Montserrat and Santiago

In this past week, that I spent in Barcelona, I did a little trip out of town with my friend Cristina. We went to the monastery of Montserrat and I really loved it! There was a fresh air scented of resin up there, and a stupendous wiew on the mountain with these particular cylindric rocks. Inside the monastery was the statue of the Virgin, that everybody aimed to touch to express a prayer. It’s a really beautiful place, go if you have the chance. In the meanwhile, up here is the video-report of my trip.

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santiago-pilgrimage-mapThen yesterday, while I was in the plane returning to Italy, I started an interesting conversation with a couple sit beside me, approximately of the age of my parents. She casually mentioned that they were returning from the pilgrimage to Santiago, and it was curious that I read the pilgrimage by Coelho just the week before, otherwise I wouldn’t even have known what she was talking about.

I told them I was actually surprised: when I read the book I figured that the pilgrimage was an “ancient” thing, that in modern days almost nobody would cross by foot the north of Spain, from the Pyrenees to Santiago. I was wrong! Not only they just made it in 35 days (as they explained me, the duration varies according to each pilgrim’s strength), but they also told me that there are spefic stations for the pilgrims along the way, where they can sleep and eat at “pigrim prices”, like 5 euro. And they said those stations were crowded!

Tired but clearly happy for the experience, the woman explained me that these hostels for the pilgrims headed to Santiago are very spartan: when you’re lucky you have a room where you sleep with other 2, 4 pilgrims… but sometimes there are huge dorms with even 100 other pilgrims. In some cases there are common showers for men and women!

For the husband, it was the third time he completed the pilgrimage, while his wife did it for the first time. They walked for hours every day, and she even fell once and hit her head. This explained the scar in the forehead, but she showed it to me with a philosophical smile. I saw some of their pictures, heard few stories about the small towns they crossed, I guess they had a very fascinating experience. It’s definitely a big commitment and it requires stamina, but who knows, maybe I’ll do it too one day!

Pieris Rapae attacking our broccoli!

My father, who is getting very good at farming, planted a lot of broccoli this month. We know from my granpda Benedetto, who has been planting broccoli for decades, that sometimes the broccoli plants are infested by green caterpillars. Those caterpillars are a serious treat, because they devoure the leaves ferociously!

pieris-rapae-eggs-yellow

pieris-rapae-eggs-white

Today, while we were watching my father’s plants, that are growning nicely so far, we realized that those white butterflies who were flying gently in the garden could actually be the originators of those caterpillars. They were small and white, with a black spot of their wings. After searching on google images, we had our suspects confirmed: they were Pieris Rapae butterflies! We inspected the leaves of the broccoli and found the eggs they were lying! These are two groups of eggs that were attached to the back pages of two different leaves. Interestingly, and I don’t know why, a set of eggs was yellow, while the other set was white.

We also found a caterpillar that was already developed, ready to attack the plants! Here’s the video I made of it. Very cute, but unfortunately for him we had to separate him from his favorite food.

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Walking around the Vatican

This evening I went for a walk around the Vatican, something I had not done for awhile. Essentially, I forced myself out today, as I’ve been sort of locked in the hasta-per-selfieouse the whole week, due to my sore bones. Near Castel Sant’Angelo there were the usual street vendors, selling gadgets and touristy stuff. The weird thing is that usually they try to call the tourist’s attention saying “hello? hello?”. These evening instead they were saying “selfie? selfie? selfie?”. …”what the fuck?” I tought. I turned and saw that it made sense, in fact were selling these things: telescopic poles to take selfies! 😯

Anyway, there is this t-shirt that I saw in a shop in via della Conciliazione. pope-souvenir-trashDo we want to talk about it? Pure papal trash. Love it. (the words say “the pope who came from the end of the world”)

Third comes this short video that I made. I love so much the area around st Peter’s square. As a friend made me notice, I hang around the Vatican a lot, for someone who sistematically bashes religions. 🙂

old videos – da caricare