I have a confession to make my darling little Travel Baggers. I love doors and doorways and yes I know, a lot of people do because they say a doorway symbolises a journey, or, a porthole to another world, or travel etc. So, is it any wonder that I seem to have developed a bit of an obsession for doors. But not just any doors. Green doors. Weird right.
It all started one day when I innocently turned a corner. Turning a corner in the historic Mehrangarh Fort in Ragasthan India, something stopped me in my tracks and an obsession was born.
This green door.
The most glorious doorway I had ever seen stood before me and finally a realisation hit, something that never in a million years I would ever have thought popped into my head... architecture can be beautiful.
People say that right? But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I would be one of those people. The simple act of turning a corner would be a defining moment of my life evoking such emotion alongside such wonderment that it would forever affect me in all of my travels.
A door. A green door.
Now, like a moth to a flame, I am drawn to my green doors. Finding them everywhere, on every continent, in every country, every city, town and village, they call to me like sirens to sailors and with every one found, my obsession grows.
India, Italy, Slovenia, England... they're always there, quietly waiting for my roaming eyes to find them and a delight every time I do.
Sometimes they are hiding. Like this lovely English door if found in Salisbury, hiding behind a cottage flower garden full of pink and white cosmos and happy yellow chrysanthemums.
Sometimes they are giants. Like this gigantic green church door behind a teeny tiny Italian nun.
But you have to admit, she's adorable, even with the stern look on her face.
It was early one morning in Florence, she was standing outside the Santa Maria Novella patiently waiting for these huge green doors to open.
The enormity of the doors hit me as she stood there, her face calm as the doors stretched skyward behind her.
Surrounded by white and green marble, not just the door but the whole church was something to behold on that cool early morning. That one moment formed a lifelong memory, every detail seared into my brain.
I remember roses. There is a small park across the street and I had stopped next to the roses which were everywhere, all in full bloom and the fragrance was intoxicating. Such a sweet aroma on the early morning air enveloping you so completely you breathed deep just for the pleasure of it.
That's when, looking up to see this tiny nun, the giant green doors really made their mark.
Thank you teeny tiny nun. I will never forget you.
Italy is an artists dream, an architects delight and the artistic flair of master carvers, artisans and designers showcase some of the most beautiful green doors I have ever seen.
My green door love blossomed throughout the country as I found them by lakes, wandering streets, in hectic squares watching children chase pigeons and in quiet corridors as I explored never getting enough.
Sometimes they were found in colourful decorated surrounds like this Priests Residence in the small city of Como on the northern Italian lake. It's golds and pinks perfectly offsetting the intricate patterns studded into the door itself in such wonderful detailed designs.
Other times, I found them surrounded by decadent white marble in all their carved glory. They adorned the holiest and oldest of Florences churches.
The doors themselves carved with holy beings and saints, priests and the blessings of men.
These huge doors are a work of art in themselves and only in Italy did I find my beloved green doors in such ornate opulence.
Every sense is amazed as you gaze upon such detailed artistry. You can stand there for hours, the noise of a thousand tourists jostling around you dying away as the intricate patterns and designs unfolding before your eyes is a holy experience for any art lover. It's overwhelming. Well at least it was for me anyway, I'd never seen anything remotely like it before. Such wealth.
But they don't have to be fancy.
I love all the green doors in all the countries of my travels. I fell in love with this battered old wooden green door, it's weathered look and faded paint wormed it's way into my heart.
More beautiful to me than a freshly painted lacquered door, it's a door of time. Of family. Of a home full of use with it's inhabitants comings and goings.
It tells a story. I love thinking of it's story, of it's big busy family inside always coming in through the right hand side rain, hail or shine. Oh, the things it must have seen. Teenage heartbreaks, milestone birthdays like sweet sixteens and twenty firsts. Parties, celebrations, friends, lovers, fights. Life.
It's timeless. The chipped paint on the surrounding wall told of times when that home was painted a deep golden ochre not the vibrant orange you see. Another layer revealed a light cream, all of which compliment that little weathered green door. So you see, that family obviously loved theirs as much as I love them all.
Even the grey ones.
Like this old grey brick surrounded green door in Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana. One of the most scenic cities I have ever seen, with weeping willows lining the river that runs through it, this door on a small church was the only splash of colour it held.
It's ancient green fading and showing the signs of age is beautiful to me.
So you see my little Travel Baggers, all of the green doors hold beauty for me. Whether they be surrounded by elegant white carved marble, old grey bricks or a multilayered timeline of paints telling a families story... I love them all and this green door obsession I am sure, will last the rest of my life.