Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Sun 24 April - Plunge Pools & Wheelies

We woke up this morning to the many bells ringing out across the valley and the hills.  Easter Day, the celebration of the Resurrection.  Neither of us religious at all, we surprised ourselves about how different we felt about today.  Never before have I seen Easter celebrated like this, without the blatant commercialism of chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies.  Just a community coming together with a common bond.  

The road to the Blockhaus
There was a distinctly different feel about today to that of Good Friday.  Friday felt very heavy and sombre, but today it had lifted.  Today was undoubtedly a very joyous day.  We, however, were rather weary, and a bit of homesickness for my family caught me by surprise.  The weather was also somewhat dull so, rather than joining Bill on his crazy cycle up into the low lying clouds and snow hanging over the Blockhaus at over 2400 metres, we decided to take advantage of the grey weather to crack on with the inside jobs. 

So the bathroom was prepared for it's spruce up, the balcony railings were painted and the bedroom furniture rearranged so all our belongings are coming together in one room.   All to the sound of the Easter bells.  

Eventually, we decided to call it a day and turned in for supper.  But the evening was still young and we sat outside in awe at the mist and the night clouds coming down and swirling amongst the hills.  Somewhere there was a party.  Music and laughter could be heard echoing around the valley.  As it appeared to be coming from the Abbey, the temptation and curiosity were just too much to resist, so we went off to explore.    

Serra plunge pools
The party was the youngsters of the village having a great time on the sports field, dancing and singing by the lights of their cars and with barbecues going.  The Abbey just along the lane, however, was deserted.  As we were there, we thought we may as well explore and try and find the tombs, even though dusk had almost given way to darkness.  We didn't find the tombs (bit of a relief really), but we did find the waterfalls and plunge pools.  Utterly spectacular, particularly in the semi-darkness against the illuminated the Abbey.  One to return to on a warmer, sultry evening with a picnic and wine. 

Not wanting to go back home quite so soon, we stopped off at the bar and it was absolutely buzzing.  All the usual suspects were there, plus many more.  Even the female contingent were out in force!  The young ones that is, which was great to see, but still none of the elder matriarchs.  Probably at home enjoying the piece and quiet after a busy family day.  

Church / Bar Piazza
Everyone was out on the little piazza in front of the church and we were happy to receive the many Buona Seras as we arrived.  A great spot for people watching, we made the most of it and had a lot of fun observing the hierarchies and community dynamics unfolding.  There was the "in crowd" of the old boys all crammed round one table, not playing cards for once but with plenty of chat, and distinctly smarter than usual.  Their usual workaday clothes having been replaced by their Sunday best, still very rural and most likely having been worn for many Sundays past, but clearly not for working in. nTheir deep tans and even deeper wrinkles could, no doubt, tell many tales.  

There was the hopeful mayor to be (The Major) and his disciples of "strong" men standing up by the outside bar, openly displaying their elevated position within the commune.  And of course their were the youngsters with all their colourful strutting, preening, flirting and banter providing the entertainment.  A smart car (Audi TT's seem to be the posing car of choice) would pull up next to the piazza for all the admire.  Out would step a guy from behind the wheel and strut over to the group, all puffy chested and proud, and with his girl enjoying her elevated status next to her successful man.  But never behind the wheel of his car.  All Strut, strut, strutting.   

A motor bike would turn up and attract a group of admirers, again more puffy chested strutting and preening before the motorbike rider would disappear in a roar of engines, pulling a big wheelie down the road.

All in good spirits and great to watch. 

Serramonacesca at Easter.  Happy times.

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