Saturday, February 24, 2007

Going down on the snow

Flash Video!

Isabel, Macarena and I went to the big slope close to mother´s house to have some winter fun. It´s been years since I did this and it was a lot of fun. We managed to get some video and photos of the action for your enjoyment.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fresh views

Macarena and I decided to do something different last week, and boarded a flight to Italy.
Sculptures, galleries and general strolling around was on our mind. And especially, an opportunity to visit Hannah in Siena and my dear aunt Maria Gabriela and Marco in Rome.
The visit was divided in two sections; first three days in Tuscany and then three days in urbs aeterna.
After spending the night at a central hostel in Rome, we got on the train to Siena. On the way we chatted with a young man, Toni from Piacenza, about various themes and I found myself impressed by the openness and generosity of italian train passengers.
The landscape shifted as we travelled north and soon started to resemble the Tuscany that we know from so many paintings. Before long we were stepping through the narrow, winding streets of Siena. This city has a completely intact medieval city centre, which means that cars have not been given any extra space. Practically every street is pedestrian, where cars proceed shyly and inobtrusively. Taxis, however, seem to think they are ambulances on urgent mission.
We were received by my dear friend Hannah, who´s studying there this year, and we stayed in her lovely apartment. It has a really interesting design, and clearly predates IKEA by many centuries. The windows offer a view of the hills beyond the city walls. It was a very nice encounter, and luckily we could all understand each other in Italian.
The next day we proceeded to visit Pisa, the city with the emblematic angled structure. On the way we had to switch trains in Empoli, and had just enough time to do two things; get a haircut (Macarena) and do some general strolling around (me). When we arrived, the day was fantastic and, inspired by the tower, we leaned against a stone wall, basking in the sun. We resisted to take the "Look, I´m holding up the tower!"-picture.
Next day was Florence; home of great works of art, romantic bridges, coffee shops, and 50 tourists in your field of view at any given time. We took refuge in Cappelle Medicee, where members of the Medici family are buried. In the crypt, Lorenzo´s and Giuliano´s tombs face each other. Two sculptures adorn each sarcofagus - Day and Night on one side, Dusk and Dawn on the other. Sculpted by Michelangelo. What a way to rest in peace.
After these days we returned to Rome. Maria Gabriela and Marco were just returning from their stay in Chile and were kind enough to invite us to dinner despite having travelled for the past 24-hours. We stayed in the apartment of my cousin Francesca, and sent her many warm thoughts. - You have a very nice place!

Well, Rome is a wonderful city with a lifetime´s worth of sightseeing. And funny things can happen - As we were leaving the Vatican, crossing St. Peter's square, Maca recognized someone. It was Father Errazuriz, Cardinal of Chile, engaged in a dialogue with a fellow Vatican citizen. Politely we asked to have a picture taken with this distinguished gentleman, who gave us a very warm and welcoming response.

Thanks to Hannah for being with us for a few days and harboring our souls under your roof.
And a big hug for Maria Gabriela and Marco who treated us with delicious food and company.