21.06.2011 35 °C
Well we all had to get up fairly early as Branko (handyman) was coming over to check over a couple problems such as a flickering kitchen light as well as a dripping hot water heater (that was also heating too hot). He paid a visit to the neighbors one house down so that delayed his arrival time here. Once he investigated and left, we went to visit the cemetary and church at the top of Brdo (which means Hill in english btw). Actually this is Brdo proper with only one family still residing there.
Here is the view of what you see as you come up the hill. There is a shrine that is attended to by the only remaining family in Brdo proper (Jolanda and her daughter Bruna). You can see the tower and yet look on the left at the beauty of the ruins of a time long past. I find this so beautiful and touches me somehow.
The clock/bell tower was used as a main communications system for the villagers near and far. Of course it announced time (and still does). During the summer it starts to ring at 7 am and the last time rung in is at 9 pm. It rings one type of bell each quarter hour and on the hour a deeper sounding second bell rings to announce the hour. So in case that sounded confusing this is what happens. At 12 noon the clock will ring the first set of bells four times - then there is a pause and the second set of bells ring twelve times announcing the hour. At 12:15 the bell will ring once, at 12:30 it will ring twice - at 12:45 it will ring three times and at 1pm it will ring four times, then pause and then again ring once with another set of bells to announce 1pm. In the photo below you can see a little bit of the church on the right.
Of course the Bell Tower was used to announce other events as well. You knew when a marriage was taking place and when some loved one had departed this good earth. My father even recalls in times of great storms how the bells would ring in its danger. A last little note on this tower - it is the only one lit up at night in this area and for this often entices visitors to investigate the beauty of this otherwise unknown little special place. When I will take the picture I will show you how from the distance you can see the Tower and two houses on the mountainside - one of which is ours (the other is the neigbor below us).
The cemetary overlooks the valley and mountains - inlcuding Mount Ucka. It is estimated to be over 300 years old (one reason due to the roman numerals found inscribed in the area). It is well looked after and tidy and so .... peaceful.
The parents (my grandparents) of my father, Irma and Laura are buried here as well. The first plot is of my grandmother and the second is of my grandfather.
Once the visit was complete, the plan was that Irma and Laura were going into town to look for a washing machine and I was going to go over to a flat part of the land next to the house to suntan (I need the color ... heck it is summertime afterall ;0) This parcel of land is called Brajdice (roughly pronounced braditseh) and in the past this parcel of land was used for beekeeping and for drying clothes (they had a couple of lines). It was also used to collect and cut and dry grass for hay for the bulls, cows and donkey.
Well, even the best laid plans don't always work out. My dad wasn't feeling so hot today and spent some time in bed (but he is ok now - much too fatigued I think). Branko never showed up with the new water heater so going into town as planned did not come to pass. As for me, I no longer felt I wanted to suntan (sun is scorching and yeah I know --- it is only June and it will get worse by July .... but by then I will have adjusted better I'm sure - and the sea awaits my arrival any day now). Besides I am working up a tan just by walking around ;0)
So after a wonderful lunch of scrambled eggs and asparagus with a little of panceta tossed in (super yum - Laura is a wonderful cook I have to tell you) it was time for all of us to take a little fiesta. Dad sat partially in the sun warming up his feet, Irma and Laura took a little nap and I decided to update the blog and go around the property snooping to take more pictures (thank goodness for digital cameras as I can snap as many as I like).
So that is it for today. I feel more and more relaxed every day and knowing we have a reliable person looking after our house in Montreal while we are here takes off a lot of pressure. Thank you Tauja from the bottom of our hearts!!!!
The next two days are holidays (one is a state holiday and the other is a church holiday) so just about everything will be closed probably with exception of some grocery stores. This means a trip to Mount Ucka (pronounced oochka) - also known as Monte Majore - to fill up all our water reserves tomorrow. We do have running water, however, it is rainwater held in cisterns and we use it only for washing and cooking. This will be fun I am sure!