03.08.2015 Milano, Italy

I woke up early enough. Camping promised internet, but it was paid (3 euros per hour, no end for people’s greed). So I leave posting to later days. Inside me there was pulsing desire to “go-go-go” and I did not resist it. Austria loomed on the horizon, the famous Stelvio Pass and in the end – Milano.

Tent-camp packing business gradually improved, so I hastily taking a shower and pack my stuff quickly enough. Katya had assembled sandwiches for my breakfast (thanks!) so I ate and moved to the south. I had not much time, considering the total mileage and mountain pass – so the path laid down on the highways. Cloudy weather is slowly changing to clear skyes, and through the haze on the horizon began to draw a majestic peaks. This has already happened in previous travels, but it is impossible to get used to this feeling – you just went through the plains of the horizon and suddenly take seeing of huge creations of nature. They approached slowly, and the highway increasingly began to dive into the tunnels. On the outskirts of one of these tunnels I was suddenly in Austria. Petrol immediately fell by 10 cents, so I did not fail to seize the opportunity, to fill under the neck – and stomach has been tucked in also.

Austria, however, lasted not very long – soon after the next tunnel, I saw a sign, that I’m in Italy. Lines of views around – Mama Do not Cry! I wanted to turn on camera mounted on a helmet at every corner of the road, and I am constantly pull myself like: “Wait a minute, because the most delicious yet to come!”. On the road there was many motorcyclists from different countries – it was clear that the mountain road bends attract them very much. Stopping at the azure lake to rest and make a couple of photos I have noted that there are so much of them that they simply did not fit on the parking. But people nevertheless remained straight to themselves – each with its own small company, completely ignoring the rest. I saw the owner of the bike the same as mine and came to talk to. However, his interest quite quickly dried up, friends are already parked and waited until he finished. After a few photos I drove away.

Some time later, I reached the Stelvio and understood why the navigator stubbornly did not want to lead me on it. That’s serpentines – Oh.. When you climb up each turn like a lottery – what’s around the corner? Will you be able to fit into the rotation at the right path? Towards comes descending flying cars and motorcycles, often quite dangerous sides, disagreeing by me. I watched daredevils who clearly is not the first time here, and try to hone their skills go across that passes. I climbed higher and higher but the highest point of the pass did not even think to appear on the eyes. Very often I stopped to take a photo, video … Somewhere in the middle when I was again impressed by the grandeur of the surrounding nature behind the corner I decided to stop and just look. Do not take photos, losing the beauty of the species sticking to the viewfinder. Do not strive right camera focus on the view and setting the direction of the lens. And just to drown out the bike stand, look and listen. I turned to one of the “pockets” of serpentine and dismounted. Minutes passed, perhaps five, I was standing in silent amazement, somitemes reinforcing thoughts with a pair of strong words. Suddenly my contemplation interrupted by the sound of a motor scooter, which is drove into the same pocket. The driver of the scooter just came and stood beside me. So, already, together, we have a few minutes devoted to contemplation. Eventually I began to share my experiences and learned that the owner of the scooter lives in Italy and in Switzerland lives his family, and he is riding on the pass very often. Nevertheless he does not cease to marvel at the beauty of this boundless nature. He lit a cigarette, and I asked him a cigarette for me, though mine was ended. Smiling, the owner of a motor scooter gave me unopened pack cigarettes.

– “Take it, it will come in handy. In Italy it is not so easy to find where to buy cigarettes. ”

I was surprised, but gratefully accepted this unexpected gift, and then we smoked and spent a few minutes in the contemplation. After that I presented him with my traditional gift – a jubilee 10-ruble coin, added a business card, and we parted. Amazing meetings on the road. It’s not where you expect them. Even on the contrary – where you wait for it, there will not be. As I thinking about this – I saw last serpentine to pass. It was hard to breathe and I and the bike. But views about more than compensated for the inconvenience. At the top, I spent about 15 minutes, probably. Then began the descent and the navigator stubbornly wanted to have me in Switzerland. The boundaries within the Schengen area is absent but for me it is necessary to obtain a separate visa to go to Switzerland, which I, of course, didn’t had. I rode onto Switz territory, stomped there just to put a check of my presence and then sat on the bike and rode back to Italy. Approaching Milano I was in a very funny “another world”, consisting of Fiat and Alfa Romeo of different types and colors. Seriously, it is very entertaining to watch – everywhere prevalent Toyotas and VWs, but here is such a reservation.

Milano. Represented I imagine it quite differently. Absolutely. I never looked at pictures of Milan, but in my head for some reason, there was some kind of subtle skyscraper city. Something appeared from fairy tales by Gianni Rodari, something of commercials a la “the days of Milan’s fashion” and so on. In fact, it turned out to be quite an ordinary city. The only thing I remember very well – a city smells. Pleasant smells. Roaming on the streets can be perceived very diverse range of pleasurable sensations to nose. I arrived there at night, drove to the center and the happily caught outdoor WiFi. Through that commemorative I again saw that has seen near Frankfurt – there is no campsites around there. I found one camping in Monza, 20 km from the city, that was once built for those who come to the racing season (after all, the world’s fastest track in Formula 1!). Given the time of year I was there almost the only visitor. I barely persuaded the guard to let me in (and it was not even midnight!), solemnly promising that I am sure will come to the reception desk at the morning and pay.

The next morning, I packed up and moved to Milano to decide which way to go next. Or to Rome (where there should be a meeting with colleagues from Positive), or further south. As I rode through Milan in search of the Internet – I have lost a lot of body water. The heat was so hell (38 in the shade!) so I just swore at every red traffic light. Speaking of traffic lights and the movement as a whole – Italians largely worse than Russian neglect on the part of the traffic rules. Red light passing is normal. Speed limit exceed two times – everywhere. Lanes painting – no, not bothers :) A lot of motorcycles, scooters, cars – and the ubiquitous Italian temperament. Nevertheless, no accidents, I have not seen. Such a paradox. Generally atmosphere named red-white-green flag is felt very clearly.

Finally, waiting for a reply (the fool, of course, I was not warned in advance), I moved to Rome, very late, around 5 pm, going straight to autostrada. But more about that in the next post.


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