Perfetto/Perfekt

Today I walked around the main squares of Bolzano (or Bozen). Everything here has an Italian and a German name. I never know if a shopkeeper is going to greet me in German or Italian, so I try to have both at the ready. Either I’m making myself understood, or there isn’t as much English spoken here. Nobody starts with or replies in English, which is just as well. I can use the practice. This morning, I started out at the daily outdoor market, where I bought some fruit and baked goods. You’ve never tasted raspberries so amazing. I visited the cathedral and another famous church, both of which have frescoes dating from the 1300s. The churches here are more austere than the ones closer to Rome–their decorations are painted, with no gold or marble. Before lunch, I went to see Ötzi, who is the 5000-year-old preserved mummy that was discovered by hikers in the mountains nearby protruding from the ice.  It’s fascinating what they have been able to establish about his dress, his tools, and his lifestyle based on forensic evidence. The whole museum was dedicated to the finding, recovery, and subsequent studies. It was very cool. After that, I decided on currywurst from a street cart in the main squares, and it was delicious. I wandered around for a few more hours until it got hot and my feet got tired. I got some provisions for dinner–after 3 weeks of eating out, I may have reached my limit. Actually, the sausage and cheese shops looked so good that I decided to make my own plate. Dinner featured wild boar sausage, local cheese, fresh-baked bread, grapes, and German mustard. With fresh raspberries and chocolate for dessert. I bought a local wine, but I couldn’t get my corkscrew to work, so that’s on the list of things to find tomorrow. Gus reports that he had a great practice session this morning of 3 hours, then a lesson, and a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. I know he’ll have a great time and get a lot out of the experience, but I miss my travel companion. Tomorrow I’m planning on catching the shuttle up to Castel Roncolo, or Schloss Runkelstein (which I think sounds more medieval).

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