They say (whoever "they" might be) that it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive. Certainly, there have been times - more than I like to remember - when I have arrived only to ask myself (like Peggy Lee), "Is that all there is to it?" I regret to say that those "wow" moments have been few and far between. Far too few. There are, however, several that I am able to remember. I'm reasonably sure that I have mentioned at least one of them before, but maybe I can be excused for telling about it one more time.
The Old Bat and I had driven from Brighton to Italy to spend a brief, all too brief, holiday in Tuscany. We visited most of the usual tourist haunts - Florence, Siena and so on - and, of course, Pisa. I'm not entirely sure just what I expected of Pisa. The size of the city surprised me; I had expected a much smaller place. I drove around, following what I thought were the appropriate tourist signs for the city centre and car parks. After what seemed like a three day camel ride, I managed to find a parking spot. We walked out of the car park, crossed a busy road and then strolled perhaps a hundred yards along a side street before coming out into a large piazza.
That was my "wow" moment.
There in front of me were the baptistry, the cathedral and the leaning tower, all gleaming white in the morning sun. And scarcely a tourist to be seen!