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Old 10-23-2011, 07:09 AM   #1
panzerrocket OP
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La dolce vita

Weather has been really crap here in Denmark this summer, tons of rain and hardly any sun, so I haven't been out on the bike much. I had a week-long trip around in Denmark with my son Nikolai, but the weather was so so.
It was therefore with much anticipation that I set out on this 4˝ week long trip to Italy with my son.
On a cold windy thursday afternoon we rode to Malmö to catch the overnight ferry to Travemünde in Germany.
Here Nikolai is ready for bed on the ferry.



Friday morning at 10:00 o'clock we reached Altona train-station in Hamburg to get the auto-zug. As Nikolai is only 5 years old I will not ride autobahns through Europe with him.



Waiting on the train, Nikolai is trying his skills with a camera.



Finally the train arrives.



This here beats 2 days of riding 8 hours a day to get to Southern Europe, if you ask Nikolai.





And I could have a few beers in the restaurant without worrying...



Next morning the train arrived in the town Alessandria in Northern Italy, and at 09:00 o'clock we where ready to ride.

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Old 10-23-2011, 07:32 AM   #2
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Great trip report. Looking forward to following along.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:41 AM   #3
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Hitting the secondary roads we started climbing up in the mountains heading south.







Having a break at the smallest church I've ever seen.





Descending from the mountains,



we passed several small nice villages,



before we reached the coast, Costa Liguria, at the town San Remo.





We followed the coast south-west with mindblowing views. Iggy Pop took care of the entertainment on the stereo, life was enjoyable.





In the afternoon I got the tent up here, in the shade of olive-trees.



Nikolai was quick to get out of the riding gear and playing around.



With 2 nights here,we spent the next day relaxing, swimming in the Ligurian sea, and do kids stuff.
We went first into a small town for lunch,



and enjoyed this delicious seafood.



Afterwards the riding gear got locked on to the bike and we went for a swim. Here Nikolai is learning to swim.



Even for a 5 year old, a couple of hours swimming, wears one out



Back home at the camp-site, we went for dinner later on at a local restaurant.
Starting out with makaroni,


followed by - yes seafood.

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Old 10-23-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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Awesome to see your son riding with you... he'll remember this trip for a lifetime.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:28 AM   #5
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Next day we continued along the coast, southwards.





Nikolai commented on everything over the intercom. Daddy what is that there, dad look at that funny house, why are the cars driving so slow dad? It's never boring being on the road with him.
On a lot of the mountain-sides going down to the sea, there was wine-fields.



The harvest had started.



At the town La Spezia I turned inland, and we started making our way up in the mountains Alpi Apuane



In the middle of nowhere this nice restaurant popped up,



and we had our lunch here in the shade.



Reaching the town Lucca, I got the tent up at the local camp-site, 10 min. walk from the old town.



Walking into town for dinner we passed a gun-shop. Nikolai is absolutely crazy about guns, so we had to stop and look. The shop was still open, so I thought - why the hell not, I'll try, and rang the bell to get in. And you know what, the owner came out and opened the door for us! Nikolai was in seventh heaven, eyeballing all the guns. I asked if it was possible for my son to try and hold a gun, so here you see a very proud little boy holding a real machine-gun.



I don't know what make or model it was, I'm not into guns, but this episode was the talk of the evening.
Here we had dinner.



We had a splendid evening in town, so it was a bit hard for some to get up the next morning



The next day was spent on sightseeing in Lucca.
Here's one of the entrance gates to the old town.





We had a wonderful day, just strolling around in the old city, eating ice-creams, snoozing in the park, window-shopping and admiring the old buildings.













Italian style



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Old 10-23-2011, 08:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by McBike View Post
Great trip report. Looking forward to following along.
Thanks mate, there's a lot more to come. I've got tons of pictures.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwilightZone View Post
Awesome to see your son riding with you... he'll remember this trip for a lifetime.
Hi TwilightZone, thanks. He's been travelling with me over the 1˝ year now and he's loving it.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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After 2 days in Lucca it was time to get out and do what it's all about, riding. I pointed the frontwheel in the norh-east direction, and rode up in Parco Reg. dell' Alto Appenino Modenese. The landscape was beautiful



and the roads was a blast to ride.



