Destinations, Italy, Musings

All Blogged Out: Retreating to Lake Garda

June 20, 2012

Oof. There it is. The sound of us bumping up against the wall.

Palms to foreheads, weary at the edge of “too much of a good thing.”

We called retreat.

A dear friend who lives in Greece let us know she’d be in Sirmione, Italy and invited us to join her for a little rest before we carried on toward Croatia. We packed our bags and headed for the shores of Lake Garda, a short journey west from Venice and Verona.

Picturesque, confident 13th century castle walls greeted us at the historic center, and serenely pale turquoise waters surrounded the peninsula town with calm. Our windows opened onto a gorgeous view of the shoreline and summer roses blooming below.

We bee-lined for the walking path and spent an hour unwinding along the water and through the olive groves at Parco Pubblico Tomelleri, free from plans and transportation schedules for a precious span of hours.

Sirmione bustles with all the familiar pastimes and hideaways of classic Italian resort towns: restaurants and gelaterias, lovely hotels and affordable guest rooms, quaint streets, and touristy storefronts. I’d love to say that we soaked in the thermal baths and signed up for kayaking sessions and fell in line with fellow visitors reveling in their holiday activities.

But we didn’t.

Instead, we spent the time in the best way: chatting in peace, watching the sunset, and visiting with our sweet friend, Anna.

Bruised a bit, we found a place of rest at just the point when hustle and bustle and foreign beds and endless days without comforts of home and family became a bit too crazy.

There, on the shores of Lake Garda, in the breathing space of open waters and kind hearts, we were cheered by a familiar spirit and the timeless salve of friendship.

Thank you, Anna, for memories of Greece and Italy, for the laughs and photos and factoids in 2003 and 2006. And thank you most sincerely for the much-needed mini-retreat in 2012.
All our love, -B&T

Sirmione Travel Resources: History, Location, Driving Directions, and Visitor Tidbits

What’s your best memory of crossing paths with a dear friend?

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  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica June 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I was wondering how you guys could keep up that pace. Glad you enjoyed a nice break with an old friend.

    • Reply twoOregonians June 24, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Such a whirlwind! The downtime definitely helped even out the emotions of it all…

  • Reply Roxanne June 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Hello from another Greek friend who also enjoyed your company by the water! My own retreat is right here, catching up on your posts. I loved the first photo in this one, and the thought of you two relaxing in good company. I’d never heard of Lake Garda and I’m grateful to you for making it seem like such an inviting place.

    • Reply twoOregonians June 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

      I didn’t have much of any context for Lake Garda before we arrived. Maybe I’d read the name a time or two? So special now to have images in my mind of those gorgeous waters and beautiful far-off mountains and old city castle walls. I’m glad to hear you liked the duck picture; it’s my favorite, too ; )

      Note to self: seek more Greeks for get-togethers near the water; this seems to be a very good theme in life.

  • Reply Joel June 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    It’s like my recent correspondent ; ) Wendell says,

    “I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

    • Reply twoOregonians June 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Joel, I love this. Thank you so much. After our conversation, I remembered a few things… One of those things: I have an audio recording of W.B. reading this poem, and every now and then when my music is on random, it comes across my earbuds. When I went and read the full text just now, I could hear his accent in my head. Also, thank you for sending the new book for me to read. I’m very excited to make my way through the story.

  • Reply Archana June 23, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Beautiful post and beautiful pictures. So glad you guys got to slow things down a bit. I’m sure it helped you re-energize and re-organize. And, I mean, what an amazing place to do so!

    • Reply twoOregonians June 24, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Thank you so much, Archana. It did help, and it impressed upon us the need to make even more time for slowing down and resting. Peace and calm and friendship are so important, no matter where we physically find ourselves on the globe!

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