Tuesday, September 25
There can not be the mention of Italy without visions of pasta, pizza, coffee and gelato. Throw in biscotti and brioche and you have the fantasy covered. I did my best to live the dream with vegan values, and I'm happy to report that cheese-less pizza with porcini and rucola is the bomb. I even managed to find three places in Venice that serve soya milk and plenty of options for twice daily sorbetto. Bellissimo.
I am fortunate to have Bali as my transit lounge for trips to and from our island home, although I do question the charm when I am sitting in traffic for an hour to get to the hotel. A strong piccolo and sourdough toast at Sea Circus settle me in, and fuel my journey through the madness to the outskirts of town, where boutiques give way to salvage yards and hardware.
Took a spin to Deus Ex Machina in Canggu, the grand temple of enthusiasm for bikes and boards, caffeine and gasoline. It is the mother ship to the smaller store and cafe in Seminyak that I reviewed here.
As if that wasn't enough excitement in one day I pushed my adrenals to the limit with a black single origin brew at Anomali Cafe, a new venture in the 'Yak promoting quality Indonesian beans. You can see more photos and my review here.
Saturday, September 15
It is access all areas for man's best friend in Venice. They are the ultimate accessory to match linen pants as their colour never clashes. Some of these photos were shot from the hip - literally - as part of my exploration into spontaneous image making on the go.
Empty streets are the reward for getting up early in Venice. The city seems timeless, cleansed of the tourist masses and other foot traffic that conjest the streets during the day. Contract cleaners sweep away the previous day's detritus and the odd jogger glides past. It was in these quiet moments that I was able to continue my self portrait project without looking like a total weirdo. In empty lane-ways I would balance my camera on a post or railing and count down the self timer seconds before a dash across the frame. The reward for this creative silliness was a robust Italian macchiato.
Thursday, September 13
Parks, trees and green belts are very limited in Venice, which is not surprising since it is virtually floating on salt water. There aren't many trees that like salty feet, and space is at a premium between canals and cement, but small cloistered gardens exist between rows of townhouses, offering a glimpse of green from a nearby balcony or bell tower. A glance upwards on any street is rewarded with a cascade of flowers which add cheery summer colour to the pastel facades. I came home inspired to build flower boxes from driftwood and fill them with tropical blooms that could be safely hung out of goat's range. I built the boxes, then ran out of mojo.
The colour they add to the buildings so drab
brings a warm splash of welcome relief.
It's something worthwhile for the sun to shine on,
a reason to radiate heat,
well, that small window box, it puts a skip in my feet
four floors below on the street.
Saturday, September 8
If a gondola is a candlelit dinner and foreplay, the water taxis are a hot one night stand. All spunk and speed and brawn; steered by equally slick, collared bastions of masculinity. The tiger sharks of the canal network, they slice through the water with a sonorous rumble, or lie in waiting at transport hubs and major tourist attractions.
Like limousines, water taxis are not cheap, but if you want door to door service in Venice, this is your only means. I fantasised about being offered a free ride at the flick of my hair, but other than a few smiles from drivers with upturned collars and russet skin, I was unsuccessful.
Venice was in the grip of a three week heat wave, and in search of relief on a sultry evening, I would buy a slice of take-away pizza, sit on the Fondamenta del Rio Nuovo and watch the cortege of water taxis going between the station and the Grand Canal.