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Old 12-31-2010, 10:54 AM   #751
yamalama
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Thank you, sir, for your fine commentary.
Best wishes for the new year.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:17 AM   #752
Elder_Rogue
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TaSK,

Your reports are a wide open window for me to view your world, no window dressings, no rose colored glasses, just the plain and sometimes painful truth as seen through your eyes.

I have enjoyed them very much. Maybe someday , life will allow my wife and I to cross your path in Italy or here in Texas.

Happy New Year! May you be healthy and happy.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:50 PM   #753
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagesk View Post
We're off on our annual New Years Ride tomorrow morning. We'll ride to Cosa, and then we'll see.


[TaSK]
so that means no snow.
I was under the impression that snow chaos in France and Germany has partly affected you as well.

what's the new year's special dish for Tuscany/Italy?
for Greece a traditional but gradually forgotten dish is Coq_au_vin

have a great time!
post back some pictures if you like.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:53 PM   #754
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Thumb Best Wishes for 2011



Sorry to be so late in wishing all of you, who honor me by using of your valuable time, wishing all
of you all the best in the new year. I am late because I have been out riding.
We try to start every year with a ride. This year we rode 637 km in the south of Toscana.
To give you a hint, I will use the stunning and unbelievable! beautiful town of Pitigliano as my New Year Greetings-card.



The greatest fear of anyone here on ADVrider is to have his Ride Report dumped from Ride Reports
onto the "Day Tripping"-pile where it will vanish.
Thus I will refrain from reporting from this tiny two-day adventure-meager but food-filled trip.

For business-related reasons (which I will refrain from discussing) we have decided to explore Tuscany
with an unprecedented degree of thoroughness in order to locate places which might interest us.
Needless to say this detailed survey will (have to!) include quite a few meals at interesting sites.
I will need to find a way to weave all those rides that will be the consequence of that strategic decision
into this Riding in Tuscany-thread. Stay tuned for a avoiding-"Day Tripping"-Ride-Report-design.

As part of this New Year Greetings-card I include Capa Superiore della Famiglia, after an above average
dinner in Pitigliano.
You know: Yet another day at the office.

Yours sincerely,

[TaSK]
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:36 PM   #755
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Thumb All The Best Mr. TaSK in 2011

Thank you for taking us along on your explorations. Great photos and commentary.

I was in Italy about 7 yrs ago. Unfortunately I was in a rental car and not on a bike . I can't wait to return on 2 wheels next time.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:22 AM   #756
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OH MY GOD, she's looking at me with an obviously deep and enduring love.... oh... wait, no... she's looking at the photographer like that. Darn, some guys get all the luck.

Have a great 2011, Tage and Sissel.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:56 AM   #757
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Lovely pictures (both of them) ...................

HAPPY NEW YEAR. I wish you both the very best with lots of success (and a GS1200 Adventure in the garage)

Soto
(Regards and wishes from Dimitra)
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:22 AM   #758
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Thumb Finally done reading your "life" in Tuscany :D

Godt Nytår Tage & Sissel (Happy New Year's)

Thank you for your fascinating and insightful "tale" from your trips around the Mediterranean

I have enjoyed it from day one and till now and hope to "live" a little through you in the coming year of travel.

But I must say that your to "blame" for me being convinced that I too am an Italian born in the wrong country (DK), but not to worry I will not hold it against you, but the Missus might ;)

All the best to you from the Frozen cold region of Denmark.

/Lars
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:00 PM   #759
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Riding in Greece: From Kalamata to Patras (via Olympia!)

It is Friday 26. March. It is the 15th day of our vacation in
Greece. We are in Kalamata. Tomorrow the ferry departs from Patras
to Bari.



After a night with Greek Parking, I am not alone!, we prepare for
another day of riding. Two things on the agenda: Visiting Olympia (as
suggested by Mr. Castionhead yesterday), and meet another ADVrider.
This time it is Mr. Quicktoys2 who has offered to meet us. And not
only that, he has said that we need not book a hotel because he would
be happy to host us.
An offer we can not refuse.

Or?

The general rule says that you can trust someone you pick at random;
most people are honest and mean well. If someone picks you, you
should be more careful. In this case, he has picked us.



Which reminds me of something that happened in Spain last year. We
arrived in the city of Lleida in the evening, without having made any
reservations. We ride up and down the main street following
suggestions from Mr. Zumo. After a while we give up and ride to the
railway station; we have noticed a (boring) hotel there. Capa goes in
to check it out, while I sit on the bike and wait. It is dark and the
railway station is like railway stations most places after dark.
Then, suddenly, a large man appears from nowhere. He asks "Do you
have a problem?" I say "No" as uninviting as I can.



I realize that if this large man gives me even the smallest push I and
the bike will crash to the ground. I see the scene: He gives me a
slight push, I fall, two "friends" appear from nowhere, and suddenly I
have big problems. He is large, that is true, but I am larger.
However, I am seated on the bike, side stand not extended, and I am
seriously stuck. Another figure appears out from the dark; much
smaller. The large man says "We have seen you ride the bike on the
street several times - are you sure you don't have a problem?"



I don't know what to say, so instead I take my gloves off with much
ado, and very discretely extend the side stand.
Then he says: We also have a GS!
What model?, I reply to keep him talking.
[I]We had a R1100GS but had to sell it. Now we ride a VStrom. We are
bikers too. Can we help you?"
Now I notice that the other person is a lady, and I relax a little.
He says This hotel is no good. Come and stay in our house
instead!


As you can see from the pictures, if a large man picks you out on the
street in Lleida and invites you to his house, say yes!
Daniel: If you read this, know that you scared the shit out of me :-)

Anyway - for all we know Mr. Quicktoys2 is a predator hanging around
here at ADVrider. But, at the end of the day, we are delighted to
accept his invitation. We know we shouldn't do these things, but we
love to talk to people, hear their stories as it were, and can you
phantom a better place to hear The Story than told over dinner? Me
neither! We decide it is well worth the risk.

We send some SMSes and make an appointment at
the parking at Olympia. He says that he'll find us.



We ride north, and Capa says that one thing is strange here in Greece.
There are letter boxes all along the roads, but you never see any
houses. It takes some time to understand that she is talking about
these things. After having examined one we conclude that the intended
recipient of messages left here don't need a letter box at all. We
only hope they are set up without the need for a fatal accident; they
are all over.



As we ride north from Kalamata we can not fail to be impressed by the
upgrade that is forthcoming on the road. It is now a normal two lane
road (one lane in each direction; is that called a two-lane road?),
but there are huge works in progress to make it into a four or six
lane highway. Yesterday, the Honorable Castionhead explained that the
(relative speaking) poor road makes it harder than necessary for the
business to grow in the Kalamata region. But there is very little
traffic; it is Friday and as far as we understand a normal working
day.

"Greek ruins" with a modern power station in the background. This is
how it is to ride in the Mediterranean: The new and the old lives
together.

The weather is exactly as it should be in Greece: The sun in
generously shining from a blue sky.



We visit the town Karitaina. It has a nice fortress and has a
commanding position. But we fail to locate a store for groceries (not
to indicate that there isn't one, because the town is not a small
village). We want to have lunch outside, and with no food we'll have
to ride on.

The next town is Anditsaina.



It is some sort of vegetable marked. Either there is something we
haven't understood, or the economy here is very poor. The man shown
above, for example, has a single white bag of beans for sale. All the
boxes are from the shop next door.



A lady offers some eggs and two or three types of vegetables.



Check this photo from the marked in Ceccano (first day of our
vacation). I would guess Ceccano is about the same size as
Andritsaina. The difference is striking. Maybe this is an enthusiast
marked for super-bio-dynamical groceries, or something. It is odd,
whatever it might be.

I said the other day that the Greek come in two models: The large and
the small. Here, all seems to be small.



Just outside town we find the perfect place for lunch. Fresh water
from the spring, sun, nice and warm. Can you ask for more?



