Growing up, Cliff Richard songs were a favourite and come June, the ditty ‘Summer Holiday’ use to take a life of its own.
” We’re going where the sun shines brightly
We’re going where the sea is blue
We’ve seen it in the movies
Now let’s see if it’s true.”
I literally lived the song last month.
I finally found myself in Italy and Sweden for my long awaited summer holiday and I had a fortnight to see whether the sun shone brightly and the sea was blue, did the movies do justice and will my dreams come true.
My verdict, it was 15 days of sheer magic!
Now with the details already taking on a dream like quality, this post is long overdue. Although I intend to write it all but for now it is a quick recap, a list of places I touched down, each with a different vibe that was incomparable.
The trip began in the eternal city, Rome.
It was love at first sight for me.
St. Peter’s Basilica was the first building I laid my eyes on and the rest was history.
Hymn for the weekend
Yes, I did the Vatican tour too. My eyes were constantly drawn upwards; it was God but also the sheer magnificence of geniuses who created art in His glory.
Day 3, was all about pottering in Pompeii in the scorching heat. The city grew even more legendary in the shadows of Vesuvius.
Firenze was the next pit stop and when I say the Cathedral of Santa Marie Del Fiore stopped me in my tracks, I wouldn’t be lying. Blame its humongous girth, the distinctive dome and the stunning combination of pink, green and white exterior.
The Toscana Wine Tour was a highlight too. Along with the wine tasting, there was sauntering in Siena and wolfing the best gelato in the world in San Gimignano (the shop actually won a contest for this title) .
Pisa was super crowded but beautiful. It tested all of my photography skills to capture its best angle .
Lupa and the twins would agree, this one photo captured its essence.
She stoops to conquer
Following Tuscany, it was two days of utter bliss in enchanting Venezia and its Grand Canal.
The water fengshui and the memories of Italians go, “Murraano- Burrano- Torchello” in their inimitable accent makes me sigh with such fierce longing.
Spider-Man – Far from Home incidentally brought all my Venetian memories to surface. I was more excited to see the Rialto Bridge than Spidey and Mysterio fight the Elementals.
The Inky Venezia Blues
Milano was next and it had a vibe unlike any other city, a business sort instead of the touristy kind.
Still one just has to see the Milan Cathedral or the Duomo di Milano and the only word that comes out is, “Magnifico!” Seriously, no words could describe it, such is its scale and grandeur.
With a flight out of Milan, it was caio to Italia and to its marvellous gelato; ate one every day. Thank you Donna of Wind kisses for that wonderful tip.
Into the Baltic Blues
Stockholm, with blue skies and the impossibly blue waters, was the final destination.
My gleeful moment was when I sailed on the blue waters of the Baltic Sea.
Long story short, that was the sea I had to learn to place on the map during my school years and my thoughts at that time,”What’s the point? I’ll never be anywhere near it.”
The 13 year old me still finds it all incredible!
Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.
– Anthony Bourdain
PS: More details with fabulous photographs coming up in the next posts.
What about you? Have you been to Italy or Sweden? Let me know in the comments.
Lens-Artist Challenge: dreamy