The Mountain and the Castle

Yesterday I went on a hike with Michele and Serafino and their agricultural group. There was about 30 people on this climb of the mountains above Palombara Sabina.

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I love this little boy. He’s almost 3 and gets quite jealous of his little brother, but when he’s alone he’s a little angel that loves to give abracci (hugs) and snuggle and talk about horses. Needless to say, since it was just him and Papa, he was wonderful. He loves to take pictures on my iPhone because he can see himself in the screen.

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I love a man with Nutella on his face!

The climb took about 4 hours, the trail was relatively easy and even though it was cold out I warmed up quickly. I started out with a thermal, a flannel, and a flannel coat I borrowed from Simona, a scarf, and my fur hat. By the end, it was just the thermal.

The hike showed some very impressive sights, like a wonderful view of Palombara.

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The remains of a very old monastery.

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The end of the hike brings you to the ruins of a 12th century castle, where we had a picnic lunch.

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While on the hike, I was talking to an older man named Mario, who has visited California a number of times. He was laughing, saying, “In California someone says, look at this monument or building, it’s 50 years old, it’s so old! To us, 50 years is nothing!” But he still thinks California is beautiful- I agree with him. Trying to compare Italy to California is like trying to compare apples to oranges, they are both wonderful in their own ways, but have their downfalls as well.

Today, during lunch, Michele was watching a news story, and he says, “People in Italy are stupid.” I said back to him, “there are stupid people everywhere.” He still thinks they have their own special brand of stupid here.

One of the most interesting parts about my travel is learning about the problems in the area I’m visiting. More often than not, the problems are very similar to those at home, something I think we all tend to forget. When talking to Simona about the cost of Serafino’s preschool and the prospect of adding Sirio, I was reminded of my friend at home who had the same issue when she had her second child. I am constantly seeing scenarios that mirror each other here in Italy and at home with education, the government, and the environment.

Anyway, this post turned into kind of a downer, my bad. On a happier note, on Thursday I will be meeting some old friends from jr high/high school in Dublin and I’m pretty excited about it! I’m ready to drink some Guinness and be able to ask people questions in English!

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