Italy Day Two: Boats, Lemons and a Very High Mountain

It’s amazing how slowly twenty-four hours can pass when you’re in another country. It’s like time has stood still, and yet in some ways it has sped along faster than ever. The fears of the mountainside I had yesterday have already dropped off and I can feel my whole body is exhausted in a way only holidays can make it. Stopping. Just taking time away from every day life, can really make you feel so tired. I thought working was exhausting, but nothing really prepares me for that moment I want to sleep at the end of a busy day out of the house.

This morning we walked up the mountain. It was a road, so it wasn’t like we were climbing, but still we went further up the mountainside, up a steep hill. We walked for about a kilometre, where we reached what we thought was the top of the cable car. It wasn’t. We were extremely high up, the views were fantastic, and yet there was further we could have gone. We’re planning on taking a trip up the cable car, but I’m not sure how any of us will feel about going that high up.

We had to make a quick dash to the supermarket because, like in France, they close early on a Sunday. Or at least some of them do (we found a couple of others that don’t later on). I’m amazed at how lacking in large supermarkets this whole area is. Perhaps we’re not going to the right places, or maybe Italy just doesn’t have as many. I honestly don’t know. What I did find, however, was penis shaped pasta. I don’t really understand why they would sell such a thing, it’s quite random, and something many Brits would chuckle about.

In the afternoon we got the boat from Malcesine (where we are staying) to Limone, which is full of lemons, and lemon products. One shop had massive lemons bigger than both of my hands clasped together. Other shops were selling various limoncello and lemon-related products. Mostly, we just wandered the streets, ate our sandwiches, and had an ice cream. I had Frutti di Bosco, which I think is probably mixed berry.

I really enjoy going out on boats. I’m not a sea person, I don’t have sea legs and in so many ways I dislike the sea. But I do like sitting on, or rowing, a boat out into the middle of a lake. There’s something very different in lake and river air than sea air. If we could have been out on the lake all day, I would.

I am so grateful that we are here, in this beautiful place, enjoying wonderful food and I am so relaxed. Even if walking everywhere and the warmth in the air is making me feel extra-tired.

Some photos from the day:

(Limone from the boat.)


(Penis shaped pasta.)


Italy Day One: Stuck Up a Mountain, Send Help

I am sat on a mountain in Italy, surrounded by stunning views and Italian homes. People are riding up and down the mountainside on mopeds, speeding along the quiet country lanes, swerving round bends. Our rental apartment has panoramic views of Lake Garda and the mountains beyond, to the back of the property we have more mountains. I am almost on top of the world.

Yet I feel scared.

It’s rare that I feel this overwhelming sense of panic, of fear, that where I am is not comfortable. It’s difficult to explain. It’s not that I’m scared of being this high up, altitude doesn’t bother me, as long as I feel like I’m not sat on the edge of a cliff face. Nor am I scared of being in the middle of nowhere, as long as I have a means of going somewhere less sparse.

I suppose the thing that bothers me is how long it took us to drive up the hill, how hard we had to push the hire car, and how windy the streets are.

I hold within me a fear of not being able to get home. I don’t know where it came from, or how long it’s been there (except that it’s been there a long time), and that is how I feel up this beautiful mountain.

I’m scared that the car we are using is not powerful enough to handle going up and down this hill more than once a day, or even that, (which means we either stay up, or we stay down). I’m scared that we will not be able to find our way “home” in the dark. I’m scared of going down (that is where height definitely comes in) because we’ve yet to do that for the first time.

A few years ago in rural France, we went out for a walk one day and got lost on our way home. I was stood on a darkened, rural, French street at night, with no street lights, with houses shuttered up, feeling like I was going to be there all night. We couldn’t call a taxi because we didn’t have a number (or know where we were). We couldn’t ask somewhere where the house was, because we didn’t really know that either. We walked until nearly midnight (after setting off at around 7/8pm) and we finally found “our house” and it was the biggest relief. Fearing we would never find our way home is something I will never forget it.

What I feel today is something I hope will pass. We may be able to get a different hire car, if the company allow us to trade it in, and maybe that will help. I just hope that this weight sitting on my chest doesn’t stay there for the whole week. We are in a beautiful place, surrounded by natures greatest gifts, and I don’t want to waste it.

Update: we found a much less dramatic way up and down the mountainside, so I’m feeling a lot calmer about it.

Here are some photos of the area:

(The mountain behind the apartment.)

(The lake view from the apartment.)

(The mountain we’re staying on from below, we think we’re near the light coloured smudge next to the tall tree.)