Italy Part III: Wild & Weird

  • View from campground cafe in Florence
  • International dinner at Warm Showers home
  • Rainy mosquito camping in farm field in Italy
  • The problemed Velo 7 & 8 signs
  • This goat wanted out!
  • Just outside Manua, Italy
  • Another cool bicycle cafe along the river in Italy
  • Plaza in Mantua where I nibbled
  • Path to castle in Borgetto
  • Borgettto, Italy
  • Borghetto, Italy
  • Borghetto, Italy
  • Sunset over Laga di Garda
  • Larga di Gada
  • Body Painting Contest in Bordolino
  • View before dropping into Larga Di Garda, Italy
  • Along cycle path nearing Laga di Garda area
  • Cycled upon city of Laga di Garda and rainbow popped out!

Oh my…I am hot and tired! I sit and begin writing this on my first train since coming to Europe after attempting to cycle half way to Florence yesterday but I ran into snags. I am supposed to stay with a Warm Shower’s host tonight (little do I know at this point what’s in store for me). Okay let me back up a bit…
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Italy Part II: My New Strategy Came with A Bonus Meeting

  • In Trento with the Czech cyclists
  • Race staring line outside the hotel in Trento
  • Cycling in Italy
  • Dedicated cycling tunnels in Italy
  • Cool cycling art along cycle paths in Italy
  • Bicycle tourist info stand along path in Italy

After my crap cycling day, I devised some new strategies to attempt to make my cycling more enjoyable. First things first, eat a big, hearty breakfast – no excuses (for me that involves bread, butter (peanut butter if I have it), jam and yogurt (if available). This I did. Given the heat, I wanted to try getting on the road early and taking a break for a few hours in the middle of the day to write, and then cycling again later in the day. I did this too. I made it to the mid-sized old Italian town of Belzano by 11:30 am and stopped until 3:30 p.m. I wrote in a cafe and had a luscious lemon ice, a cappuccino, and a fresh Continue reading

Italy Part I: Errors in the Alps

  • Lake Dobiacco and the Dolimites
  • Steel & I at Lake Dobiacco Campground
  • cycling accidentally up the mountain
  • Hotel on Lake Dobiacco across from campground
  • The
  • Cycling along rives in Italy
  • View of Dolomites while cycling
  • Interesting camping set up in Italy
  • Circling Brixon's vineyards
  • Paragliders in Italy
  • Nifty bicycle art along cycle path
  • View cycling into Lake Dobiacco campground
  • Restaurant at Dobiacco campground
  • Nice bicycle paths in Italy

 

Cycling in Italy is one of those dreamy types of things that I never really thought I would get an opportunity to do.  I especially never thought I would experience cycling in the Dolomites, or the Italian Alps -in large part because I never imagined I would be fit enough to drag me and loaded bicycle up mountains.

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Over the Alps with Only Minor Mishaps

  • Evening concert in Lientz
  • Evening in Lientz
  • Wild flowers in Austia
  • Route 7 bike route to Lientz
  • Cool cycling art along Route 7
  • Cool dwelling along Rt. 7
  • Rt 7 to Lientz
  • Coming down the pass in Austria
  • Waterfall in Bad Gastien
  • Waterfall through Bad Gastein
  • Bad Gastien
  • Ride up alps
  • Steve & I in Campground near Bad Hofgastein
  • Steve with a new camping friend
  • Yard art
  • Cycle path to Bad Hofgastein
  • Cycling up the Alps

 

For the first time on this here cycling adventure, I bought a map. This goes to show that I was nervous about crossing the Alps. They look awfully high from a far and thought of getting turned around in them was weighing on my mind. Basically, all the cycling routes (Velo 7 and Alpe-Radweg)(http://alpe-adria-radweg.comAlpe-Radweg) take the same route from Salzburg up the Alps and begin to differ after the mountain pass.
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Three Special Couples on My Turn to Munich

  • Helpful Bavarian cyclist
  • Camping too close to the river
  • Followed Gus to the Lake
  • Nice breakfast!
  • Gunther's got talent!
  • Cool wood heater & cool couple!
  • Outside their cool Bavarian home
  • World Cup Game Viewing camping style
  • Cool Church in Landsberg
  • Such a cute couple!
  • The sweet flower in Steel!
  • Largest Bier Garden in Munich!
  • Riia & Elahu & the amazing risotto!
  • Cute Couple 2 in action!
  • Cycling into Munich craziness
  • Nifty Munich Home
  • Cool Couple 3: Dee & Roger!