Suddently Nikolai asks me - dad why are you riding so slow? Can't you go faster through the corners?


Through small villages







Having a break, taking in the scenary.






Stopping for an espresso and an ice-cream.







At the end of the day, we checked in at this nice camp-site, where we stayed 2 days.



After a relaxing day here, we continued through the Tuscan landscape towards the town San Gimignano.





In this town we stopped for lunch.



I got the best home-made ravioli on the whole trip here,



followed by some tuscan specialities as I shared with Nikolai.



We reached San Gimignano in the afternoon and checked in at this camp-site.





The next morning we took the bus into town for some sight-seeing.
The skyline of San Gimignano.



The town is remarkeble due to all the towers,



in medieval times the towers was symbols of power and wealth.



In the towns heyday it consisted of 72 towers, of which 14 remain today.



The entrance to the town.



We strolled along in this medieval atmosphere,



and enjoyed a beer and a Coca Cola at the main square.



The town was packed with tourists,



Shots from around the city.













After a day here we walked back through wine-fields to the camp-site.



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Old 10-23-2011, 10:04 AM   #9
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Itineris Verendum

"Itineris Verendum" english translation= Awesome Journey. Great photographs and a great read from my breakfast table looking out on a gray day. Thanks for sharing your ride. I think I need to start planning some trips for the spring with my soon to be 5 year old. By the way the gun that Nikolai was holding is a .223 caliber Colt M-4 (or a competitors copy of the same). Looking forward to the rest of the report. In.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #10
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虎父无犬子,上阵父子兵。
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:36 AM   #11
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Love European RRs! Nice pics too!
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
"Itineris Verendum" english translation= Awesome Journey. Great photographs and a great read from my breakfast table looking out on a gray day. Thanks for sharing your ride. I think I need to start planning some trips for the spring with my soon to be 5 year old. By the way the gun that Nikolai was holding is a .223 caliber Colt M-4 (or a competitors copy of the same). Looking forward to the rest of the report. In.
Hi Stevil, thanks for the update on the gun. And yes, just get out there, ride with your 5 year old.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:28 PM   #13
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The next day it was back on the road.



Stopping for breaks from time to time.





It's hard work being the rider in these conditions



Upon reaching the town Montalcino, the castle was what Nikolai looked forward to.



Unfortunately we couldn't get into the castle itself, that was a bit of a downer for him.



Instead we walked around in this nice old city.













Eating ice-creams.





We rode on and found a camp-site in the town Sarteano. It was the most expensive camp-site on the whole trip, with a price of 32 euroes for one night! Usually I payed between 15-20 euroes for a night. Here's the entrance to the camp-site at night.



We had a 5 min. walk into town, where we looked for a place to eat. The restaurant i chose, seemed to suit Nikolai well.



I started out with pasta,



and Nikolai had bread with various paté.



For the main course I had this lovely mix of meat and salad.



After a good nights sleep it was back on the road again.





We crossed southern Tuscany riding back towards the sea.







In the town Piombino we took the ferry towards Isola D' Elba.
Leaving the main-land.



Nikolai showing off, with the island Elba in the background.



The ferry docked at the town Portoferráio, and we crossed the island and got to the town Lacona. The first camp-site we looked at was crap, and they wanted 30 euroes pr. night! No thanks. Nikolai freaked out when he found out, that I wouldn't stay there. It had been a long day and he was tired. Eventually he agreed through tears, that we went on to find another camp-site. 2km down the road this camp-site turned up, charging 15 euroes pr. night.



We set up camp approx. 10 meter from the beach.



This here looked like a nice place, so I planned on staying here the next 5 days. 4 days relaxing and swimming for Nikolai and 1 day to ride around the island.
In the evening we went down to the beach, where there was a lovely restaurant. I started out with ravioli



and Nikolai got a pizza.



For main course I had octopussy in some strong tomato-sauce - very nice.



Back home at the tent I enjoyed a malt-whiskey - or was it three? - before we went to bed after a long day.

Stay tuned for the next installment coming up tomorrow.

