Thursday, August 21, 2008


One of the things that everyone has asked us since we got back from the trip is: "What was your favourite bit?" It seems that we all want to know what the best was - the best location, or, as someone put it very well: "What stood out? Which bit surprised you?"

This thing is, the whole trip was a surprise. And that was the delight. A trip like this is an eclectic collection of events and experiences. Not all of them can be anticipated. Many of the most delightful moments are discovering the little things - the amusing things - the quirky, half-understood, and never before known.

Like this Danish promotional card. I bought a train ticket (one of many) in Denmark, and the very polite Danish train employee handed me my ticket in this little wallet. Wunderbar! He must have been a bit bemused (but always polite) about the shout of laughter I gave when I saw it.

No, I can't read Danish. But do I need to?

And then in a different light, there was the Basilica di San Marco, in Venice. Arguably one of the honeypots of world tourism, not to mention also being an amazing building, a symbol of the heights of culture and of wealth, Mediterranean looting and control of the sea. (Oh, and religion - that goes without saying such that I almost didn't say it).

But when we walked up, there wasn't a queue, there weren't whirlpools of tourists, just minor eddies, and after a walk through the dim and half-glimpsed glimmering interior, I bought a postcard from the stall, just inside the portico.

Not bad for a postcard bought for pennies, and pretty amazing as just one tiny fragment of a building that's overwhelming in its decoration.

Just two of the many 'bests'.


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