Where’s My Backpack has again come up with a travel theme – this week is “Benches” – that is challenging and open to interpretation. While I recognize the romantic notion of stolen kisses, whispered promises and longed-for meetings that can be associated with any picturesque, solitary bench, it does not appear to be a common theme in my personal photography (at least according to my archives thus far, things may change now that the notion in in my head). I am much more apt to wile away an afternoon people watching at a cafe while sipping a latte than perching on a park bench.
I am, however, a fan of finding the perfect place to enjoy a picnic and have been known to create bench-like space whenever it is needed. I tend to do this quite often, plopping down curbside to munch on freshly prepared snacks at Farmer’s market or (my personal favorite) pulling up a piece of sidewalk just past Venice’s famous outdoor vegetable market in order to dive into that day’s treasure of succulent berries along the canals.
While perusing the Farmer’s market on our second day in Venice, we chose three baskets of vibrant, just-off-the-vine-fresh berries to take with us for the rest of the day’s adventures. However, once the clock struck noon, the heat of August was settling in and we daren’t take the chance of squishing our treasures as we strolled through the city. Instead, we sat down right where we were, alongside the canal, and dove in. The berries were sun-kissed and warm, bursting with juice that immediately stained our fingers (better than our bags). We marveled at the architecture of the mansions lining the canal, held our breath as a vaporetto, traveling at high speed, almost clipped a gondola full of tourists, and mostly soaked in the views and feelings of Venice.
We paid no attention to anyone glancing our way. Rather, we happily created our own canal-side space – as comfortable and entertaining as any park bench – soaking in the sunshine, giggling and gobbling berries.