Part two: To Tuscany
In the morning, though it is still dark despite the Harvest Moon, I leave Geneva, and the train to Milan skirts Lac Leman and heads for the Simplon Tunnel. The scenery is spectacular but shrouded in cloud and difficult to photograph with reflections on the windows and shrubbery by the trackside.
At Brig we stop for customs and immigration - and also, the guard announces, temperature checks.... But all that happens is that a burly, desultory man glances at my NHS Covid Pass.... and that's it.
Near Stresa I do get a good view of Lago Maggiore and Isola Bella from my seat (above) and am reminded of the stops we made at the Hotel Bristol, with its horizontal lift, in Stresa, when the girls were small. My guilt has appeased a little as happy memories begin to take over.
A quick change of train in Milan, and then a couple of hours later I pick up an Audi Q2 in Florence and take aim for Siena, and within an hour or so I am checked into the Albergo Chiusarelli, where we have stayed on a number of occasions.
A little later, showered and changed, I am sipping an aperitif on a balcony overlooking the Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful urban spaces in Italy.
Opposite me, next to the Palazzo Pubblico, I see the little roof terrace from where I watched the Palio, probably in July 1977.
And just on the edge of the sunshine, under the red awning, is the place where I asked Amanda if she would like to get married....(to me... Ed) which would have been in August 1984.
At Arcidosso - many years ago