I don't know how many tourists that come to Greece (or Italty, for
that matter) per year. It must be in the millions. Many of them
travel on tours. In comfortable buses they glide through the
landscape. From one "sight" to another. From one ruin to another.
When do they talk? When, on such a tour, do you sit and lit the
silence sink in? Vacation can't be all happening, and no thinking.
When, on a bus, do you talk to your partner about Life, Universe, and
Everything? Beats me.

We sit and talk, we admire the proud profile of the bike against the
town. We are happy we are Riding in Greece and not "Busing in
Greece".



We ride on, and after an un-eventful (non adventure?) morning we
arrive at Olympia. There is space for many buses on the parking, but
there are none. We're in low season (to say the least). We are easily
spotted by a man on an Aprilia Capo Nord. Mr. Quicktoys is the large
Greek model.

He has seen the ruins before, so we agree that he'll take a coffee
while we submerge our self in history. Now, what to say about Olympia?
I am an engineer and my vocabulary for these things are fundamentally
flawed. For example, in the picture above you see Phillipeion. It
is, well, a monument. I can tell you that it was built 338 BC and
later restored by Alexander the Great (no less!). In the background
the temple of Hera. It was built 590 BC and was destroyed by an
earthquake a thousand years later.



Or this: It is corridor leading to the Olympic stadium. They used to
arrange The Olympic Games (TM) here. In fact, they arranged Olympic
Games for no less than 1.170 years. The current incarnation of the
Olympic Games has been arranged for 100 years. See you again in 900
years.

So there you have it. Just as you need to write a novel to understand
"The End of the World", you need to write one about Olympia as well.

It isn't huge like Colloseum in Rome. Or impressive like The Lion in
Amphipolis. But knowing what it was for many people, for how long,
can not fail to impress. If you don't feel anything at Olympia you
need to have your head examined.

We were not prepared, and that was probably a good thing. Olympia
isn't about facts, I think. It is about people. Like you and me.

I have visited The Mall (a park) in Washington (the capital of
USA). It also sports monuments. The only one that is impressive is
the one that is sunk into the ground. The others are like monuments
all over the world: Probably important to those who are related to the
events, and to those who elected the politicians you can see there.
But for the rest of us, not much.

The same goes for the column on Trafalgar square in London. Or the
hideous independence monument in Rome.

Olympia is a different league. Not (only) because of the age, but
because it was the focus of everyone for a thousand years. And that
is a loooong time.



In my next life I will not work for a decade to obtain a doctoral
degree in electrical engineering. Rather, I will obtain one in
archeology or in history. Then I'll come here and look at the complex
with different eyes. I will be able to look at Olympia the same way
that I now are able to look at the iPad. I know twice as much as you
would ever want to know about how the iPad works, and can enjoy it
even more. Now I stand in front of Phillipeion and see a monument. I
don't know anything about monuments, so I don't see anything "more".
I want to see "more". I find great pleasure in
finding things out.
Imagine how much you can "find out" here at Olympia. I get dizzy.
Better go riding.

We turn away from the Old Greeks to get to now a Modern Greek. The
Honorable Mr. Quicktoys2 has a proper name, it is Soto. He is ready.
We are ready. Let's ride!

He rides like most other Greeks we have we have met (with the exception
of Mr. Castionhead on his 1956 BMW). I will never, ever become
accustomed to ride from the 90 km/h into a 50 km/h zone at 100 km/h
without slowing down. Never, ever! Like Mr. WannaBe before him, he
rides far out to the right. Again I refuse to follow suite.

First we go to a hot spring. It is surrounded by Roman ruins. Or, in
other words, we're not the first to come here. The smell of sulfate
is strong, but there is a lot of hot water coming out of the ground.
I would have liked to soak in the water with a large Dry Martini in
one hand (shaken, not stirred) and a long Dutch cigar in the other.

Maybe a hot spring with Roman Ruins is "just a thing" for the Greek.
But I love it. I love such things.

In almost no time at all we arrive at his house. Think about it: We
follow a complete stranger who guides us to a house somewhere in the
vicinity of Patras in Greece. Let us hope he had good intentions :-)



His intentions are any ADVrider worthy: He introduces us to his wife
Dmitra (the small model). As "all" young couples they live in her
parents house. When they got married, her parents moved downstairs
and let them have the upper floor. The house is newly restored. We
get our own bedroom.

