Status Update:

Current location: Bochum / Germany

50 countries, 1226 days, trip mileage: 124200 km

6 Jun 2008

Italy (4)

Pizza-Calzone in San Marino

I’m at Italy’s East coast near Rimini, on a campsite in San Marino. And once again, it’s raining. I make use of the time to organise a new rear tyre, before I continue up to Verona. (Even if it had been sunny I wouldn’t dare to go sunbathing or swimming in Rimini: most of the beach is split into little sections which are privately owned – all separated by high fences, with a little hut in the middle for the facilities, changing rooms and the cashier’s desk. I’ve never seen such a monetized & ugly stretch of coast-line before! Like most things in Italy, the rear tire turns out to be fairly expensive. But when the mechanics at ‘Pneus Rimini’ hear that I’m on a world-trip, they check the spokes and give the rim a real good polish, so it now looks like new.

Dinner, yet again, exists of pizza – and this time I’m absolutely shocked by its sheer size: I had ordered a standard ‘Calzone’, but what is now in front of me is about 60cm long, 20cm wide and at least 10cm high. People from the neighbouring tables start asking me “What kind of fish did you order here?” and if they could take a photograph, whilst I’m having difficulties explaining that it REALLY is only a pizza Calzone…

The next day I set off for a little town called ‘Lazise’ near Lake Garda. Last year, an old friend of mine, who I met in Nepal over ten years ago, moved to Lazise with his Italian girlfriend, and very recently they got married. Michi and I haven’t seen each other for 8 years now, but we instantly recognise each other at the arranged meeting-point. As we arrive back at their home, his wife Lisa has already prepared lunch, and I very quickly forget about the latest soaking on the motorway on my way here.

Lake Garda used to be one of my parents’ favourite holiday destinations, and being here brings back a lot of childhood memories. My initial plans were to stay here for a day or two – but time flies, and very quickly this turns into some joyful and relaxed 4 days. The days that Lisa and Michi are at work, I take the bike for a spin around Lake Garda – and the evenings are filled with with lots of laughing, talking about old times and stories from what happened in the 8 years that we hadn’t seen each other. This truly was the best time I’ve had so far on this trip.