Blind faith.

Bolsena, Blog

Sweet memories in Bolsena of my blind guests and cat Luna.

I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately, since corona has been in our lives. My blind guests in Bolsena last fall and my cat child Luna, who unfortunately died way too young.

It was a completely new experience for me to go out with blind and partially sighted people. Just like dealing with corona is a new experience. What does corona mean for my business? Sometimes the restlessness nibbles my chair legs. Will everything be okay? How long to wait until we can go on holiday to Italy again? Was I able to arrange everything properly? Is Volg de Rode Schoentjes corona-proof?

When the turmoil comes as an unwanted guest, I think back to these beautiful people. As with all my guests, it is of course about trust. Do they have enough confidence that they are going to choose me, choose Volg de Rode Schoentjes?

Imagine you see nothing! You get in the car at the airport in Rome and you go with me. You surrender completely and you trust, trust, trust that it will be okay. When I arrive at the hotel to pick them up for a walk, the worried receptionist is waiting for me.

Signora … signora, signora “rode schoentjes” with the emphasis on the unpronounceable “rode schoentjes” in Italian, how glad I am to see you says the worried receptionist of the hotel Loriana where my guests stay.

Because they had the fright of their live that morning.
They had been so paura (scared).
One of your guests got stuck with her cane in the iron railing of the stairs. She made a pirouette and we saw her fall.

I was shocked.
“Fortunately she did not fall”, the owner of the hotel tells me.

I laughed and said that since arriving at Ciampino (airport) yesterday I had expected to visit the pronto secorso (first aid) four times before we even had taken 1 step in Bolsena.

I tried to explain that I had sat on my “hands”.
“Sat on your hands”? She looked at me in bewilderment. In addition to blind guests, was she dealing with a deranged organization?

Yes, I confirmed. I meant that these were adults that had come on holiday with me in Italy on their own. That they themselves were responsible for their well-being.

That I supported and guided where necessary, but that I would not (anymore) worry about impossibilities.

They didn’t do that themselves either. They chose life, they came on holiday with confidence. Pioneers and adventurers.

“Perhaps some sighted people have fallen off your beautiful staircase before, too”? Tripped over flower planters? Slipped at the edge of the pool or in the bathroom? ”
She smiled: “That’s true, signora rode schoentjes”.

There I was, sitting and waiting with my red shoes for my guests.
My life is anything but boring. How special it is that I visit the most beautiful places with special beautiful people. In beautiful Italy.
No boring days, but plenty of life.

We went to explore Bolsena.
Visit the old center.
The ATM and the supermarket.
Mark good eating spots on the GPS. The ice cream parlors and the terraces.

On the road:

When I told the guests that the boulevard in front of the hotel was safe to cross as traffic could only come from the right, a scooter shot past us from the left. How pleasant the pedestrian cycle path was to walk towards the center. There appeared to be various cars as obstacles on the nice bicycle footpath.

The sidewalk to the center turned out to be hardly a sidewalk, but more like a skating rink. The central square with its cozy terraces, flower boxes, benches and scooters was in practice a maze without a landmark.

The ATM appeared not to function for the visually impaired and blind due to touchscreen. The supermarket was a henhouse with chattering Italians. Where we had to hold each other in a train and walk behind each other, because it was so chaotic. Very handy with a shopping basket.

I saw acquaintances and friends look in amazement at our cheerfully smiling procession.
Because they were happy, these beautiful guests. We visited a terrace in the sun. It had become clear what could be done independently and what could not. FULL STOP.

Plans were made for the next day. Walking to the hermit cave and Hermitage and on the way we had lunch by the water. We enjoyed it. And ehh, if I could show them a part of the hollow road (via Cave of the Etruscans)?

In the meantime I had told them all about what I had seen on the road that morning. The lake, the boats, the hills, plants, people, squares and houses. They told me all about what they had heard, smelled, tasted and felt. It was a great day! How beautiful is that?

Blind Luna

It also reminds me of my found cat Luna in 2010. As a small kitten, he was trapped with his beautiful long hair in a mesh fence. I found him while out walking with a group. I fell in love with him right away. When I got home I put Luna (indeed the name does not match the gender of the cat) upstairs, separate from the dogs and the other cat.

To my great surprise, he came walking down quietly. Walked up to the dogs and was not afraid of anything, the dogs also acted as if it was the most natural thing in the world that there was a new kitten in the house. Magnificent! After he walked over the edge of the balcony twice and fell 2 meters down, I realized that Luna’s vision might be bad.

It turned out to be more than bad eyesight at the vet. Luna was blind. Like my guests, Luna had a blind faith in the world around him. He was my great teacher at a time when my life was a “total catastrophe”. When he just climbed too high up the tree in my Italian garden and I had to get him out. When he sank with his legs through the holes in the beautiful cast iron garden bench. When he played with the dog Djazzy and let her wash himself every day.

Always together with his guardian angel and cat friend Ollie. Time and time again he climbed the tree full of joy, sank his legs through the sofa and managed to find me to purr on my lap and go to sleep. Full of confidence.

When I think about my guests and Luna I feel so grateful and happy. If they can trust it without seeing the world around them! What wonderful experiences I can now take with me to fully trust in the future.

“Volg de Rode Schoentjes”

Volg de Rode Schoentjes specializes in special experience and discover holidays for singles in central Italy. Far away from mass tourism, I organize and create a base in which you can discover and experience a real Italian holiday together with other singles. You can also go to Volg de Rode Schoentjes to rent one vacation home in Bolsena or the villages along Lake Bolsena. These houses belong to the local population. In the summer months you can participate in the day excursions of Volg de Rode Schoentjes. Curious who you are going on holiday with? I would like to introduce myself.

Ciao I am Mariët Bloemendal the creative mastermind and passionate Italy expert of “Volg de Rode Schoentjes”.

“Volg de Rode Schoentjes” specializes in extraordinaryexperience and discover holidays for singles in central Italy. Far away from mass tourism, I organize and create a base in which you can discover and experience a real Italian holiday together with other solo travelers. Winner of the Benelux Enterprise Award Best Specialist Italian Holiday agent 2020. Correspondent De Wereld from BNNVARA on NPO1.
Curious who you are going on holiday with? I would like to introduce myself.

Mariët Bloemendal

Would you like more news about Volg de Rode Schoentjes? You can follow my shoes on ….

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