Archive for March, 2010

Country roads………..

Posted in european trip, italy, motorcycles, Pisa, travel, triumph tiger with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by Bev

The next part of our journey took us thru’ the Umbria region towards Perugia.  It was slow going tho’, alot of slow country roads and at times we seemed as tho’ we were doubling back on ourselves.  The countryside was wonderful tho.  The roads were very busy 🙂

Villages seemed to be built into the mountains

There were hardly any people about and we couldn’t  find a shop, cafe, or bar.  When a supermarket loomed into view I went to get supplies.  I bought, what I thought was melon……

It wasn’t!  Don’t know what it was – he said it tasted like turnip, wasn’t very nice whatever it was!  Found some wildlife tho’

Wonder if he would have liked the turnip/melon……….

More busy roads

After riding for what seemd like days we came across a lake with an open campsite (and a nearby supermarket!) so decided to stay here.

We wondered why all the other “campers” had pitched away from the lake and couldn’t understand why, so we pitched right on the lake side

and went off to get supplies.  We came back with a feast 🙂

and set about eating it all as the sun went down

We soon realised why the other campers had set up further back – we were swarmed by millions of insects and had to take refuge in the (very hot!) tent.   That night i’m sure every bird living on the lake came to investigate our tent – there were all sorts of strange noises going on outside – Ian was snoring his head off and I wasn’t going out there to see what was going on.  I’ll bet these were some of the culprits

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The next day was pretty much the same – tho’ Tuscany this time, on our way to Florence.  Whenever i’ve seen pictures of the Tuscan coutryside it’s always full of sunflowers – not this time of year tho’

We arrived in Florence to a downpour.

Now, lets just say we “parted ways” – one of us went further and this is as far as the “camera” went before returning to the bike!

One of us had a real “moody head on” – and it was touch and go where we were headed next – Pisa or home………..The next hour was spent on the motorway (hmm – not mychoice!)  in silence!  I was glad when the motorway split – left for Pisa, right for Milan – we went left 🙂

Pisa is a lovely town – very compact, alot smaller than I expected.

Very very busy

and of course, it also has this…. I know, cheesy shot!

We went to an outdoor cafe which was attached to a hotel, for something to eat.  Ian went to enquire how much it was for a nights stay – 150 euros!!! Needless to say we didn’t stay here!

We rode up the coast to a town called Viareggio. It was a typical seaside town – lots of posh shops and big hotels along the promenade.  We found a “cheapish” hotel and went for a walk about. NO, we didn’t stay here –  we’re not millionaires!!

We had what was probably the worst meal of our entire trip here (even worse than the lamb bones in Albania!!) – I ordered a chicken parmesan and got what looked (and tasted) like one of those horrible frozen “fake” chicken things that you buy in cheap supermarkets – couldn’t eat it – the waitress was suprised and said it was one of their most popular dishes! Yuck!

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Rome……………

Posted in european trip, italy, motorcycles, Rome, travel, triumph tiger with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by Bev

It would have been nice to spend a little longer in Gaetta but we were eager to get to Rome so set off again.  We rode along the coast for a short while then headed inland thru’ the countryside.

We had planned to find a campsite just outside Rome, figuring that any hotel within 60 miles would probably be the price  of a small house, but, after  most being  closed weren’t sure if it would be the same here.  So, when we rode past a lakeside campsite with a big OPEN sign outside, about 20 miles south of Rome we decided to stay here.  As it was now “out of season” we managed to get a little wooden chalet for  2 nights for the cost of a tent pitch.  It was also Ians chance of doing a little sunbathing and getting some laundry done! Oh, and Tiger got  a bath too. 🙂

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It was fun riding into Rome the next day – we had expected it to be alot busier

I should know the names of these buildings – but I don’t!  🙂

aarrggghhh – Look Out!!!! 😉

We soon “found” where all the cars were

We were heading towards the Colosseum and the traffic seemed to thin out again – we weren’t sure whether we would be able to park up near the Colosseum and envisaged a long walk.

Now this one I do know the name of…..

Luckily we managed to find a parking place about 10 minutes walk past the Colosseum – Italy is great for bike parking, and there seemed to be a whole area along the main road dedicated to bikes. We took over 200 photos of Rome and am hard pressed to find just a few to put on here. Less writing, more pictures!!

We went to see about getting tickets to go inside the Colosseum – unfortunately this was the queue

They said about 2 hours.  2 hours queueing in 40 degree heat didn’t really appeal to us………so we didn’t go in! We wandered up past the Forum to that fabulous building that should have a name which we can remember, but never can!  (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II in the Piazza Venezia)

We set off back towards the  bike, where we had noticed loads of cafes in the side streets on the way up, to get some lunch.

The Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Titus

We found a little restaurant quite near to the bike and sat at a table with a young English couple.  They told us that the previous day they had visisted the Trevi Fountain and he had got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend in front of the crowd.  The Italians loved it and were clapping and “cooing” over them.  She said yes.  We were surprised at the prices of the food as had expected it to be expensive – was very reasonable tho’ for the location.  We got back to the bike and set off for the Trevi Fountain.

We found a parking spot somewhere near here

Trevi  Fountain

Unfortunately there were other people here as well 🙂

We realised the Pantheon was only a short walk from here so set off to find it.

The Obelisk of Montecitorio (Solare obelisk)

If you’re ever wandering around this part of Rome and are in need of a drink – McDonalds does a fab Frappe for 1 euro,  free toilets and  air conditioned – nice to cool down there!!

Macuteo Obelisk

We set off back for the bike and to the Vatican

Yay…..found it………..

I couldn’t believe it – it was SHUT!  Was not pleased 😦

There is so much to see in Rome – couldn’t possibly do it all in a day – my biggest regret of this trip is that we didn’t go back the next day – I really wanted to see the Sistine Chapel and St Peters Basilica in the Vatican and we also “missed” the Castel Saint’Angelo – oh well, there’s always another time………. 🙂