03 June 2015

Country Chic

June 2nd at Castle Brunnenburg was full of fun and excitement! When I got up the first thing I did was go to see if my clothes had been cleaned (they had) and hang them on the line to dry - I felt very accomplished:

The castle is a champion of sustainability, which means that they like to be self-sufficient and use as little energy as possible. They use solar panels and hang their clothes on the line to conserve energy.

Then on to breakfast (wonderful as always - Nutella is decadent) and Dr. Redman's class. We had a special visitor for lecture, Mary de Rachewiltz, the Princess, came to speak to us about her book. She is a charming lady, sharp as a tac and well-rounded. She can speak multiple languages fluently and is gracious and eloquent. She answered all of our questions about her book and told us tales about her time as a secretary in a German hospital in World War II. 

After Dr. Redman's class we went to lunch. Brigitte made us the best dessert I have had in Italy thus far and, as always, the entrees and salad were scrumptious:

Our second day of class was a national holiday in Italy (Republic Day - their version of the Fourth of July) so instead of lecture with Dr. de Rachewiltz we had a field trip. We hiked for what seemed like hours (pretty sure it was only about twenty minutes) up the mountain to Schloss Tirol, a big castle that dwarfs Brunnenburg. 

Unbeknownst to me, Dr. de Rachewiltz had been the director of the Schloss Tirol Museum for 21 years! He knew the place inside and out. He took us on the best guided tour of my life, explaining in depth all the artwork and sculptures, and how they had found the many artifacts that were on display in the Museum - very Indian Jones like stuff. Archaeologists discovered the age of the building based on the rings on trees used as timber for the roof and floor of the castle. By measuring the distance between rings they can match the boards with the year the tree was felled and date the castle! Dr. de Rachewiltz tour was informative and extremely interesting. 

Then back to the town, Dorf Tirol, for some exploring - we never did find the fruit stand. We returned to the castle for dinner. I cooked for Natalie. We had zucchini, eggplant and shallots with tomato sauce and a tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad. 

I was very surprised at how well it turned out since I usually don't cook. Thank you mama for the advice! 

After dinner we had to do homework. I was up until midnight reading all of our texts, but they were very informative. One of the books assigned (as I think I've mentioned before) is The Odyssey. I was assigned two books from that, and those were a pleasure to read. 

This morning - June 3rd - I woke up and went to breakfast. I made myself a cappuccino - sorry, no picture, but believe me it was good! - and then went to class. No Mary today, but we went over the history of Venice in preparation for our Venice course, looking over some important dates and terms. It was particularly interesting to learn about how the IV Crusade (which I learned about last semester) affected Venetian architecture and artwork. When the Venetians sacked Constantinople with the Christian Crusader army they brought back much spoil and many building techniques which make Venetian buildings a unique blend of Gothic, Byzantine and Islamic styles. 

Then lunch - I ate my meal before I remembered to take a picture, but here's one of dessert:

It was a chocolate pudding with tangy whipped cream and ripe apricots
Then on to Dr. de Rachewiltz's class where we discussed etymology some more (very intriguing) and The Odyssey! Then the "exciting" part of my day - while skipping back to my dorm I fell! 

I scraped up my hands and bruised my back a little, but I'm ok. The dangers of wearing flip flops in the mountains...not my smartest decision. 

Now, as the day draws to a close, I sit here listening to the birds sing, thinking about all the reading I have yet to do, and enjoying the peace that Italy offers. The beauty of this mountain shows the mighty power of God and the sky shouts out his praise. I am so thankful to be here! 

To one who has been long in city pent,
Tis very sweet to look into the fair

And open face of heaven, — to breathe a prayer

Full in the smile of the blue firmament.

~John Keats, Sonnet XIV

Goodnight, friends, from Castle Brunnenburg.


The Militant Pacifist said...

We want to try that recipe when you get back to Texas!

Enchanted Etymologist said...

I'm game! :) I think I could definitely improve on it (some parmesan cheese would be good) but the bare bones recipe was pretty good! Especially since I invented it on the fly. :) I love you!