Early Bird

This week (and especially if youโ€™re among those who find the early bird concept cringe-worthy), I encourage you to set your alarm for the early hours, grab your first (several) cups of coffee, and challenge yourself to capture an outstanding photograph in the early morning light.


Let me preface this by saying that I am not a morning person! Say what you will, laugh if you must, but waking up earlier than my normal hour equals torture to me. Personally, I blame it on genetics – both my parents suffer from this ‘ailment’ ๐Ÿ™‚ .

I will wake up early in the morning whenever I must, but I will also hate myself and the world for it… especially if such a depressing situation occurs at the weekend. So this Saturday was no exception to the rule… While driving through the almost deserted streets on an already warm and sunny morning, all I could do was think that I really should have drunk that third cup of coffee before applying my makeup. That way I might have not been yet again reminded that early mornings, mascara and contact lenses often don’t go well together.

Once I sorted out that aspect while being the only one waiting at a traffic light, I could move on to hating all those fortunate people who were still in their beds. But if everything went well, if I found parking right away and the annoying little task presented no unexpected complications, I could be back home and under the covers in about half an hour.

Yes, that was the only thought that made me feel better. Did I care about the unique opportunity to see the town so calm and sleepy in daylight? Not even a bit… Did I reach for my phone to take at least one photo of all those traffic lights with no cars waiting for the lights to change? The thought never crossed my grumpy mind. I caught a glimpse of the sea with the corner of my eye – I think it looked calm and lazy – but I couldn’t even be bothered to turn my head and take a better look, much less stop and think about it. So that chance of having some fresh, new photos for the challenge was lost on me ๐Ÿ™‚ .

That being said, I will admit there were many occasions when not only was I lucky to be awake at an annoyingly early hour, but I have done it on purpose, without it being a must. Such a case was on a trip to Rome a few years back. We caught a very early flight, dropped the luggage at the hotel and started wandering the streets at an hour when sleepy waiters were still trying to get the cafes ready for another day of touristic invasion. That’s how we accidentally got to the Trevi Fountain without any effort, without even trying, without having to fight hoards of people in order to get close to it. I took my time to look around and cherish the peace and quiet. Only a few more sleepless souls were there to enjoy the morning treat – it looked so different, the experience felt so much more real then all the other occasions on which I saw the fountain later on, during the same trip…

There already were tourist out and about by the time we made it to the Pantheon and we could even stop at a cafรฉ and reward ourselves with much needed espressos and breakfast. But those special, almostย private momentsย by the Trevi Fountain will always stay with me… That’s probably why I didn’t even considered throwing in a coin and wishing to never have to wake up early again… ๐Ÿ™‚

18 Replies to “Early Bird”

  1. Good capture of the Trevi fountain! Glad the visit to Italy was worth all your sacrifices… ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is indeed an interesting country rich in culture and history. Regards, Iris ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. You made me smile…..a good feat since it’s been a rough day. LOVE the idea of early mornings and mascara not going together. Been there many a morning during my working days. Lean into the mirror, hold the mascara in one hand, open the eye wide, brush the lashes, and suddenly a huge clump comes out and glops on and you close your eye because it’s stinging and when you open your eye, you’ve got a huge black blob on your upper lid. sigh
    Love this piece! And yes, it must have been totally enjoyable and sadly, I think the opposite of “reality” as when I was at this fountain, it was a summer afternoon and impossible to get any photos without someone’s head in them!!! Next time in Rome….well, when in Rome, do as Ana did!

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    1. I’m so glad I managed to put a smile on your face, I hope today’s better for you.
      I know exactly what you mean, my eyes start watering only when thinking about all those mascara mishaps ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess we’ve all been there.
      As for the Trevi Fountain, I only managed to see it in such a peaceful way that one time. It was exactly how you described it on all other occasions I walked by it. There must have been lynching mobs displaying friendlier behaviour than the throngs of tourists trying to take pictures on a hot summer afternoon ๐Ÿ™‚ .
      But I found that late at night was also a good time to go for a walk, that’s when I got to see an almost deserted Piazza Navona. What can I say, I’m more of a night creature ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Oh I agree. Late at night in Rome is also quite an experience. Many things seem different than they were at noon. Hope to be able to go back there someday. Anyway, a very enjoyable writing you’ve made ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I love Italy, they understand that quality and passion are more important than making huge profits, the food is amazing because the producers really put their passion in to what they do.

    I remember the fields and fields of sunflowers it is a beautiful country.

    Like you I am not great in the mornings – there are certain times of the year, Autumn and early spring, when I get up in time to see the sun rise, it is an awesome sight! There is something wonderful about watching a day unfold – and when you have been up early a certain sense of smugness is justified.

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    1. Italy is one of my favourite places as well. I always put on a kilo or two when I go there ๐Ÿ™‚ But it’s definitely worth it, the food is great. It’s one of life’s pleasures, right?…
      I agree with you, smugness is perfectly justified on such an occasion. Although, in my case, I am generally awake to see the sun rise when I haven’t gone to sleep yet ๐Ÿ™‚

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