“THE END IS WHERE WE START FROM”

In my last post about my visit to Cinque Terre I tantalised my readers with the following words :  “I was on the home stretch of Journey 2.   I had one famous sight to see (i.e. Cinque Terre) then it would be a slow return via Italian countryside to Courcheval, through the Mont Blanc tunnel, … Continue reading

CINQUE TERRE – WHERE POETS ALSO WALKED

Leaving lovely Lucca and Tuscany behind, I was on the home stretch of Journey 2.   I had one famous sight to see then it would be a slow return via Italian countryside to Courchevel, through the Mont Blanc tunnel, to my home in France just outside Geneva.  It would be on this last, leisurely leg … Continue reading

LUCCA – LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

For me, Lucca was a love at first sight that grew and grew into total adoration.  Rarely has a town captured my heart so and filled it with joy.     Part of its appeal is that Lucca is small, compact and self-contained within its city walls, full of history and beauty at every turn with … Continue reading

SIENA – IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GHOSTS

Quite recently I read a book on Michelangelo by Irving Stone called ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ that brought the man, his art, his times and his contemporaries remarkably to life.  Evidently Stone spent years in Italy researching his subject, working in a marble quarry, as an apprentice sculptor, and reading Michelangelo’s 495 letters which … Continue reading

THE SURPRISING GIFTS OF ASSISI

In Assisi I was to receive a soulful gift, a joyful gift and a life lesson. But not in the way you might expect. For these events did not occur in one of the many churches there, nor in the famous Papal Basilica di San Francesco – one of the most impressive, expensive and art-abundant … Continue reading

A CHANGE OF TEMPO AT LAKE GARDA

After visiting the historic towns of Turin, Pavia, Cremona, and Mantua and totally filling up my mind’s cultural capacity on grandiose churches, cathedrals, palaces, frescoes and other art, Lake Garda was a complete contrast.  It was time to slow down. I found a cheap little studio which had a fabulous view of the lake from … Continue reading

THE PATH TO PAVIA

Pavia – ancient and historic city where one wanders the cobbled streets enjoying the prettiness of its retained past. It was curious. On Journey One through France, Spain and Portugal I was drawn again and again onto St James’ Way – Le Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle.  Granted, there are many routes, but even … Continue reading

COIMBRA – CONCLUSION AND CONTEMPLATION

A few years ago I stood on the path of a labyrinth marked out in a friend’s garden and, looking up at a benevolent full moon, asked the universe what was to become of me. Did I have the courage, resources and wherewithal to give up work, follow a dream and charge out of the … Continue reading

FIGHTING DRAGONS

Leaving the vineyards of western Spain behind I travelled down the coast into Portugal, heading for Viana do Castelo.   Here I stayed in paradise – on an old vineyard called Paco D’Anha which I will write about in my next post. I was to have many blissful days there, but I also had to fight … Continue reading

THE LADY AND THE CYPRESS TREE

Before I set off on my Journey some people asked: “How can you travel alone without your husband?” and “Won’t you be lonely?”   They were, I think, projecting their own feelings onto my situation for many well-functioning couples spend a lot of time apart, often due to work demands, and hopefully most single people are … Continue reading