When I am in the best mood and magic for a holiday - such as when I went on a day trip to Staufen in Germany, near to where we were staying in Freiburg im Breisgau - it is as if the modern, often mundane, surface is transparent and allows the romantic past to shine through.
I can recall the contrast between the cozy (gemutlich) restaurant where we had coffee and cakes (served by sturdy and pleasant, uniformed middle aged waitresses), and the neat and well ordered town square - with the claim to fame of being the place where Faust was drawn-down to hell; as depicted on the wall of an inn:
All this was fourteen years ago, and my son was a small toddler who could still be carried on a front sling. But his tolerance for being carted about was limited, and we tended to work around his tempo and preferences. So when we set out to look at the romantic ruined castle, which involved weaving through vineyards, pushing a buggy; we didn't actually make it to the top - but stood gazing up at the castle with a kind of yearning...
I recall not being too concerned about our 'failure' to ascend the little hill, but trying to project my 'spirit' up to that castle, and succeeding; and coming away feeling I had experienced the place very deeply and completely in just a couple of hours.
That hypersensitive mindset is characteristic of my best holidays and visits - and indeed of life in general .
Note: the above photographs are not mine, but were harvested from Google images.