of clothes (only for use in the case of emergency), 5 sleeping bags, one cooler, one activity bagResized_DSC04643,  several water bottles and 2 bags of other food. We had 10 meals to cover, plus am and pm snacks – we ate out for 4 meals and 2 snacks. I’m proud to announce that the other 6 meals and 16 snacks for 5 people we somehow brought from home (and even had leftovers).  The biggest failure was our master plan to Resized_DSC04514have at least one hot meal.  This was to consist of hot dogs heated up by none other than the power of our gypsy caravan, Mr. Liberty.  We wrapped the dogs in foil, shoved them near the engine block and drove a few dozen kilometResized_DSC04472ers.  Shockingly, this didn’t work!  André readjusted the dog location in the engine several times but, after about an hour and a half, we ate them stone cold.  (It was like eating bologna, concentrated).  We ate in the car, a lot.  The hot dogs may have been a failure but I am now quite skilled at preparing entire meals on my lap and André has mastered the art of eating yogurt with a chocolate spoon while zooming along at 80 miles an hour. It may not be gazing into a crystal ball to divine the future, but everyone has to start somewhere.

Europeans like straight flat roads and that means that there are tunnels through the mountains, and lots of them.  Some of them were literally miles and miles long.   Driving beneath the earth for over 20 minutes at 80 miles an hour is a surreal experience.  The lighting in there was crazy as well.  At times it seemed as if, perhaps, I was only one of the cars in some sort of warped gigantesque version of Pole Position…

Resized_DSC04498Resized_DSC04493 Resized_DSC04502

We tried to mostly drive in the light, since we love scenery. Here’s a few photos from our 2500km on the road…

Resized_DSC04478 Resized_DSC04521Resized_DSC04480Resized_DSC04470 

The snowy covereResized_DSC04540d Alps were passed on our way through Switzerland.  In fact, the Austrian Alps are not as high.  They are amazingly beautiful though.  They are absolutely covered in deciduous and non-deciduous trees and just stretch on and on forever.  They differ from the hills of Besancon or other areas I’ve seen because they seem so completely uninhabited.  As if no human foot has ever stepped into these  forests.  There might be a castle plopped here and there, as if by a giant, but that’s it.  There aren’t farms at the base of each hill, no roads winding up them or logging trails, no power lines, no little villages, no cell phone towers, just Resized_P150510_17.22mile afteResized_DSC04542r mile after mile of giant green hills.  It’s like Eden or something.Resized_DSC04475

Besides eating yogurt and cold hotdogs, gypsies do other things in their caravan to pass the time.  Just like in the days of old, we tell stories (C.S. Lewis Prince Caspian was completed) and sing songs and do handiwork (peg pictures).  Due to our naturally passionate natures, we sometimes fight, but the love wins out in the end.

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Now all we need are castanets, robes and a history of persecution and misunderstanding.   See this for some more serious information about the fascinating people known as Romani, or gypsies.

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