Saturday, 15 March 2014

Temporary farewell to Venice and a train to Ravenna

Never easy to say goodbye to Venice but my route to the station aided enormously by my host who dropped me there in his boat. (Rather illegal, he muttered, as we drew near. Could you leap up on to the concrete? Of course).
Here he is speeding away, dodging the vaparettos.
The station - Venezia St. Lucia - has a slight monumental swagger.
But nothing compared to Milan Centrale (of which more later. A note on stations is needed. As is a note on reasons for pilgrimage: was Childe Harold really a pilgrim, in the strictest sense of the word?)
The train is busy until Padua, then almost empty. The light fades as we speed through orchards.
Am carrying my disintegrating Blue Guide in a recycled envelope from my daughter, which has become something of an old friend. (The original copy mentioned was of another book - The Black Prince/Iris Murdoch which I have been carrying around with me, without opening...)
Byron travelled to Ravenna on May 25th 1819. Stopping en route in Bologna where he found inscriptions in cemetery that pleased him.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy