Wednesday, May 03, 2006

La Diga! (The Dam) 5.1.06

Monday was the first of May. It’s a holiday here and a lot of people showed up at the beach as if it were Sunday. That’s the way it goes here. Sundays and holidays there are a ton of people walking around – invading our quiet beach! (As if we own it!) Seriously, we much prefer the quiet of the weekdays when only the locals are here and we have the beach all to ourselves so we decided to take a short drive. Since our car accident we have had a “loaner” – a car the body shop has allowed us to use, free of charge, while our car is being fixed. And it is an OK car but not one we would trust to go very far with, so we have stayed pretty close to home.

In the morning we drove over to Ragusa Ibla and I worked a little on the painting I started of the cityscape there. Frustrated by the way it was turning out I decided to call it quits after a while and called Bob (we now have two cell phones!) and we went in search of a place to have lunch. There is a restaurant just outside Ibla called La Stazione, built in a former train station. The setting is beautiful and we have wanted to try it for a while, so the timing seemed right to go there. What we did not know was that on certain Sundays and Holidays they have what they call “barbeque” – they cook meats on a grill and serve all these wonderful appetizers and vegetables on a big table, like at a barbeque at someone’s house on the 4th of July – only much, much better than hot dogs and beans!!! We had roasted potatoes, grilled eggplant, broccoli, assorted cheeses, roasted onions (Bob especially loved those!), sun dried tomatoes (in olive oil, some of the best we’ve ever had), roasted peppers, potato croquettes and more, plus some of the best bread we’ve eaten in Italy! They grilled chicken, veal, pork and thin slices of beef. It was all served buffet style-help yourself and for 16.50 euros each, it also included wine and water. We sat outside in this garden area and it was delightful.

Afterwards we drove the short distance to Lago Rosalia to see if we could find the dam that Elio told us about. We have been to this area a few times but have never actually found the dam (diga). Boy did we luck out! We found the gate at the road Elio described but when we got there the gate was locked. We stood around a bit trying to peak over the gate to see if we could catch a glimpse of the dam and within a few minutes a man showed up from the other side of the gate, opened it and drove through, locking the gate again on our side. Obviously, he worked there. Bob started asking him about the lake and where it went and for some reason he must have taken a liking to him, he told us we could go in. He opened the gate for us and we thought he was telling us that we could drive all through it and he would meet us at the other side in 10 minutes, after stopping to see his wife. We couldn’t believe our good fortune and quickly drove through the gate trying not to stay too long there at the dam – where the water flows under the mountain – and proceeded on to the other point, waiting for him to return to unlock the other gate.

Goofballs that we are, we didn’t realize what he was really telling us was to go through past the dam, after looking at it and taking our photos, to the house, where his wife was and inviting us for coffee! We did not at all understand that this was what he meant and after about an hour (and us starting to wonder what happened to him) he came to the other gate where we were waiting and explained what he had said earlier. Then we understood! We felt really bad that we hadn’t understood completely and had missed that opportunity but being allowed to go in and see the diga was enough. We thanked him very, very much and he showed us how to open the gate and go out. When we told Elio what we had done, he laughed and said that he had never been beyond the gate! How lucky are we?

The area around the lake is very beautiful also and on this holiday many people were out having picnics and enjoying their day off. It was interesting to see all the families with kids out playing by the lake, eating and just hanging out together, young and old alike. It was a very enjoyable day all in all.

Buon maggio!
Rosemary & Bob

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