Dmitra is just home from work, but has still managed to cook dinner
for us. It is lachanodolmades - meat rolled in cabbage, and
then boiled. The cabbage is strong enough in taste to make the whole
thing very pleasant. A perfect balance between a meat and a vegetable
dish.

After dinner we talk for a while about our trip, about, um, Macedonia,
the crisis (no one here blames Germany!), and about being young in
Greece, about riding an (Italian!) Aprilia Capo Nord, and other
important things.

How can I say this: What is the value of sitting in the home of a
young Greek couple, in Greece, talking about Life, Universe and
Everything? In our Western culture the Credo is: If it has no price
it has no value. But being allowed to sit here with them is so
valuable that it can not be priced. Inviting someone you have "met"
on the Internet to your home, cooking dinner for them, and using an
evening of your private life to entertain them - words can not convey
how high we value this.



The evening draws to a close. I look forward to sharing a bed with
Capa. I look forward to get up in the morning and have coffee
("coffee"? We'll see) with our hosts. I look forward to ride around
Patras tomorrow. I look forward to the rest of my life. I am happy!

304 km today.

Tomorrow we'll eat a exceptionally good cake, see a fantastic bridge,
get hold of a sticker, and cross the ocean.

Thank you for your attention!

[TaSK]
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:31 PM   #760
Spinalcracker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagesk View Post
How can I say this: What is the value of sitting in the home of a
young Greek couple, in Greece, talking about Life, Universe and
Everything? In our Western culture the Credo is: If it has no price
it has no value. But being allowed to sit here with them is so
valuable that it can not be priced. Inviting someone you have "met"
on the Internet to your home, cooking dinner for them, and using an
evening of your private life to entertain them - words can not convey
how high we value this.[TaSK]
Hi Tage

I read this several times, not to just understand the words, but to get the feeling of it. It is what this type of travel is all about.

Thanks for this report.
Mike
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:32 PM   #761
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Thank you for sharing your adventures and your beautiful pictures with us...and a Happy New Year to your and to Capa as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tagesk View Post
I have visited The Mall (a park) in Washington (the capital of
USA). It also sports monuments. The only one that is impressive is
the one that is sunk into the ground. The others are like monuments
all over the world: Probably important to those who are related to the
events, and to those who elected the politicians you can see there.
But for the rest of us, not much.
[TaSK]
For many American bikers in my age group, "the one that is sunk in the ground" will _always_ be the most impressive. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

Dave
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:48 PM   #762
quicktoys2
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Location: Patras, Greece
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagesk View Post

In almost no time at all we arrive at his house. Think about it: We
follow a complete stranger who guides us to a house somewhere in the
vicinity of Patras in Greece. Let us hope he had good intentions :-)


[TaSK]
That is exactly what Dimitra was worried about ...... Who are these people? What if they are serial killers? What if they are thieves and rob us in the middle of the night? She couldn't understand why I had invited complete strangers to come to our house

I tried telling her that the "strangers" are probably more scared than we are. They don't know the language, area or anything. For all they know we could be serial killers or thieves that want to steal their expensive BMW motorcycle .........

Once Dimitra met you guys though she felt very relaxed and kind of silly for having those thoughts .......... We enjoyed the company of of our new friends.

We hope you both had a good time with us, a good time in our local area and an overall GREAT time in Greece.

I look forward to the next post and also to find out how terrible you think our home made coffee is

Soto
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:28 PM   #763
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give us more..Greece and Tuscany of course...
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:09 AM   #764
tagesk OP
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Thumb Riding in Greece: Around Patras, and then home

It is Saturday 27. March, on this 16th and last day of our Riding
in Greece
-vacation. We are in Patras, in the warm hospitality of
Dmitra and Soto (Quicktoys2). The ferry back to Italy departs this
evening.



