0600 Hiking the Snowy Alps (Ita 079â€”new)
Leffe Travel Blog› entry 24 of 92 › view all entries
I want to cram in just one more town before heading back for breakfast at Massimoâ€™s. Leffe is right down the hill from Paia, where worshippers of all ages are now heading to church carrying laurel branchesâ€¦ Of courseâ€¦ this is Palm Sunday-- and I guess due to the shortage of palm leaves, they use laurel leaves instead.
Thereâ€™s a little fountain, and a couple of folks are out and socializing, giving the town a bit more of a feel of being aliveâ€¦ and a nice little park with a pond and ridge where I can take my video clip fromâ€¦
The Hike through the Snow
After breakfast Massimo took me on a drive up the mountains to where I could see Alpine snow up close and personal.
Anyways, I took my guitar along and took some good photos and clips-- both in the snow and with snowy peaks in the background. Actually there were a quite a few people hiking the trails-- all of them except us wearing proper snow boots and gearâ€¦ I noticed that everybody greeted us as we passed, so I asked Massimo about it.
â€śHere itâ€™s not really the custom to greet people when youâ€™re walking through the village-- but it is the custom to greet people when hiking in the mountainsâ€ť. Interestingâ€¦ maybe itâ€™s the camaraderie of knowing youâ€™re engaged in the same activityâ€¦
The Stadium of Milan
After our mini-mountain trek, we headed off to Milan to watch an AC Milan game-- of which Massimo is a devoted fan.
Bubaker, a Senegalese immigrant and friend of Massimo joins us. Heâ€™s a giant of a guy with a gentle heart-- a typical African immigrantâ€™s storyâ€¦ has worked here nearly 20 years, but has his wife and family in Senegalâ€¦ lives a frugal lifestyle so he can send money to his family and build a big house back home. But heâ€™s unique in that heâ€™s also an avid AC Milan fan and goes to every game.
Heâ€™s the only African that I see in the stands-- but itâ€™s cool to see him interact as â€śone of the clubâ€ť with the other folks around, all of whom own seasons tickets and are like an AC Milan close knit family.
People are a bit more civilized and restrained in the big stadium-- not as much of the screaming and â€ścreative insultingâ€ť that I heard last October in the more neighbourly Bergamo stadiumâ€¦ but the smoke and the flags and the grandiosity of the event is much more awe inspiring.
â€śHere in Italy, football is our religion, and this is our churchâ€ť I am told.
A notice goes up stating that unless the fans behave, the game will be cancelled. That seems a bit oddâ€¦ I donâ€™t see anybody seriously misbehaving. Afterwards Massimo explained that the Lazio fans were shouting some Fascist chantâ€¦ Fortunately the threats to cancel the game were not carried out and the game ended peacefully.
And that ended an eventful first day in Italy.