This week continues in Italy. After saying our goodbyes to some of the family we moved to a new house about 20mins away in an area of Garfagnana I'm less familiar with. This week was all about relaxing together as a family of 4, with lots of sitting around and playing in the pool. And that's exactly as it went, well almost.
I did manage a few recces noting the odd location that I'd like to explore on a future trip. But first we had a day in the gorgeous city of Lucca, the areas capital. With city walls and ancient buidings within, its always a delight to spend time here even if the kids did moan about the long walk along the top of the walls.
By the end of the day there was some lovely light filtering through the old narrow streets as it reflected against the stunning buildings. At Piazza San Michele in front of the stunning Marble Church I caught some of that light.
One other evening I managed to persuade everyone to come a run in the car into the mountains on the road to Massa on the coast which lies on the west side of the Alpi Apuane. I remember the road from my childhood when we would make the journey to the beach usually on a Sunday. I recall stopping at numerous marble quarries where my uncle or parents would collect the odd piece lying around to use in their garden or fireplace. On revisiting I found most of these quarries had fallen by the wayside and were left to ruin but with this was a ghostly feeling that was intriguing leading to me adding it to the must return to explore list.
The little town of Arni has a quarry road that leads straight up the mountain to a pass giving access to a stunning ridge and 360 panoramic views. I could only pin the spot for the future since we didn't have a 4x4 or the time to walk it. I kept telling myself I'd get up one morning and do it myself but time ran out for me. Back on the road to Massa there is a long tunnel cut through a mountain and in the evening you can ses the light of the sunsetting at the end of it as you drive through. When you emerge there is a glorious view out over the mountain top quarries and out towards the Mediterranean Sea, it's quite breathtaking.
It would be great to get to know this place better as there appears to be endless compositions that could be complimented by the changing light throughout the year. For this brief stop though it was just a case of trying to take it all in before we jumped back in the car after some mountain goats above kindly dislodged some stones which hurtled towards us. A good time to leave we thought.
One morning I returned to a location to confirm my belief that the sun would take too long to clear the mountains at this time of year resulting in harsh light hitting a particular ridge I had seen. I was right enough and with clear skies again there was little atmosphere to work with so these again are images made just to note the location for later in more favourable light and conditions but at least I will know where to go when I do made that return.
We did start to get some evening cloud in the skies towards the end of the week as the heat was building into no doubt a brief thunderstorm to clear the air probably just after we left. It helped create some colour and drama as we watched the sun go down from the poolside on those last nights. Views we already miss.
On our penultimate night we went back round to Barga for dinner and take in the hustle and bustle of Friday nightlife in this gorgeous town. Everyone dresses for the occasion and all the young ones fill the streets with their enthusiasm and lust for life. The sound of music and song from bars and each little Piazza as you pass creates a wonderful atmosphere and somewhere I could sit all night just observing people.
So it was all over and time to go home. Two brilliant weeks with family and friends, along with some locations I hope to visit again soon with photography more on my mind. But for this trip there was only one highlight and it was spending it with my wife and these two little stars.
Thank you once again for reading and allowing me to share #MyOrdinaryWeek with you, I do hope it is of some interest to you and that it doesn't come across as self indulgent as that couldn't be further from my intention.
I am hoping to move the publish day from Monday to Thursday for these blogs as I am beginning to think it's easy (especially on Twitter) for the link on social media to be lost in Mondays traffic. This will also bring the blog more up to date with less of a gap from the actual week to the time I put it down in the blog. With this I hope you will excuse two posts in a week this week but with a quieter week to come it won't be that big a blog to crossover with.
So once again thank you for taking the time to read this and feel free to get in touch or leave a comment.
Until next week........... (a few days :) )