There are quite a few things I regret not having photographed while in
Greece. On top of that list of "argh - I forgot" is the cake Dmitra
had baked for us, and served in the morning. During our stay we have
had many different settings for breakfast, so I assume that in Greece
there is no strong tradition to follow on that time of the day.

But back to the cake: We're in the sitting room of Dmitra and Soto,
talking calmly as you do early in the morning, and eating her cake.
It is hard to envision a better way to start the day in a foreign
country. If you have a better way, I would like to know.



Being in the private sphere of strangers, even foreigners, makes a
strong impression on me. Even more so in the morning: I am not a
"morning person", and I feel that my skin is extra thin at that time
of the day. What can be more gentle than Dmitras cake?

The general plan is that Soto goes riding with us. Then we try to
meet Dmitra for lunch, before Soto guides to the ferry. We start
packing; we haul along too much crap. Luggage is like time (here in
Italy): It is a plastic material that fills all space available.



As I have said repeatedly: The Greeks come in two models.

We have only one request: Show us the bridge! If you are an engineer
there is no substitute for the bridge they have here in Patras.



We start somewhere different: During the earthquake in 1988 the road
split open here (if we understood correctly). We, from Norway, don't
even know what an earthquake is. We find it ultra cool. I guess this
is as close as we have ever been to one. Admittedly, this isn't very
close. And we are happy for that, too!

As we try to keep up with Soto as he zooms through traffic, we talk
about what vacation is, what is was, and what it should be. In my
previous life, when I would not venture anywhere without my mobile
phone and PowerBook within reach, at the time when I had to keep
abreast of (very!) talented students, at the time when I did spend more
time at airports that I believe one should, at that time vacation was
to fly to Thailand, sit on the beach with a cigar, and let three weeks
pass by without doing anything. It took a week just to calm down.
It's not like that any longer.



Ah - those were the days. I even smoked cigars then. And there is no
more than two meters of snow on the lawn. It's not like that any
longer, either. At least, not on the lawn that I now own.



But now, now that I don't need an iPad, now I instead need action in
my vacation. That is probably why I resist any attempt to plan
vacation. I want to be invited to Dmitra for breakfast, and if we had
a hotel reservation we would not have been invited for breakfast. It
is that simple, I think.



Patras sports a magnificent bridge. No less that magnificent.



hmmm, that Greek rider seems to ride on far out the right. hmmm, I
don't seem to ride far out on the right. Good that we aren't in Rome,
because when in Rome....

In addition to the stunning view, there is a pleasant surprise
awaiting us on the north side of the bridge: Toll. Mr. Soto
says he is sorry, and seems more than a little puzzled when we are
full of joy and price.

OK - I know many hates toll roads. But I like them. I like that I
(and others) are made aware that things have a cost. Bridges do not
come for free. If there is no toll too many will quickly demand a
bridge somewhere else (if they got, why not us?). This is the first
toll we see in Greece, and we like it.

Very few other bikes.



We are on the north side of the "fjord" (at least, that is what we
would have called it in Norway). We are on the north side, riding
east. This road is better than what we have become used to; we have
obviously avoided the main routes. There is very little traffic here.
After all the slow winding and twisting, it is nice to get some wind
in our hair. Keeping up with Mr. Soto requires some effort.

We stop in Nafpaktos. Saturday morning and all places we would have
liked to sit are full of people. We ride on.



After a while we arrive at Galaxidi, where Mr. Soto knows about a
small place. They have a cake with enough energy to launch at least
two Space Shuttles. The problem is: The taste is outstanding.



None of us seems to want Greek "coffee". My cappuccino is quite OK.
She says her "frappé" is OK, but I can see on her face that you need
to know your theory of relativity to put that into context. Afterward
she calls me a snob, but in my view the world is like this: If your
job is to make coffee, doesn't it make your life better if you make
people happy? Coffee isn't just "something". It is a means to
happiness. And when you make coffee you are in some sense God: You
decide if other people are to become happy or not. And that, in my
view, is a heavy responsibility. Not all coffee-makers understand what
is at stake.



The cake-maker has obvious understood his power. He did not choose
to make my morning miserable. He chose to make me happy. I am
grateful for that.

