Today was quite an adventure! We went, by train to Castel Gandalfo, a small southern Italian city where Pope Emeritus Benedict now lives. For many years, this has been the vacation or retreat spot for popes. A few months before our vacation, I told Bruce about a dream I had. We were coming up to a hill, and I said, "Let's go up and see what's there." In my dream, we actually saw Benedict! Well, that part of the dream didn't come true...but the hill part did! I had no idea how what a climb it would be from the train station to the main piazza in town. Even Bruce said, "It didn't look this steep on Google Earth!" I nearly forgot to mention that on the way to Castel Gandalfo, our train broke down! We had purchased food for a picnic lunch. Instead, we ate while temporarily stranded in a different station. Not exactly the romantic stop Bruce had planned! Silver lining of the day: we were stranded for an hour, but we were still in ITALY!
Okay, back to Castel Gandalfo. When we arrived, we saw lots of stairs just to get up to street level. Fortunately, several kind people helped carry me in my chair. Then Bruce got a workout! Steep hill; narrow sidewalks; cars zooming on the long and winding road. A few scary moments, but at least the scenery was spectacular.
Once we arrived at the top, we saw so much...again! This definitely qualified as an unexpected blessing! The village was so quaint and charming, and there were many people visiting. (Perhaps other people wanted to get a glimpse of Benedict as well!) I could never get tired of the beauty here! There was a small church for the locals, several cute shops, and the residence for Benedict. We did not see him, but I waved up toward the window!
After visiting for a while, we headed back down the hill, praying for safety the whole way! We nearly had a major incident on the stairs at the station, but once again, a kind stranger assisted us. I don't know how many miles Bruce has already walked during this trip, but it has been a lot! It has also been so worth while...as the churches and scenery have been breathtaking. I am immensely blessed to be here with him! Already, I want to come back. Any takers?