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Picture of the day

18 Nov

Al Eze

17 Nov

We had a first great surprise at sunset : a motorcyclist started riding with us and chatting on the road. He was also a keen cyclist and traveller, and asked us few questions about our project. After few minutes chatting with Nico (Yves was ahead), he hit the accelerator and left us. But then, at the next traffic light, he was there, waiting for us. “Where do you stay tonight”, he says. “We don’t know!”. “Ok, come to my place if you want. It’s up in the hills -a place called Eze, I have some wine, bread and saucisson. We can have dinner à la bonne franquette’”. “Sure, excellent. Let’s go!”. We followed him in the sinuous road for a sporty ride, looking at all the fancy houses, then arrived to his place, beautifully looking over the sea, with palm trees and all joys of the french mediterranean region. “Not bad for a first day in France”, we thought.

We are somewhere there

The view from the terrace

We relaxed on the terrace and started chatting with Alain, who is a security agent. Modestly, he explained us that he was the bodyguard of Chirac and Mitterrand while they were presidents of France, and told us, around a bottle of red wine, plenty of incredible stories of intimate moments shared with them : all the Christmas spent together, travels all around the world, protection of Mitterrand’s hidden daughter or support during the terminal phase of his sickness. Captivating. Then we learned about the area : “This is the highest concentration of wealth in the world. You see that peninsula there? It’s Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. Multibillionnaires from Russia, Ukraine and China are buying everything. I am working for one of them…whenever he goes somewhere, we are 25 around him”. Being described the lifestyle of those guys didn’t give us too much envy of becoming an ukranian billionnaire, though.

don’t move 😉

One of the good thing in France…Food!

After an evening of great stories, typical french food and wine with Alain, his wife Edwige and their son, we crashed on the sofa’s and woke up the next morning, looking at the sunrise on the sea. Pretty sweet place to live, we thought.
Before leaving, while eating delicious croissants and pains au chocolat, Alain gave us the contact info of his daughter Julie, who works and lives in Lyon, where we’d pass by few days later. That may be useful!
Thanks Alain, you rocked on every possible level! All the best with your future cycling trip 🙂

Good bye picture

Arrival in France

17 Nov

Our night in San Remo was the last one in Italy. Yves feeling better, we left our BnB in the early afternoon, and went from the top of the hill down to the coast, then following the road until Monaco, meeting more and more fancy cars on the road. We had the chance to cycle on the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix race, ride the famous tunnels and take some pictures on the starting line. There was a boat exhibition on the sea, where we’d think we’d stop by to have the most expensive coke of the trip. This had to be done 🙂

H5……Touché!

In Monaco, Coca-Cola in a cafe cost about 5 euros. So with some advanced mathematical skills, you realize that it is slightly more expensive than the one from Uzbekistan. 5€/0,25L = 20€ per liter, versus 0,5€ per liter in Uzbek Chaihanas. Mmmh, this coke 40 times more expensive. Not bad at all! We didn’t stay too long there, posh places have never been our cup of tea. Back on the road. We officially entered France late in the afternoon, a bit skeptical about what we had ahead. French people do not have a good reputation abroad…so let’s see if they are true assholes!

Got the pole position 🙂

Italy gallery

14 Nov

Italy

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Ligurian coast

2 Nov

We spent the next three days on the ligurian coast, following the road, next to the sea, which wasn’t too interesting : lots of building, and not much room left for nature and empty spaces.

At least we could enjoy some swiming time in the Adriatic sea heading up to the french border. Nothing else to say excepted a camper almost crashed us about 4 am! Right, we were sleeping on reserved camper parking but still… it hit our bikes but fortunately not our heads! and only some little damage on the bikes. The day after we slept in a nice BnB up hill Sanremo as Yves was boarderline ill (most likely due to the seasonal change) and got ready to go to France, and see what kind of adventures were waiting for us in the last country we would visit before getting back to Belgium.

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Picture of the day

2 Nov

Gallery

Shooting Genova

2 Nov

Genova

2 Nov

Entering the city has been quite complicated, as it is divided in two parts with a motorway in the middle. We struggled to get into the center but finally made it. A guy in his worker’s outfit started talking to us while riding his scooter. He seemed to like cyclists and cheered us when we told him where we were coming from. We then asked him where was Piazza Alimonda, where we had to meet our friend Giacomo, and he got emotional. He kindly invited us to his flat, and explained us that his dear friend Carlo Giuliani got shot during the G8 in Genova, right where we were about to go.

Piazza Alimonda

David and his french speaking girlfriend told us a lot about the tensions between the youth and the police in Genoa, and the confrontations they were having with the authorities since the G8. We were having a nice little talk about political activism but already had to go to meet Giacomo, as we were going to sleep in his flat. David and Francesca invited us for dinner the day after, as there was a big (activists) party going on somewhere in the hills. We then met Giacomo and his flatmates, all involved in the music/arts business, and spent a pretty cool evening with them in the center, hit some bars where Giacomo’s friend were playing music, then spent the rest of the night in the streets of the city center.

Giacomo

The rest of the week end has been epic :  after dinner with our activists friends, we went high up in the hills to enjoy Genova’s landscapes, then David drove us and friends to a squat, full of punks, rastas and rudeboys, where there were politically engaged hip hop concerts, cheap beer and horrible sound. And a great atmosphere. On the way back, at around 3AM, he offered to drive us to a free party in an abandoned fort on the top of the hill, on one of the highest point of Genoa. We obviously accepted and spend the late night/early morning there, enjoying the sunrise over Genova with the sound on minimal techno. Unreal week end it was!

A good way to get ready

On the way to the top

Revolution has to rise up

Gallery

Shooting Piemonte

15 Oct

Pictures of the day

15 Oct