Each week, when it’s time to write another Wednesday Wander, I cast around in my mind to see where I want to go. It’s usually a feeling that inspires me – perhaps the weather reminds me of somewhere I’ve visited, or I find a photograph, or see something on TV or online. This week I thought – Monaco. I haven’t wandered there as yet, though I remember it well. All pink sky and blue sea, roads cut into precipitous green hillsides, the scent of blossom and the glamour of the casino at Monte Carlo, me desperately trying to put together something approaching a sophisticated outfit from the rather less-than-sophisticated contents of my bag.
And yet, when I went to the photo album to grab the photos I definitely remember taking, there was nothing there. Zilch. Nada. I suppose it’s because of the technology of the time – it’s been over twenty years since I was there, and my (pre-digital) camera only worked sporadically on that trip. But at the time I didn’t really care, too taken with the sights I was seeing. I still feel the same way about travelling, keen to take everything in, but I usually end up with about three hundred photos as well, easily able to edit the ones that aren’t so great. And I guess that’s what happened here – the photos I took in Monaco didn’t work out for some reason; they were blurry, or I managed to get a thumb or some hair in the shot (happened more often than I like to think), so I decided to discard them when I got the prints.
There are other places I’ve visited where I’ve taken no photos at all – the Sistine Chapel, for example. If I remember right, we were told not to take any photos as we were herded through the many rooms leading to the chapel, at one point climbing out a window and walking along scaffolding, then climbing back in through another window (I am not making this up), an interesting exercise considering the crowds of people visiting that day (the Pope had just canonised four new saints). Leighton House, in London, is another place where interior photos are forbidden – I don’t know why, exactly.
Anyway, I have no Monaco photos. So, instead, I’ll just wander to this lovely Tuscan villa on the outskirts of Florence. Once a private home, it was reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman. One night, as I was returning to my room, I walked along the darkened hallway… to see a young woman gliding towards me, her long hair flowing back. My heart almost stopped until I realised it was a young Japanese woman, also on her way to her room. The hall lights were on a timer and had switched off just at that moment, adding to the eerie feeling. For all that, it was a gorgeous place, the manicured gardens and old stone walls reminders of a time past.
So this week, perhaps, was a bit more of a meander than a wander, but thank you for coming along with me – see you next time!
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Reblogged this on Lincoln Life Blog.
Thank you for sharing! 🙂
What a lovely post Helen that evoked lots of wonderful Tuscan memories for me.
Thanks, Miriam – it’s a gorgeous part of the world, isn’t it? 🙂
It sure is Helen ❤️
What a lovely meandering wander, Helen. I haven’t traveled much – saving it for retirement and then going everywhere I hope. The photos are just right and give a flavor of “far away.” 🙂
Thanks, Diana. The villa was just lovely, a little piece of tranquility yet not far at all from Florence – the front driveway overlooked the city. I’ve always been a traveller, I guess, first with family as a child, now with my own family and child. I think I’ll be travelling for a while still 🙂
I imagine it’s a wonderful experience and I can’t wait.
Sometimes I go places and don’t take any photos. I think its because I just need to soak it up. Sometimes we are so busy trying to take our photos that we don’t get any sense of the atmosphere or just being there. Then we have no memory of it except for looking at the photos. The photos replace our memory, but no matter how lovely, they don’t replace the experience. It was 1999 when I took my once in a lifetime backpacking trip round Peru. No digital cameras then, sadly, and I could only afford to buy and process 4 rolls of film. I wish I’d taken 40! Lol! But great memories!
Yes, I agree – when visiting these wonderful places it’s important not to see them through the lens of a camera or phone, because, as you say, that replaces true memory. I’ve been a a few trips when I was younger where I took no photos either, but the memories remain. I bet that trip to Peru was amazing! I’ve not been anywhere in South America, but I would very much like to visit one day 🙂
Reblogged this on Suzie Speaks and commented:
I’ve always wanted to visit Tuscany – check out this post from Helen! Please don’t like or comment on my reblog – hop on over to Journey to Ambeth and say hi!
Thanks so much for sharing, Suzie! xx
I am always forever saying to myself, now that’s a good angle 🙂 Though I do spend time taking photos then stop and look all around without the camera. LOVE Tuscany and great to see another perspective of this picturesque area.
Haha, me too! Ten photos of the same thing from different angles – I guess that’s the beauty of digital photography, that you can take loads of shots then discard the ones you don’t like. It’s important to stop and look at the scenery too, as you say, camera-free 🙂
I just popped over from Suzie’s blog. 🙂
Ah the joys of pre-digital camera days!
I used to be so, soooo excited to receive my prints back and then so sad if they went wrong (like taking pictures into the sun, or getting my finger in the way!) I have had a couple of films like this that just didn’t turn out well at all. I’m glad you kept some of the photos of tuscany though. These are lovely!
I think that digital cameras have really helped improve most people’s photography. Now you get instant feedback, you can try again if a photo goes wrong and you quickly learn what works well.
Thanks so much for popping over, and for commenting! Glad you enjoyed the post and the photos. I must say I do enjoy the convenience of digital photography – as you say, you can see the image right away and know whether or not you want to keep it. Plus there’s no costly developing at the end of it 🙂
I don’t know…I seem to spend a fortune printing out pretty booklet albums!
Haha, yes that’s true! 🙂
Oh wow, beautiful. Tuscany in on my bucket list…. one day I’ll get there… I hope.
Thank you! I hope you get there too 🙂
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Great thoughts! Sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy the scenery instead of taking photos 🙂
Thanks, Courtney – you’re absolutely right! 🙂
I am envious of the places you’ve seen! Such beautiful photos. Tuscany and Rome are on my bucket list. I mean to go, and I will someday! Thanks for your post!
Thanks for your comment, Linda! I know I’ve been very lucky with all the travelling I’ve done, and I have seen some wonderful places. Hope you get to Rome and Tuscany one day – they are so worth seeing 🙂
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