Cycling in Tuscany
Trip Start Apr 11, 2012
34Trip End Oct 10, 2012
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The first day out of Nice I went through Monaco and into Italy. Three countries in one day…that’s a first! Lovely coast and the transition into Italy was not very noticeable to be honest. The only difference I noticed right away were the colorful apartment blocks with flowers and drying clothes out on the balconies. A little something I recognize from the movies. I stopped at a campground the first evening and made it out onto a private beach for a swim in the Mediterranean
The third day, I passed through Genoa. The city stretches for twenty miles along the coast, which I didn’t really appreciate. Riding in traffic is NEVER fun with my ball and chain trailer. Still, I was able to see some of the sights in town before pushing on. I don’t think the place is worth a stop though, for it is a rather commercial area and not too pretty. I did find a nice place to eat lunch just outside of the city with a nice view along the coast, so I guess there is always somewhere that looks nice anywhere. Next along the coast was Portofino. It required a slight detour, but I think it was most worth it. Cute, though it almost looks like it was made to be a tourist trap.
The fifth day of riding, I passed through Pisa of "leaning tower of Pisa" fame. Tons of tourists here and everything cost to enter, so I stayed outside…yeah, I’m a cheapo. I bumped into a Dutch guy and his New Zealander girlfriend who were on their tandem doing a tour from London to Israel
I did thoroughly enjoy Florence, at least. I'm a little tired of the god-related art everywhere, so the hour-long wait to enter the Uffizi Gallery wasn't really worth it in my book. The obsessive fascination with Mary and baby Jesus was a little creepy even. How about painting some trees in a field for a change? It reminds me a bit of Christian rock. Anytime you restrict the manner in which you can express yourself, everything starts to sound/look the same and also goes a little shitty. Well, that is my little two cents' worth, not that any art aficionado would care what I think :)
Luckily, my hostel was a great place to meet people, and I ended up going out the first night with four guys from Sacramento. The next night was with a large international group of English speakers. Maybe it is the time of year or maybe just the place, but there are a lot more tourists in Italy so far. After France, I do appreciate being able to find English speakers. It’s always the little things, like being able to have a full conversation. I am right at the two month mark in my travels now, and that is $2500 spent in Europe so far. Amazingly, I am spending less on lodging here than I was back in the States. This isn’t a bad way to go.