Saturday, May 28, 2011


While on a late afternoon saunter around the tiny, well-preserved village of Spadola, in the mountains of Calabria, I experienced one of those strange moments where I knew what I was seeing, have seen it before, but just could not believe my eyes. There was a giraffe. It was standing in an open field along the creek all by itself. I stared. Was I really seeing a giraffe. My reason for being here is my friend on my next tour, whom I will meet at the Naples airport on Sunday, asked to come here. Her father, Dominico Tucci, immigrated from this village that time forgot, in 1913. The village has not ever been painted or gussied up for tourists. It is spotless. I saw a very old women dressed in traditional black, as opposed to chic black, picking up bits of trash as she crept along the street.
As I stared, assuring myself it was truly a giraffe, I noticed a few small trucks and some people surrounding the area. Then I recalled posters advertising a traveling circus. Here they were, camped out for the afternoon. The giraffe looked quite content, staring across the creek at me. Who knows what it was thinking!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I just finished a walk on the medieval pilgrim path for about 150 miles through Germany.
Started in Rothenburg, walked to Speyer, 116 miles. From there I turned south along the Rhine River and went to the French border, to Wissembourg.
Everyday I just walked, carrying a small backpack with a change of clothes, camera, jacket, and a lunch. The countryside was very green, with rolling hills. Charming villages with guesthouses and nice folks. Love the lace curtains, the many forests full of birds and the easy paths.
Now I am in Italy. Spent the day wandering through the Greek temples in Paestun. WOW: