6.30am: beep beep beep. Time to wake up, a long day driving ahead of us! Firstly, I hop into the shower, figuring out if there is hot water or if it’s going to be a ‘refreshing shower’. Often breakfast is included so we can enjoy a boiled egg, tasteless or delicious bread (depending on where we are) and a tea. Neither Rogier nor I are coffee drinkers so thankfully we don’t need to worry about a caffeine injection that has a huge influence on the mood of the day. We pack up our battle station – our own extension court, Lenovo laptops, hard disks, Huawei phones, and chargers – and on the way we are!
Goodbye summer… after 89 days in 25+ degrees around noon-time it was unfortunately time to say goodbye to this luxury. A drive of only 200 kilometers made us depart Venice with a comfy 27 degrees to arrive only three hours later in temperatures around 0 degrees Celsius! Mother Nature has been doing well in this area of Sud-Tirol in Italy, only kilometers away from Austria. Two days ago a thick layer of snow dawned on this part of Italy and it gave us a true winter sports feeling: skiing? Gluhwein? Après-ski bar? Here we come!
Venice really surprised us. This probably had to do with the fact that we downplayed our expectations… ‘it’s too touristy, too expensive, and doesn’t have our type of crowd’. Apparently we were wrong as Venice in October is relaxed and enjoyable. This probably also had to do with the fact that we visited the Venice Biennale, the largest expo of architecture and creativity in the world.
Magical Venice. What to say about the birthplace of Marco Polo? It was truly wonderful floating into the city, with a fresh sea breeze and an amazing sunset over the towers that mark the skyline. Venice is totally car-free so no shots this time of our BYD driving the streets of Venice… but how cool would it be if we could get it on a boat and sail the canals of Venice!?
Time for a change! After 2,5 months of growing my beard, which came in handy as I didn’t need to shave and in Iran I blended well in, I decided to trim my beard… it feels strange without all the fluffy hair but let’s be honest, it didn’t really suit me, did it?
We get more and more respect for car photographers and videographers. To shoot cars from the right angle, in the best light, in an environment that you cannot control is quite a challenging job! We tried our best in the narrow streets of Siena… judge for yourself!
But shooting photos of our BYD car is only part of this journey. Actual kilometers also need to be made and this time we decided to hop on a bike! We felt like Fausto Coppi and Marco Pantani who combatted the hills in beautiful Tuscany.
Siena, a magnificent Gothic style village surrounded by the hills and wineries in Tuscany, made us step back in time. A center full of history, squares (piazza’s), car-free and a young urban vibe! A place to visit again!
Ciao tourists! Wow, Athens already introduced us to mass-tourism but Rome is of another level! Large crowds are not unknown to us, having both lived in China for years, but ever since we departed Shanghai we managed to escape the crowds and found our own, sometimes off the beaten track, roads. Nevertheless we really enjoyed Rome and were blown away by the different time layers of the city: from Roman times to Baroque to Renaissance.
Caserta, where architect Luigi Vanvitelli designed a Versailles-like residence for the Bourbon kings of Naples and Sicily, was an excellent stopover on our way to Rome. We enjoyed the local cuisine and made our way to Rome in the late afternoon.
After a wonderful dip in the Adriatic Sea, probably the last swim on this journey, we made it across the mountains to the other side of Italy. We are going to meet up with a good friend in Caserta!