5/27/10

Italy: Day 11, Hike and Hermitage



Today was the day of our hike to the hermitage. We had planned this activity at the beginning of the week as a stress reliever after we’d finished our respective articles for the course. I haven’t been running at all while I’ve been here (the hills would make things more difficult), so I was happy for the chance to get some endorphins.


Each of us left with food in tow – we brought French bread, cheeses, fiber cookies, tomatoes, crackers, and other high-energy foods. Our professor didn’t come with us, as she was compiling our assignments, but her son led the way.


This hill was treacherous. Mostly because it wasn’t a hill, it was a mountain. I was climbing a mountain, in Sperry’s, with bread and a pound of cheese in my backpack, in the heat of the morning. It was divine. A few had trouble making it to the top, but I was flying clear after the adrenaline started to kick in. Plus, the views kept me going. The beauty of the mountain is addictive.


Along the way, we found a little hut, which housed a freshwater spring. There, will refilled our water bottles and ran into some rather judgmental German kids.


We stopped at some picnic tables to eat our lunch.



When we arrived at the hermitage, we’d walked about three miles. I’m not sure which was more picturesque and serene – the walk or the hermitage. We’ve been told that this was a spot that Saint Francis and his good friend, Brother Leo, visited regularly. I can see why. The nature surrounding this religious spot is perfect. It really is unexplainable, like being part of a fictional movie.


I found a quiet spot off the main road to sit, read and pray.


We spent an hour and a half at the hermitage, and then met up once more as a group and headed down the mountain. On the way, I fell and ripped up my left leg pretty badly. Around the ankle, it looked deep enough to need stitches, but as of right now I’m doing ok with a compress. I’m not even sure if doctors do stitches around the ankle… Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt too badly.


We stopped for gelato (of course) before returning to CEFID for showers, resting, and writing our own religious “rule”.


I’m sure we’ll go out later tonight for food, drinks and socializing with the surprising number of Canadians visiting Assisi.

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