There's nothing exceptional about Marco Polo Airport. It's all corridors and lights and hurrying people. It would help if their directions were better, but, hey ho, I found the boat into the city eventually.
It was about 6.30 in the evening. It had rained all day, but clouds were being frightened away - though it was still grey to the west. But here the sun was low over the water, taking over from the rain, glittering, like diamonds scattered across the lido. White water - in the wake of the water taxis - whooshed into rainbows.
Sun crept across the buildings. Marble was stained with evening yellow. Solid red walls became a luminous orange, or deep rose-pink. The spring-green of trees as bright as jewels. People, wandering along by the water, insignificant beside the magic of the buildings.
There was the chug of the boat, of course, and the smell of diesel, but that soon forgotten as we edged towards the city, bouncing in the wake of vaporetti and water taxis. The slap of water against the boat. Closer to the buildings, the sun lower in the sky now - and the shady corners darker here, like little mysteries, places to hide dark deeds. If my grandchildren had been there we'd have told stories of derring do, of swashbuckling, and maybe of love - for the sun went down and stars dared to twinkle.
I could have told myself stories, of course. Scribbled them down, even put them on this blog.
I didn't. I went out for pasta and wine. (Well, what would you have done?)
ps. If anyone hasn't seen the excerpt from Bombs and Butterflies on my website, you can find it here.