* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Monday, September 29, 2014

An annual fall camp work week -- Part II


My first post on the camp fall clean-up was all about actual cleaning and maintenance.  However, there were two major projects going on at the same time.  One was officially organized, the other was one of my own personal making.  Both enhanced the camp facility.  I thought you might enjoy seeing how it all went as the week wore on.

But first, I received this copy of a publicity for future volunteers showing how much fun our work weeks are.  This is from 2011, showing many of the same people as were involved this year, but it also shows Christina in her last year. 

Particularly interesting is her standing amidst all her laundry before I cleared out her view of the river later during that same week.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

In Memoriam

Hervé Gourdel 01

As I posted my last entry, the first part of our week doing fall cleaning at a camp facility, we got the news of the hideous death of Hervé Gourdel, the kidnapped and slain French mountain guide, by Algerian terrorists.  What was especially poignant for us personally is that he came from the same village as the camp, where we just spent a week, and we go there several times a year. 

It was like he was a neighbor, which brings tragedy so much closer to home.  Also, he was a guide in the mountains I've personally done a lot of hiking in myself, which doubled the familiarity feeling.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An annual fall camp work week -- Part I

General 01

We recently participated in the annual fall clean-up of a camp facility mostly for disadvantaged kids up in the mountains, as we've done for the past four years.  Not too many capable people have a schedule that allows taking off work, so our "retired" status allows us to be available. 

I thought I'd share just what kind of work needs to happen behind the scenes in keeping such a facility in good operating condition.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The sweetwater town

Dolceaqua 01

As I proposed in my last Rock Village post where we passed through Dolceacqua but didn't stop in, I've compiled a few old pictures of past visits.  While the quality of photos isn't terrific (my old camera wasn't as capable as I could have wished for in the harsh conditions all the shadows provided), putting these together brought back so many memories of the visits we've had.  And taking everybody to this town was a top priority!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Seborgan musical adventure

Seb Music 01

As we were wandering around the fun little Principality of Seborga, part of the Italian Rock Villages behind the Riviera dei Fiori, enjoying their Medieval Knights Templar theme everywhere, we came across this amazing little antique musical instruments museum. 

The door was open (most everything else didn't seem particularly animated the day we were there), the entry was free, so we checked it out.

What an amazing treasure trove we discovered!  Perhaps you'll also enjoy some of the highlights I captured.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A wannabee Principality

Seborga 01

Before its unification in 1861, Italy was divided into a number of city-states, such as Venice and Florence.  A micro-nation just across the Italian border from France, Seborga had a medieval historic importance during the 10-18th centuries, being possibly the first principality in the Holy Roman Empire.  Doc Leo thought this would be a great destination on our recent little Italian vacation, and I thought you might like to visit it with us.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rock Villages of the Riviera dei Fiori III

Italy III 02As we continued our Italian tour, making our way back from the hills to the coast, we encountered another of the medieval villages dotting the landscape.  This view was taken long distance as seen from Apricale

Its name, Isolabona, means it sits at the confluence of several rivers.  We could tell we were getting back down to sea level, as it was much flatter than all the previous towns had been.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rock Villages of the Riviera dei Fiori II

Italy II 01

We started out the second day of our little Italian tour on this little sliver of road out in the middle of nowhere, with a number of olive groves all around. 

While the site itself wasn't very exciting, our views were really nice, the weather was great, and nothing was pushing us to be doing something else, whatever that might be, rather than just relax and enjoy life.

What more could one want?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Rock Villages of the Riviera dei Fiori I

Italy I 01

During Doc Leo's last years of employment, he often worked in Italy.  As it was more practical to drive than fly, he usually whizzed by the countryside on the coastal autostrada (turnpike), often wondering what the villages up in the hills were like.  We decided to take an end-of-summer last camping fling exploring a few of them, so you don't have to!  I tried to capture some of the sights for you, but you're on your own for the sounds and smells.

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