Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 10 (Italy): rest day in Verona (Pinocchio’s in trouble - and so was Markus)

today’s distance: a few km
total distance: 990km
riding time:

An early start into the day … I wandered around Verona without the usual tourist crowd at around 7 am. It was a relief from the day before and what was ahead.

Wandering around town, I encountered three police men ganging up on Pinocchio. At first I thought it was all staged for the tourists, but then they started giving the guy a hard time. The usual paperwork was brought in and he was told in no uncertain terms that he should be taking a hike.

When snapping the pictures, the police guy in the middle all of a sudden started to move in on me. He said I couldn’t take any pictures. I asked why - I was just taking a picture of a police person and Pinocchio. He was not amused. Next thing I knew he asked for my ID, what I was doing and took everything - with an overly important face - to his colleague. With an even more important face he then proceeded to make a phone call, apparently to check on my credentials. It was good fun … he looked sternly at me and all I could do was to stand and smile at him. There was nothing wrong with my papers, I had every right to be there and didn’t feel that I had done anything wrong. After about 10 minutes of fussing he asked again what I was doing. I told him that I was a student traveling at the moment and that I didn’t know that it was forbidden to take a picture. He said that I would have to ask him first. I looked puzzled. He looked angry. I thought - better get out of here. Stupid me asked: “What have I done?” He pretended to not speak English any more. When I answered his Italian remark in English/Italian, he said that he was checking whether I was Russian. Airport face = extreme astonishment face came up. We parted ways …

I need to stop doing this kind of stuff soon. Italian police men are easy enough to handle for the most part, but similar situations might not go down all that well in other countries. I just can’t keep my mouth shut …

Next up … Julia’s house - lots of fun graffiti going on here. Afterwards I couldn’t get the aptly named Dire Straits song out of my head: “Romeo & Juliet”.

I then hooked up with Andrea - my couchsurfing host for that night and an all around wonderful person. More to come tomorrow, suffice it to say that he’s about as passionate about biking as you can be (think 24 hour mountainbike races with a single speed), has a wonderful partner (Cristina), two great dogs (one blind on his right eye), a cool father, a beautiful house …

1 comment

1 Helen Stalder { 04.05.08 at 10:00 am }

Hallo Markus
ich habe in der letzten Woche viel an dich/dein Unternehemen gedacht! Ich/wir haben deine Homepage etwas unter die Lupe genommen und staunen ob deiner Initiative und deinem Elan!
Mit Spannung habe ich nun auch deine Tagesetappen verfolgt, wie du schon im voraus bemerkt hast, war der Julier ein Knackpunkt, gratuliere zu deinem Durchhaltewillen. Ich versuche mir einzelne Momente vorzustellen (kann es wohl kaum)!!
Doch nun bist du weiter südlich und in der Zwischenzeit sicher schon in Venedig! Bei uns ist immer noch Winter, du hattest in der Schweiz die schönsten und wärmsten Tage der letzten Wochen.
Wir wünschen dir für deine weiteren Tage/Wochen nur das Beste, vorallem Gesundheit und viele grossartige Begegnungen und Erlebnisse!
Liebe Grüsse Helen und Peter

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