Monday, February 7, 2011

Tiles, Trees, a Giant Pinocchio, Hot Water, and 5 Towns Perched on Cliffs

Wow, it sure has been a long time since I wrote last. I have been so busy just living life here in tuscany that time has just flown by.

Pescia is a very nice town, located just an hour or two away from everywhere, full of nice helpful people. The family I am with is great too.

I have been helping out on their olive grove during the week, and on the weekends heading out somewhere to visit a new place.

During the week, I have been doing lots of different things all around. I started with dragging wood down the terraces, and still do that sometimes, but for now I am working on pruning the hundreds of olive trees spread over the hillside. Last week, I finished off a cool project which was creating an irrigation system for the vegetables on the lowest terrace.

I diverted some of the water out of the stream that runs down one side of the property, and dug several channels across and down the terraces to bring water to the bottom. To improve the flow, I lined the bottom with broken bits of tile.

After a lot of fiddling, the whole thing works!!

Here are a bunch of photos from walking around the property, looking at the terraces.

The weekend after we went to Lucca, we made bread. Now, for most people, that would not be a huge thing, but for us it took all day. Not because we didn't know what we were doing, but because of the sheer quantity of bread we made.

We used 14 kilos of flour, and made around 45 loaves.

It was my first time making bread, and make bread we did.

That was about half of the bread we made.

The next day, we headed off to find a giant pinocchio. We found one in the next town over, Collodi. It is apparantly 30 meters tall. It was one of the strangest things I have ever seen.

No people were around, and all the cafes were open.

In an amazing display of italian driving, a car pulled into the parking lot, and parked in the only spot in the entire lot that was not a parking space. If it had been a full lot, ok, but there were 4 cars in the lot, and at least 200 open spots. Funny stuff, anyways here are the pictures.

After looking at the monument, we hopped back in the car and went up the side of the valley, on the way we randomly encountered an ostrich, then the view over the valley below.

The next weekend, this past one, was a very busy one. On saturday, the family, plus Simon and I piled in the car and headed about 2 hours away to some amazing hot springs. They are on the side of a river about 40 minutes away from Sienna in the direction of Grossetto.

We got there around noon, and didn't leave until after 6. We spent the whole time lounging around in the various temperatured pools.

It was truly amazing.

We had a very tasty supper of chile.

The tuscan landscape as the sun was setting.

It was a very nice day.

The next morning, Simon and I got up early and to head out to the coast. We were heading to Cinque Terre. I had seen it on the internet, and Simon had been there once before.

It was truly amazing.

We headed from Pescia to Viareggio, To La Spezia. We walked down to the waterfront there. The day was sure a beautiful one.

From there, we walked back to the station, and hopped on the train.

We got off on at the first stop. We took the trail around to the second town, an amazing walk with such amazing views.

We walked around past the second town.

In the little harbour, we enjoyed the veiws.

The path was closed about halfway to the next town, so we walked back and caught the train to the third town.

It is perched on the top of a cliff. We had a deluxe lunch in a nice restaurant just to treat ourselves.

After eating, we headed down to the little cove down this amazing staircase. There were no other people there, and it was just lovely in the afternoon sun.

We went back to the station to wait for the train to the next town.

Looking back at the towns before just as the sun was beginning to set.

We got to the fourth town just as the sun set.

It was a truly amazing day, and has been an astoundingly amazing time so far in tuscany.

This place is amazing.

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