Friday, March 22, 2013

to Gargnano

Mere hiccups, that's what the day offered. No drama, no great dilemmas, no confrontations.

Of course, much of the time was spent still in getting places.

(Excuse me as my eyes overflow with emotion as we approach Lago di Garda. I am on the bus, the very final leg of the journey. It's evening and the lights are starting to come on. My friend is in the seat in front of me -- here, you can just catch the back of her head.)

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Getting places -- this is the grandest part: when you're rounding the last corners knowing that with each new familiar turn, you're coming closer to the spot that gives you such good images for months on end.

But the earlier parts of "getting there" were good too. This morning, for instance, I was up at six and walking up to the RER station and I couldn't help thinking how beautiful spring is in any and every place and how splendid it is to momentarily see it in Paris. The sun is not yet up, but the sky is a glowing pink at the edges, and the crocuses and plum trees (that's a guess) are starting their bloom in the Jardin Luxembourg.

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I'll be seeing the gardens again, on my way back (unless my brief stop then again turns out to be too brief). For now, I'll make do with these glimpses from behind the iron bars of the closed for the night gardens.

My flight to Milan is easy and uneventful and of course, there is that wonderful moment when we cross the Alps and they and therefore life both seem magnificent.

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[Getting off the plane in Milan I was struck how addicted we all are the world over to keeping our Internet flowing. Upon landing (it was such a long flight -- all of 1 hour and 10 minutes) everyone except me reaches for their smartphone. And I would have been in on it too were it not for the astronomical prices charged to Americans when they dare power on outside the borders of their country.]

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In Milan I have a two and a half hour wait for Diane. No, I can't sit still. I catch the city bus to town, thinking that the day is beautiful and that it should not be allowed to just merely float by without my attention to it.

But in Milan, I don't really go anywhere. That's my problem with Milan -- it never motivates me to explore, randomly, letting the place be its own guide.

So I do some light shopping (not for me). Very very light. Because I'm on a crusade to keep the suitcase feather light, even if it kills me. Here, I'm watching someone else buy the place out: items for her husband. Maybe.

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And then it's time to greet Diane and here's another hiccup for you: Linate airport, the place where she is to land, closes. Something about a runway being blocked by a plane. Strike related? Maybe. After all, there is, today, a strike in Milan. the metro, for example, is shut down.

Other flights are diverted or cancelled, but her's lands!  Albeit with a slight delay.

And before we know it we are on the train...

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.... and then we are on the bus whose final stop is Gargnano.

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Happily, oh so happily I am back, we are here, opening the season at the Albergo du Lac. (But wait, is there really snow on the other side's mountain crest? Is there? (Ans.: yes there is. And the forecast for all summits above 1000 meters? More snow next week! Honestly, has the world gone mad?)

Dinner tonight is at the Albergo du Lac (the hotel where we are staying). We eat salads and spaghetti and fish and lemon cake and I cannot have my fill of this place ever. It is a bubble of magic. Worth every irksome tiresome moment of the trip here.

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