CARMEN REID, AUTHOR

Where is it?

Frankfurt.

Why do you go there?

My mother's family, originally from the Mosel Valley in Germany, moved to Frankfurt just before she married my Scottish dad. So, from a young age, I've been visiting family both in and around the city, and in other parts of the country.

I grew up in the countryside near Montrose, so Frankfurt was such an exciting, big city contrast – glassy skyscrapers, old Parisian-style buildings, huge plane trees, chic pavement cafes and, aged eight, my first vivid experience of multi-storey car parks.

How often do you go?

When I was growing up, I went every summer holiday, often flying alone or with one of my sisters. I would come back deeply tanned, with a new summer wardrobe, able to speak and even dream in German.

HeraldScotland: Author Carmen ReidAuthor Carmen Reid

After many years of not going, because life got in the way, I've gone back several times in recent years to visit my relatives, go to Munich, walk in the Alps, and it's been lovely to re-establish family connections and get to know the country better.

As I get older, I do have a deeper sense of "these are (also) my people".

What are your favourite memories?

Sitting in beautiful old cafes with my elegant grandparents, who enjoyed drinking an aperitif and telling me about their lives.

Visits to the delightful, interactive Opel Zoo with my aunt and hilarious little cousins; buckets of cherries and tiny Mirabelle plums; a huge, open-air public swimming pool; every kind of German cake from baked cheesecake to sour plum cake.

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Boating in the wonderful Palmengarten botanical gardens; going to the funfair at night and eating bags of toasted sugared almonds; the intense sunshine and thunderstorms.

Who do you take?

My most recent trip, this summer, was with my mum. I was there to do all the Covid paperwork.

What do you take?

A light suitcase – as a very tall person, I can't resist clothes and shoe shopping in Frankfurt because everything fits.

HeraldScotland: Frankfurt. Picture: Carmen ReidFrankfurt. Picture: Carmen Reid

What do you leave behind?

Memories of happy family reunions and Scottish/British gifts: shortbread, tea, toffees, mugs, Pimm's and whisky.

Sum it up in five words.

Skyscrapers, plazas, Apfelwein and church bells.

What travel spot is on your post-lockdown list?

I wrote my new book entirely by armchair travelling during lockdown. Like my heroine, I'm a bit desperate to visit Los Angeles.

But I also love Mediterranean food and Greek myths, so I can't believe I still haven't been to Greece. It is right up there as where I want to be when travel is more normal.

Carmen Reid's new novel Worn Out Wife Seeks New Life, published by Boldwood Books, is out now, priced £12.99. Visit carmenreid.com