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Old 01-25-2008, 12:26 AM   #76
strathbran steve
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I just cant wait to go back
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:30 PM   #77
bLaCk 8east
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Awesome...

Great stuff. How did you find navigating the streets of florence ? My GPS packed in its was doing so many recalculations trying to find the hotel.
I got there eventually though
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:06 PM   #78
tagesk OP
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Thumb From behind - Part 1




As always, in order to have a nice day, I need to start with a proper breakfast. And that, Gentlemen, is not
fried sossages, scrambled eggs and boiled tomatoes. No, it is two thin slices of Pane Puglese (bread from Puglia)
with orange marmelade that my friend Lee has made from the oranges he has in his garden. With this a well
made cappuccino (neither skimmed milk nor decaf, and very hot). Please note that I am not studying the map a
s I normally do - I am looking at Google Maps. There is a reason for that, and I will show you something very cool.



But before we get to the cool stuff I must tell you that today's theme is From Behind. Based on my personal
preferences I always ask my model to show either a full frontal, or a profile (preferrably the right side). On the
other hand, I am fully aware that pictures taken from behind which reveils all details can have considerable
effect on people. Mostly men, but let us keep it general. For a particular reason, and, as you understand, not
because I prefer them taken that way, all pictures today show Bamsefar with his rear end toward me.
Not that his rear-end isn't worth looking at, at times, but Bamsefar is male and most that prefer things from behind
have females in mind. I notice here that many uses "she" when talking about their bike. And in that case, from
behind
might have it's advantages. Not so with Bamsefar.
OK, on the picture above you see Bamsefar, from behind, in front of what is probably the best preserved medieval
town in Toscana: Monteriggioni. It was built by Siena as part of the defence against Firenze. Ah - why from behind today?



If you look very careful at the picture of Bamsefar's rear end, you'll see a yellow sticker. Today all pictures of Bamsefar
will show his rear end to demonstrate that I have received, and put on, the ADV decal. Yes I know that is cool, but this is
not the cool thing I am going to show you today.





The lower of these two images was taken from the hill in the right hand corner of the upper picture. So they both show a large
field. Probably we will ahev sunflowers here in a few month, or corn. Not very exciting. In fact, even if you look very, very closely
you can't see anything interesting at all. But that is becuase we are standing on the ground. We need to fly, and the best way
to fly high in space and look down on Earth, that is by means of Google Earth (and the same images in Google Maps).



So seen from space, that flat, boring field suddenly doesn't look so bring after all. It seems we have found the remains of a hippodrome!
Or maybe an Roman circus (remember Ben Hur?).
I found this by chance while looking for something else. The image shown above is what Google Maps (click here) and Google Earth (click here for
the .KMZ file) shows as of today. I have opted to make a copy and show here, because if Google install new images for this point we might not
see the outline any more. I have no idea what this is, but is surely looks like Circus Maximus in Roma (Wikipedia).
I have show you where I took the two pictures you can see above. The farm you see from space can also been siin on Picture 1. This gives
an indication on the size. Measured in Google Earth the while thing is 750 meters (0.5 miles) from end to end.
To put this in perspective: we are a few km east of Siena. The Romans came here about 300 BC after having defeated the Etruscans state.
So these fields have been cultivated for more thatn 2.000 years. And sometime during those years, a structure was built here that was visible
ust when the pictures on Google was taken. Today nothing can be seen!

Is that cool, or what?

After having spent more than one hour not smoking a few sigarillos, looking at the field and listning to the silence here far out on the coutryside, I
went to look at some other very old things. Part two of From Behind in a little while (that is, after antipasti di mare, ravioli su burro e salvie,
and a salsicce fried in the pan. With a glass of Chianti. Or two).

Thank you for your attention!

