Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Walking with Angels. Villafranca to Aulla

We had a good nights rest on a good matrimonial bed, even though the room had no heat and  we were downstairs for breakfast at 7am. The Albergo Restarante Signor had our table ready in the far room which we assume was reserved for hotel guests. We were a little concerned about our bill this morning, more on that later. We were given a basket of fresh buns with butter and jams. He also brought a pot of coffee and one of hot milk. This is exceptional for breakfast. We devoured the buns and he brought us some more along with a bottle of juice each. At supper last night we ordered a dinner soup for the first course and it was delicious. Then we ordered roast beef. One with zucchini and one with potatoes. Charlotte got a plate of thinly sliced zucchini and I got a plate of French fries. Then came the plates of roast beef. The plates had about eight slices of very thin roast beef. The slices were brown on the outside rim and literally almost uncooked on the inside. I had to tell them that we couldn't eat it and to take them back. We then ordered chicken instead which came as fried chicken breast. When the meat course comes it only has meat on the plate. I am not sure, but this might have been the first thing I have ever sent back in a restaurant for something we couldn't eat. We didn't know how they were going to deal with this on the bill but it was okay. He returned our passports and stamped our credentials and we were on our way. It was a short day again today with forest trails and one long steep climb. There was quite a bit of mud in some parts but then we walked along a a Roman road with quite a lot of the stones still intact. We came across a beautiful Roman arch bridge over a small stream. The bridge had a slight turn to it which was different. It is amazing how straight the outside row of stones is on these roads, as well as their uniform size. We had come down some very steep clay paths with deep ruts that made walking quite difficult not to slide down. Fortunately it did not rain heavily until we reached Aulla and then it absolutely poured and we donned our ponchos before reaching the Abbazia di San Caprasio. We received a warm welcome with coffee and cookies before they showed us to a three bed dorm with great facilities. This is on a donation basis and we will deposit the key in the mailbox when we leave along with a 20E donation which is kind of standard fit two people in these places. We are fortunate to have such a great facility. The church and museum is right beside us and Sigeric stopped here in 990 or so and the church has been here in one form or another since the nineth century. It is one of the very oldest pilgrim refuges in Italy. The museum depicts pilgrim garb as well as a religious one. We have a lady staying here as well that we met today who is a pilgrim from the Netherlands. She is going on to Rome although she is talking about getting on the train tomorrow morning and going to the coast and walking the Cinque Terre. It is only a 20 minute train ride from here and the five village Unesco site is about 12 kilometres in length. I brought it up but C thought it best we keep our eye on the ball. This site we are at right now was heavily bombed in 1944 and one of the pictures is of a British bomb that didn't explode in the church.

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