Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Area

Of course, vines are everywhere. This area of France is arid with rolling hills, and looks a lot like the Sicily of the Godfather pt 1 (remember when Michael visits after killing Sollozzo and McClusky in the diner and falls in love with and marries the beautiful Appolonia? That’s what it looks like here – just a bit more green.).

The small town of Quarante lies just north of the estate. It was established during the tenth century, so many of the buildings are quite old. The church that stands today is the same church that was built 1000 years ago (likely with substantial modifications, but you know – it’s really, really old). Back in 987, no one considered laying the streets out on grids, and today, Quarante is a maze of back alleys and narrow streets intersecting at ridiculous angles in the most unconventional places.

Yesterday I went running after work and was passed by more tractors hauling grapes than by real cars. Many of the roads in town are sticky from the grape juice that leaks out during transport.

Running in Quarante is also an experience, but more one of fear around every corner or actually getting lost in a town of only 1000 people. The streets are that crazy, the maps that bad, and all roads lead downhill and away. By the time I’d realize I wasn’t on the right road home, I was looking back up at the city on the hill and groaning before turning around, running back up, and trying again.

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