“Hi Mom,... Read More
After wandering in Old Europe for over three months, it was time to cross a big border.
A morning bus took me to the edge of Tallinn and Estonia, and then towards the beginning of a totally unknown world; a world that would have turned out to be an extremely interesting, varied and complicated one, but that would have also given me some deep sighs of real adventure.
After longing for her and dreaming about her for a long time, there she was.
Finally, it had come: Russia.... Read More
Returning to Poland from my short “holiday” in Sifnos, a pleasant surprise was waiting for me: the Russian Visa.
Russia – perhaps unexpectedly – was no longer a mirage, but became reality: I had 9 days to reach its borders (the entrance had to happen on September 4th).
From Warsaw I decided to cut a part of the road – by bus – to Vilnius (Lithuania) and Riga (Latvia), then to continue cycling along the coasts of the Baltic Sea, where I would languidly discover the beauties of the Baltic Republics and where I would got enchanted by two places called Salacgrīva (Latvia) and Tallinn (Estonia).... Read More
It was August 14th, and I was in Warsaw.
In Warsaw I had to wait 10 days before knowing if the Russian Embassy would accept my visa application.
In Warsaw there were 10 degrees.
So I checked how much was for a Warsaw – Athens lowcost flight and – after I left my bicycle by a friend (in order to say then that at least the bicycle would never take a flight during the entire trip), I decided to indulge my desire for a short vacation.
For ten days … I went home. The Greek one.
I went back to Sifnos.... Read More
At the end of the second month of travel, just after crossing the border with Poland over a bus coming from Prague, I decided that it was time for a small break.
August had just begun and I was kindly conquered by the holiday atmosphere surrounding me.
So I visited some very old friends – in Wroclaw, where I would spent ten days – and started preparing all the documentation I needed to apply for the Russian visa outside Italy.
Then, worn out and cold, I left my bicycle in Warsaw for a few days … to fly to a place I would have really loved for sure.... Read More
After crossing Komaron bridge and heading to the train station of the neighboring Slovak town of Komarno, on July 28th I left Hungary and reached another Danubian capital: Bratislava.
Then it was the turn of Bohemia’s jewels, in magical Prague.
Two new countries and two new Capitals, in the midst of the first real difficulties.
My journey was slowly changing.
My journey, day by day, was becoming something different.... Read More
On July 22nd, after 50 days between the Balkans and Eastern Europe, I started the long way to the North.
Shortly before leaving Serbia, I bought a panama hat; I promised myself I would cross the entire Hungary – from South to North – just riding my bicycle, with that panama always on my head.
I spent the first night in a tent in Baja, before challenging myself into a record stage (180 KM) and then resting for four days in beautiful and touristic Budapest.
The Danube then escorted me to the pretty town of Esztergom (ancient Strigonio, for the Romans) and to the culmination of my dull project: on the bridge which marks the border between Hungary and Slovakia – between the sisters cities of Komarom and Komarno – I took the last selfie wearing the panama I bought in Serbia.
Hungary – an extremely welcoming country, even though in some other ways an incredibly closed and isolated one – was officially “completed”. On a bicycle.... Read More
In one week I had been jumping from one side to another of two very similar countries, yet enormously different from each other: Bulgaria and Romania, although being neighbours, seemed to me like heterozygous twins who stopped attending for so long.
I “passed” them too fastly. Too superficially.
So I decided – after a brief stop on Bosnian ground for a meeting – I’d rather return to slow travelling.
I would have closed my Balkan experience savoring again the sunsets of Belgrade, being lulled by the fresh and languid Danubian waters in Novi Sad and cycling northwards … to Sombor, and to the border with Hungary.... Read More
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.... Read More
On June 25th I left Sarajevo and Bosnia, preparing to cross Serbia.
I imagined I would have stayed only a few days – the time to visit Belgrade and to figure out a way to get to Romania (where I would visit a pediatric hospital) – but I was immediately dazzled by the beauty and the warm welcoming of the capital of former Yugoslavia, where I ended up staying over a week (guest of Milica and her mother Svetlana).
Later on I went to Niš – city with impressive history – before changing my plans and deciding to go to Bulgaria …... Read More
A city that for many years was among my greatest curiosities and another whose name evoked in my mind only concepts like war and suffering.
I couldn’t believe they were both so beautiful.
Two gems in Bosnia Herzegovina: Mostar and Sarajevo.... Read More
On June 16th I woke up in the very morning to go for a little challenge: connecting two European capitals on a single day, riding a folding bicycle.
I had to pedal over the sunset to complete my strange “Ljubljana – Zagreb“, before indulging in a big dinner and – afterwards – in a day of intense rest.
Then, I went to the sea.
To meet a friend.... Read More