14 September, 2012

Italy: Day 3 - Gubbio

I didn't think Day 2 warranted it's own journal entry because, other than 3.5 hours of yoga, we didn't move around very much. My day consisted of an amazing massage after yoga class, an amazing lunch, amazing steam room (x 2), amazing dinner, and the yoga. The weather was rather poopy, and it was a day for everyone to settle in and relax.

The meals here have been amazing, as perhaps you've seen in the accompanying photos I've been posting on Facebook (apologies if you're not on that viewing list). The hosts are so friendly, and this place feels special. It is not a hotel. It is not a B&B. It's its own thing.

Day 3 took the poopiness of the weather up a notch, to our disappointment. High winds, some heavy rain, and unseasonably cold, in the mid-50s the entire day. But that did not stop us from hopping in the van, and taking a day trip to the nearby town of Gubbio. This town is of great historical significance for reasons that I cannot tell you, but I am sure Wikipedia can. There were knights (then, not now) and some rap about a Holy Sepulchre, and a bunch of other cool shit. Typically medieval action. We walked through much of the town, admiring amazing stone architecture. The roads were narrow, and winding, with steep hills that seem like they couldn't possibly be passable by car, though they are. Looked at a couple of churches. Stopped for cappuccino and croissants at a place called Bar del Corso. The weather was dismal, but we made the best of it, shivering and getting slightly soggy, even with raincoats and/or umbrellas.

It would have been nice to have a sunny day for it, but it was still beautiful, and there's probably something special about experiencing what we did. The weather is supposed to get better, and there are 3 more towns that are on the agenda for upcoming days (Perugia, Assisi, Cortona), so we'll hopefully get a taste of nicer touring conditions.

I am always amazed by Europe. I have only visited 3 times previously, and I have only been in a total of 4 countries (Germany, France, Austria, Italy). But I admire the passion for "the old." I joked today that, had this been the States, they would have widened these roads and paved with asphalt, and torn down the inefficient, drafty stone buildings, and put in townhouses. America is a place that is constantly throwing away what was, and replacing with what's next. You could be optimistic and say "reinventing ourselves." But there's something special about the beauty and craftsmanship that went into "the old." We don't build our houses or buildings so that they'll be around in the year 3000. But the Europeans did.

I could start on a rant about the fact that all the cars over here are small, sleek, stylish, diesel, and get over 40 miles per gallon. But I'll spare you that one for today, since it's getting late.

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