Liv­ing small in great cities

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - TR­ISH MOR­GAN

LID­COMBE, NSW WHATis it about at­tic bed­rooms? As a child I lived in shared houses with my fam­ily. Some­times my bed­room could be on the back ve­randa or front porch, with pri­vacy pro­vided by a cur­tained screen or can­vas blinds.

Such spa­ces were al­ways shared with my sis­ter, who is three years older. The small­ness of these spa­ces ex­uded a cosi­ness be­cause of beds placed close to­gether, with lit­tle room to walk be­tween. They seemed like se­cret bed­rooms.

Per­haps that is why I like at­tic bed­rooms when I travel. I stayed in one at a hos­tel in Dunedin, New Zealand. It was pretty, with broderie anglaise cot­tons and just enough room for a dou­ble bed and a bed­side locker.

Be­ing about three­quar­ters of the way up a very high street, I over­looked the rooftops.

In Venice, my at­tic room was beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated all in red — car­pet, bed­head, cur­tains and bed­spread. The sky was hazy as the hot af­ter­noon sun beat on the slid­ing wooden shut­ters, which opened to re­veal the brightly coloured rooftops and the white dome of Santa Maria della Salute in the dis­tance. A softer light in the evening and early morn­ing changed the view as I watched swal­lows cir­cling, now and then a seag­ull and, oc­ca­sion­ally, a large sea bird.

In Paris, it was 90 steps up to my quaint room at a small pen­sion. Three pe­tite win­dows opened in­wards and I looked out over Rue Saint-Honore and stat­ues on the side of the Church of Saint-Roch. The dou­ble bed was half un­der the slop­ing roof and there was a cup­board with a TV and bar fridge.

I could stand in the bath and peep down at the street scene be­low, the lights at night and the garbage col­lec­tors in the morn­ing. The in­ti­mate din­ing room on the first floor, where break­fast was served, also over­looked Rue Saint-Honore.

In each of these small, high rooms, I have felt spe­cial, a part of the city.

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