Thursday, April 4, 2019

A Birthday and a Wet Wanderlust Wednesday

Wednesday, 3 April, 2019

Happy 43rd birthday to our youngest son . . .

. . . Michael!

He is seen here with our grandson Jacob at one of their 1880s' rules baseball games.

With Michael in Chihuahua, Mexico

Last August we both helped coach the Europe Warriors all-star team to a 19-10 victory over the University of Chihuahua Águilas.

If our youngest son is now 43, then how old are we?

It was time for another Wanderlust Wednesday but it would be a wet one as it was raining for only the fourth day since I arrived in Varese in mid-January.

My adjustment to the weather was to simply not travel as far as I normally do on these explorations.

So where to you ask?

A drive to the western shores
of Lago Maggiore sounded good

Even in the rain, the signs of our warm, sunny Winter and Spring were all around us.

 The first sight in my goal city of
Verbania, population 31,100,
was a CHURCH!

Imagine that.

Make that TWO churches!

As is typical in Italy, these two Roman Catholic churches were about 100 meters apart.

I stepped into the Chiesa di San Giuseppe.

 Nice side altar

An excellent ceiling

On to the second church in Verbania's Pallanza neighborhood, the Chiesa di San Leonardo.

Old paving techniques meet
modern day driving issues

OH GOD, not another American
tourist taking pictures!

 Six-Pack Abs

 Is she on fire?

I'm all for demure golden
main altars

 John the Baptist baptizing
his cousin Jesus seems appropriate
at the Chiesa's baptismal font

Onward to the Lago Maggiore lakefront . . .


Let's take a closer look at its soldiers . . .

Bundled up on a rainy day

Serious Warrior

I like their leggings

A WWI bomber pilot

 I think the one on the left
might be an Alpini

The Alpini are Italy's crackerjack mountain fighting troops who historically have patrolled and guarded Italy's northern alpine border.

Rugged men were needed for
this savage war to be sure

The view of Lago Maggiore from
the Monument on a wet Wednesday

Hotel Row along the
Lago Maggiore shoreline

 The quiet, wet streets of Verbania's
Pallanza neighborhood

Given the weather and the time, it was about 2:00 p.m., not many people were out and about.

At this time of day most people are home with their families enjoying the tail end of their shared lunches.

I liked walking in this light rain and seeing things in the lonely streets like these . . .

. . . colorful alcohol related bar signs

Time for a spritz?

Brandy would be good tonight
if it gets colder and I get wetter

A local specialty it seems

Now, these two fellows are dressed

 A random Pallanza house
had a fine mural on display


I just love Italian courtyards
with splendid arcades

This old Verbania theater needs
some work to be sure

 My walk circled me back
to the quiet lakeshore

Cool looking boat, don't you think?

I got back into my car to drive over to another of Verbania's neighborhoods known simply as Intra.

Intra had a Roman Catholic Church

It turned out that it would not be the only one in the Intra neighborhood.

Again, who would have guessed?

This first church that I entered
in the Intra neighborhood was the
Basilica di San Vittore

I entered to find . . .

. . . a beautifully decorated church

I love cupola art

Colorful Marble

Back on Intra's streets, I saw . . .

. . . Laurie wearing a Michael Contreras
inspired fake mustache while
pumping cherries

Heavy cherries too, at least that was my interpretation of this piece of art.

Tangled Up in Blue . . .

Just liked its looks

Laurie's favorite Italian
word "Cinque"

Cinque means five.

The Italian catch-all word allora runs a close second.

 Sun dials don't help much
on cloudy days

 A beautiful Intra piazza

I liked the ironwork atop this
caffé's overhang

 Verbania's Ferry Boat dock

I decided right then and there to use the ferry to cross Lago Maggiore to the city of Laveno when I was ready to go home. 

Although a bit more expensive than the toll roads I took to get to Verbania, it would cut about 30 minutes off of my drive back to Varese.

Plus, who doesn't enjoy a boat ride?

But first I wanted to walk along Intra's shoreline.

 Intra's tribute to Verbania's
World War I fallen heroes

There were lots . . .

. . . and lots of them for
a city of this size

Some words about WWII I believe 

I will return to Verbania
with Laurie when the sun
is out to be sure

A colorful fountain but say,
is that a church in the background?

 Yes it was, the Chiesa di San Rocco

What a GREAT hat to wear to a beheading!

A good use for an old bike
at a café

My kind of store!

Hams hanging EVERYWHERE!


 A colorful but closed ristorante

It was a Wednesday after all.

The Italian National Parachuting
Association provided the drinking
water fountain next to this sign

 More random street art

Giuseppe Garibaldi
Italy's #1 Hero of the mid-1800s
Unification Movement

An Alpini statue near the
Ferry Boat entrance

Aboard the half-full ferry
to Laveno just across
Lago Maggiore

 We pushed on across a calm, glum
Lago Maggiore

Once home, I had just enough time to make some dinner before heading into Varese's historic core to the BellaVita Caffé, closed on Wednesdays, for a special meeting of the Skorpions defensive squad to review more of the Cernusco Daemons game videos.

Since the BellaVita is owned by Skorpions NG Andrea Gorini, we had free rein of the place even though they were not open for business.

It was a good, productive meeting aiding in our preparations for Saturday night's big game.

I saw this great photo today on Facebook . . .



How can Michael possibly be 43 years old?


David said...

You know, people just don't dress with the same sense of style for beheadings these days.

George said...

Isn't THAT the truth!