I dig twist of fate moments in life –like when a man dressed in wonderfully humorous bavarian cycle wear stopped to ask if I needed assistance. I asked his opinion between two routes towards Munich. He suggested the one that turned out to be a beautiful ride on mostly trails through forested area and along rivers and lakes. Given my surroundings, I opted for another undesignated camping area and set up my tent as close to one can possibly get without actually being in the river. In the end, it was actually too close Continue reading

Cycling Bavaria

  • Alpine slide in Bavaria
  • Art in the rain with the cycling family
  • Alpine coaster
  • Undesignated camping
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Hohenschwangau -neighbor castle
  • Bike & Breakfast...so cool!
  • Proper German meal! Yum!
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Campground outside Fussen...so Bavarian!
  • Lake across street from campground
  • Lake at 4 star campground
  • Bavarian style home
  • Waterfall at castle

Cycling through Bavaria brings with it serious rolling “hills”, cool Bavarian style homes covered in flowers, lots of Bier (beer) gardens, cows, and random other alpine attractions like when I made a wrong turn and happened upon a cool alpine slide down the mountain (think roller-coaster with goat nibbling around it). Cycling has become popular in Germany, and well, as a result the cycle paths are great and well marked. I never turned on my gps, and even if I end up on a path different than I intended, it took me a lovely route.  It was also my first time ever seeing “Bike & Breakfast” signs, as opposed to “Bed & Breakfast”…so cool!

Exploring My Roots

  • Camping in Basel after the chaos left
  • Imagine Music Festival in Basel, Switzerland
  • Imagine Music Festival in Basel
  • Finally found a thrift store in Basel
  • Above Rathaus entrance in Basel
  • Entrance to Rathaus (town hall ) in Basel
  • Steel & I researching at Rathaus in Basel
  • Rottelin Castle, Lorrach
  • Rotteln Castle, Lorrach, Germany
  • Stage in Rottelin Castle, Lorrach, Germany
  • View from Rottelin Burg (Castle), Germany
  • Love love love this car!!
  • Olivier's cool home and books of his cycling adventures!  I dig functional decorating with a bike!
  • Typical BBQ along Rhine River in Basel
  • Olivier helping me plan my Swiss Alps route
  • Rhine River at night in Basel
  • Floating down the Rhine with their clothes in waterproof bags
  • Sculpture on my ride home from Lorrach, Germany
  • People floating with waterproof bags down the Rhine River in Basel

 

I arrived in Basel, Switzerland on a Saturday, and opted to go there because it was where I thought my Grandfather (Grandpa Ley) on my mom’s side was from. Basel immediately had a different feel than France. No more scarfs. People passed by and say hello. I found myself in Basel on a record breaking hot holiday weekend. I hunkered down at a campground about a 40 min cycle east of Basel. I have never experienced a campground that crowded. The owner squeezed me in literally 2 feet from the Rhine River, and I was surround Continue reading

A Slight Detour

  • Alps in La Crusaz, France
  • Paragliding launch above Lake Annecy, France
  • All paddle boats should have slides, no?
  • Sculptures at Olympic Village in Ouchy, Switzerland
  • Sculptures at Olympic Village in Ouchy, Switzerland
  • Sculptures at Olympic Village in Ouchy, Switzerland
  • Bicycle flag ideas??  Lake Lucerne, Ouchy, Switzerland
  • Lake Lucerne in Ouchy, Switzerland
  • View to Susa, Italy
  • View to Lake Annecy, France
  • Waterfall hike around Lake Annecy, France
  • Steel enjoying Lake Annecy
  • Paragliding over Lake Annecy, France
  • Paragliding over Lake Annecy, France
  • Paragliding in the French Alps
  • Paragliding in the French Alps above Lake Annecy
  • Paragliding in the French Alps above Lake Annecy
  • Paragliding in the French Alps
  • Tandem paraglide ride in France
  • Tandem paraglide ride in France
  • View to Lake Annecy, France
  • Paragliding above Lake Annecy
  • Launching on tandem paraglide ride
  • Amazing French Goodies!
  • Steel & I loved this bicycle!
  • Perhaps a new look for women's cycling gear??

So where have Steel and I been for about 10 days? Well sometimes crazy things happen when an adventurous sort meets up with another one. For the sake of animinity, I’ll call my “love” interest Joe. I was turned on to Joe for all the right reasons. He liked my project and I liked all of his. I respected and still do how he operates in the world. He’s got great ideas and executes on them, and facilitates others. He’s a connector and a facilitator and he became a supporter of me and my projects. For all this I am thankful, even if we ultimately go our separate ways. Continue reading

Rain, Rain, Rain…& Brain?!

 

I was up and on the road by 8:30 a.m, and by late morning I found a “tabac” (the places in France that are open early where you go for a a drink, coffee or otherwise, and to buy cigarettes and lottery tickets, and to say “hello” to your friends) to duck into from the rain and get a coffee.  You see…I need this coffee habit if only to warm myself!  As an aside, thumbs up on Continue reading

Bicycling in Paris…

  • Public Bicycle's in Paris

 

Parisians seem to love to smoke and eat baguettes, but they absolutely do not dig wearing bicycling helmets –although I did see one woman wearing a cute one (go girl!).  When I asked a bicycle shop worker why no one wears helmets, he explained, “because there is no law to do so, and it would not look right with one’s Sunday best outfit.” The worker was originally from Holland and said that the folks in Amsterdam absolutely don’t wear helmets either, but Continue reading