As I close my eyes, the sound of chiming bells can transport me back to many memorable travel moments.
I am sitting with friends sipping coffee in a small café near Notre Dame Cathedral. At the stroke of noon, the church bells peal with the most amazing melodic tones. Tourists and Parisians alike stand transfixed by the lovely serenade. We couldn’t have known at the time that a tragic fire in this iconic cathedral would silence the bells for future travelers.
My husband opens the gate so I can pass into the field as part of our walk through the Cotswolds in England. We are surrounded by sheep and cows munching in the meadow. The chorus of their bells follows us as we traverse the pasture. Our senses have a lasting memory of the hike and so do our shoes.
My sister and I have just arrived in Istanbul, Turkey ready to explore this exotic city when the Islamic call to prayer is broadcast throughout the area. The plaintive call captures our attention and imagination.
The first time my family visited Tuscany, we stayed in a manor house situated on a lovely hillside that surrounded the valley. On Sunday morning as I opened the shutters to a perfectly blue sky and late spring warmth, the sound of myriad church bells rose up from the town below. When I return to Lucca, Italy I love the chance to experience this blessing again and again.
These are just a few of the sensory memories that enrich my life because of travel. Yours might be bird calls, crashing waves or taxi horns but we are all lucky to have had the gift of travel in our lives.