Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Me without my Amica

I had plans to write a series of articles called something grand like ,Travels with my Amica.(Amica means a female friend.) I was going to travel to lots little towns in the area in my little green car and then write about the journey there, and then, all about the place. As I am a little scared of driving it would have been an incentive to get better and try harder. But my little green car,( a piaggio amica) doesnt like hills , and as we live on the top of one , then that plan had to be cancelled.) (see the blog called the little car that wouldn't go)

So, with a certain amount of relief I decided I would just have to do it on my scooter. (only it was so unreliable that I was worried I would not get it started again if I stopped and going round exploring and trying to take photos from a scooter was not a great idea either.)

But this week I finally got my scooter repaired again and despite misgivings I set off for Bernalda.

To get to Bernalda from the house in the country I need to go down a really steep hill. ( the kind that makes your ears pop on the way up because of the altitude) I always test my brakes before I get to the hill. It's quite exciting going down. Steep and bendy and narrow. I have never tried to take my scooter up it as its only 50cc s and I don't think it would make it.

The views are lovely if brief as I don't want to plunge over the edge. I am looking over the basento valley and can see Bernalda on the other side. It only takes me about twenty minutes and I am driving into the old part (Centro Storico). This is not my first time so I know roughly where I am going. the first time I decided to follow a lemonade lorry which then meandered round lots of narrow streets till I was completely lost and I was obliged to keep following it until I found somewhere I knew.

So I drive up the one way cobbled street past a variety of types of houses, churches and even a few shops and park in the square with a large church opposite. (This is not a guided tour where I tell you the names of everything, because apart from not knowing them ,it's more about making you want to go there as it looks lovely and feels like another world where you are an explorer.)

I was probably the only explorer/tourist there at about 6.30 pm. There were hardly any people about, just some sitting on balconies or doorsteps enjoying the evening.

I particularly like the diversity of buildings. Looking along cobbled streets there are talls blocks with 3 stories and elaborate balconies, next to old buildings in need of restoration, next to restored houses. There are stairs at the front leading to doors on the first floor with pots of geraniums on each step. Some of the houses are white but as many are brick or stone. Little streets branch off from the main street , some with overhanging arches, others which have been beautifully restored with original archways and balconies and yet more where the stonework is crumbling but there are plants at the windows so someone lives there. I zig zagged about going down one street then another and then up another one that looked more interesting and then wandered on round the next bend. It was magical. Then I went round the back of the church and up another little street where the doors were painted red, then blue , then green. I could hear people inside but very few were in the streets.

I would have stayed longer only I felt a bit lonely(Which I needn't have if I had checked my emails before I left where there was a message arranging to meet.Putting smart phone which does emails on When I am rich I will get..... list)

So feeling in need of some retail therapy , and after taking a photo of my scooter to prove I was there I headed off for the chinese shop where you can buy everything. And on the way I saw a friend who kindly invited me for a coffee , which didn't stop me going for the retail therapy, but did make me feel a lot better.

And finally to yoga. Which was just delightful. We started with feet exercises (I dont't like my feet. they have been too big all of my life and I am fairly self conscious of them.) So there we are sitting there, a little bit of chatting going on as this is the start and it's nice. I have enjoyed this yoga class more than any other one I have attended. Then someone says something about my feet. I think they said I had beautiful feet. Then someone else asked what size they were. Perhaps long thin feet are ok here. Who knows! (Rather disconcertingly all evening afterwards my feet appeared to be growing longer and longer and when I caught a glimpse of them in the mirror they were weirdly long, until I noticed the join in the mirror was extending them.) As usual I fell asleep during the relaxation and then trying to pull myself out of a pleasant daze I got on my scooter to go home in the dark.

It takes twice as long to go home as I can't go up the steep hill , but now that my lights are fixed and I can see the road in front for more than a few yards, it was only mildly scary.

So I think all in all for my first trip without my amica it was a good experience.

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed reading through your blog! I can imagine there will be a book in your future, too- perhaps with your illustrations of these places? I hope go back to Italy at some point in my life (and bring my paints this time!). If it's true that tossing coins in the Trevi fountain will ensure your return...then it looks like I'll be back one worked the first time! (been there twice). Looking forward to more of your adventures.