Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Tuscany part 2 - Activities

Having admired the view of the mountains from the terrace for a few days, Mr FF worked out a walk that would take us between the two peaks we could see up to Refugio Rossi, one of the Alpine Club mountain huts. We drove for about half an hour from the house and after a false start where we took off on the wrong path, the route was easy and well marked but as we climbed higher we came to snow.

This got deeper and deeper until it was well above my knees. Both Mr FF and I are ex-fell and long distance runners so equipped and capable in the mountains, but we were finding it unpleasant making slow progress so eventually we turned back. We met an Italian family we'd passed on the way up, they had decided not to attempt the snow at all. The lady asked me what it had been like, my reply 'brutta, molta brutta'.

We did another walk from Barga, again one of the Alpine Club routes. This took us up on an old mule track, once the only route to the village on the mountainside that you can just spot on the photo. We climbed to the church at the centre of the village and saw not a soul until an old lady came out to explain the war memorial to us.

We really enjoyed this walk for its variety, it took us through beech woods, alongside the river, into ancient villages, past old ruins, immaculate new hillside homes and to a bar where we sat in the sun enjoying an espresso while Sparky the local dog slept on my feet.

We went to Lucca one day and whilst I did find the wool shop is was unfortunately closed. I drooled at the window for quite a while, they had some beautiful yarns at great prices and I could have done a lot of credit card damage. We did get to the botanic gardens which were quite small but interesting with a beautiful pond complete with tartaruga (turtles).

We ate ice creams, amarena and stracciatella, my favouriteand one evening we got dressed up to go to the restaurant. We'd already checked the opening hours, closed Wednesday, so we went on Tuesday but for some unknown reason it was closed. Such is Italy.

I did a bit of dorissingand did I mention that we spent a lot of time on the terrace watching the activity at the riding school.

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