Blog 30 – more of lovely Italy

10.10.16 We returned the car without any further scratches and I must say I’m quite proud of my driving around the mad Amalfi coast.

20161010_130218.jpgimg-20161012-wa0005.jpgOff by train to Assisi and spreading the lunch out. Looks like we have a kilo of prociutto, but it’s not really. We will be meeting Vanessa tonight and hopefully have a great time as a threesome. Here we are having out first coffee at our airbnb’s host’s coffee shop, which we call “Angelo’s”.

20161011_093942_001.jpgFor the next 4 days we explored the beautiful town and surrounds of Assisi. And what a place, just when I think I have seen all the beauty I can take, comes another highlight. The Basilika di San Francesco takes your breath away. Unfortunately you weren’t allowed to take photos inside. So, my friends, you just HAVE to come here yourself. Please put on bucket list! 20161012_122410.jpgView of Assisi from Rocca Maggiore, the town’s Forte.

20161013_071958.jpgSunrise behind the Cathedrale di San Rufino, view from our airbnb! We’re right in the middle of it all. And then the town and surrounds are full of amazing scultures. One day we walked up to Eremo delle Carceri (791 mts high, 4 kms), where St Francis spent a lot of time in prayer apparently. A beautiful place in the middle of the forest with lots of quiet spots with benches for prayer or meditation. Not the greatest weather otherwise we surely would have lingered longer.

screenshot_20161012-141414.png20161012_104654.jpg20161012_105027.jpg20161012_105119.jpgOr daydreaming just looking at the sky maybe?

screenshot_20161012-141439.pngNo, we’re not in Japan!img-20161011-wa0022.jpgAnd then we went to Bosco di San Francesco and Santa Croce.

20161013_161316-collage.jpgA landscape sculture of 3 circles, called the Terzo Paradiso created by Michelangelo Pistoletto. The 2 small circles are the mathematical sign for infinity and the artist interprets one circle’s meaning as the heavenly world, the other one the world we humans have created with technology etc. And the big circle he placed between the two is for us to reflect on the responsibility we have to combine the two and create a better world for ourselves and future generations. Not sure if I wrote that clearly enough, but anyway. The olive trees were full in fruit and we love their silver shine. To walk the circles quietly was so lovely. Sam had suggested that to see the Basilika by night is a MUST, so after our good bye dinner Vanessa and I dashed down for some last photos.

20161013_223711.jpgIt was misty and rainy, but as it happened there was a free gospel concert on in the Basilika. Wow, how lucky were we! Thanks Sam. It was incredible, The “Charlie’s Gospel Angels” from Rome. Tried to download a sample, but can’t seem to downoad videos.

20161013_211138.jpgBut I could get a shot of the inside of the Basilika, as everybody else was filming etc.

wp-1476522402293.jpgLooking out onto the piazza on Friday, our last morning. We loved Assisi and a great time was had by all.

20161014_153703.jpgOh, the serenity at crazily busy Bologna train station. Great to be young! (no, it’s not me!)

14.10.16 Vanessa went off earlier than us back to Switzerland and Lillian and I took the same trains til Florence where she headed off to Pisa and then France and I went on to see friends in Tyrol, Bressanone-Brixen. Evi and Matthias have also been airbnb guests of mine in Australia and meanwhile have a baby, little Nora.

20161015_110215.jpgNora unfortunately doesn’t like driving and is also not keen on hiking, so daddy did babysitting and Evi and I took off (16/10/16) into the Dolomite mountains. OMG, the beauty of this and so lucky to have a glorious autumn day.

20161016_104330.jpg20161016_135403.jpgSugarcoated mountains, the Geisler group. Yes, snow up there already. I’m back to my normal wear of 5 layers and long johns (makes the backpack light).

20161016_151147.jpgNo no, this is NOT a Milka chocolate ad. This is for real, can you believe it? And please imagine the cow bells going. It is just so pretty. I often get asked which place in my travels was my favourite. It’s really impossible to say and I have been so fortunate to see so many amazing sites. Many places have their charme and specialty and actually I haven’t been to any place I didn’t like or where I didn’t feel safe. But these pristine mountain areas must be high on the top of the list.

wp-1476728328173.jpgAnd I hadn’t seen Zwiesels for so long! In fact a Zwiesel gathering, not sure what the discussion was??? I think it was about D Trump and how best to turn him into sawdust! Hopefully they get the Zwiesel Secret Service onto it.

20161016_222132.jpgThis is a strange sort of photo. The sun was too bright for photos, but here it was behind a mini cloud for a second. Looks like some UFO coming to take us away (haha) I reckon.

20161016_124833.jpgAnd then from Basilika gospel music to accordeon in the mountains, at the Gschnagenhardalmrestaurant. (Love to hear you try and pronouce this). This guy was so good, I put a clip on Facebook. He entertained us while we ate “Spinat und Käseknödel”. Oh, I’m in my tribe again. Everybody looks like me, hiking boots, walking poles, same type of jackets, jumpers etc. See, the car park:

wp-1476729463928.jpgRuth, if you read this, looks like our bushwalkers starting, doesn’t it?

20161017_200432.jpgThe Brixen Dome.

(18/10/16) I did an 18kms hike by myself cause Evi and Matthias had to work, (yes some people still do). I had a great day, starting in drizzle but it cleared up to beautiful sunshine.


screenshot_20161018-163512.pngThe Geisler group again from a different perspective. Something about walking in the mountains! There is such calmess in the air or quietness. I’m so happy trodding along by myself. And the smell of pine trees. They must trigger something from my past. When I die, should some of you be around, please burn pine incense, the smell makes me so happy. I did the Keschtnweg, the way of the chestnuts, the edible ones.

wp-1476801429788.jpg Every restaurant had dishes with chestnuts, from sweets to savory in all shapes and forms. Hey and all of a sudden I saw my beloved Camino sign pointing towards Rome. I could have just walked on, bummer didn’t have my backpack with me! On the bucket list!

20161018_120609.jpgOk Italy, good bye for now. Loved it and there is so incredibly much more to see. Might have to come back. This was meant to be my last trip to Europe. Hmmmm.

I’m still not clear what to do in November at all. The weather is turning really too cold now. Already bought a doona jacket, feather light, obviously hahaha. My unit is not vacant til 8/12/16. Evi and Matthias hiked through Crete and really loved it. And then I’m still occasionally google trying to find a creative writing workshop. My now famous author friend Annette gave me a link for a course in Crete at the Goetheinstitute. Crete again as it happened. Maybe the signs pointing? Still supposedly 20 degrees in November. Greece wasn’t on my agenda, but then Ireland wasn’t either!

We’ll see, life will unfold.



8 thoughts on “Blog 30 – more of lovely Italy

  1. What a terrific time you’re having! Loving all the photos. And I think you should follow those signs and go to Crete. Mx


  2. hallo hallo ursel schoen deine Beschreibungen zu lesen yes yes I can so relate to the smell of pine it is always the smell which ancors me to be back home in familiar ground. I loved create so have fun We always went there around easter ……. lots of love m


  3. You must be running out of superlatives Ursula!! A feast of magnificence!! What an abundance of beauty you are encountering each day – I can’t imagine how you will settle into the work-a-day world again!! But those thoughts are not for now – continue to enjoy and share with us all. Yes, the photo of starting out on a walk is reminiscent of the Cairns Bush-walkers group – same the world over, eh? I’ll think of you as I walk the BA tomorrow – an early start as it’s warming up here now. Ruth xx


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