Even the toilet has a beautiful view. The window is open, and the smell of the bright sea drifts in to mingle with the faint tang of ancient piss. Down below, the Rock, the old citadel of the Grimaldi family, juts out into the Mediterranean. Red roofs glow above the white walls. The sun shines on the sheer cliff face on which the old city of Monaco sits, turning the bare rock a blinding white. I finish and zip up and step out with dripping hands, back into the sun.
His father built this boat. With tools worn by time and help from his uncle, he bent the planks around the frame and hammered them into place and sealed the joints with hot pitch, while the summer light bent and warped in the haze of heat that rose from the metal can. Every year afterwards, in July heat, he rowed the boat from the village to the island to heave rocks into the bay and keep the church afloat.
We came late to Prague. By the time we made our way to the red-roofed city, the path to the east had already been well beaten by hordes of budget travelers and lairy British stag parties. An influx of foreign tourists has pushed Prague close to the top of the list of Europe's most visited cities, with all the opportunities and problems that kind of popularity creates for the local residents.
It’s not that I didn’t want to go to Warsaw. It’s just that I’d heard Krakow was better. But we go where the budget airlines will take us. We go where we can afford to go. And any new place has its appeal. I generally find something to like about every European city I’ve visited. So we went to Warsaw anyhow.