I come from a family that believes in spirits and otherworldly experiences, so I'm fairly open minded, but we all agree that this was fairly weird.
In June, 2009, I went to visit my father in France. He would often spend several months a year there, and this year I went to visit him. We were based out out of Nant, which is in Provence in southern France.
One day we decided to take a short mini trip into northern Spain to see a certain abbey. To get there we would have to drive through the Pyrenees, the major mountain range between France and Spain. The Pyrenees, like most places in Europe, have witnessed a lot of turmoil and violence, from border wars to being the hideout of French Protestants during the 15th and 16th centuries.
We set out at about 9 a.m. up into the mountains. The weather quickly changed from sunny to foggy and overcast, but often mountain weather is different, so we weren't alarmed. We were driving for a while before we realised that we were definitely lost. The roads we were on were dirt, and no longer on our map or in our GPS. In fact, the GPS wasn't even working right. We just kept driving, trying to find our way out of the mountains... for hours.
We were no longer concerned about making it to the abbey by 6 p.m. Frankly, we were worried about running out of gas in the middle of somewhat creepy mountains, in bad weather. All I remember is that everything was so foggy, and that there was this strange oppressive feeling of sadness.
My dad and I barely talked for almost eight hours. Both of us remember feeling tired, exhausted, and unreasonably depressed. At one point, I even thought it would just be easier to stop driving and lie down, forever.
The car clock read 4:40 p.m. when we miraculously took a shot in the dark on a road that didn't look like more than a goat path over some fields and popped out onto a major highway! We were excited to say the least.
We stopped at the first gas station we found on the main road, and I commented to my dad that it was much sunnier now that we were out of the mountains, at which point he looked up at the sun and said, "That's strange... Why is the sun so high in the sky? It's overhead, but it's almost 5 p.m." I looked at the car clock to confirm that it was indeed 5, but -- and I swear -- it read 12:05 p.m.
I though maybe something mechanical had happened to the clock, though that didn't explain the sun overhead. We both couldn't account for any of it, so we drove to the abbey and asked them if they were closing, which they should have been. But they informed us that no, it was only a little after 12, why would they be closing?
I know this may not seem super dramatic, but both of us together, with total memory of the event, lost eight hours of our lives in those mountains, with no explanation.