Saturday, 18 July 2015

The trip of a lifetime


It's a beautiful day, and nothing is going to upset me - until tonight after a half a bottle of wine.

There are puffy white clouds skudding along a patchy blue sky, just like they always do near the bend in the road of A Canterbury Tale. "What do you know about our bend?"

I got a brochure for a cruise-liner sent through to me yesterday. I should never have admitted my true age when I filled out that form, all those years ago.

The brochure must have cost a great deal of money to produce, with glossy, full-colour photos of the Fjords, white houses going down to the sea at Santorini, the great mosque of Istanbul and gondolas in Venice.

Leafing through it, I began to imagine what the cheaper quarters on board would be like and started to think of slavers. At the end of the brochure was a plan map of the berths, and they looked exactly like those 18th century drawings of slave ships, showing the most economical way of packing as many Africans in a four-master as possible, allowing for a certain percentage to die on the voyage. It is a question of cutting your losses.

Today I will book a holiday, though it won't be on a cruise ship. I fancy getting on a train to Rome, but H.I. would prefer to get on a plane from Bristol, which does not have anything other than connecting flights to there via horrid Schipol.

In a way, we need not leave Bath until after September, as the whole of Spanish adolescence comes to us by the coach-load. I have not seen one plain-looking girl amongst them - they're all stunning young things. Every time I look out of the window, there are about 50 sets of tanned legs wandering past, each with a red rucksack carrying God knows what.

What about those photos of the Queen (well, the 6 year-old Princess Elizabeth, actually) standing in the garden giving a Hitler salute?

For heaven's sake - it was 1933, she was 6, and her arm is even being held up by Edward. Even he couldn't have guessed what Hitler would turn out like. He was a simpleton who probably promised Hitler that he would return as king once the Nazis had overrun Britain. I believe it was the Queen Mother who banished Edward from the land, and it was after then that he made his little trip to see the Fuhrer.

Anyway, I said that nothing was going to upset me...

14 comments:

  1. And I thought everyone wants to return to Venice.
    My passport has not traveled past Canada, so I have nothing to add to your pleasant summer idle, except enjoy yourselves! Oh, yes, and I would go by train, too.

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    1. I would like to return to Venice, but I may leave it until the bleak mid-winter.

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  2. I got that very same brochure the other day !!
    We went to Rome a couple of years ago. Were strolling back from having dinner at about 11.30 pm when we just stumbled upon the Trevi Fountain. It was the best time to see it as we were the only ones there !! XXXX

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    1. The police shot someone in the Trevi fountain recently, didn't they?

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    2. Not sure about someone being shot the but, the Trevi fountain is being renovated at the moment, so it's covered in scaffolding. I've just seen it on Livecam https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/italia/lazio/roma/fontana-di-trevi.html !! I wasn't overly impressed when I saw it …… it's much smaller than I thought and tucked away in a little side road ! XXXX

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  3. How many people do you know who haven't at one time or other put a couple of fingers under their nose, stuck an arm out, and goosestepped to Wagner. I'm sure I did.

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  4. Tom, I loved Rome; it was my favorite place on our itinerary throughout Italy. But, the worst part of the trip was the overnight train from Rome to Nice. Unbearable and did not sleep a wink. It stopped at every fork in the road and jerked me around all night so badly, I was nauseous. If we did it again, I'd fly and have more time in Rome. And, hold on to your wallet because they were lying everywhere around the Rome train station.

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    1. H.I. refuses to go by train anyway. I saw a young woman beat off a robber with an umbrella when last in Rome.

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  5. Hans and I will go (fly) to Rome in the beginning of Octobre. At the moment I am full of travels like a content nurseling, but it is almost too much - I yearn for a bit of "home" instead of Rome - and will get it, just now. Beautiful hot weather, ample space, tranquiliity (though the tourists are only two and a half street away). Have you booked already?

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    1. We may book today. I keep putting it off.

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  6. I do agree about that salute Tom - how stupid to try and make a thing out of it all.
    As for holidays - my first husband and I went many times to Rome - wonderful city.
    But for rest and relaxation the farmer and I went on the Hurtigruten up the coast of Norway and round to the Russian border and back - fantastic holiday - over to the Lofoten islands too. So it really all depends upon what sort of holiday you want doesn't it - as always.

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    1. The only thing I know is that it won't be in a tent.

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