Saturday, June 9, 2007

The most gorgeous place on the planet

First, I will state that I should not be allowed to post this without pictures. We are working on finding a place that will allow us to back up pictures to disk, so perhaps it will work later on today or tomorrow. There is also a lot more that I intend to write later, but it is irrelevant at the moment.

I met up with Rach in Milano yesterday. We waited in some lines, ate spinach, pickled mushroom, and mozzerella panini and had great fun. Then we got on the train. Originally we intended to stay in Lugano Switzerland, a city just across the Italian border in the lake area. (There are lots of lakes...) But, alas, there were no hostels available, so we (meaning me) investigated other options including agriturismos and the schlaf im stroh network. Agriturismos are like B&Bs on farms, and schlaf im stroh means litterally sleep in straw. These are generally places that put the cows out to pasture in the summer and clean out the barn and you sleep in the stalls. Odd idea, but cool, we thought. So we are staying in one of those...Website will follow after we leave.

The bus dropped us off a quarter mile from the farm (following directions in Italian is still a struggle for me) and it is in a stunning location. (Again, pictures help!) Think a small farm in a small village in rural Switzerland. We met the farmer, who speaks Italian and German and no English...forcing me to become...TRANSLATOR GIRL. He took us on a short tour involving the bathroom (a normal Western bathroom with running water) which is located on the upper level of the goat and cow barn and then to our lodgings for last night. A small hut, with a picnic table and covered balcony and lots of straw inside. (With reading lights, of course, because what sort of bed would it be without reading lights??) Then we walked outside. The view from the door is indescibable. It is one of those views that you see when you read a book. It's not the view that you see from a front door.

At this point Rach and I were recovering from gorgeous shock and ate our dinner (bought sandwiches and random Swiss snacks) on the picnic table overlooking the hills. On one of the hills was a small church and Rach made it her life's goal to reach the church (when I say life, I mean 36 hours...not that she is only living 36 hours, but...) So after dinner, we took a walk through the town. We passed the small primary school with the playground, the soccer pitch, the municipal building, and walked towards the church, until we realized that we were walking on a small path, not a road. So we turned around and headed to walk around the local lake, where we were to protect the fish. We walked around the lake, taking time to sit down and chat, taking pictures, and watching all the locals stroll or jog by, with and without dogs. As everyone passed they chirped, ¨Buona sera.¨ ¨Buona Sera,¨we'd reply.

There are so many houses in our neighborhood where there is the house, a small garden, and then a small vineyard. I am very curious about the vineyards. Our house, however, has no vineyard. Upon our return, Rach and I kept catching up. We also decided, DRUMROLL, that by the end of our week, we will have put together a NEW REUNION travel video edition of PPR!!!!! For those of you unfamiliar with PPR, PPR stands for Pearsons Public Radio, Pearsons being our freshman dorm at Berea. We started a radio station which had about 4 episodes our freshman year. We planned to return and do a seniors edition our senior year, but that didn't happen. So, we hope to eventually have a You Tube Version, not because we like video of ourselves, but because we really feel that there is no other way, since we are lacking in audio only recording equipment. So watch this space for more details.

Edit: From this point on was erased, so I am recreating the original...
Alright, take two.

We fell asleep to rain pounding on the roof of the small hut. Rach awoke quickly this morning, but I took longer to get moving. Breakfast was served on the picnic table overlooking the barn and the mountains. The farmer first brought two pitchers: coffee and hot water, along with farm placemats, tea, cocoa, sugar, dishes, and cutlery. After a short period, he returned bearing food: bread, apricot jelly, fresh butter, formaggio, and formaggini. Since the place is a farm, they also make and sell goat and cow dairy products. Formaggio appears to be hard or aged cheese, where formaggini is soft, fresh cheese. The formaggio plate contained hard goat cheese (amazing!), hard cow cheese (strong), and what Rach affectionately called penicillin cheese (covered with mold, but FANTASTIC). The formaggini plate had two types of soft cheese, a mozzerella type and a spreadable ricotta, like cream cheese, but with a strong aftertaste. Both were goats cheeses, but I'm not supposed to let Efe know that!

After breakfast we moved our things to the yurt where we'll be staying tonight. The farm particpates in a schools on the farm program and there are between 10 and 25 children there tonight. Hopefully though, we will be the only ones in the yurt. After moving our belongings into the yurt (and using any excuse to write the word yurt), we took off for Lugano, via the town graveyard and church.

In Lugano we have been the the H&M and a schoolchildren's orchestral concert in the square. We are off in search of lunch and then we plan to catch the funicular (look it up on Wikipedia) to the peak of Monte Bré where we shall be able to look out over Lake Lugano. It is a gorgeous day for being here. Tonight we're planniing to have dinner at a small restaurant (one of two in our small town) that has cheesy bar lights in the back yard. Rach still wants to get to the church as well!

That's all for now, the cheese is wearing off, and I'm getting hungry :)

1 comment:

Simon said...

Wow. That sounds PERFECT. I am seriously enjoying living vicariously through you right now.