Melancholy but Marvellous
The capital of nowhere – could anywhere be more tantalizing? For those of us increasingly blasé or wary about visiting ‘somewheres’ the world over, many of them the target of hordes of other tourists hellbent on pleasure (and often compromising the particular qualities of their destination in the process), nowhere sounds the ultimate place to go. And, as it turns out, this place does have its own geographical co-ordinates, and is even accessible by public transport. It’s just that on arrival you may experience a sudden sense of dislocation, an overwhelming wistfulness for an elusive past, and a present that feels curiously like limbo. For in the words of its chronicler, Jan Morris, in Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere (2001), the Mediterranean port ‘stands above economics, or tourism, or science, or even the passage of ships, or if not above them, apart from them’.