Wednesday 5 September 2012

A Travel Icon

These pictures are a tribute to Mary - who loves VW campervans - and her daughter Freya - who was born more or less as I was taking these photos.

As all lovers of VW campervans/kombis know, these are vehicles with personality:

The little van purred noisily as if glad to be on the road again.  I'd always felt that the van had a personality, like an animate being; it was not just a car to us, it was a home, even a vessel, in fact we'd named it the Ark, and it was to become more to us in the months ahead than many a house we had lived in.

And though now beloved for their retro charm, these babies were once pretty cutting edge:

In the summer of 1959 we had bought the van, a Volkswagen-Kombi; and with the aid of the local agents we converted it, strengthened it in various ways and made it suitable for a long journey.  I looked around me now with pleasure : the light grey-green interior was cool and restful to the eyes.  The chrome yellow curtains and cushion covers, which we had chosen together, were exactly right, durable and yet gay.  The silky covers of the foam rubber mattresses were soft and pleasant to feel.  The roof was insulated with fibre glass, and its neatly ribbed finish, a craftsman-like job, reminded one of an air-liner.  The cupboards for reference books and for clothes were now filled; my drawing-board and folio stowed in a slot behind the bulkhead of the driving cab; the sturdy folding table in place alongside the bed; numerous fitted boxes under the bed were well stocked with stores and gear ...

(Excerpts from 'Journey Out of Asia' by Katherine Sim.)

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