Back to the roots

May 11, 2018

Today marked the 365th day living in my van. I left Berlin one year ago. On my anniversary, I coincidentally passed Freiburg, Germany. I was born and raised in Freiburg. As fate willed, my trip through Europe and Africa led me to the place of my birth.

My unplanned way back to Germany

When I left Costa del Sol almost two months ago, I drove through the Sierra Nevada to Madrid where I wanted to spend a couple of months with the people I met last year.

Passing Sierra Nevada

My plans totally changed during a short business trip by plane to Amsterdam: I spotted an old Mercedes 508D that was for sale. It was a former ambulance of the Dutch army. The perfect vehicle for a conversion into a camper van. I fell in love with the van and arranged a preliminary deal with the current owner.

With a heavy heart I left Madrid a week ago to drive back to Germany where I will sell my 209D, try to import and register the 508D and see my family and friends again.

Headed to Germany, I met Robert and his dog Wilma in France again. For about a week we drove together through France and enjoyed the green nature in the French countryside.

Our vans parked next to a river in France

Exploring my roots

After one year, it felt strange to drive on German roads again. Additionally, I saw myself driving towards the city were I was born. I haven’t been to Freiburg for about 20 years. Although I had a tight schedule, I decided to spent my anniversary exploring remarkable places of my childhood.

I parked my van in front of the primary school where I learned how to read and write. I walked my former way to school and ended up at the dormitory where my parents used live when I was born. I recognized all the shops, trees and playgrounds and of course the big apartment building where we used to live.

Apartment building where my family used to live

I sneaked into the building and walked around. Everything looked familiar. I even recognized the smell of the elevator. When I reached the fourth floor, I knocked on the door of our former apartment. A friendly student opened the door. I told him that I accidentally drove by and used to live in the apartment with my family years ago. He invited me to enter. All of a sudden, I stood in the room where I used to play with toy blocks more than 30 years ago. I further strolled around my old neighborhood until I parked my van near a little lake where we used to go swimming every summer.

Moosweier in Freiburg

Wow. I made a little journey across time back to my childhood. What an impressive day!