[TaSK]
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:25 PM   #79
GB
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Very cool indeed!! Thanks for updating this magnificent thread
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:50 PM   #80
tagesk OP
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Thumb From behind - Part 2




After having enjoyed the Hippordome (which I could not see, but only sort of feel) I drove a few km
towards Siena. I came to la Casetta and found a combined trattoria and bar with the same name. It
was too late for a proper lunch so I can't tell you anything about the trattoria. But the bar, and the owner,
was the most unfriendly Italian I have ever encountered. Very depressing place. And, in fact, I don't think
it was too late but rather that she just didn't feel like giving me lunch. Hadn't it been for my excellent mood
this would have destroyed my Sunday. A sunday without pranzo? Contradiction in terms!
Bamsefar pictured, from behind, in front of the bar. If you ride to "see" the hippodrome, don't stop in la Casetta.

I took the highway from Pisa east to Firenze, and then from Firenze to Siena, all in order to quickly get to my hippodrome.
On the way back I ride slower, on the small and twisting roads of Toscana.



I pass Siena, and go north-west towards Pisa. First stop is Colle val d'Elsa. I snap a picture of Porta Nuova (the new
gate) built by Lorenzo de'Medici in 1481. The town fell to the Pope after a 60 day siege in 1479, and Lorenzo was
determined to make sure it next time the town would be able to defent itself properly. Around here, it is not at all odd
that something from 1481 is considered new. Some other day I'll venture inside and take a look at the old gate. The old
city walls had been around for about 300 years when this new part was added.

I continue north-west, towards Pisa. I do not (repeat: not!) stop at San Gimignano (wikipedia). The reason is that the
town is fake. Well, not exactly fake, but not real. It is true that is was a marketing scoop of unknown genius to call the
town "The Manhatten of Tuscany". For tourists from some contries, one in particular, this makes the town irresistable.
Noone lives there any more, there are nothing to be seen but empty houses, and it is impossible to order in Italian inside
a bar becuase the commeriere will ignore you; there are tourists sitting outside that will pay 6 euro for a cappuccino so
why bother with you who want an espresso for 80 centesimi? Let it be added to this that I got 130 euro in parking ticket
with my bike there. Don't go there!
However, the town looks nice from afar, and I'll show you some photos a day when there is sun.



Happily leaving San Gimignano behind us, passing through the scenic Tuscan landscape with it's rolling hills,
we arrive in Volterra. I don't know why, but Volterra has captured my hart. We are talking about 3.000 years
of town-life here. In particular, when the Etruscan city walls around Volterra were completed after 300 years
of building in the 4th centry BC, there were 25.000 people living there. Roma invaded the city in 298 BC and
there is a lot of collateral damage. The picture above is taken at Porta di Diana (the gate of the Gods), and
this gate has been in ruins for 2.300 years. That's something! I like this place, and I hang around not smoking
a sigar for a while.



After having put out my non-existing sigar, I dash over the valley to take another picture of the
Etruscan wall. There is a path following it, and you can walk along the 7.3 km (4.5 miles) wall and enjoy
the stunning view.




I have left the coolest of all pictures from Volterra to the end.
As you might recall, Augustus was emperor in Roma from 27BC to 14AD (you might have heard this: Now in
those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. And
everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city
. From Luke 2:1. That's owr man!).
Anyway, Volterra is situaated on a hill (well, more a small mountain), and Augustus also built a large theater on
the norther slope. By the way, all this is within the Etruscan walls.
Now, Volterra was almost 1.000 years old when the theater was built. Thus the correct caption to the picture above is:

The picture shows Volterra.
In the foregroud, newer Roman ruins.


Newer Roman ruins? I don't know about you, but for me that consept is mind-boggling. I refrain from taking a sigarillo, but stand for a while
and look at those newer ruins. Then I go home.



306 km (190 miles) on a gray Sunday.

Thank you for you attention - I had a nice Sunday (even though I didn't get lunch), and I hope you have had a nice time reading.

[TaSK]
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:21 PM   #81
capriccio
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Grazie mille. Continua a reportare le vostre adventure in Tuscana, perche sono divertenti e informativi. Spero a presto di fare un giro in moto. Metti le informazioni del tuo business nel posting senza vergognia, come capisco lei fa bike rentals & gite di turismo, si! o capito male. Di nuovo grazie.

