As promised, today I’m going to show a few pics of what we got up to in Italy.
Poffabro, the village where we were staying, is situated on the edge of the Friuli Dolomites Nature Reserve, so we enjoyed lots of hiking. Some routes could be accessed directly from the village…
… whilst others began a short car ride away.
The terrain was much trickier than anything I’ve ever experienced before, involving steep, uneven climbs and sharp descents on scree. I was often way behind the other two, but I just took my time and concentrated hard on each step so that I didn’t fall. Can you imagine breaking your ankle out here? I have no idea how you would access help!
At times I had to resort to climbing on all fours (very elegant), while Lil’ L’s favourite way of descending was skidding on his bottom. It was very effective, but I’m amazed he didn’t wear a hole in his shorts!
Some of the paths were no more than a foot’s width… right on the edge of a crag next to a sheer drop. It was a bit scary, very challenging, but all good fun and we thoroughly enjoyed it
We also visited some beautiful villages and towns within the region, including Pordenone, Spilimbergo and Barcis, with its stunning lakeside promenade.
We took a day trip to Venice, which was only 1 1/2 hours from Poffabro.
It was beautiful to see but, for me, the Venice of today seems to have lost its ‘heart and soul’ to tourism. After a quick walk round the crowded city centre, we were happy to spend the rest of the day walking round the quieter backstreets.
We also took a day trip to the beach at Lido di Jesolo, where Lil’ L had hours of fun playing in the sea. Have you ever seen a boy wearing socks and crocs in the sea? Well you have now.
Lido di Jesolo was absolutely buzzing with people and I’ve never seen so many sunbeds in my life. They seemed to go on for miles! The Lido was only a 2 hour drive from Poffabro, but what a contrast in scenery!
Closer to Poffabro, we found a hotel in Fanna that had a fantastic swimming pool and beautiful gardens.
For a small fee, non residents were able to spend the day there. We must have gone there at least 5 times. In the morning, the pool was pretty quiet, but it steadily filled up as the day went on.
We all did a lot of exercise this holiday. As well as the hiking and swimming, M and I did a fair amount of running. Poffabro is situated on a hill and I would run down to the bottom of the village and back up, then back down and up again. The ladies sitting outside the church found this pretty amusing and would wave and call out to me each time I passed them.
Of course, being in Italy, there was a lot of ice cream eating to be done. I believe Lil’ L had an ice cream every day… that’s 15 in total! His favourite flavours were pistachio and bacio (nutella).
Apart from the ice cream, we ate pretty healthily on this break. We ate pizza for the first couple of days but, by day 3, we were all craving something healthier (even Lil’ L was asking if he could have vegetable soup instead of pizza!) From then on, we made our own simple vegetarian meals. The fresh produce tasted out of this world! We thoroughly enjoyed our home cooked meals and they weren’t a chore at all to make. As well as leaving us feeling good inside and full of energy, they also saved us a small fortune.
And finally, in addition to all these wonderful activities, we had lots of time chilling out, reading, drawing and, for me, Dharma study & practice. Total bliss! Lil’ L loved to meditate for 10-20 minutes every night before he went to bed and I often joined in.
After such a refreshing break, I’m on a mission (again!) to ’declutter’ my daily life back in England. I’m pretty sure I start this mission every time I come back from a break yet, within a week or two, I’m on the slippery slope back to ’busyness’ (a lot of which is self-created). Time once again to seek the ‘simple life’ (well, as simple as life can be with school runs, lunches to pack, after school activities, uniform washing & ironing, and so forth)
Summer’s over. It’s time to embrace the new season. And what a lovely season it is Have a wonderful September everyone xx