Merano, Italy in spring
I'm traveling back to Italy soon, in the beautiful autumn (autunno, in Italian). My good friend in Germany has invited me again to accompany her and her friends to Merano for their twice annual gathering at a small, gemütlich (cozy, in German) hotel in the hills above Merano, with food and a wine list to die for. It also has its own health spa, pool and sauna which are gorgeous. We'll spend 3 nights there, eating, laughing, hiking and shopping in Merano. Last time, I bought the most supple, yummy leather purse for a very reasonable price. Maybe shoes this time? Then, we'll drive back to Munich for a few days before I take the train to Switzerland to visit another friend there.
The autumn is my favorite time to visit, for the beauty of the colors and the heady smell of humus and leaves, the quality of the flushed sunlight, seeing the grapes harvested as we drive through the countryside, the cows enjoying the end of the year before they're put into the barns for winter (cow bells in the early morning is a wonderful sound while still nestled under a big feather bed), the evening fog settling onto the fields like a blanket for the night and not least because of the mushroom foraging opportunities and mushroom and chestnut dishes on every menu. Pure delight for me. My face starts to hurt from all the smiling!
These places are becoming a second home to me and it feels good. It especially pleases me when someone asks me for directions and I can actually help them! Pretty cool.
Now, I'm off to my own woods to hunt for mushrooms - found some chanterelles yesterday. Have to sharpen my eyes for future foraging!