After spending ten days in Serbia, falling in love with its history and its beauties (and having seen Italy’s defeat against Germany in an open-air bar in Niš, where everyone was cheering for the Azzurri), the time for another country arrived.
Romania and Marie Curie Pediatric Hospital in Bucharest were waiting for me.
To get there, however, I chose to cross another land first.
With my great surprise, a land where I already had to learn to read the Cyrillic alphabet: Bulgaria.
5 July, Dimitrovgrad (Serbia – Bulgaria border) | Day 34 🇷🇸 – 🇧🇬
Someone, perhaps suspicious, asked me “Why don’t you ever put photos of you on the bike? ”
And the reasons are basically two:
1) So far I didn’t cycle for thousands kilometers. I have time, but it is true that I am often taking other transports to facilitate the travel (actually that’s why I chose a folding bike);
2) cause watching me riding a bicycle is almost unbearable. Especially when it’s hot.
PS: yes, I made it to my fifth capital of this trip.
I made it to Sofia. By bicycle.
6 July, Rila Monastery | Day 35 🇧🇬
Meeting some kind of new energies, in Rila Monastery.
7 July, Sofia | Day 36 🇧🇬
I wasn’t expected to visit it.
The afternoon I came in, its crazy traffic tried to cut my road at least three times.
One of its hostel welcomed me with a 20-beds-dorm, ambient music and dozens of nationalities.
I planned to leave it the next morning, but I stayed two nights.
There I met old and new friends.
It gave me a visit to an amazing monastery and a half unexpected, unrequited infatuation. Extreme euphoria, discouragement, mental paralysis and inner peace.
Within two days, it changed me.
At midnight I will leave it, on a night bus, happy I have been there.
This was it, my Sofia.
THE BIRTH OF A PROJECT
“Vieri, always keep in mind one thing. When you get to 94 years old, or at the end of your life, you do not remember anything of what you received.
Do you know what do you remember perfectly instead?
All you’ve given.“
It was my grandfather telling me these words, just over a year and a half ago and just before he left for good.
Since then I have often recovered them and thought about them.
And so it was when I matured, in January, the decision to leave for this long journey.
What could I do – I asked myself – so that this adventure may not be something for me only?
COMPLETE POST: HERE
KM on BICYCLE: 83
KM on AUTOBUS: 250
NIGHTS in HOSTELS: 3
NIGHTS in HOSPITALITY: 0
EXPENSES: 97 €
“GOOD DAY”: “Dobro Utro”
“THANK YOU”: “Blagodarija”
9 July, Bucharest (Romania) | Day 38 🇷🇴
Yesterday, thanks to Enona Chiriac from Inima Copiilor Association, I visited the Children’s Hospital Marie Curie in Bucharest, where the non-profit organization Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo – A.I.C.I. Onlus has been working in the last 3 years.
I witnessed, for the first time, a tough and wonderful reality, which gives hope to hundreds of Romanian children every year.
As soon as possible – it must be seriously produced – I’ll write a post about what I saw and got to know.
It deserves attention, and as far as possible even the help, from all of us.
It may seem trivial, but for little Christian and several other children it is absolutely not.
Few days later I wrote this POST: “A KID NAMED ADI’S (POSSIBLE) DREAM”
10 July, Sibiu (Romania) | Day 39 🇷🇴
Some persons believe that the best part of traveling is the people you meet. And I am certainly among them.
On the route Bucharest – Sibiu I met Tom.
We were by chance stuck in a row to buy the same ticket. We were, again by chance, sitting next to each other also on the train, and we talked for 8 hours (yea, trains go slow here).
Tom is an American from San Diego and in the last 25 years he has been working as a trainer for Austria Vienna’s Youth Team. Psychologist up to 45 years, he decided then to change his life and, after a few years of failures and hard work, he imported in football a new mental and training program which is now used everywhere in the country and from Bayern München itself.
Several teams tried to have him, offering “good money”, but Tom never wanted to leave those who believed in him at the very beginning and allowed him to create what he created.
With a German partner he founded a chocolate company; each month he flies to Belize to taste the cocoa beans he chooses for his creations and to know more about the country. He will maybe live there, one day or another, and in the meantime he donates 10% of his entire earnings to local schools.
“They don’t own that much there, but what they have they give it to you from the heart. And they don’t run a bad life, you know?”
He likes beer, sports, socializing and laughing. He laughs really a lot, perhaps more than he talks, and it is contagious.
He came to Sibiu in order to reach, from here, a town in the Transylvanian mountains from which her mother’s side expatriated in early ‘900.
“My brothers think I’m crazy, but I just want to close the circle.” – He told me yesterday.
And so today’s post goes to Tom, because today Tom closed his circle.
And as for me, I’m glad I met the man who, in addition to my father, I would like to be when I’ll be older.
We also have the same hair, among other things.
11 July, Timisoara (Romania) | Day 40 🇷🇴
Another time 7 hours on a bus, another city.
New thoughts, new doubts, new worries, new tiredness.
Same stupid expression, but quite a happy one.
And so today I take it as a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi … sleeps with the Roses.
I’m a damn lunatic, it’s clear.
And so, when those moments come when I feel a bit down, confused or simply turned off and I am in a city I do not know, I like going on a walk, without a map, random, leaving it to my feet.
It works every time.
Today, doing like this, at some point I heard an incredibly beautiful music.
I followed the call and ended up in front of an open air theater in the middle of a park, listening to some teen-gospel-choir singing in Romanian, not understanding a word but remaining totally enchanted.
This also allowed me to make 4 little new friendships, and of course we ended up playing soccer like crazy.
Damn damn moody me.
12 July, Timisoara (Romania) | Day 41 🇷🇴
Waking up the neighbourhood (as Bryan Adams says), and the pigeons (as I say), in Timisoara.
KM on BICYCLE: 55
KM on AUTOBUS: 630 + KM on TRAIN: 280
NIGHTS in HOSTELS: 5
NIGHTS in HOSPITALITY: 0
EXPENSES: 121 €
“GOOD DAY”: “Buna Dimineata”
“THANK YOU”: “Multumesc”