Today was another great day, but I am missing my travel sidekick. Gus would love this town–the blend of cultures and languages. This morning I walked to the main square to catch the free shuttle to Schloß Runkelstein. The castle is a well-preserved medieval castle (built in 1237 but restored later) with lots of intact frescoes on a hillside overlooking Bolzano. Apparently Maximillian I (founder of the Hapsburg dynasty) visited and got lots of ideas of heroes. The castle has the largest installation of secular frescoes in the world; they tell the legends of great heroes, like King Arthur and Tristan, etc. The vineyards and hillside around the castle were charming, and I had the place basically to myself. I came back down and took a leisurely walk around the University area of town. I’m thinking of how I can convince Gus to apply so I can visit and then had a lovely and leisurely lunch–a kebab with roasted vegetables and rosemary potatoes. It was very hot here today–high of 98, so I came back to the apartment for a little work and a nap to avoid the hottest part of the day. I ventured out for dinner once it had cooled off and found a handmade pasta with pfifferlingen (I’m not sure of the English equivalent; chanterelles are the closest). I remember when we stayed a few weeks in the mountains when I lived here with a host family, my host mother taught us how to collect edible mushrooms that are a local delicacy. They were delicious, as was the strudel and local wine. Tomorrow I’m catching a train to Vipiteno/Sterzing to meet a high school friend for lunch. He lives in Munich now, so it’s in the middle. It’s still in Italy, but barely.
Gus reports lessons are going well, and that food is very inexpensive where he is, so there is exactly 0 motivation to cook. At some point they get to take a field trip to San Marino. So far his lessons have been with his own teacher, but he gets to experience some other teachers starting tomorrow.