Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hi-Yo, Silver, away!

I'm a westie, not a pony!

Slowly, but surely, Miss Maddie the alpine westie is gaining back her strength and stamina on these brief walks that we take around the mountainside. The hot summer temps are fading away, maybe too fast for my liking, but in the coolness of digits less than 70°F, the dogs handle it much better outdoors. We came across an old hotel over the weekend, its exterior still in good shape even if the property was no longer in operation. Along the outside wall, iron rings were firmly attached for way back in the days when people traveled by horse. An iron boot remover/puller was firmly embedded right next to the entrance. I've never taken riding lessons, but now I'm thinking, wouldn't it be fun to go on a vacation through the italian countryside only on horseback? I believe there are already these types of eco-tourism here, and I've read about one where you travel by donkey instead. The dogs would probably prefer to walk it themselves, as long as the pace was kept to a trot.

Boot remover


Blogger Brad Farless said...

There's a girl I know in Australia that has a fascination with horses and goes riding at every opportunity. I've only ridden once myself. It was enjoyable, but I wonder how my butt would feel after riding for a few hours.

The place you found sounds really interesting. It's neat to hear that there are still iron rings and boot pullers in the wall. I wonder how old the place is, and why it's no longer in operation? Just the atmosphere would be a puller, especially for tourists.

8:02 PM, September 08, 2009  
Blogger Titania said...

Rowena there is certainly a question written in her face. I have never been a great horseback rider but the countryside looks good from higher up! Thanks for calling in. In this and that I have featured Louie my daughters and her partners Westie. she sometimes comes to visit Billy.
Enjoy a lovely autumn with lots of chestnuts. Yummy!

8:05 PM, September 08, 2009  
Blogger Ann said...

Whatever you are!!
~You are totally Cute ;)

8:10 PM, September 08, 2009  
Anonymous Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

"wouldn't it be fun to go on a vacation through the italian countryside only on horseback?"

...YES! This is my personal dream, and I live here and work in the industry! I can't wait to do this for myself one day...

9:29 PM, September 08, 2009  
Blogger Frizzy said...

How many times have I wished I knew what my dogs were thinking. Maybe it's a good thing we can't really read their minds. LOL

1:15 AM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger K and S said...

What a cool discovery...I wonder if they still have those donkey tours in Molokai??

1:44 AM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

So sweet that girl is. Love the pictures.
Oh and I have an award for you. Come by.

5:12 AM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger OkiHwn said...

Still get the Mule Tours - $150/person.

5:58 AM, September 09, 2009  
Anonymous RONW said...

my sister owned two arabians during high school. One thing you should know about owning horses is that they eat non-stop. Perhaps, they read food blogs, too. Also, Maddie is the life of the party, how could you tie her up outside, LOL.

8:14 AM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Brad - my guess is that it probably became too costly to maintain, or if it was family-run, there was no one left who wanted to keep it going. A single star hotel usually means bathrooms are shared (down the hall), and quite possibly the "no walls" type of shower that you experienced in Thailand! There are many beautiful, old, historical establishments like this, and when you look at their amazing period facade, it makes you wonder what times must've been like in their heyday.

Titania - I've been missing Billy! I'll add your link to the garden blog.

Ann - Maddie sends her doggie kisses to you ^-^

Peter - I'll be waiting in anticipation for that day. I'd love to mention your dream-come-true in a post!

Frizzy - I know, and it just isn't fair that they certainly can read ours, the little rascals.

Kat - heehee...Nate is just one step ahead of me this time.

Nate - will you be going on one of those and blogging about it? ;-)

RONW - arabians...wow! Gorgeous animals, but unfortunately, there is no space for them to sleep in the house. The dogs got dibs on that. Maddie agrees with you 100%.

11:29 AM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger OkiHwn said...

What has Mr. B been doing during all of this?

12:38 PM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger Brad Farless said...

I stumbled across a blog by an American in France and it had a picture of a shower. He was living with a local family. Their shower looked just like the showers here in Asia.

