Italian Motorcycles and What Not: A Eurotrip for the Ages: Part 1
When I say it's been a long and winding road to get to today's blog post, I really mean it.
Yes, yes, cue the Beatles song - go ahead.
I've spent so much time on the road recently - in a different country nearly every night - that I forgot what my bed felt like.
Was it worth it? Yes. But now that I'm back, I've got some exciting stories to share with you, so let's jump in! This will begin a small series on my Eurotrip. :)
It all started when The Scientist had this grand idea to ride his motorcycle down to the Italian town off of Lake Como where his 48-year-old motorcycle was built. You know, the motorcycle that we brought over from The States, has inspired whole neighborhood friend groups, and drove us to Estonia and back. And I'll be honest with y'all: he's stripped this bike down completely and brought it back to life and it's been nothing but reliable, but I still wasn't fully convinced it'd schlep its way through Europe.
Much like when I went to Estonia, I was also concerned about how I'd spent seven to eight hours a day on the back of a motorcycle - so I made a deal with myself.
While The Scientist left with a friend a bit earlier through Slovakia and the Austrian Alps, I made the decision to fly to Berlin to see an American band I love, and THEN fly down to Italy for the second half of this "trip of a lifetime" motorcycle trip. I sound so flippant, but when you live in Europe, you can make those choices, you know?
I could write a whole other post about my short time in Berlin - and I probably will, because it was jam-packed with Life - but once I was on the plane to Italy, smiling to myself the entire way about my quick Berlin trip, I knew my life was about to change fast.
Sweaty and with a twinkle in his eye, I finally found my husband outside the airport, rearranging things on his bike so I could join the crew for the next few thousand kilometers. (Whatever that means - I'm still learning the metric system!)
And Italy really didn't disappoint.
I didn't have long there, but it immediately came with some Adventure. Our first accommodation was up a large hill overlooking the beautiful Lake Como, and I stopped when The Scientist told me a donkey could help us on the way up.
Uh, a donkey?
Well, it turns out this was quite the steep path from Lake Como to our nightly abode. The part that cars had access to was narrow, with cobblestones and pick-me grasses shooting up, but then we got to a few buildings that made it clear no cars could pass from this point forward - just foot traffic, bikes, and... gulp, motorcycles. Adventure motorcycles, mind you.
All of a sudden, I was wishing for that donkey ride.
But hey, I did it - and our friend only fell over his motorcycle once on the way up! We walked down this steep adventure ride at one point to swim in the lake, then back up for dinner, devouring fresh figs along the way: and then came some of the best bolognese I've ever had. I finally started to relax into the fact that I was back in Italy after so many years away, back to eating pasta as I did when I was a kid. (Some things don't change - but the limoncello spritz was a new addition!) The Scientist kept commenting that he was surprised I never took the owners up on a donkey ride, but hey, that donkey looked like it wanted to relax as much as I did, so relax we did.
Once the hotel restaurant got a little too loud and crowded, we took ourselves outside to sit on a tree stump with the stars, eating apples from trees and looking out over the lake. I made sure to take everything in, smelling the jasmine whenever I passed it, giving myself over to this trip as much as possible - giving myself permission to just be there.
But I had a long road ahead of me into Switzerland, Czech Republic, and Poland, with quick stops in Austria and Germany, right along the border of Liechtenstein.
We'll get more into those countries in upcoming posts, but here's what you need to know about Italy:
Lake Como is magical, especially when a storm is rolling in from a distance. People there generally seem to understand that life is for living, and nothing more. And yes, the motorcycle ride up and down the Hill of Death was worth it, thanks to opening up my senses, trusting my partner's sensibilities, and yes, a sense of adventure.
We'll get into more next week!
Have you been to a country or city as a child and returned as an adult? What changed for you? I'm curious - let me know! I've changed so much in all that time - I change a lot within a month's time! - but it's nice to see my core self is still the same. As I get closer and closer to Pumpkin Spice Lattes, new homes, and winter snow, I'm still here, growing through all of it.
And as per usual, feel free to subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive a bi-weekly email from me on whatever's on my heart that day! And as always, I'll see you next time here at Into the Forests I Go - iki pasimatymo - see you soon!