I really need to do something about the side stand. He almost falls
over. Note: A large puck is already installed. I really need to do
something about it. One of these days.

The vest? I've used it all through the vacation. The idea is that
since no-one (as in zero, nil) else is using one, I really stand out
in traffic. I saw a (very!) bright yellow helmet the other day. That
was even better. I'll look into it.



Have I mentioned that Mr. Soto rides briskly on his Capo Nord?
I must really get out my whip and give it to Bamsefar to keep up.
Fortunately I have a young and attack-minded lady riding pillion. If
I instead had had a sixty-something boring middle-class lady dreaming
of a new car, what would my life have been?

There is an important line to be drawn in life from entering a
left-hand curve on the north side of the fjord near Patras. When the
curve tightens, we must lean further and further, even though the
horizon is already at about 45°. There is an immense value in life
having a wife that does the right thing when you enter a curve like
this at well over 100 km/t. We meet such curves, as such high
velocity, both when we ride, but also in life in general. For the
most part, life is not a smooth ride. At least not a life which keeps
you alive. Life is more than breathing, you know.

But I don't make any mistake here, because she does not make any
mistakes. Together we pull the barge that Bamsefar is smoothly
through the curve. Before we together pull him up, and make him ready
for the right hand curve we can see rapidly coming towards us just
ahead.



Being on a motorcycle vacation is not so much about riding a
motorcycle. Bamsefar is, after all, just our means of locomotion.
But to ride together on a motorcycle is something bigger. It is
dangerous to drive a car, too. But you are shielded from the
elements, and one forgets just how dangerous it is. I don't "drive my
car". I am on my way somewhere. In the car. But driving is so
ubiquitous that I don't notice it as an act in itself. Not so when I
ride with Capa Superiore della Famiglia, the most stunning grandmother
you can envision, the most precious gift a man can get.

At 100 km/t in a tight left-hand curve, with a right-hand curve in
sight, one that might be ever tighter, with my wife on board, I feel
alive. Very much so. On the bike, we live our lives together. Not
only together as "in the same house", but together as in "close
together, living together". I don't know if you understand the
difference.

Can you ask more of a vacation than the feeling of living together?



I, for one, do not need to get anything more from my vacation than
this. The curve, the bike, and being on vacation with my wife. There
is simply not room in my small brain for anything more.

Suddenly we stop for a sign. Mr. Soto photographs it, so I
photograph him photographing the sign. I have no clue what it says.



We pass back over the bridge. Then he takes us to a nice place for
lunch, next to the water. You know, not even a cake lasts forever.
Not even a high-energy one. The bridge, the bikes, and nice people:
We're ready for lunch.



We're going home soon, so I need to use this joke yet another time:
Completely Greek to me.

In theory, as we ride by places we would like to explore further, we
say: We'll be back soon. But reality isn't like that. The world is
large, there are a countless number of places we haven't seen yet,
there has already been talk about Portugal, and so on. It is highly
unlikely that we'll be here again anytime soon. That is not related
to the place, to the Greeks, or to the lunch.



Soto arranges for us to have a varied lunch. A couple of salads, some
sort of vegetable pie, grilled chicken, and some grilled meat. Not
so much meat, just enough to make sure the lunch changes from
"something to eat" into "a lunch". We live in Tuscany, remember.



Dmitra can't make it, and that hinders the lunch from reaching the
peak it otherwise would have been. Nevertheless, we manage to pass
the time just fine. The sun is shining, we're sitting by the sea, the
bikes, and in the background the bridge. This fine piece of
engineering.

At the end of every day, not only on vacation, I ask myself if this
has been a good day. One that has enriched my life. One worth living
for. Some days aren't. Some days are filled with repetitive tasks,
boring things, paperwork, and what not. You need to keep watch: If
the number of "not worth it" days start to grow, your life might start
to go to waste. When the "not wort it" days are no longer a passing
evil, but has become part of the structure of living, they action is
required. When this day draws to a close, and I ask myself if it was
worth it, I will recall the picture of Capa Supriore and me, the
bridge, and the bike; it features blue Greek sea, blue sky, and
everything else you can ask for.

