Cycling down the real Italy.

13 Oct

After a first  meeting with Italy that did not meet all of our expectations, we cycled down south, and left the touristic area of Lago di Garda, happy to stop seeing campings, Macdonalds and aquaparks everywhere. The road became more interesting in the south, as we cycled by several fruit exploitations, smelling peaches, apples, melons and kiwis -that were not mature enough yet, damn!-. Grabbing the fruits and spending some time with the farmers were the enjoyable breaks we were looking after during the hot afternoon.

Loving those peaches

We reached the little town of Cremona around 6, and had a break there in the lovely city center : car free, full of cyclists and old, beautiful  stones. Later in the evening, we would learn that it is the hometown of Stradivarius, now full of students learning how to craft violins, which gives the city some artistic and relaxed vibes. Our mission for the evening was to find a screen displaying our soccer game, Belgium VS Croatia (special game for Yves, who belongs to both countries). We knew we wouldn’t make it to any other town afterwards, so we started looking for sports pub in Cremona. As both teams were not interesting enough by italian standards, we couldn’t find one, but we still managed to get a wifi network in a bar, and stream the game from our little computer. It was a draw, not too exciting.

Cremona here we are!

Having a beer, watching a game

After the game and a few pints of local beer, we had to find a place to sleep, and didn’t want to pay for an hotel. Western prices for ho(s)tel are just ridiculous, we thought. We had sent a few requests via Couchsurfing but didnt get any answer, so we decided to cycle to some fields outside the city to set the tent. We arrived somewhere quiet and dark, but Nico didn’t feel like sleeping outside yet, and was determined to find a place by asking people if we could sleep at their place. With a bit of diplomacy, everything is possible 🙂
We then head back to the same place, and chatted some people on the terrace, approaching them asking if they knew a place to sleep for free, hoping they would invite us at their home. It didn’t work that well, but we ended up talking with two friendly students on the terrace. They couldn’t host us, but advised us a good camping spot in a park. We were about to leave when I received a call, past midnight. It was Sylwia, a polish couchsurfer living there, offering us to stay at her place right in the city center. Her flat was in a beautiful, very old building, and she was extremely friendly. Bingo!

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