Day 9 Week 3 Day 11
Sat, 11. Mar 2023

Day 10 - from Vico d’Elsa to Altopascio

My goal was to write every evening a summary of what happened. I did not manage to do that. It's a lot of work and in the end, I was glad in the evenings when I had something to eat and a beer. And obviously a place to sleep.

I'm now working on summarizing everything, which is not always easy, specially for these first few days. And what I forgot most often is the road or the exact path, I have moments I remember. I very clearly remember for example that I visited a coffeshop close by Vico d'Elsa, but I can't remember a lot of the things in between. I guess I will therefore mainly describe some situations and not so much about the road or climbs. I remember them, when they were really hard or really beautiful, but if they were just normal. Well, these memories are gone. Probably for the better, as I biked over 11000kms.

IMG 0424 1
IMG 0425
IMG 0422
IMG 0427

But what I remember, today was the first rainy-ish day. Nothing bad, but some spray. Which was actually quite enjoyable. I started going down the hill the other direction I came from. I suspected that I could buy at the bar some cigarettes, which actually didn't turn out to be true. It was a bar at a parking spot and filled with a lot of italian man. The owner was quite tall, and certainly present, in a positive way. And while he didn't have any cigarettes to buy, he gave me some. Which was kind. I started my bike ride then through Certaldo and Castelfiorentino. Which seemed like a good place to stop. For some reason I felt that I needed to take a picture of the little rundown and somehow located in an electronics store. There was another, super annoying guest. The owner and me tried to ignore him, but it was hard. As a bit of an excuse the owner gave me a chocolate bonbon and was kind. Continued my tour and had to get quite a bit uphill. I remembered that, because of the picture I took. I thought it was very funny that they actually pinned a flyer of a taxi company under a water fountain. But it made sense.

IMG 0430
IMG 0435
IMG 0428
IMG 0434
IMG 0436 3
IMG 0429

At a certain point I got like really lost. I couldn't find my way and was stuck in an industrial area. I remember that very clearly, as there was a sign posting to Prada. I guess they had a factory there. Once I found my way again, there were all of a sudden a lot of road cyclists, greeting friendly and I tried to keep up, but it was not really possible. I believe it must have been the opening weekend for the cycling season, getting into Altopascio there was even a race I got into.

Altopascio itself, well. Not too exciting and I was facing again the challenge to find some food. But I was lucky. I walked in a local restaurant that was highly recommended, and while it was not dinner time yet, the host prepared me some very good cold plates. Cheese and ham. Despite the sweets, that was usually my go to food. If I'd be vegan or even vegetarian I would have had very challenging times in Italy regarding food.

I slept in a bed and breakfast. And it must have been the cleanliest place I've ever seen. They were quite catholic I believe, but very friendly.

Mood: happy :)