Monday 23 September 2013

Day 14 Pavia to Santa-Cristina 27.9 km

Monday 23rd Sept  Pavia to Santa-Cristina 27.9 km

We've decided to cut a few days walking through the flat agricultural farmlands, so we have enough time to detour into Florence - Firenze. We hopped on the 7:17 am Train from Robbio to Pavia. We'll miss out on walking through Motara and Santuario-Madonna-Della-Bozzola, about 61 km walking.
Had quite an interrupted sleep last night, two bell towers outside our accommodation ringing their bells on the hour, all night one after the other! Ear plugs didn't cut out the bell ringing either!
Looking out of the train window, we're passing more (mosquito ridden) agricultural farm land, and its also quite foggy this morning.
Had quite a cool start to the day walking through Pavia, we stocked up on picnic lunch supplies, and had our Caffé doppio for breakfast. (I'm actually missing our home breakfasts... they seem impossible to get here in Italy though... I'm craving a bowl of fruit and yoghurt, or poached egg on toast...)
Walked thought the old city, past the amazing San Michele Lombardy cathedral, built in the twelfth Century. 
Intricate stone carvings abound
I really need a tripod for the  camera for the low light photos... I'm not showing the amazing interior effectively...
Cyclists are often formally dressed, ready for every occasion!
Walked Past the old pilgrims hospice and church of San Lazzaro, built in 1157 on the outskirts of Pavia - could see some frescoes faintly on the walls, I love the simplicity of the timber roof and unadorned walls..
where I think we made this lovely lady's day, she stamped our credenzas.

Outside of Pavia, the scenery quickly becomes rural, more rice, corn, soya beans and hay.
Had our picnic  lunch is the shade in a little village called Belgioioso! no, that's not a spelling error - that's musical Italiano vowels!
Harvest is in full swing here.

Watching the big round hay baler at work bought back memories of helping out at our our friend's, the Hutton's dairy farm on the Sth Coast NSW. We'd put of old jeans, long sleeved shirts and gloves- even though it was so hot! to protect us from prickles and getting scratched by the hay, then spend time stacking the hay bales up into the hay sheds, all working together, getting thoroughly hot, sweaty and dirty. The afternoons' work would be followed by a cool swim in the dam, then one of Graham's cold, strong, home brews! Such good times, and so satisfying to share a drink and chat after some hard physical work with friends! Once the big round hay balers came into action, we didn't need to help out with the stacking any more...  a downside of mechanization.

Lovely old church in the distance, lots of fishing going on in the irrigation canals around here, not sure what they're catching!

Santa Cristina is a lovely little town, our parish accommodation is just to the left, at the church as we entered town. There are a total of five pilgrims staying together at Santa Cristina tonight! We all have dinner together at the trattoria /pizzeria just a few hundred meters down the road- 
The other three pilgrims are Daniel from Italy - Aosta, Alessandro a retired gentleman from near Venice (who walks a different pilgrimage each year) and tall Vincent from Belgium. Vincent and Daniel both speak some English, we have a great conversation over vino rosso, antipasti and rissoto! The manager of the pilgrim accommodation stopped by to say hello after dinner, and showed us the interior of some of the original buildings of Santa Cristina, now privately owned which have centuries old remains of frescoes.(you can see some faintly in the photo below)

Slept very well after our long 28 km walk and lovely dinner.

Accommodation Santa Cristina

Parish of Santa Cristina
Address: Via Vittorio Veneto, 118 - Santa Cristina
Phone: 0382 70106, 333 3429685
Type: Religious Structure
Open: All year round
Price: OFFER
Number of places: 6 + 25 beds on the ground
Kitchen use: NO

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