Ciao
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:52 AM   #82
tagesk OP
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Thumb Giusto

Quote:
Originally Posted by capriccio
Metti le informazioni del tuo business nel posting senza vergognia, come capisco lei fa bike rentals & gite di turismo, si! o capito male.

Ciao
Si, ha capito bene! Grazie per leggendo il mie adventure!

Ci vediamo li.

[TaSK]
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:44 AM   #83
Watercat
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Careful bamsefar

quote/
But before we get to the cool stuff I must tell you that today's theme is From Behind. Based on my personal
preferences I always ask my model to show either a full frontal, or a profile (preferrably the right side). On the
other hand, I am fully aware that pictures taken from behind which reveils all details can have considerable
effect on people. Mostly men, but let us keep it general. For a particular reason, and, as you understand, not
because I prefer them taken that way, all pictures today show Bamsefar with his rear end toward me.
Not that his rear-end isn't worth looking at, at times, but Bamsefar is male and most that prefer things from behind
have females in mind. I notice here that many uses "she" when talking about their bike. And in that case, from
behind might have it's advantages. Not so with Bamsefar. / quote


careful bot to leave him unattended for too long though . . . . . What was it i read about
roman men & "from behind" ! ! !
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:31 AM   #84
tagesk OP
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Talking No danger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Watercat
What was it i read about roman men & "from behind" ! ! !
Fortunately, I am from Norway and Bamsefar is German, so we'll deal with it, I think

[TaSK]
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:26 PM   #85
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It's kinda strange ... after few days off the ADVrider I have to see if there was some new ride on Your thread. Great stuff again and again, I think I'm addicted to this thread now.

Have plans to go to Tuscany with my girfriend in May this year, so these tons of info You're providing will be very usefull, thanks a lot
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:09 AM   #86
tagesk OP
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Thumb Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frgich
It's kinda strange ... after few days off the ADVrider I have to see if there was some new ride on Your thread. Great stuff again and again, I think I'm addicted to this thread now.
Having to deal with an addict means I have to work harder. Maybe I have to ride even more than I already do

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement!
If you pass through Toscana during your summer trip, please stop by and I'll serve espresso and suggestions of places to ride.

[TaSK]
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:34 AM   #87
Saso
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Riding in Tuscany

I just found this thread - wonderful stories and photos. I've been away from my bike since last August while traveling on a sabbatical with my wife and two sons. Back in October when we were traveling through Italy I finally rented a bike in Florence and my 10 year old joined me for a beautiful ride in the Chianti region. It was a real tease - we rode hard all day finding obscure little roads that took us to amazing places. We got lost several times but someone said it's important to enjoy getting lost in Tuscany. Here are a few pics of that ride. I can't wait to return for a real tour!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5636985...7602883953262/
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:13 AM   #88
Frgich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagesk
Having to deal with an addict means I have to work harder. Maybe I have to ride even more than I already do

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement!
If you pass through Toscana during your summer trip, please stop by and I'll serve espresso and suggestions of places to ride.

[TaSK]
Addict gives you his approval to ride more .

I'll be free to contact You when the trip and schedule will be defined, and that espresso sounds nice, thanks
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:29 AM   #89
tagesk OP
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Bluhduh Just a sunset




It is winter, and technically speaking I can't complain about some rain. In fact, since Al Gore turned these nice mild winters into a problem, we are worried about lack of water. So I am happy (sort of) for the rain
Anyway, there are limits to everything, and I was getting abstinence from being grounded. Thus a spin around the village in the surrounding hills. It was drizzling but, Lo and Behold, a small opening in the clouds just as the sun was setting. I quickly snapped this one. Not a proper ride-report, sorry, but I need to remind myself that in a few weeks this swful winter will be over and done with.

[TaSK]
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:43 AM   #90
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Personally I don't mind sausages for breakfast at all. Bread and jam is fine too, but I'm pretty easy about what constitutes a decent breakfast. I like the photos, the tone of this thread is irritating.
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