Every summer since I was born, we had to go to Asturias. The trip was long: in the nineties, we did the trip by car and it lasted more than 24 hours. “If you stop going, you will loose your roots”, used to say my father. I am convinced he was talking for himself. He was born in Sama de Langreo, a tiny miner town during the sixties. Today, nearby, you can visit the Museo de la minería y de la industria. He took us once to that place to remember our grandfather was a miner. When he was five years old, my father left the region for Brussels, where my grandparents decided to move.
Me, I was born in the Belgian capital thirty years after and felt no specific Asturian roots. When I visited my grandparents, they remembered to me I wasn’t asturiana because I was born in another country. However, every summer we got back to the childhood memories of my father. I especially remember Luarca, a little fisher town where he used to spend his summers with my great grand-mother. I remember the celebrations in August -one of them called San Timoteo-, plenty of traditions, I remember the beaches, and the fresh fish pulled out of the sea by some old men. Every time we invited friends to the region, we brought them to the beach of Barayo, a place so natural you have to take a half an hour walk, surrounded by mountains and forests.
Now, my father’s childhood memories turned also mine. Today, I like to go back to Asturias. Visit the countryside, drink cider and stay in Gijón, where my grandmother has now her home. As she said, I am not asturiana. But many of my childhood memories are.