Monday, 4 August 2008

Cloud Watching - part 1

Apparently, this year in Italy, they are experiencing the worst weather they have had for 200 years. Typical! We spent a good deal of time while we were there, watching clouds over the valley, trying to determine which way the wind blew, and how long the next "blue patch" would last before the next raincloud.

Back to Life, Back to Reality ... is the song in my head. That's a good thing, as the song itself reminds me of a fantastic holiday nearly 20 years ago which was when it was in the charts (OMG!!!!) - a whole summer working on yachts in Corfu. Bliss.

Now that i'm (quite alot!) older, I haven't the faintest clue what's number one in the charts today, and even if I did know, they wouldn't be playing it where we went on holiday this year - the nightclubs there are still on Status Quo "Whatever you Want". I'm not joking!

I already showed you a picture of the farmhouse high up in the mountains of Perino in the Trebbia Valley. It's very remote, and local expats (of which there are about 3) say this is "the real Italy" ... If the busy tourist hotspots and crowded commercial places of Italy aren't really an illusion, then I'm sure all of Italy is "real", however many nationalities are there, and so I think a better description of this beautiful and peaceful place would be "undiscovered" Italy.

There are lots of animals and baby animals where we stayed ..

In "undiscovered Italy" nobody speaks a blimmin' word of English, which would be marvelous if they didn't all think I was Italian.

Unfortunately for all concerned, they rabbit away to me ten to the dozen without stopping for breath - as Italians do - while I stare at them blankly, and feel more than a little stupid when their animated "conversations" give way to a look of confusion which is then swiftly followed by disappointment at the realisation that I am after all, English and ignorant.

Note to self: MUST LEARN ITALIAN (or Spanish) before next holiday so that I can buy my own Parmesan cheese like you never taste in the UK, and my own velvety soft porcini mushrooms, the whiter the better.

Here we are, my friend and I, having an "Ab Fab" moment and sporting the essential Italian headgear ... big sunglasses - the bigger the better. Don't ask me why the picture is purple. I was being artistic.

We were sunbathing at one of the many bathing spots along the River Trebbia, which every day except Sunday, is desserted. You walk from the road, through a wood, and then down through a vineyard ..

We relax, we bathe, we picnick, we sleep, we pose, we watch the clouds .... here ...

While Lord of the Flies explores

And at the end of the day we have beer whilst watching the sun disappear behind the the mountains.

The next day, we get up and do it all again ...

Unless we're going to the seaside when we take the mountain road 2 hours to the west. I'm afraid - much to my regret - i don't have pictures of the mountain road. I was too busy clinging onto my seat with eyes tight shut whilst the car negotiated constant hairpin bends over sheer cliff drops. I'm not good at heights.

Until we get to Cinque Terre which is an ancient area made up of five coastal villages (or lands) on the Ligurian coast.

In olden times, the only way to access these 5 lands, was by foot, along a coastal path. I am frightned of heights, can you see me clinging to the wall on the right?

We stayed in a place called Cavi. All along the way, in this northern part of Italy, I was struck by the beautifully painted buildings all over the place. Trompe l'oeile seems to be a specialty.

Sometimes its hard to tell what's real and what's not.

Even this "van" isn't what it seems - it's really a scooter!

In Italy, everything is beautiful. The people, the land, the architecture ... even the rocks.


Garden Girl said...

oh wow. It looks beautiful! I have never been, but have often thought about doing an evening class in Italian. Some words make complete sense, don't they? whilst others are just baffling.
We are going to Lake Como at Christmas and I am so excited, although apparently I look Italian as well, so may have the same problem as you-maybe we should dye our hair?!x

Joleo said...

Well yes, bella, you do look Italian. I was always mistaken for turkish in one part of London I lived in (yes, the turkish part...) and that's how I know the turkish for 'dimples' (it's gamze) but that's the only turkish I know.

Your holiday looks completely fabulous btw, and I am completely jealous.

Dragonfly said...

Thanks for sharing all that Italian loveliness. I LOVE Italy and your post has really given me a fix!
And like you, I'm always so ashamed that I speak not one word of the language...

Kathi D said...

What a fantastic trip!

Lesley said...

Beautiful photos Julia. It looks like a fab holiday despite the weather!

You do look very Italian in that photo. Maybe you should go blonde to avoid any confusion next time!!


Tracy said...

Oh, JOY...such fun seeing your Italian journey here! Very fun you are mistaken for being Italian! The "AB FAB" shot is great--LOL! Glad you had such a grand time. As for music...I think I must be soon approaching "a certain age" as I'm confused by what's on the radio, and couldn't name what's in the Top 10 if my life depended on it! Getting old...LOL! Anyhoo, thanks so much for sharing. Happy Days settling in home again and basking in the glow of your holiday memories. So glad you were able to stop by yesterday and join in my gift giveaway fun--cheers! ((HUGS))

Helen said...

Sounds like a lovely holiday - gorgeous photos too. That sea is so startlingly blue!

Florence said...

You do look Italian though...which is no bad thing!

I love the photo with the wine glass in it, such a nice light and an oddly (in a good way) smudged texture to it.

Gina said...

It's all so beautiful - I want to go back. You do look very Italian there. I have the same problem - not because I look Italian (I don't!) but because of my name they assume I speak the lingo (again... I don't!)