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Arkiv

Livorno

Todays map is here.
After yesterdays failed attempt to capture Bamsefar with the ocean, and after the whole morning wasted on Italian bureaucracy (about which I could write a whole book, which would be rejected when the publisher would say “OK, Harry Potter deals with fantacy – get real.”). After all that, and more, I decided that it had to be ocean today.
I had planned the picture to your left, but Bamsefar (that is the bike) looks drunk with one large and one small eye. Even with the puck under the side stand. However, the new Hella FF-100 driving lights are nicely and discretely installed. Anyway, let me skip this picture, even though it shows the bike and ocean together.

Ah, much better. The reason it is no sun, is that I have taken Bamsefar to ee the ocean in Livorno (called Leghorn in English). According to my neighbours, who have a combined 600 years of experience of NOT living in Livorno, nothing in Livorno is as good as it is in Pisa. In particular, if there is any problem in Pisa, that problem will be worse in Livorno. Always. And since there was no sun this morning in Pisa, it obviously can’t be sun here in Livorno. Goes without saying! Now, before I get carried away, I must remember that my lawyer is from Livorno. He is a fine gentleman, even if he lives in Livorno. That is what my neigbours tell me. And they are all Montemagno DOC. They should know. Education just clutter the simple things – listen to the old folks!

What would you say if your neighbour decided that he wanted to be a radio amateur and get himself an antenna in the garden? I got on the bike and rode on.

I ride on, and arrive at Santuario di Montenero. It is a sacret place, and has been so since a pesant on the 15th of May 1345 saw vergin Maria here. Now it is a nice complex, with a nice old bar. The lady cut some fresh bread and prociutto crudo and pecorino. I don’t know why, but I simply love having lunch in such small and unpretencious bars. Tempt me to a Fresh restaurant with white tables, waiters and 350 years old wines – I’ll still go for the simple things. In my view (and test), it is with food as with art: Conext is everything! The bar is deserted, and the lady asks if I am cold, tell me to sit my the termisifone (radiator). No, I tell her, I am not German, I am Norwegian. So we talk about the merluzzo (cod), the salmone, where my wife is (she noticed my ring!), that the ham has been made by a friend of her late husband that has a farm, and so on, and so on. I love it! But, alas, I can absolutely not take a photo of her – not now, not now. Later, she promises. The espresso is just as it should be, but I don’t dare to snap a photo of it as she might believe I’m getting her on the picture.

First of all I am puzzled by what looks like Arabic to me. My Latin is also somewhat rusty (to say the least) so I leave it to some Highly Learned Reader to explain what this is about.

The church, and the complex in general, is most famous for the memorials pople leave behind. That is, if someone dies you leave a memorial here to assist them in Heaven (or how these things work). This has been going on for A Long Time.
The picture shows a horse-drawn vagon running over a girl. The text says

Caterina 12 years old, the daughter of Giovanni and Dioraira Cavallero, from Livorno, on the day of March 2nd 1888, on her way, was severely injured by a horse that had lost it’s mind, but thanks to the graze of S:SS di Montenero she was saved. Q.M.P.

There are thousand of them. There are helmets with bullet holes (not all were saved), there are bloody shirts of those that survived thanks to the power of the Church here onthe mountain. Pictures of smashed cars, and so on, and so on. Thousands!

There is also a church, naturally, and it is nice. Too much decorated for my taste (remember, I like the austere).

On the way home I find this series of curves. I do them up and down a few times until I feel that going any faster will be dangerous. But I must say that Bamsefar is heavy! Even though I am 110 kg (well, let’s be honest: 115 kg) it is One Heavy Pig. Roads like these make me feel it.
Don’t get me wrong – I also have Transalp (two), and I believe that I would ride faster through here with a Transalp than with Bamsefar. But that isn’t enough – I’ll pick Bamsefar any day!

On the way home I find these green, rolling hills. I will have to come back one day when there is sun and the colours are lush. Today it is only dull. But the bike is nice! Did I mention the new Hella?

132 km made it a nice day, even though it didn’t start so well. I think I managed to get what I could out of a grey day.

Finally I’ll let you in on a secret: Tomorrow there will be rain and I’ll be attending my lessons. But Wedensday it’s slated to be sun. Then I’ll try to do 1.000 miles (that will be 1.610 km). You see, Capa della Famiglia is attending a Film Festival and that leaves me free to give it a try. The longest I have done in one day is 780 km, but that was several years ago (and tens of thousand of kilometers less experience and endurance). We’ll see – however, I advice you not to hold your breath while you wait!

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