24.08.2008 - 01.09.2008 30 °C
It's been over a week now. All we've done is relax, drink prosecco, and eat pizzas :-)
This place is wonderful!
On the 1st night Pablo and his girlfriend Viviana came over at about 10pm and asked if we'd like to go out for a drink. Assuming we were wandering down to the local village bar I popped 20 Euros in my pocket and off we went. We ended up at another village in the "Rock Cafe" bar - the most popular bar round here. It was heaving and good fun, but we ran out of money instantly - had to scrounge all night! We got back at 3am, after fending off offers to go back to various peoples' houses for more drinks - seems one chap who latched onto us is a bit of a bad boy so it was a good escape.
The next day we wandered down to the local pizzaria and ordered out take away dinner. I got chatting to the manager, who then came outside with a bottle of ... prosecco ... on him, and we drank more and chatted - where else does this happen? You order a take away and the manager buys you a drink! :-) . Soon a couple walked past and their toddler threw their house keys down a drain. Fifteen minutes of messing around with coathangers and the keys were retrieved! Village entertainment. :-)
Another day I went to get my hair cut at the local salon (bear in mind it's a mirace there is a salon here - small town). It was hillarious. I had 6 doting old ladies trying to chat to me whilst I explained in my best Italian that I was travelling etc. When we finally managed to ascertain that I was a friend of the Bazacco family and knew Renzo and Firenza they all showed great relief and excitement and one by one came over and squeezed my shoulder, you know, like your gran does. Priceless - and a good hair cut too.
One of the women mentioned something about wife, french, and "not attractive". I was a little confused but when I left all became clear - Kirstin was sitting at the bar across the road chatting in broken french to an old Italian chap. He was not very attractive.
We got chatting, and my french is pretty good now, but as good as it may be, talking another language to someone with no teeth is challenging to say the least. And he was Italian, not French. In the end I found it easier to agree and smile to most things he said :-)
We went round for dinner at Pablo's house across the road (Matt's cousin) and had a fantastic chicken curry and Tiramasou (sp?) and plenty of Grappa.
Another great night and we got to meet some of his friends, one of which lives near some hot springs near the coast so we plan to drop in in the coming month.
We went out again a couple of nights ago with Pablo and Viviana - this time to a near by village that was hosting a festival / faire kind of thing. We all ate food off plastic plates with a bottle of... yep, prosecco. The food was delicious! - I had pork ribs with Polenta and chips and we all shared a plate of Sopressa which was delicious beyond words. (Sopressa is a local thing - like a cold meat sausage - very grainy and moist - totally scrummy). After that we came back to Pederobba and went to the "main" bar where a local band were playing. Bloody good music, lots more drinking, and made a few more new friends.
I just can't describe how welcome everyone we have met has made us feel. This is village life as it used to be many years ago in England. We frequently bump into "toothless man" , Renzo, the man from the pizzaria.. etc etc. Great place and looking forward to coming back again after our South Italy excursion... which starts tomorrow.
We are heading off to Florence where we have booked a hostel outside the city in the country. Not my idea of a hostel (thank God) - it has an infinity pool and "wet bar". We plan to go all the way to Sicily then get a ferry to Sardinia, then another ferry back to the Rome area.
Loving Italy so much. I'm learning the lingo as fast as I can but what can you do? Be intersting to see how the South is. Several people we have spoken too seem very "suspicious" of the South, and the Mafia gets mentioned a lot. lol. Sounds fun!
Oh - nerd update - uploaded "custom" software onto my small Canon DS 870 IS camera so I can now do HDR photos again. Below is a quick rough example - it's very overprocessed but it was just a test (for the uninitiated - a HDR photo is when you take several pitures of the same subject with varying exposures, then let computer software merge them all so you get the best of all exposures - i.e. when you take a photo of a building in bright sunshine, you either have a properly exposed building with a white, featureless sky, or you get the sky properly exposed, but the building will be very dark. HDR lets you "cheat")
(That is what it really looks like (light etc) - a normal photo can't capture that - I'll do some much better ones shortly as we travel, now I have the facility again)