From Munich to Zurich ~ with a whole lot of Italy in between…

“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves – that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestice setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, but who may not be who we essentially are.

If we find poetry in the service station and motel, if we are drawn to the airport or train carriage, it is perhaps because, in spite of their architectural compromises and discomforts, in spite of their garish colours and harsh lighting, we implicitly feel that these isolated places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world.”  ~alain de boton, the art of travel 


I love when i find perfection in a quote. Apologies it is as long as it is, but where would i have made the cut, edited something out, re-shaping its meaning, its poignancy? Same with the visual diary below ~ In going through my more than 2,000 images (not even seeing yet hundreds of Royal’s, August’s and Lloyd’s images taken by real cameras), here is a little inkling of a family adventure that really did contain much of its beauty not in just the meals eaten, tastes encountered, cultures and its people experienced ~ but in those little touching moments between places ~ on trains and planes, on vaporetto, by foot ~ across bridges, borders and boundaries. I think that is where and how I really felt the magnificence of introducing particularly Italy to Royal and August… It’s exactly in that place of transit between two spaces ~ that the mind can open up, and relationships and interactions can just be what they are.

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above / august on the train from Munich to Bolzano; the family on a vaporetto in Venice; Royal and I trading scarves on an elevator…


~~~~~ from here to there / SFO to London to Munich ~~~~~

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above ~ Motel One, Herzog-Wilhelm-Strasse, Munich / Bar Centrale / Dallmayr Christmas windows / Ratskellar / Ingo Maurer Showroom / Bartu Eismanufaktur / Eataly / Cotidiano Bakery / Tarullo’s Pizzeria / Motel One, Bar / Marienplatz , Christmas Market


~~~~~ from Munich to Bolzano~~~~~

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above / cavallino bianco, bolzano / shopping, Dani~i love this brand (that’s what it’s called!)/ tramway and train above Bolzano to Soprabolzano / Wirtshaus Vogele / Dome of Bolzano 


~~~~~ venezia ~~~~~

“You fling the window open
and the room is instantly flooded with this outer,
pearl-laden haze, which is part damp oxygen, part coffee and prayers.”
~ joseph brodsky 

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above / torrefazione cannaregio /Palazzo Abadessa / Rossopomodoro /San Marco / Cantina Do Mori / Pasticceria Tonolo / Harry’s Bar / Collezione Peggy Guggenheim (where I was an intern 20 years ago!) / on Giudecca, for dinner at Julia’s with Cornelia and the family…


“Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased,” Polo said. “Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it, or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.” ~ italo calvino 

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above /the view from the academia bridge at midnight, overlooking Santa Maria Della Salute, where Lloyd and I read Italo Calvino at sunrise  as part of our procession to the Dogana / leaving Palazzo Abadessa, and Venice on our way to Firenze… 



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above / our favorite Cafe Gilli / Duomo / La Menagere / Trattoria Sostanza (not our usual off the beaten path place, english was spoken all around; but i spoke italian and had a very good bistecca fiorentina, and recommend the butter chicken (which i look forward to making) /the sweet (and very friendly) La Boîte for aperitivo / outside the Uffizi with human statues / lighting prayer candles, somewhere…


“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” ~ freya stark (writer, traveler, explorer; she died at her home in Asolo, Italy at the age of 100!)

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above / perseus with the head of medusa / Ditta Artigianale (over the Ponte Vecchio) / the top of the Duomo, by Brunelleschi / Ghiberti’s doors / Trattoria Del Carmine ~ had one of my favorite dishes here ~ puntarelle with anchovy / late night gelato, early morning breakfast, Hotel Pandini / a KLIMT experience, Santo Stefano al Ponte / a lovely xmas eve dinner (with an August and Lloyd-made fire), outside Florence / Santa Maria Novella ~ leaving Florence, for Milan 



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above / Milan Cathedral / Milan train station with projection / Navigli canals, Milan / 10 Corso Como (an old school favorite) / jamaica bar (need to go next time!) / August chasing pigeons, Sforza Castle / heading to Zurich Switzerland, after buying MAC lipsticks, arriving in our last hotel… and arriving back home in SF, to the so sad news ~ of Carrie Fisher …. and then, to see Rogue One the next day…


“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” ~ g.k. chesterton


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