I was shocked. I don't remember the house we lived in, in Germany, having these weird showers. I remember normal showers with a tub and heated water. Is this really such a rare thing? Is it typically only American homes that come with regular showers and bath tubs?

1:19 PM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

OkiHwn - Mr. B was occupied with his post as scout, that is, on the lookout for enemy invaders. He is never comfortable in areas with strangers, and was more than ready to high-tail it back into the woods for safety.

2:09 PM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Brad - hehe...you neglect to consider that Europe is old, while America is relatively new. A lot of old villas and homes had no indoor plumbing nor heating (they did have enormous fireplaces!), and to renovate to code is a costly undertaking. If anything resembling a shower is on the property, it took a lot of drilling through impossibly thick stone walls to get the water from here to there. The villa of MotH's grandparents had to be razed down completely because it would have taken thousands to renovate. Rebuilding from scratch was actually much more economical, but all of the building's architecture and style became lost forever in the rubble.

Your comment reminded me of a funny scenario years ago when a german friend was visiting me in Hawaii. She noticed how I rinsed dishes under a running faucet after washing in soapy water. This disturbed her a lot, and she said that if I filled the other half of the partitioned sink with clean water, I could save so much water by just dipping the plates in for a quick rinse. Of course this just didn't make any sense to me, and replied that running water guarantees that all of the suds will wash off. To this she vehemently replied, "You americans are so wasteful!"

I thought that was pretty hilarious! Of course I didn't retort with "and you european girls stink and don't shave your armpits!" as I'm very cool with different cultures and think it's more fun to have diversity anyway. It is true, however, that we are (were?) one of the most wasteful nations in the world. I'm sure the lousy economy taught us all how to be a little more frugal and conservative.

2:46 PM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger K and S said...

I think some places don't even use dish soap, which freaks me out, but actually is better for the environment, because I heard it costs $$ for them to break down the soapy suds.

4:07 PM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger Brad Farless said...

Good points. It's just a shame that old buildings like that have to be abandoned or torn down. The old buildings and architecture are part of what makes Europe unique. I'm surprised there aren't subsidies for people that want to install modern running water.

As for the dish washing incident, I agree with you. Using running water is the only way to make sure all the soap comes off. I don't particularly want to ingest large quantities of soap just to save a little water.

As for saving money, I think everyone has learned some lessons. Myself included. I expect my utility bills to be very low when I go back to NYC.

5:40 PM, September 09, 2009  
Blogger Zhu said...

I hiked quite a lot in various countries and rarely I have seen the horse-riding option.

I'd be scared I think. Riding looks easy but I bet it's not!

3:33 AM, September 10, 2009  
Blogger OkiHwn said...

Won't be going on that mule trek. Have heard about it. Don't particular feel like putting my life in the care of a mule while riding down the cliff.

6:45 AM, September 10, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Kat - I think I'd be okay with the absence of dish soap only if the water was boiling hot! Most people believe that more suds = cleaner dishes/laundry/etc, even if that's hardly the case.

Brad - I suppose that when Rome was being built, the ones in charge of supplying the city with water would never have thought that the needs [of the people] would go beyond what was carried over in those huge aqueducts. And those are still in operation today!

Zhu - I'm game for riding..it looks like fun! And donkeys are cute.

Nate - if you're talking about the ride in Molokai, the rates went up to $175 Thanks for tipping me off...next time I'm home, I gotta do this one. ^-^

9:14 AM, September 10, 2009  
Blogger Brad Farless said...

You should take a trip to the Aqueducts and show us photos. ^_^

12:15 PM, September 10, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Brad - better yet, here's a flickr link to a slideshow. Enjoy the pics!

12:53 PM, September 10, 2009  
Blogger Brad Farless said...

Bah. It doesn't have that personal Rowena touch. Impressive nonetheless and makes me want to visit Rome.

1:01 PM, September 10, 2009  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Brad - you dissing flickr users! Tsk! Tsk! I ♥ those people...especially those that allow you to share their pics!

1:03 PM, September 10, 2009  

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