Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dolomites feel just so right:Italy Blog Number Five


Here is a fun fact; time has evolved through the age of flying and has entered the age of teleportation. I can’t believe that the final days of our five-week excursion have dawned upon us. Even through we have premeditated anxiety and sadness concerning the conclusion of our trip, we still managed to ensure a very happy ending to our story. The storybook ending was found in the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my entire twenty-one years of life. My love for traveling was forever captured in the Dolomiti mountain range; in the small city of Canazei, Italy.

Our journey to Canazei was a thrilling experience from the get-go. We climbed aboard a charter bus that felt like it was actually a competitive speed racing bus, which somehow slithered us through meandering roads, as skillfully as any taxi driver in Italy could do. As we climbed higher and higher into the mountains, the elevation began to become evident. The feeling of my ears popping is something that I thought I
would only get to experience while in a Trenitalia coach (those tunnels will get you). As we continued our ascend into the Dolomiti, I began to notice how obvious the dominance of spruces and firs was becoming. The tree-line brilliantly acts as a living barrier separating the abundance of life from the frozen grey and white mountain tops. The Dolomiti left me with some of the most memorable and remarkable panorama views of my life. The snowcaps atop the mountains rewrote the meaning of enchanting for me, which was formally defined as cookies and cream gelato from Gelateria dei Neri in Florence. I would have to say that this was the perfect way to top off our study abroad. A month before the trip I had no idea that I would be coming along on this journey and I have a very special man to thank for the endless amount of good that he has done for me. Dr. Lombardini has been a true leader, mentor, professor, boss, and friend to me. He has lead me (figuratively and literally) toward paths in horticulture that I would have never imagined to see. The invite to join the program as a late entry is just a small instance of how he continues to embody what a truly great man and professional is. The innate ability to make your students happy day in and day out is a skill that separates the good professors from the great; and there is no question that he is great. Thank you so much Dr. Lombardini I owe this all to you. I will always remember how much you have done for me in such a short amount of time. The time spent here has allowed me to have a new and lively perspective on how international horticulture has impacted the history of human civilization. This Study Abroad has been a gift that will allow me to deepen my love and passions for horticulture, for traveling, and for becoming a better man.

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