To an isle in the water


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In the warmth of the train taking me to the airport the commuters around me closed their eyes in those peaceful moments before the working day begins or immersed themselves in the morning papers. The girl next to me bit into a sandwich sheepishly despite her slender frame. Between Ostkreuz and Trepotower Park, a crack of gold appeared on the skyline and I wished that I culd get out for a few moments to photograph it reflected in the water. But there would be plenty of time for photos soon.

From the aeroplane, the sight of the clouds parting for snowy mountain peaks as we flew over Innsbruck. The deepening colours and loss of the leaves are nothing new to me but somehow, the idea of the alpine winter had completely slipped my mind. A little further on the horizon though, the lagune of Venice appeared, golden in the midday sun. There was the first sight of Murano with its brightly coloured houses, small fishing boats and church towers and the children playing on the square as I wheeled my suitcase through the narrow streets. My hotel room was blue and gold with a chandelier made out of Murano glass with cobwebs clinging to the upper part which made me think of a fairy story. An old woman opposite in her living room waved to me every time I opened the window to check the weather in the morning but her dark wooden shutters remained firmly closed when I returned at the end of the day.

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On Murano

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There was the pleasure of taking the boat every day with the commuters and schoolchildren. I took my familiar seat at the back, watching the waves around me, silver in the morning light, pink and gold as the day faded and opaque emerald with days of rain. A couple shared a set of headphones, moving their heads to the rhythm of the music.

On the Isola San Michele, I rediscovered the precious moments of tranquility in the shadows of the cyprus trees, looking out to the canal through the metal gates as people arrived with large bunches of yellow chrysanthemums in time for All Saints' Day.

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On Isola San Michele - a cemetary on an island

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From the top of the Campanile bell tower, my eye stretched out towards those same snow covered mountains and the maze of rooftops piled up on top of one another. So much to discover and rediscover. The clock struck six and all were deafened by the heavy chiming of the great metal bell above us. Evening was drawing in but not before the sun set the sky ablaze with colours against the sihouettes of the magnificent buildings. I watched it become more and more intense as the boat pulled away for Murano and the beacons in the canal glowed orange in the twilight. I had a feeling of being far away at sea on a boat taking me to an unknown destination deep into the night with the beams of the lighthouse to guide us.

I promise you more photos of Venice this week but my head is still spinning in a whirlwind of impressions. It feels strange to be back on dry land again when my body misses the sensation of the waves and I long to see the light of Italy again soon.

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The church of the Gesuiti

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I love Italian pastries

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My first experience of Grom ice cream. how have I lived this long without it? Salted caramel and stracciatella.

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Ghoulish treats for Halloween like this marzipan hand

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View from the Rialto

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Views from the Campanile

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San Giorgio Maggiore with Palladio's perfect church

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Hotel Danieli where George Sand and Proust once stayed

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I'm obsessed with those flower pot chimneys you can see here and in Canaletto's paintings

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The lighthouse at Murano Faro


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