Wednesday, 31 May 2017

More Streets of Cannobio

After we had crossed the foot bridge you saw in my previous post, all we had to do was walk round the park and we were back in Cannobio.
The entire walk had not taken us very long, and we were not yet in need of a rest. So we walked around the town some more and wound our way back to the hotel slowly through some of the narrow streets we had not yet explored.
(As before, photos are a mix of mine and O.K.'s.)

We changed into clothes better suited for a restaurant visit later, and before we left, I took another picture from our patio. The rain clouds were still/again very present, but there was no more rain the whole evening and night, as far as I remember.

Tomorrow, Saturday, was already going to be our last day, as we were to leave on Sunday.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Along the River

As I said at the end of my previous post, L'Orrido di Sant'Anna was the point of return of that day's walk. The path we took back into town was close to the water's edge most of the time. We met some people with dogs, runners, cyclists and other walkers, and of course more of them the closer we got to town.

Back in Cannobio, we walked around some more and took even more pictures of the alleys and narrow cobbled roads, but these will appear in one of my next posts.

Friday, 26 May 2017

L'Orrido di Sant'Anna

To resume my posts about our week in Italy earlier this month, here is what we did on Friday, the day after the rainy Thursday.

The weather was still a little unsettled, as we could see when we opened the curtains in the morning:

 After breakfast, it already looked better, but we were still unsure about going on a longer tour. We did not want to find ourselves in the middle of heavy rainfall and/or a thunderstorm while hiking up and down a mountain, now that we knew what the paths were like!

The top of Monte Giove, where we'd been on Tuesday, was shrouded in clouds, and so were many of the other mountains:

We decided to take a walk we'd found on a leaflet at the hotel instead, taking us directly from the hotel to the Orrido di Sant'Anna, a deep and narrow river gorge with a church built on top of the rock.

Our hotel from the back and a view across Cannobio to the lake:

I seriously thought about buying this property. ("Si vende" means "for sale".) The real estate agency's advert would probably read like this: "Property with plenty of rustic charm with lake views, close to town center. You will love the airy space inside and the original features such as doors and windows!"

Walking on, past several small waterfalls and across becks swollen from yesterday's rain, the view across Cannobio changed:

This is the (locked) entrance to a spring where mineral water used to be bottled and sold in the last and next-to-last centuries:

Arriving at the gorge:

The church of Sant'Anna was locked, so we could only walk around and admire it from outside.

View from the church:

And from below:

 The water of the river Cannobino is crystal clear here:

We leisurely walked back to town on the other side of the river, not the same path we had taken to get there. It was pleasant, neither too hot nor too chilly, with the sound of the water next to us all the time.

More of the last part of our walk in one of my next posts.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Read in 2017 - 21: Mr. August

[Just a short interlude of two posts before I'll pick up my Lago Maggiore posts again. I have a back log of several more book reviews to post; amazingly, these days I seem to be reading books faster than I can review them!]

Mr. August
Jan Romes

Now, this was one of those typical works of chick lit where you know from the very start that the man and woman coming across each other under the worst possible circumstances, instantly taking a hearty dislike to each other, will end up living happily ever after.
And it is exactly how it turns out.

Also, hardly surprising, there are many obstacles to overcome before that happy ending; last but not least, the protagonists' own stubbornness. Of course, the man and the woman in question are both extremely attractive - why do some authors seem to assume love only happens to those super-beautiful people? Or do they believe the reader is not
interested in stories about ordinary people? Well, this reader certainly is; I actually find some real extraordinary stories come from the (at first glance) most ordinary lives.

Anyway, I read this to the end because it had its superficially entertaining value, and for a free ebook, it wasn't too badly edited. But none of the characters really "got to" me (and I still don't think it is funny to portray a young mother of a bunch of completely unruly kids as going through her messy and disorganised days by resorting to glasses of wine in her kitchen as soon as breakfast is over).

Not as bad as "Roses on Cliff Walk", but definitely another one you can safely pass by without missing out on anything really good.

If you are still interested in Jan Romes and her books, here is her website.

Read in 2017 - 20: The Healthy Happy Family

[Just a short interlude of two posts before I'll pick up my Lago Maggiore posts again. I have a back log of several more book reviews to post; amazingly, these days I seem to be reading books faster than I can review them!]

The Healthy Happy Family: A Family Guide to a Healthier Home on a Budget
Derek and Emily Childs

What made me download this free ebook a few years ago in the first place was the fact that I am very aware of how much my happiness depends on my health, and I know very well that what (and how much of it) I eat and drink has an impact on my health - directly and short-term as much as indirectly and on the long run.

A lot in this book is common knowledge. Don't we all know we ought to consume less fat, sugar, salt and carbs, and put more of the good stuff like fruit and vegetables in our bodies? Doesn't everybody know that the most common lifestyle in our (western) society involves way too much sitting and way too little exercise? Is it not the goal of every normal parent to have a healthy, happy family?
No huge surprises there. Still, it can help to hear (or read) good advice more than once; maybe that enables someone to make some changes for the better in their lives.

The authors are a married couple who have put together advice on shopping, cooking, eating and exercise based on their own experience. They have two young children and know that it can be a challenge to make the little ones eat healthily. Add to all that the fact that they do not have an infinite source of money (who does?), and yet they manage to buy healthy ingredients and prepare nutricious and delicious meals.

The book comes with recipes, practical tips for what you'll need in your kitchen (and what not) and some ideas on how to make it work as a family with young children, living on a budget.

As I said, no huge surprises, but presented in a nice, understandable manner, neatly divided into chapters that are not too long.
Certainly not a must-read, but definitely a can-read. (And to be honest, I am not going to make any changes in my lifestyle - be it diet or exercise - because of the book; I am already happy and generally in good health.)

There is an article and short video about the authors and their book here.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

One Rainy Day

Back already, resuming my series of posts about our week in Italy.

The next day was Thursday, and Wednesday's clouds made come true what the weather forecast had already told us: It was day of almost non-stop rain.

When we got up and opened our patio doors, this was what we found:

It did not get much better by the time we were ready for breakfast:

But it stopped long enough to allow for a quick stroll through town to find the weekly market, where we were hoping to find some souvenirs in the shape of salami, cheese and other specialties, for ourselves as well as for those back home.

It was a little disappointing; the Thursday market is VERY small, and by the time we'd found it in the maze of alleys and narrow cobbled streets, the rain started again.

We decided to leave it at that, and went to treat ourselves to a bag of sweet delights from a pasticceria.

Later in the afternoon, we set off by car to drive back along the valley of the Cannobino river. In one of our guide books, I had read about a remote village, Crealla, where no driveable road lead to until 2007. It was described as a uniquely charming, rustic place, and I really wanted to see it.
...once we were in the car and the narrow, curvy road began to wind up and down, back and forth along the steep river valley, my tummy (or, rather, its contents of sweets with butter cream and chocolate...) did not agree! I felt so sick O.K. had to stop the car a few times for me to get out, breathe some fresh air and calm down.
Strangely enough, I did not do the obvious and get rid of what was bothering me. Instead, I broke into a cold sweat and my hands felt all numb and prickly at the same time. Believe me, it wasn't fun - and at the same time I felt thoroughly embarrassed, and so sorry for having induced O.K. to drive all the way to that village, only to have him drive back in the pouring rain, without even having set foot in the village itself.

As soon as the motion of the car stopped, I felt better, and by dinner time, I was ready for a proper meal again.

The rainy day was over. Tomorrow was going to be better.