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rsz gais

Sunday 12 July



On Sunday morning I was up early. No dilly-dallying, breakfast pronto, regular glances at the watch – I had no intention to be late! I wasn’t. There were a lot of us going to Gais on this Sunday excursion and I was so glad to recognize familiar faces.

rsz brixen1We had a big, air-conditioned bus which took us first to Bressanone (Germ. Brixen). Siegfried de Rachewiltz led us to the Duomo which to me became one of the highlights of the Brunnenburg experience. He led us straight to the cloisters, decorated with medieval frescoes: slender elephants, black devils, graceful damsels, worried saints and battling knights! There were so many stories told by these frescoes and Sizzo knew them all. We were very privileged with such a guide!rsz dsc00505

I wish I could have tarried in Bressanone – it was such a pleasant small town: Italian and Austrian architecture made an unfamiliar mélange, difficult to sort out at first. I wish now I had had more time to just look at the buildings and loiter, even sit in a café and take in the beautiful morning.

Gais was our next stop. Mary showed us the place where she had grown up: the old house was gone but the lie of the village had stayed much the same. Above it, there was a manor house, called Schloss Neuhaus; we headed to it on the wooded mountain path. On our way, we passed a look-out where Pound’s lines from Canto 81 were inscribed in three languages on the ceiling:

What thou lovest well remains,
                                              the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
                           or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
             Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee. 



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