Menton, Dolceacqua and Apricali
Peter Beers

6/25/2007: Monday was a day for doing work projects around the house. Laura, Josy and Herb all worked on improving the apartment. I had work stuff to do so I spent the day writing test blueprints and designing test cases. I went to Micrologic and logged into the internet to do some work and answer e-mail. It was a mellow, relaxing day. The first three photos below are from dinner and a walk after dark.

6/26/2007: We took the day to go to Italy and explore a few towns that we hadn't been to before.

Dolceacqua (Sweet Water?) is a small town just across the Italian border and up the valley from the coast. It was beautiful. The arched bridge was lovely and quite an architectural marvel. We walked around the old city and were a little sad that the castle wasn't open. They're renovating and don't need a bunch of tourists running around.

We ate some ice cream, bought some wine and water and a few souvaniers and headed further up into the mountains.

The town of Apricali was a true find. This little Italian town is nicely purched on the side of a mountain. We found a place to park (luckily) and walked up into town. I think we all were a bit tired at this point. The walk up was a bit more relaxed than we'd done in the days before.

What we found in the main square definitely peaked our interest. The town of Apricali has its own sport. It is a combination between hand ball and baseball to the best of my knowledge. It has been played for years. There are two teams, complete with uniforms and maybe even sponsors. One player has his hand wrapped so that it looks almost like a club. He stands in the square and takes a hard rubber ball and wacks it with his wrapped hand so that it flies up into a narrow street. Luckily all the shutters are closed. Additionally, there are nets on top of the roofs and behind the square so that the ball doesn't get lost quite so easily. Once the ball flies up into this street, the other team attems to hit it back down into the square. The first team tries to block the ball from being hit back down into the square. Points are awarded for no reason we could figure out. There was a lot of discussion about what was going to happen. For no reason we could define, the teams switched places periodically. We thoroughly enjoyed the game. The whole town came out to watch. There were signs up all over the town announcing an upcoming tournament. It was great to watch.


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