Yes, this day was worth the effort.



Just in case you have forgotten that the Greeks use far too much oil
in their salads (I discussed it the first day), here is a picture to
show you what I mean. Maybe the oil is the next best in the world
(after, obviously, oil from Tuscany), but still. It is too much!

No-one can have everything. I used to have more things, and more
resources, that what I now have. But slowly the "not worth it"-days
grew in number. I am very happy I didn't accept that. That I managed
to turn my back to the salary, the PowerBook, the iPod, iPad, and what
not. We have managed to carve out a new living. One with far fewer
"not worth it"-days. Still some (give me a break), but far fewer.
Or, in other words: More Life in the life I get to have.

We skip "coffee" not to ruin the otherwise excellent morning!



We ride back to town, and we check in on the ferry. With the help of
a local (guess who), we escape from the inside of the barrier to go
riding instead of waiting for boarding. It is because only one things
is missing: A small map on a sticker. I want to add one to our a
pannier. We have looked for one all through the vacation. Mr. Soto
guides us to an obscure shop in town and there you are!

Mr. Soto - you are an example that we should all learn from. Your
hospitality is unsurpassed and you are a fine ambassador for your
country!



Finally we roll on board. We feel small inside the huge hull where
large trucks zoom around. Lots of space (even though is filled up
somewhat more than this).



As the light slowly gave way for the nigh, the moon rose, and Greece
slowly sank down into the ocean behind us, I stood on one of the upper
decks while refraining from smoking a cigarette.



On the 17th and last day of our vacation we rode the 894 km from Bari
and home. Here is my advice: Make sure your wife doesn't balk at
plans that include a 900 km day to get home. Makes planning a lot
easier.

The photo was taken at 140 km/t on the Italian Autostrada. We are on
our way home!

Our holiday Riding in Greece was absolutely worth the
effort. We planned by means of not planning, and it turned out to be
just as planned. No pun intended. Just as on Sicilia and in Spain,
the plan of not planning gave us a perfect mix of good and boring
(nothing bad!), the meals ranged from outstanding (with the crying
waiter) to the ordinary (grill i Kavala).

We met a mixed bag of people. From the Albanian teenagers in the
mountains to the ugly nationalist by the Lion, from the man who came
out and served us coffee in a village north of Kastoria to the young
man in the bar in Drama who said the crisis was created by Merkel for
domestic reasons. Or, in other words: An empirical study of the
Greeks has reviled that they are like people all over the world.
Some good, some not so good.

The wine surprised us. We are obviously tourists, but if that
compels the establishments to serve watered down wine, that surprises
me even more. In fact, I don't what is worst.

Thank you very much for taking a part in our tiny ADVenture. I am
truly happy you have taken of your time to read.

Finally, I would, in particular, like to thank the ADVriders who took
it upon themselves to offer advice on what to do and what to see, to
meet us for lunch, to share a dinner with us, or, as the ultimate
sacrifice, share his home. I hope I can pay you back! I will hang
around in Tuscany waiting for you to pass by.

The only thing left to mention is the coffee.

(this page is purposely left empty)




The last day in Greece.

Mr. Zumo tells us we rode 3.923 km in Greece and 1.729 km in Italy for a total of 5.652
(about 3.500 miles).

[TaSK]
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'02 R1150GS - Adds life
My Riding in Tuscany-thread is here.
Renting out motorbikes in Toscana, Italy
Proud contributor to Wisdom and GSpot FAQ and European Ride Report Index.
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tagesk screwed with this post 01-09-2011 at 09:22 AM
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:50 AM   #765
musicman
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What can I say... another stellar report. You truly capture the essence of the place, the food, the people and weave philosophy throughout.

Abbie and I will be back in Italy for the month of May but sadly, nowhere near Pisa or that wonderful little neighborhood restaurant where you go on Fridays . We will lead a large [for me] group of ten riders from Milan, through Marche, Abruzzo and end in Roma. Abbie and I will head south from there and see some parts of Italy I have missed.
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