Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lago Maggiore die Liebe war so tief wie der See

A bit of lazing around on the lake before Carl headed back to work yesterday.  Storms were expected (and indeed came about) for the afternoon, so we had to find something other than flying to do.  That's not difficult around here. 

In the land of Icaro

We've popped over to Gary & Trudy's place near Milan for a few days.  The weather cooperated for a flight above the Icaro factory.  Between the ride up in the funivia and the flat launch ramp, it's an exciting place!  Although it's pretty intimidating (Carl claimed he was going to "poo his pants"), it turns out be fairly uneventful normally.  The boys made it look quite easy.  

Manfred was on his way up the funivia as Trudy and I were heading down.  He met up with the boys in the air and put on a little show for Thomas' kindergarden class that was out at the landing field.  He came for a nice close landing (a bit too close as it turns out) and had to flare early to avoid the kids who weren't gonna budge...they just stared at him chanting "Manfred, Manfred, Manfred" as he prepared to plow into the whole lot of them.  It was great.

Thomas must think he has the coolest dad on the planet.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

If I travel all my life and never get to stop and settle down...

For the past three years I've wondered many times what make a home a home.  I've always figured it was the people, the family, the friends for some.  For others, it could be the landscape?  Some people need to have mountains and forest around them.  Others want to hear the sound of the waves lapping nearby.  

I moved to the beach four years ago only having a single friend in town.  It was instantly home to me though, even knowing almost no one.  So, for me it wasn't having all of my family and friends close by.  I love the beach, but no more than the mountains, so it wasn't the landscape either.  I can't really say what it was.  Funny thing is that I get the same homey "vibe" if you want call it that every time I'm in Bassano.  

I got here a few days ago in lazy relaxation mode.  Did a bit of walking around the town exploring the Saturday market, drove around looking at houses for sale in Borso, went for a nice run through the farmer's fields, ate way too much delicious Italian food, and of course, went for a most lovely mellow flight.  Even though the place is completely overrun with paragliders, there are still plenty of hang gliders and many friendly faces of Italians I've met over the years.  Tullio's smiling face is always the first one I see here, standing in the middle of the landing field with a radio talking his students down.   They say you can fly here 300 days a year.  That might be an exaggeration, but it can't be by much.  I think I want to move here....for at least part of the year.  

I've never seen the place so busy as this past weekend.  There must have been close to 100 landings in the main field and the restaurant was packed every night.

Ull & Umber

Arrived in Europe a week ago today.  After some final preparations for the drive from UK to Italy, we pulled out of Liverpool Wednesday afternoon.  Instead of the usual Dover-Calais ferry, this time it was a more relaxed (but expensive) trip from Hull to Zeebrugge, Netherlands.  It's an overnight ferry with bad food and cheesy night club shows.  It was fun ;-)  Only two hours of driving across UK and a nice easy 12 hour ferry trip, most of which was spent sleeping.  

Hull isn't a particularly nice city....very industrial, makes me think of Oakland, California.  Much more interesting sky in Hull though.