While traveling in
My answer was simple. “The light,” I said without hesitation.
From the expression on her face, I could tell the reporter was stunned by the answer. It was neither what she expected nor one she had ever heard before. More often than not the response would be Michelangelo’s David or the Ponte Vecchio or the Ufizzi Gallery.
For me, one of the most overlooked aspects of travel is how we perceive a destination and, in many places, the light can make all the difference in the world to those perceptions. Quite often, the light can have a significant impact on the way you remember a place and the experiences you had there.
Much of what makes
All light is not the same, however. The dappled sunshine and shadows of Northern France are distinctly different than the soft pastels of
It’s easy to see why the Impressionist art movement was born in
The tiny harbor
Most Impressionist paintings were made en plein air, or outdoors, where reflections and shadows provided an airy freshness never before captured on canvas. The fleeting nature of
Further north, Scandinavian light is completely different. In
Tuscan light seems almost out of focus when compared to the sharply delineated aspects of its Scandinavian counterpart. Rapeseed, a summer crop grown as feed for livestock, has a yellow blossom that is so brilliant that you almost need sunglasses to look at it.
Traditional red houses with white trim appear to be sculpted within the forest green settings of their Nordic woodlands. Colors are almost primeval in their intensity. Scandinavian light is illuminating in a way that is impossible to be ignored.
When summer sunsets slowly scrape the horizon with the glow of
Even parts of the
Though the light resembles the earth-tones of
When clouds overtake the vast expanse of the valley, pinholes open in the atmosphere allowing the sun to splay its rays onto the desert floor. The multiple beams of misty light spray from the dusky canopy like majestic spotlights showering the earth. It is difficult not to be affected by the omnipotent sensations of those heavenly rays, leaving little doubt as to how they might have had a dramatic impact on Moses.
To paraphrase the title of Milan Kundera’s novel, travelers should immerse themselves in the “bearable being of lightness.” If you do you will be richly rewarded with an aspect of travel that goes largely unnoticed.
All you need to do is emerge from the dark ages to savor the joys of traveling light.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in Charlotte, NC, founder of The Magellan Travel Club which creates and escorts customized tours to Switzerland, France and Italy for groups of 12 or more. Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others. As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 69 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries.
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