Continuing our stroll through Old Montreal and this time, food, glorious food will be involved.
Monthly Archives: October 2015
In 2012 I made my first trip to Old Montreal, the Old Port. I immediately fell in love with the city. I thought I had been transported to another world when I arrived that first day. I could have sworn I was in Europe, and for me, the Country I’d been transported to was, Italy of course! At that point in my life I was beginning to think that I would never make it to Italia, that it would remain at the top of my 2 item Bucket List forever. So for me, this charming city, full of cobblestone streets, outside cafes, artists painting on the street, crumbling old buildings and horse drawn carriages was magical. I ended up returning 3 years in a row, to the same hotel because it too, was, and is, the nicest hotel that I’ve stayed in to date and I also love the staff.
While Rome was not my first choice of places to visit in Italy, I tended to agree with the sentiment; ‘If you are going to Italy, you should see Rome’. So see Rome I did. Well, some of it anyway. One of the reasons that I wasn’t real interested in the city was I knew that it was going to be very busy, congested, loud, crowded, lots of traffic, did I mention lots of people?!? I am not a crowd type of person. I don’t have the patience for it. Nor do I like feeling as though I am part of a herd of cattle. I don’t like the ‘every man for himself’ concept of pushing and shoving. I don’t like the rudeness that it brings out in myself as a result of this. I just plain don’t like crowds.
I started planning the trip a little over a year before we were to leave. Considering the cost of airfare, it seemed that to only travel to Venice for a week wouldn’t be cost effective. Why not include another stop as well and make it a 2 week trip? But where to go? Of course the Big Three are Rome, Florence and Venice. But I started looking at other locations like Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Salerno, and The Italian Riviera. Yes, I was all over the map until common sense, logistics and cost won out and it was decided that the Big Three would be the perfect trip. However, I really wasn’t too excited about Rome. It seemed so spread out, so busy, so much traffic, but I would concede to the idea ‘It would be silly to go to Italy and not see Rome.’ I had a feeling that Florence would be more my style but, the real interest for me was Venice.
When you visit Venezia you must take time to appreciate the city from the water. It is after all, a city of islands. Water water everywhere, it is an integral part of Venezia. I found the Gondola is not an easy thing to get into or out of. At least not for me, I am too unsteady on my feet, I found it to be quite awkward. Depending on the tide, you might be stepping up or stepping down a foot or more. The one time that I rode in one, there was a guy who stood on the “dock” and held out his hand as assistance to get in, and the same thing for getting back out. But that was the extent of the help for anyone in our Gondola – or that I saw on others. The Gondolier stood in back and verbally directed us where to sit. – but do take a ride at least once.
While I unfortunately didn’t have much of an appetite while in Italy, I did sample a few dishes in each city. I still cannot figure out why I wasn’t hungry. That is normally a non-issue for me. I had been looking forward to all of the fantastic, fresh food I’d be eating in my 2 weeks in Italia, but sadly, it just didn’t happen. But that is just one of the many reason for me to return! And this time, with a HUGE appetite 🙂
I returned home 5 days ago. I cannot believe how depressed I am. I knew that it was going to be difficult once I returned home. I just never realized how difficult. I truly feel as though a part of me is missing. I know I left part of my heart as well as my soul, in Venezia. I waited for so long to get there and it seems as though it was over before it even began. It was just a blip on the radar. It already seems so long ago. How can it be over so quickly? Did I really go? It seems so distant. Yes, I have photos that tell me I was there. Yes, I feel a murmur that is the peace and tranquility that I felt while I was there. However it seems so deep down inside of me, that I am having a great deal of difficulty bringing it to the surface to recapture the moments.
Venezia, where are you? Are you still with me? Did you abandon me?
Perhaps you are supposed to stay buried? Perhaps you are meant to flourish and enrich over time? Perhaps you are meant to become more vivid with each passing day? Perhaps you are meant to take each frame as it passes through my memory and emblaze it upon my heart? Perhaps you are to become more nuanced with time? Perhaps you are so deep within my soul so you can never ever escape. Yet are ready to be called upon when I really need you? I don’t know. I just know that right now? I feel empty in so many ways. I feel alone. I feel sad. And yet?
I feel happiness. I feel tranquility. I feel excitement. I feel joy. I feel wonderment. I am awestruck. I feel serenity. I feel calmness.
I feel the happiness when I recall walking down an empty Calle and the smile that came across my face. I feel the tranquility when I remember throwing open my windows in the morning to the quiet canal below. I feel the absolute excitement, joy and wonderment riding the Vaporetto down the Grand Canal for the very first time. I feel the awe as we came around a corner on a Gondola no less! onto the Venetian Lagoon, seeing Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in all her glory. I feel the serenity as the bright sun shines down between a narrow passageway. I feel the calmness that came over me the first time I walked alone, lost in my thoughts and emotions, down Lunga de San Barnaba.
Yes, Venezia, you are there! Elusive as ever, always the Temptress! Why did I doubt you? You are there where I need you to be. Safely tucked away deep within me. Encompassing my entire being. Ready to nurture when I need nurturing. Ready to afford me exquisite euphoria in each passing glimpse.
No one can ever take you away from me. No One. Not Ever.