The lane is full of memories, the lane, this lane in the most holy of gilded cities.
The memory of tourists, thousands upon thousands, necks snapped back and cameras glazed, a procession of international memory capture, a tide of blushing new memories flowing on to the Sistine Chapel.
The ceiling, this ceiling, knows not the rest of obscurity. For centuries, eyes have gazed, stares lingered, lenses stretched, contracted, squinted and snapped after shoulders ached and brushes dripped beneath the weight of artists straining to satisfy their masters.
Memories. Of a time long past in a land far away.
My lonely memory from the last time I was here.
When the sun burned fast and the queue moved slow.
When memories were scarce, when cameras held film, when apples and blackberries soaked sugar beneath crumble and even the light came from a much younger star.
Between all the memories from that land far away, cartographers danced reality into hues of blue and gold.
Like memory, they illude. The oceans curve around different shores. The trade winds travel different routes and the world, their world, is not the same as ours.
Yet that troubles not the procession of memories as necks snapped back they flow on to see the moment of creation. They flow on.
Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com