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Old 10-24-2011, 06:13 AM   #14
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We had some wonderful days here on Elba. Building sandcastles on the beach, playing ball, having fun in the water, eating ice-creams and drinking beer The camp-site was located right out to Golfo di Lacona. Here's the beach,





A few boats moored here.



The second evening we sat outside the tent, and suddently heard some cars racing around in the nearby mountains. Next morning I asked in the camp-site's reception, what that was all about, and it turned out that over the next 2 days, there was a classic rally on Elba. Cool, that had to be checked out. So after a bit of investigation, we were off to see some rally.



There was some nice old cars,



with the most wonderful sound, when they almost came flying down the road.



In the afternoon it was back to the restaurant on the beach. It was by far the best place we dined on the entire trip, and that says a lot. We had dinner out almost every night, I think I only made food at the camp 3 times. But being in Italy, with probably one of the best kitchens in the world, it would be a shame to sit and fiddle around with homemade pasta in the tent every night. The food was outstanding throughout the entire trip, except for 1 night, but I'll come back to that later. For lunch we occasionally had pizza, always a good choice. You don't get better pizza's anywhere else in the world.
Here's the restaurant seen from the beach.



Early afternoon view over Golfo di Lacona, seen from the restaurant.



Man, I enjoyed it. We dined there every night on Elba.



Seafood salat to start with,



followed by monkfish.



Nikolai had grilled fish. Here he's sitting with the ony part he wouldn't eat.



After alle these days of relaxing, it was time to see the island,



so we went out to circum-navigate Elba.





It was picture-perfect.



Fantastic shorelines, and then these small villages dotted all along the road.





We also went to see the house where Napoleon was kept "prisoner". After Napoleon as emperor of France had hauled through most of Europe and set it on fire in the early 18.th hundreds, he was defeated and shipped off to Elba - his open prison. It beats me, that the powers of Europe at that time thought that was the end of Napoleon. A man of his statue and energy... His exile on Elba lasted less than a year, before he fled the island and made his way back to Paris. Here he started his famous 100 days as emperor before he finally was defeated at Waterloo and sent off to Sct. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, way off the coast of Africa.

But the bloody house was closed! For me being a "fan" of Napoleon, that was crap. I've seen his birthplace on Corsica and his tomb in Paris. It would have been nice to see his "prison" here on Elba.
Here's the house seen from outside the gates.



We continued along the rocky shores,



and stopped for a coffee and an ice-cream in the town Porto Azzurro.







By the way, ain't this a cool license-plate holder?



Back at the camp-site, we went to our favourite restaurant, and enjoyed the sun going down behind the bay.



As it was our last night on Elba, Nikolai was eager to say goodbye to the waiter Daniella on our restaurant. Daniella had been very friendly throughout the last 4 nights, and fooled quite a lot with Nikolai, even though he still had all the other guests to attend.
Here they're saying goodbye to each other.





We went to bed early, as we next day was going back to the mainland and heading for Umbria.

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Old 10-24-2011, 07:29 AM   #15
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Next morning I had my usual espresso's, and fruit shared with Nikolai. We took care of the bill for the camp-site, and said goodbye to this fellow who sat at the entrance 8 hours a day.



Back in main-land Italy, we again crossed southern Tuscany heading for Lago di Bolsena.





We stopped for coffee and ice-cream,



and I enjoyed the daily life going on outside the café.



I pushed on through the beautiful landscape,











untill we finally reached the lake Lago di Bolsena.



In the town Bolsena we checked in at this camp-site,



and got the tent up.



The following day was divided up into two parts, where we in the morning would have a look at the town and the castle, and the afternoon would be spent on the beach.
Here's Bolsena with the old castle above the town.



Walking around in Bolsena.





Making our way up towards the castle.









Again it was a bit of a disappiontment, as only access to the towers was permitted. We didn't see much of the castle.







View over the towns rooftops, seen from the castle.



Time to get the laundry done, I guess.



On our way back down from the castle we passed a place where some this year's harvest of grapes were handled.





They offered us some grapes, and then it was time to taste!



After midday we went to the beach,





where I again found myself being the target of Nikolai's fun and games



In the afternoon we went for a walk at the harbour,



before we sat down here and had dinner with views over the lake.


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