That is where I should be right now.
Ioannina in north-west Greece, where I lived for 2 years back...way back...oh, yonks ago. That is something like the view I had from my balcony too although I was further down in the town within mozzy range of the lake.
The plan was to go to Greece just about now - this was my birthday present last year, faithful readers will remember. I would have driven down to Venice in my bus and then caught the ferry to Igoumenitsa. After that there would have been a 100 kilometre drive to Ioannina and there I would have spent a few days looking for places I once knew, eating fantastic food in disorganised little tavernas, walking along the lake front and generally having a good old wallow in nostalgia.
So, why all the 'would haves' and 'should haves'?
The most boring of reasons...money! I was hit by the curse of the freelancer at the start of March when 4 (4!!! I can't believe it was 4) of my week-long intensive English courses were cancelled... argghhhh! I moan when I have got them... but I moan even more when they get cancelled at short notice but not short enough that I can bill the companies... argghhh! This of course blew an enormous hole in my financial 'plan' and so I have had to postpone Greece and spend my time grubbing around for work to fill the gaps.
In the meantime I am trying to do the trip vicariously in my head with the help of Google images!
(And it has also helped finding a really nice blog called 'Ta nea tis Zitsas' written by someone in the village of Zitsa which is near Ioannina. I have been brushing up my Greek by reading his/her blog and leaving comments.)
So, assuming I would have left yesterday, I would have driven over the Brenner, through the Dolomites, past Lake Garda and along the Autostrada 1 to Venice. There I would have spent the night in Buzzy. Just about now, 8 a.m., the ferry would be leaving, I would be waving goodbye to Venice harbour and we would be slicing lines of creamy white surf in the wine-dark Adriatic...heading east.