Visiting Old Friends in Florence

 

Visiting Florence @anneharrison.com.au

An unexpected adventure has led me to Florence. Who am I to say no?

So now I am wandering with a vague plan in mind, meeting old friends, seeing them anew.

Here is a photo essay, with details to follow when I stop wandering and start writing.

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Memories of Angkor’s Jungle Temples

Nothing quite prepared me for these giant trees. I’ve seen so many images of them (and yes, we’ve all seen the movie) but to actually wander through the temples and see trees sprouting from stones is an eerie site. These temples were once thriving with people; then they were forgotten, and consumed by the jungle.

Some, like Angkor Wat, have been restored; some partially restored, others have been left largely the way they were discovered. Forgotten by the world, some temples became hideouts for the Khmer Rouge, while others are still being cleared of mines. But I couldn’t help but wonder – how many more of these temples lie hidden in the jungles of Cambodia?

 

 

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Discovering Marseille and Her Old Town

 

Discovering Marseille

 

Sailing into Marseille, the Basilica de la Notre Dame de la Garde greeted me even while my boat was still far out to sea. Her golden Madonna has been calling sailors home down the centuries. Then came the Chateau D’if. How could I sail past without thinking of The Count of Monte Cristo?

Part of what I love about sailing into a port is how so much of the old town lies by the water waiting to be explored. Like many a Mediterranean town, Marseille began as a village by the sea, and this is where her heart still lies. Palaeolithic cave paintings have been discovered nearby; the village of Massalia was the first Greek settlement in France, established around 600 BC. It was conquered first by the Romans, then by various other nations and city-states during the sea-sawing of alliances which marked medieval and Renaissance Europe. Continue Reading →

A Moomin in Hong Kong

This photo encapsulates Hong Kong for me. Walking through LKF I spied a moomintroll – of course. Tove Jannson and her moomins are a world away from Hong Kong. Yet they are here, because everything is here.

That’s what I love about Hong Kong – from the fake antiques along Cat Street, a forgotten nunnery in Kowloon, the gathering of maids on their day off as they gather in parks and along walk ways, chattering away like sparrows, the tranquility of her bush walks – I always find something completely unexpected.

Always a reason to return.

 

Discovering Corfu

Discovering Corfu

 

I fell in love with Greece a long time ago, without actually ever going. Gerard Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals bewitched me. I read it as a child, and then to my own children. He painted an idyllic countryside of olive groves and woods running down to the sea; of pink houses covered in vines and filled with intellectuals and free spirits who came to lunch and stayed for the summer.

I’ve treated old soldiers who fought in Greece during WWII and the chaos which followed. They spoke of the warmth of the people who kept them alive during the freezing winters, of their first taste of yoghurt as they hid in the hills from the Nazis.

Then I discovered Byron:

The isles of Greece! The isles of Greece

                        Where burning Sappho loved and sung

                        Were grew the art of war, and peace

                        Where Delos rose, where Phoebus sprung!

                        Eternal summer guilds them yet

                        But all, except their sun, is set.

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