Monday, April 26, 2010

weekend happenings

We had a pretty good weekend this weekend.  The weather was beautiful and we got out and saw a little more of Italy.

Saturday we went to Ikea to ideas on what we wanted/needed to buy for our house.  We left Ikea after spending only 34Euros (about $42), mainly because everything we wanted/needed to buy wouldn’t fit into our car.  We’re going to have to rent a van to drive down there to get most of the stuff.  I did pick out a sewing table though, and it’s only going to be about 40Euros, which I’m super excited about.  That’s probably about the cheapest thing we’ll be buying though…  We’ll just have to go next month, after our CC is paid off.  (Buying a car on a CC is great for points, but it’s hard to see a balance that high on it.  We bought the Lancia on the CC.)

Sunday we were going to go to church, but I’ve been sick (again) so we didn’t set an alarm and none of us woke up until 9am.  So we didn’t go to church.  Instead we went out to the house to take a few more things out there, and then try to get some of the boxes from the fast shipment unpacked.  Abbie makes that next to impossible though. She screamed/whined/cried for the majority of the time we were there.  Mark and I feel bad for the neighbors.  The neighborhood is so quiet and calm and quaint, and then here comes Abbie, making more noise than all the 10+ other people that live on our street put together.  And so far every single time we’ve been out at the house, she’s been pretty pissy.  She’s quite the handful…

On our way back from the house, we decided to take the “back way” home and drive to Piancavallo, which is a town about 25km from our house.  (About 15 miles.)  We’d never been there, but we heard it was neat, so we followed the signs.  I guess I knew it was near/at the top of the mountain, but I wasn’t at all expecting the drive up or what we found when we got to the top.

First of all, it took us probably 30-40 mins to drive to the top of the mountains.  There were probably at least 40 switchback turns on the drive up.  It was crazy.  You don’t realize how tall the mountains are until you’re driving up them.  The views were BEAUTIFUL.  They say on a clear day, you can see Venice from the top, but it was hazy yesterday so we didn’t see it.  We did see a few hang-gliders though and we saw the little ramp near the top of the mountain where the hang-gliders and para-gliders take off.  On our way home there were SIX para-gliders floating around in the air.  It’s pretty neat to see.  Anyway, so we finally got to Piancavallo, and it was just beautiful.  It’s this quaint little Austrian looking town with lots of lodges and chalets in the middle of the mountains.  You can see quite a few of the ski slopes weaving further up into the mountains and there was still a foot of snow on the ground in some places up there.  It was really neat.

So we drove around Piancavallo a little bit, and then I saw a sign for Barcis – 15km.  (I think that’s pronounced Bar-keys.)  I’d seen pictures of Barcis on FB so we thought, eh, 15km, lets go check it out.  Yeah, that 15 km (9ish miles) took us at least 45 mins.  The road down the other side of the mountain was absolutely insane.  It was beautiful though.  The trees were so green, most of the time there was a “creek” – that is probably a raging river during snow melts – along the road about half the time.  There were sheer cliffs on one side of the road and sheer drop offs on the other.  We saw a few waterfalls and went through a tunnel.  It was amazing.  The 9 miles of road was probably less than a mile down the mountain as the crow flies, but the twists and turns of the road were just amazing.  It was on of the prettiest drives I’ve ever been on.  As we got near the bottom all of a sudden this GORGEOUS lake comes into view with this little town nestled along one side of it.  The water of the lake was the most aqua/green water I’ve ever seen.  We were trying to get to the town on the other side of the lake from where we were, so we turned left to try to go around the lake that way.  It was the wrong way to turn, but we saw neat scenery during our detour.  There was a mostly dry riverbed along the road we were driving on.  There was a little stream of water weaving through this riverbed, and LOTS of people had tents and tables and chairs set up in the middle of the dry part of the riverbed.  There were tiny little waterfalls coming down the mountain and several little parks right along the river, along with walking suspension bridges.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

We finally pulled out the GPS and it told us we needed to go the other way around the lake, so we back-tracked to our original turn off and then went straight and finally worked our way around to the town of Barcis.  We had the weinas with us, so we walked along the lake looking for food.  (It was 4pm and I was starving.)  We found a gelato place so we had some of that, and enjoyed the view.  We sat and looked at the lake and the surrounding mountains.  The lower mountains were so green and lush, and the higher mountains were a series of jagged cliffs and peaks that were still snow-covered.   And we discovered there is a MUCH easier way to get to Barcis on the way home.  There’s a main road that goes directly through the mountain, which is a heckuva lot faster than than driving up and over.

And you’re probably wondering why there are no pictures.  Well, I didn’t have my camera along.  And it wouldn’t have done any good if I had had it along since I only have 10 pictures left on the 3rd SD card.  HOPEFULLY the camera and SD card I ordered a MONTH ago will be here this week, but even if it isn’t, we should have our desktop computer hooked up this week so I can transfer all the pictures on the SD cards onto that.  Next time I’ll take LOTS of pictures.  Or better yet, some visit and you can see it for yourself!

Here’s a photo I got off the internet, just to give you an idea of what it looks like, but this photo does it absolutely NO justice.


Amy's Avenue Blog! said...

Hooray for there being an IKEA! Are there many other stores that you like there? Will you order most of your clothing and such online or are there reasonable places around there? I still can't believe you live in Italy!

Elsbit said...

Sounds fantastic!