One way ticket, please | Florence-Tokyo
The sun peeps out from behind the mountain, the sensation of heat is immediate, the sky is clear and deep blue, the air is fresh and scented.
I look at the bike.
Everything is settled, everything is in order; I hesitate a bit.
I close the last buckle of the boots, I wear gloves, a last look, a pinch of nostalgia..
Down the visor, I have to go.
I do not know where, but I dreamed it, and dreams know the way.
No, I don’t wanna be that phylosophic, it’s boring.
Basically, around mid-2011 something has changed radically the conception of my “Geographic Me”, so much to thought an absurdity; need to escape?
Simply I would call it curiosity, curiosity to people that still don’t have the occident’s illness, to incredible places, and maybe, over all, curiosity to myself and the possibilities that I’ll be able to create on the road.
There is a beautiful quote by Renzo Piano that could describe my mood better than every other word:
“Young people must leave, but for curiosity, not out of desperation.
And then come back.
Leave to understand the rest of the world and even before, themselves”
Is there still anything not clear?
It’s normal, me too I will make more clearness as I’ll be nearer to the moment of the departure, many will be the crossroads during the route, the right direction will be clear only later…
At the moment, I have in mind only a rough itinerary, the resources with which I’ll get ready to leave home, and…
…and a great dream…SognandOriente [OrientDreaming]…
RESOURCES AND MEANS AVAILABLE
2-4 month on trip
RESOURCES AND MEANS NOT AVAILABLE
I have deliberately stressed as the most important resources for me are the emotional ones, like the ENTHUSIASM, without which you lose the color of every single day; like the AFFECTIONS, which will inevitably be a part of me that will stay at home; and like the PLACES and their “make us feel at home” with just a look.
Another important resource: the TIME, because itself more than money will be important for me to manage the trip – the real rich is he who has time.
Then we have the material resources, the BUDGET available, the MOTORCYCLE that I learned about mechanically, the SUPPORT and COMFORT that I won’t have; compromises are essential for such a project, for which I’ll be ready for anything.
I LEAVE. STOP.
No restrictions, no prerogatives, I accept traveling companions, as long as my rhythms agree, I know the date of departure, not the eventual return, which can be fine even after a month or less if something doesn’t go as should
I want to enjoy the trip basing itself only on my feelings.
After? Who knows, from that point on everything will depend only by myself.
Keep travelling? Back home? Look for a stable situation?
Who knows, time will tell…!
OVERVIEW ON CROSSED COUNTRIES
My country, for no reason in the world I would trade it for any other, despite its flaws.
Especially when I travel, I feel proud because, as says Renzo Piano “For this Italian style there is always a sitting place at the table, in the rest of the world.”
And Florence, city of birth and of studies, tirelessly at the top of the cities that I love most.
A country crossed in a hurry during my trip to Croatia by bike, of which I have a pleasant and positive remember.
It always comes back to mind the Magistral leading into 40 mile in Croatia, immersed in the green countryside, surrounded by a double row of trees to shade it, no doubt of Roman construction.
Spectacular cornerstone of my cycling expedition, with beautiful sea, beautiful hilly landscapes, cities full of history.
I will be back again, to savor the curves…struggling a bit less!
Here I would like to visit Plitvice, missed the last time, Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, and Split, with its palace of Diocletian of the Roman era.
BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA
A few miles to get to the border of Montenegro, I’d like to have a more intense look to this country, to Mostar and Sarajevo, to smell the air of old conflicts and new hopes.
Like many of the Balkan states, is underestimated by tourism, but can offer breathtaking scenery as well as a wealth of history, enclosed in mountain villages, Roman towns and monasteries.
Notable national parks, especially that of Lake Skadar.
Castles, beautiful sea, parks: this has to offer Albania, the one that basically we do not know enough but that can give you unexpected surprises.
Greece, well, it does not need any introduction, the homeland of the ancient culture has to offer just about everything, especially to me who I studied architecture, with its classical buildings, then we have the sea, the food, the people…and the sun! Oh yes, here will be really hot!
Turkey has engraved in my mind the memory of when, 7 years old, I visited the most important city here, even if not the capital: Istanbul, a mixture of culture, an unmistakable scent of history, the bazaar, the Hagia Sophia, Pamukkale , Goreme (whose buildings carved into the tufa were also a subject of my studies in Architecture).
A mysterious country to me, which demarcates the line of physical separation between Europe and Asia with the chain of the Caucasus, majestic and impressive.
A host of monasteries, landscapes, ranging from swamps to glaciers, and Russia is now behind the horizon.
Russia, the biggest country in the world, the infinite contained in the landscapes of Siberia, the fear of the dictatorship and the gulags, the challenge of the BAM road, the majesty of the Baikal that contains one fifth of the world’s freshwater, the warmth of people who live in regions so cold and distant from everything: this is Russia, this is the nation that most intrigues and at the same time intimidates me.
Bad roads, dry climate, almost desert, steppe, but also things that should not be underestimated: cities like Astana or Almaty, Lake Balkhash, which is slowly disappearing as the Aral Sea, and the Charyn Canyon, a mini Grand Canyon.
Mystical Mongolia, it has something magical that we can not explain, yet its verdant highlands make us dream, the traditional Mongolian tents inhabited by people who are happy with nothing, the camels, the Gobi desert near the border with China, and finally the capital Ulaan Baatar, the coldest capital of the world.
Finally, the pearl of Asia, a land of a thousand contradictions, based on work and nationalism; its history is important, but was denied after the Great War, we go from the traditions handed down from one generation to the flashy young rebels, until the technology of the most advanced in the world.
Love and hate, this is Japan.