Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 2 – Postscript
Dinner and the Yellow Jersey

Monday evening’s dinner deserves an update of its own. We went from the hotel by van to an “Agro Turizma,” – a working agricultural venture which specializes in demonstrating local agricultural traditions and providing traditional meals. (This is somewhat different from the Italian Agroturismo facilities that I have seen where lodging is a common feature, as well.) Our host spent a lot of time explaining the making of various grappas – both fig based and grape based. The varieties he offered for sampling included walnut, rose, honey, fig, cherry, and others.

The entire group

Our three guides -- Christina, Silvija, and Ante

The meal (another lengthy affair) started with plates of cheeses (sheep’s milk based) and cured hams. This course was followed by a delicious soup, consisting of barley and some beans similar to chickpeas. The main course was the meat dish prepared in the “iron bell.” We all trooped into the kitchen to see the huge cooking/serving pans removed from the coals in the oven in which they had been slowly roasting. We had enormous quantities of chicken, veal, potatoes, onions and carrots in a delicious blend of flavors. The meat was cooked to the point where it just fell off the bones.
Dinner fresh out of the "iron bell"
During a lull the proceedings, George announced the continuation of a tradition developed on one of his earlier rides. He produced a yellow “jersey” to be awarded each evening to the first rider to have finished that day. (Our daily rides are not races – they offer lots of opportunity for picture taking, coffee drinking, and simply enjoying the ride. Nevertheless, someone has to finish first.)  He you see me in my yellow jersey. Look closely because it may not happen again.
The Yellow Jersey

Following the main course, we adjourned to a patio area where we had a cherry filled pastry for dessert, as we awaited the vans for the ride back to the hotel.

As I write this before breakfast on Tuesday, I see out the window that we appear to be in store for another beautiful day.

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