Wednesday, 25 September 2013

With friends

Arezzo. Off the train, looking for my friends. I wait. Am I waiting in the wrong place? What. Did we agree? After a while we find each other. There had been an accident on the road.  We squeeze my suitcase into their car, and set off for an all day jaunt. It is so good to see them. We talk and talk, and never run out of things to say.

First we stopped at Poppi, a lovely small town, where we found an open air cafe and had coffee and panini. I'd had to get to the station before breakfast. We next visited Anghiari, and after that it seemed a good idea to head for San Leo,  quite a distance away, through winding roads that go through the mountains. The weather is warm and sunny, and the scenery beautiful. Traffic was very light. We stopped to take photos often. We overlooked a dam, which seemed to have, at each end, a road atop of high pylons which ended in the dam. We'll probably never know the how or the why.

Suddenly, after driving for a long way with scarcely another car to be seen, many more cars were on the road, and then we came across car after car parked on the roadside. The explanation was that in the middle of nowhere, there was a sale/demonstration of agricultural machinery. With stalls selling onions, garlic, figs. It was absolutely crowded.

We pressed on, and after tantalising views of San Leo, perched high on a precipitous rocky peak, which seemed still to be a long way off, we went around a few more exciting bends in the road, and we were there. It seems that every hill or mountain peak had to have a fortified castle on the top. Thinking about the lugging of all the materials needed for construction, these fortications and castles seem incredible. But San Leo even had quite a large car park.

After a gelato apiece and a wander around, except that the ascent to the castello was too daunting,we commenced the drive to Reggio Emilia, where we are spending a week, using it as a base to visit other cities nearby. We got onto the autostrada, but were delayed quite some time by an accident far ahead. Once past that, getting off the autostrada and finding the way to our destination proved rather tricky. The GPS instructions are not really clear and it was dark by this time. But here we are,settled into our apartments, and today we walked into thecity centre, where we had awonderful lunch, to celebrate the 37th anniversary of John and Nora's wedding. 

 I am a great believer in asking people for help, and so asked a young woman to direct us to asupermarket where we could buy food, and also asked could she tell us of a good rkestaurant where we could celebrate the wedding anniversary. She did both, we found the restaurant and despite having bo booking, wewere given a table. I told them of the anniversary, and we had a wonderful meal, which finished with specially decorated desserts for my friends, inscribed in chocolate with "auguri".

Staggering off to the supermarket to buy groceries could have seemed an anticlimax, but we had agood time talking to the young woman in the delicatessen section. We staggered back to the apartments and will soon reassemble for pasta with pesto.

 It is good to have more room and a couch, as well as a small balcony where we could put our washing out to dry. The exigencies of life ! Now to plan the next day.


Elephant's Child said...

That sounds like a truly wonderful day.
And I love supermarkets in 'foreign' countries. So much that is different, so much the same...

The Image Is Everything said...

Hi Mum.. Been reading your Blog while I've been in Scone. I got home this evening. I kept collapsing into bed tired each night I was there, but I will try to FaceTime you tonight or tomorrow night. Hope you're going well. Today sounds like a lot of fun, and glad you're with your friends. xxx Bronnie