Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Viscri - another world

It was a relief to arrive here late yesterday afternoon: I hate minibus rides, especially when the road twists and turns. And it's a rough route, from the main road to this village, large one though it is, and now made celebrated by the Prince of Wales buying a house here. ("If you don't want your Prince Carolos, then may we have him?") We hear he is arriving next week for a short stay: all hush-hush.

In the wide main street of Viscri, one farmhouse is aligned (end-on) regimentally alongside another, each a different colour and with its decorated gable end; baskets hanging from pear trees, for deliveries. Mark and I have been sleeping in a large room in one of the houses, number 12, a private home. After the luxury of Casa Wagner the night before, we were sharing with two others a relatively primitive bathroom, but it wasn't far from our bedroom door and everything more or less worked. Early this morning I heard activity in the street outside: opening our window, this photograph is one I snatched - something approaching a stampede, with horses and goats alongside the cattle, all on their way to a hillside pasture.

From the street you approach our house through an archway, which gives onto a farmyard with a barn at its far end. Hens (one peering out of a dog kennel) and their chicks, ducks with their ducklings, geese and turkeys, as well as dogs and cats, are all inclined to be milling around, and there's a tractor of the sort you might almost see in a museum at home. Walking through the misty village, I saw a horse and cart brought to a house to pick up a sick calf. In a street with less elaborate houses, a Gypsy chased after an escaped pig.

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