It is Valentine’s Day. In our house it’s not about flowers and fluff… it’s about gestures and time together.
Today while I enjoyed writing, TOF bought a delicious lunch from a local deli and set it out for us to share… and devour. Tonight he took me for a walk on the beach. I appreciated both gestures more than flowers. Time together. That’s what I love.
Time together is the foundation of romance. Being together when you travel means the strangest places can take on a glow of romance. The opposite can also happen. A huge blow up in Paris and the city of lights will never be remembered for its romance.
So where are my favourite places? Where do I think of when I think of romance?
Lake Bled, Slovenia
I adore the whole country but TOF and I spent a glorious day in a rowboat, floating around on the pristine waters of Lake Bled. He rowed me to the tiny Island and then, following local tradition, tossed me over his shoulder and carried me up the ninety-nine stairs to the Church of Assumption. It was spontaneous, surprising… and oh so romantic.
Truth be told, Venice itself was crowded and very unromantic, so we took boats to the nearby islands instead. We had one of the most romantic dinners ever on Murano, and then stayed on Lido, walking the local beach by moonlight. I’m in no hurry to return to Venice. It’s not one of my favourite places, but our stay was romantic, deeply so.
You know all those ads touting the “Romance of India”? I can’t think of a less romantic place on earth. India is intense, and dirty, and about as sexy as an intestinal parasite… However we did visit a small town in Rajasthan called Bundi where the Gods of Romance provided us with a beautiful hotel, a break from the scammers, and a view that knocked our socks off. Bundi Palace clings to the cliff above the town and stirs the imagination. We spent a couple of glorious days exploring the palace and an ancient fort built above it. We crossed paths with very few people, so it was easy to imagine ourselves in the court of a 12th century maharajah. Bundi was a gift… beautiful memories from a country I otherwise struggled with. And it was a lesson in looking for romance in the most unlikely places.
Bondi Beach, Sydney
It’s crowded, it’s brash… it’s sexy and fun. Bondi Beach is also our home, so we sometimes forget just how romantic it can be. However every 4th of July TOF and I go down to the north end of the beach at about 9pm… and kiss. We kiss… and kiss… just like we did in that exact spot on the night we met. And we remember, just how special Bondi Beach can be.
I’ve been to Japan with TOF but I won’t include him in this particular post. Nor will I include my ex-husband, who I met in Japan. Instead… when I write of romance in this special place, I mean romancing ME. Japan is the place I learnt self-love. I learnt to be kind to myself. I learnt to truly see the beauty in myself. Out of those lessons sprang countless true and real gifts, including my part-Japanese children. I share Japan with them now… but I always keep a little piece of the country just for me. Japan… truly romantic… for me.
So that's my Top 5… I have many other beautiful memories in places like Vienna, Paris, parts of Wales, New York… London… gosh… What are your favourite romantic destinations?