15 March 2012

Clear Skies A-Head

Today I needed to clear my head and get a little fresh air. So off I went, into the hills surrounding the city. I headed down the busy road, past buses and trucks, until slowly, bit by bit, the traffic lessened and the incline increased. Within no time, I was peering over the rooftops, onto the Gulfo dei Poeti, or Golf of Poets.

Ah, I was already thinking more clearly...
But still not satisfied, I continued up and around the winding mountain road, each step leaving my worries further behind until all that was left was my curiosity to see what I would discover.

I quickly came to a small collection of homes, each with their own breathtaking views.

Small paths and moss covered stairs led to secret gardens filled with fruit trees and rows of vegetables.

I kept on, rising above those homes and came to a much more rural area.

Forest ridden rocks gave way to a small ravine and cave. But I kept on rising...

Before I knew it, the cluster of homes I had just walked past were now in the distance, perched on the top of a tiny hill.

As I neared the next bend in the road, I came upon a Mimosa tree, such a bright, splendid discovery in the hills.

My curiosity drove me further. I wanted to see more—more plants, more vegetation, more scenery...
And only about 45 minutes into my walk, I was already leaving the city boundaries.

It was such a beautiful day, although it was a bit hazy and I wished I was able to the see the Apuane alps in the distance.

Going that extra mile was certainly worth it because I came upon the most lovely spring scenes of the day.

I have always loved fruit trees in full bloom.

I found purple wildflowers

and even rosemary that was abounding with flowers.

At 12 noon, sounds of church bells rang in the distance and as I looked down the road, I felt more satisfied than curious. I had no idea where I was, but I seemed to be at the top of the hill and it was clear that I had accomplished leaving civilization behind. I decided it was time to turn around and head home for lunch. 
Plus, who knew how long it would take me to get back?

In the end, it was lot faster going down the mountain than up and I walked in the door only thirty minutes later, including stopping to buy some bread for lunch. I came back refreshed, renewed and clear-headed. A great start to a spring day.

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