Pizza Pasta Lasagna Spaghettios Super Photo Loaded Italy Blogggg!!!
Hajji's Adventures from August 25th to September 2nd
Big wheels keep on turning...proud bloggers keep on blogging. blooogggginnnng. and the blog continues....
After Slovenia, our Arab Sex Chariot lost some serious weight. Foget and Neala had departed in Vienna, Alex Derry left us in Slovenia, Our original plan was to head straight south after Vienna, but a few circumstances changed our plans and we decided to prolong our re-entry into the Balkans and instead head west. Our double-dutch-delights Marjolijn and Ineke only needed a ride to Venice before they would say their goodbyes. We are forever in favor of charity, so strapped the girls in and headed to yet another country.....a nation who credits itself as the inventors of civilization and pasta, hairy Italia!
We cruised from Ljubljana with our crew of 7 and dropped of the Dutchies at the station in Metre (Venice not being able to be reached by car due to its hypo-osmolarity)...down to just Marcus, Lauren, Ben, Conrad and Brett. Our sweet and skinny Kiwi friend Brett was just about to set off on a 6-month Erasmus exchange stint in Bologna, Italy, and we thought it fitting to take him to his new home. To Bologna!
Lauren eating a Tripasta Delight!
The Boys Walking Through the Oldest University in Europe - Bologna
The heart of communism in Italy, inventors of bolognese sauce, lasagna and mortodella, our tongues frolicked in a sea of salve anticipating the tastes to come. We were not disappointed. Cruising the streets looking for food, we drank over-priced Italian beer and enjoyed the last hours we had together. A once crammed vehicle, the days of the Hajji as a full vehicle were nearing its end. During our night in Bologna we had some interesting adventures with a park-sprinkler and some friendly police officers. To read more, scroll down to entry number 24, Real Time Reality Movie Upload Fiasco, which contains some details about our Bologna to Ferrara escapades.
Here is a link for the internet uninclined - http://hajji.travellerspoint.com/24/
Street Buskers Festival in Ferrara
Sweet Brotherly Release at Festival in Ferrara
After Ferrara, we lost Brett to the warm embrace of his new home Bologna, and the Hajji was left with the three prime conspirators of the trip, me Marcus and Lauren. It was strange to say the least to have only us in the van, having had so many friends for the past 2 months. Having read a glowing review of the city in Alex Derry's fancy pants Monocle magazine, we headed north into the mountains to check out Trento. One of the amazing (there are MANY!) aspects to life in the Hajji is that we have such freedom in our travel plans, able to pick up and go at the drop of a hat (and a few dirty dishes) and continue to the next destination, be it a place found in a book, eavesdropped on the street, or dreamed up the night before.
Rain at the Wheel on Route to Trento
Ben Relaxing in the Back while Rain is at the Wheel
Trento was beautiful, it seems we've said such things about so many places before. Relaxed, quiet, cool, we enjoyed some pizza, laughed at some funny church monuments and played cards before reading our books under street lights.
Cous Laughing at Sad Church Lions
Ben and Cous Protecting the Church
Cous Reading Under Lamplight
We are big fans of freshwater, so headed further north into the mountains and spent a daynight at Lake Pine surrounded by the Dolomite mountains in the Alps. Swims, more cards (a quickly growing Hajji past-time), sandwiches, a sausage-BBQ FEAST in the PM, and beers till we expired.
Rain at the shore of Lake Pine
Ben and Cous Drinking Burr and Playing Cards in the Eve
Another Hajji Feast - Sausages Fresh off the Grill
After Pine another strange event befell the Hajji. Marcus and Lauren had some Nepalese friends who lived in Venice and I wanted to visit an Italian darling by the name of Ilaria. What to do! Matters of convienience prevailed in my favor, and I dropped the lovers off in Venice for a weekend of canal-boat romance and headed 100km NE all by myself (like the early days!) in the Hajji to the small town of Codroipo where Ilaria lived. The weekend was exactly what I needed at this point. Having been on the road for over 2 months, my laundry was appropriately dirty, my mustache exceedingly unkempt, and smell uncouth. Family meals, showers, sleeps in beds, civilian life as one is used to. It was such an amazing weekend, we went to the mountains with her mother, visited her friends theater performance, took a nature walk with her father (a professor of plant biology), had so many delicious meals, went to church, ahhhh there was too many wonderful things to describe in a binary based blog....
Having a Laugh in Codroipo
Ilaria Driving the Hajji
Me, Ilaria and her wonderful mom Carla!!!
Ilaria, when you read this, thank you and your lovely parents SO much!
Marcus will write up his time in Venice as a separate entry to give you a taste of what they experienced. That post to come!!!
After the weekend apart I headed down to Trieste where I met up with Marcus and Ren and the journey continued....