Hello Hello my friends and family. I hope that you have been well. As you can see I'm becoming a little less regular on this, but that just means that when they come they are extra special and extra good! Riiight. Well I'm thinking that the standard is going to be about 2-3 times a week, one after traveling on the weekend and then various random updates on other things that are going on in my life. Like for instance yesterday....
So yesterday I went to Bellinzona. Photos here. I had stopped by there on the way back from Bern a couple of weekends ago and really loved it, and wanted to go back and spend some more time in the castles. Well this last week was pretty hard for me for a lot of various reasons that I won't get into now, but I really realized and saw the need for some solitude in my life. That is hard to find in Lugano, especially if you want silence as well. So I hopped on a train and headed out to Bellinzona. It was great, only about a 20 minute ride that only costs like 12 francs (10 bucks). The castle is raised up above so there is no street noise, and it was a wednesday afternoon so it wasn't busy at all. It's nice to have wednesdays off to take day trips if i need them. It was really peaceful and a well needed time to journal and pray through some things. I was thinking that I should put up what I wrote about the castle at Bellinzona for my fiction writing class from the first time I went there. It's a setting description, and it's a little long--so read it if you want to. Tomorrow I am going to a wine festival in Mendrisio not far off, and then to The Cinque Terra on saturday. More about that on sunday. So here's my storish thing:
I stepped through squares of light and shadow cast upon the grass by the rows of turrets that extended along the top of the wall. I paused before the wall started climbing up at an angle. The view off to the side beckoned me. Between the turrets I could see out across the small town over which this castle ruled. Houses made their way up to the base of the hill, and then the slopes were lined with vineyards. Rows of small trees ran across until they reached the base of the wall. The rock base formed into the stones and ascended to where I stood. Looking across to the other wall I could see more turrets along the wall and the tower above. This was exactly what I thought of when I though of a castle.
I started climbing up the slope that brought this exterior wall into the center of the castle. The shadows of the turrets turned upward and elongated with the slant. I shifted over to walk along the turrets so that I could climb the stone steps instead of the grass. There were small openings between the steps and the outer stones of the wall, filled with only two bars. I had to not look down into them to keep from getting vertigo, but it was surprising how high up this wall was. Finally I reached the top and looked out over the atrium of the castle. It was a plain field of mowed grass very well kept. The green stood out against the stone just as it did atop the wall. The wall I was on top of extended around the area and back behind the center building. There were tourists wandering about along the walls and throughout the courtyard. I set my pack down and took a seat along the edge of the wall, letting my legs dangle over the edge. I leaned back against the hard stone and took a closer look around.
The castle was a magnificent sight. The walls protruded massively conveying a strong sense of security. The tower raised high above, providing sight to all of the surrounding area. I thought of the lords and nobles that must have walked around in this courtyard long ago. I could almost breathe in the honor, if my nose wasn't so stuffy that day.
I looked with my eyes this time. The tourists wandered around bringing down another brick with every picture. The courtyard grass withered underneath the pair of young couples lying on top of each other making out. The tower alone stood above it all, untouched by the presence of voyeurism. But any watchman up in it would very see any advancing armies--only the chariots of tour buses, armed with 35mm rounds. I leaned forward and looked down through my dangling feet. My New Balance shoes bounced against the rock. There was no solid sound of boot or armor striking against the wall. I jumped down and landed on the freshly cut grass. The smell of grass clippings delighted my senses.
I made my way across to the exit. The base of the wall here was a type of pit filled with water weaved around large boulders that seemed like really solid lily pads. Attacking this portion of the wall would have been entirely impossible. There was a mother and her daughter posing on one of the rocks for a picture the husband was taking. "How cute," I thought. I wondered if long ago the kids at this castle played around in this water pit, or if the young adults made out on the castle lawn for that matter. I took a step back myself and snapped a photo of the castle. "It will be nice to have one of those stones at home." And I wondered how many countries this castle was in now.