Monday, November 26, 2012

Where I –Quentin– really come from (and all the 'Vicens' before me...)

Last week I met up with my dad in our family home in the village of Vinça, in the Catalan part of France. It was a very practical trip –we cleared out a lot of old crap and I brought back baby stuff my sister had stored there- but also a very emotional trip.

I have not gone back to this place a lot since living in the US and DK, and it is what I still refer to as 'my true home' as our family roots in the area date back to the early 1600s, when it was actually still Spanish.

I spent a lot of time in Vinça when I was younger, and I learned a lot about life from my grand parents, whom I still miss a lot. I even went to school in the village for one trimester! Vinça is therefore loaded with history and memories for me - a place where I can connect to my lineage in a sort of unequivocal way.

It is also a breathtaking place, right by the Mount Canigou. I hope you'll get to visit some day!
More on that part of France here:

What to see/visit in the area:
View over Vinça from outside of the cemetery - the bell tower dates back to the 12th century and was restaured in the mid 1700s

Persimmons I collected from a tree in our ~3 acre yard (dare I call it 'a park'?)
The view from the graves of my grand parents and great grand mother in the cemetery of Vinça - not a bad place to spend eternity! The peak at a distance is mount Canigou (2,700 m = 9,000 ft)

Our house in Vinça, which was built in the late 1800s and acquired by my family in the 1920s if I recall correctly what I've been told about our history

The lake in Vinça - our house is on the other end of the lake, behind the patch of trees that can be seen in the center

Cozy tea-time by the fire place which bears the initials of my grand father and my ancestors before him: 'EV' for 'Edmond Vicens' 
My bedroom for the past 36 years!

View from a balcony in our house - I've always sworn this was the same hill that Zorro would wave from when leaving in the sunset!
Recycling wood 'the Catalan way' ;-)
Sunset over a field of olive trees at the Provence border, right by the highway! Photo taken on my way back to Nice

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