Sunday, March 29, 2015

haphazard holiday hunt.........

Kind of a dumb title maybe but it's fairly accurate.
I have a big birthday this year which I am not looking forward to. Whoever says numbers don't matter is not correct in my opinion. I have been feeling 19 plus experience on the inside for some considerable time. So I know  that  the expression  "you are only as old as you feel" is fair enough but , see, when you write down the numbers- it doesn't work.
 I am having a problem with numbers.
So I decided that I should do something a little adventurous, that I have never done before and go somewhere by myself  for this birthday. (possibly trying to prove to myself that life does not stop at ??, but perhaps lots of adventurous holidays ??.)
My first choice was a break in  Copenhagen. I think I wanted to go there because of the little mermaid story. I also read  that it is a very safe place. And it looks very beautiful. Friends have said that the Danish people are lovely too. So that was my plan and I looked for places to stay, lots of possibilities. And then I looked at flights - and I even looked at traveling all the way by train.
And then I bought a pellet stove for my artist's retreat ........then a sleeping platform... and a washing machine......and I thought - maybe next year.
Next big plan was to find somewhere in Italy that I would really like to visit. I could have gone to Florence again (I love Florence) or I could have gone to Lecce - the Florence of the south and considerably nearer. I toyed with going to Sicily  or the Amalfi coast. All good ideas - and I checked trains and hotels and B and Bs and different dates. But I didn't book anything.
Then one day when I wasn't really thinking about it it popped into my head- what I had always wanted to do was explore Basilicata- where I live. Because I don't drive and a scooter is not so good for longer distances I have rarely been anywhere.Two or three times I have gone exploring with an artist friend and I have treasured these times. To live in an area like this and never go anywhere is just plain frustrating.
Buses are not very plentiful and worse; the timetables are non existent. What is on the internet - is mostly incorrect and so it is only recently that I have begun to get a little more confident with buses. (You need to ask at the bus station and cross your fingers.)
It would be an adventure indeed to explore Basilicata by bus. I would need to stay overnight as it would probably take me all day to get very far. I wanted to go north.I didn't really know where I wanted to go so I started with Bella which is actually a town north of Potenza- for no better reason than  having chosen years ago my internet name Bellabasilicata (beautiful basilicata) I thought it would be fun to go there and be Bellabasilicata in Bella, Basilicata. (I had no idea previously that there was a town called Bella.)
Then I had read a book about Tricarico  (Torregreca) so that was another place I thought I would have some connection with. Then when I first came here I read "Christ stopped at Eboli" by Carlo Levi so I could also go to Aliano.
I got on the internet and could find no guesthouses, rooms or hotels in any of these places. I checked site after site and then I started to look at neighbouring towns . (Not having a car or expectation of regular buses it would have been best to stay in these towns rather than attempt to visit.) So I widened the search and checked for accommodation in towns and found two possibilities. On looking through the photos advertising one of them there was a photo of a lovely little village called Sasso di Castaldo which must have been a local place to visit. I kept on looking at more places in the same area and then noticed that there was actually a place in Sasso di Caldo at a very affordable price. I clicked on it and there it was - my holiday  destination.
Il rifugio stellata (the starry refuge) It sounds and looks amazing.
I pressed the "book" button and  for my birthday this year I will be in Sasso di Caldo , exploring the beautiful scenery, enjoying a new experience of another village, meeting some animals, painting  and celebrating the fact that i have lived this long. (fingers crossed)

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