Wednesday 29 May 2024

A Bellini at Harry's Bar and other literary inspirations

I'm back from a lovely holiday which combined a yacht tour of the Croatian islands between Split and the north of the country with a catamaran ride taking me on a short break in Venice, a city of which I never tire. Much as I love Britain, it was great to enjoy a spell of excellent weather broken only by a thunderstorm on arrival in Venice and which didn't last long. 

As the boat drifted along the Adriatic, calling at places such as Rab, Pula, and Poruc, I managed to do quite a bit of reading (mainly of some novels that will feature in the future as Forgotten Books) and even more importantly I found the time away from my desk inspired me creatively, as often happens. I was able to solve some of the issues that had been challenging me in connection with the novel I'm writing at present, a real bonus.

There were many highlights, too many to itemise in this post, but I'd like to single out Zadar as a place I thought was really special - the sea organ and the light show in the evening (see the photos at the end of this post were truly memorable, even if we missed out on the sunset that Alfred Hitchcock rhapsodised about. Croatia is a fascinating country; this was my fourth visit, and they've all been enjoyable.

In Venice, it was good to look round St Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace for the first time; both of them have fantastic interiors. A real highlight for me was crossing the Bridge of Sighs. I've seen it many times from the outside, but walking the walk that so many prisoners took is quite special. And I persuaded all my companions to come along with me to Harry's Bar, where I sampled a rather delicious Bellini in the place it was created and fancied myself as a latter day Hemingway or Bogart - or perhaps not! I really think that Rachel Savernake should take a trip to Venice one of these days. It's the sort of exotic locale that suits her. Anyway, a great trip, and it's energised me - which is just as well, as I've come back to a mountain of writing projects!

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