Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Giro d'Italia. Introducing Italy, to Hasna.

Flag Italy

Monday, May 07 2007

2 years, 9 month, 15 days

Firenze, Italy

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Land Rover 50,203km

Trekking 333km

Ferry 803km

Train 150km

Other cars 27,799km

(MB307 1,736km)

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > europe > italy > 20070507-firenze

There is no place like Italy.

Map, Italian journey.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

And a life time would not be enough to see it all. There is always another church, another palazzo, another piazza, another must-see place, museum or statue. Having been countless times to Tuscany, (Florence and Pisa I visited the first time on my own when I was 19 and hitch hiking) but never ever time seemed sufficient to go any lower then Siena. The idea remained an idea to go from top to south.

Now: Hasna has an uncle, Abdelkader married to Italian Alessandra in the Calabrian mountains around Cosenza. Quickly it became obvious we'd have to do an extended Italy journey now while on our way back down south (BDS) to Morocco for summer.

We leave Vienna on 25th of April late in the evening, with certainly not much of an idea of how the twins Daniel and David, barley 3 month old, would take it. We leave and there's lots of tears, well Hasna has spent some 10 month in Vienna. One minute in the van Alessandra calls asking how log we would take to come down to Italy. There is no time for tears.

Hanna breast feeding inside the 307
Living in a box.
David on blue blanket, eyes wide open.
David does not know what is going on.
Myself evening Gesaeuse.
Second evening, Gesaeuse.

So, we are on the road, driving the smalles roads possible, avoiding the highways whenever possible, seeking those narrow valleys (Gesaeuse) and passes leading to secluded villages (Matrei/Osttirol) you otherwise never would get to. Up mountain our new ultimate African van, a 26 years old MB 307, manages a mere 15km/h. This is going to be a long tranquil journey with daily drives hardly exceeding 200kms. The boys need their regular breaks as well. All in all just about what you call a trek.

And these first nights are cold, this is still April. But the boys are comme les petits poussins, like chicks seeking the warmth. When I wake up because of the cold I pull one of them nearer to me, turning up the heat under my blanket and sleep.

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Dolomites around Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Always wanted to come to see the Dolomites, it is such a different Italy than when rushing through on the autostrada.

307, Monte Cristallo, Dolomites
MB 307, Dolomites.
Monte Cristallo, Dolomites
The Dolomites.
Passo Falzarego, Dolomites.
Passo Falzarego. 2,118m.
307, Passo Pordoi, snow, Dolomites.
Passo Pordoi and snow at night. 2,239m.
Icey lake, Passo Fedaja, Dolomites.
Lake at Passo Fedaja. 2,057m..
Passo Pordoi, twins inside camper, cold morning.
Passo Pordoi morning cold outside.

2nd night in the Dolomites: Passo Pordoi at 2,239m , we are pushing the limits. 7.30 p.m. it starts raining, lightening behind my back over one of the peaks, thunder 11 seconds later. Snow in the morning. Again it was Daniel who kept me warm at night.

There has not been rain of any significance in Vienna this year and we started attributing this to climate change. So I am quite delighted with this my first rain this year.

We have seen enough of the Dolomites, descend to Belluno. An empty town, no cars, no people, no rubbish, cleaned for 1st of May?, we leave after ice cream and coffee and beer. Again heavy rain and hale starts soon thereafter. Agriculture needs it dearly. At night of the 30th of April we reach Verona.

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Verona.

2 experiences: What is it pushing a double pram an entire day, - and what is good Italian food, spaghetti frutti di mare and pizza quatro stagione, on a secluded piazza when the sun shines. Verona on Wikipedia.

Verona.
The Who, still touring?
Verona, arena.
... nearby the venue, arena di Verona.
Verona, Hasna and Daniel.
Hasna and Daniel.
Verona, Palazzo.
Too many Palazzos.
Verona, Palazzos left right, blue evening sky, street lights.
Palazzos, looking up in the sky.
Verona, warriors at the wall, traffic lights.
Stop, don't go to war.

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Parma.

Parma, main cathedral.
Parma, I am ill.

Via the very small roads we reach cosy/cool/clean Parma which is interesting and boring at once, but it rains a lot and I am ill/cannot be bothered much.

There is bicycles/no mopeds, most of the centre is pedestrianised, a hang-out for clandestine immigrants. Before we enter we pass Barilla factory. I am their number one customer outside Italy. Parma however is too small for me. And I am ill. The boys though better then ever. Parma on Wikipedia.

Parma, the boys.
Starting smiling.

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Bologna.

It pours, really before Italy I have forgotten what rain was like. We do our laundry, I repair the pram, a wheel has kept falling off. Bologna is more the old Italy, unorganised, noisy, mopeds, bars, a cool, lefty, bearded students population, beer in the morning and more bars, and an architecture you can fall in love with, one I have not seen before. Arcades and more arcades.

Bologna is where I may like to live, I think. Or send my boys to university. Wikipedia.

Bologna, university district arcades.
Bologna, university district.
Bologna, university district arcades, Frescos on San Giacomo Maggiore.
Frescos on wall in back.
Bologna, due torri, two towers, and sky.
Due Torri.
Bologna, Toilet graffiti.
Graffiti on toilet in bar near by.
Lamine Seck from St.Louis, Senegal.
Lamine Seck, arcades paintings exhibition.
Twins Daniel and David in Bologna.
Twins in Bologna, David left.

We like Mouhamadou Lamine Seck's paintings and a chat that reminds us of Africa.

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Alpi apuane, Lago Vaglio, Monte Pisamino.

Alpi Apuane, Apuane Alps, Lago Vaglio, Monte Pisamino, Vagli Sotto, Fontana delle Monache.
Alpi Apuane, one of Italy's finest regions.
Alpi Apuane, Apuane Alps, Lago Vaglio, Monte Pisamino, Vagli Sotto, Fontana delle Monache.
Lago Vagli, Monte Pisamino.
Alpi Apuane, Apuane Alps, Lago Vaglio, Monte Pisamino, Vagli Sotto, Fontana delle Monache.
Lago Vagli. 2 hours walk around.

We walk around the lake the evening carrying the boys. Night falls and we have difficulties finding our way. Still the next morning Hasna is exited. I think, we could have swum as well. The boys are alright.

Daniel waking up.
Daniel
Daniel smiles.
Daniel
David smiles.
David.

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Pisa.

We hit the Ligurian coast north of Viareggio, join the tourist masses in Pisa on the afternoon of the 7th of May. For some tourists from overseas the twins seem to be the bigger attraction. Wikipedia.

Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Leaning Tower.
Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Detail.
Basilica of Pisa, front.
Basilica Pisa.
Indian tourist, Pisa, basilica walk.
Indian tourist at Pisa, basilica.

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Firenze/Florence.

We reach Florence and Piazza Michelangelo that evening just in time for a gloomily humid sunset.

Florence, Firenze, from Piazza Michelangelo, humid sunset.
Florence from Piazza Michelangelo.
Florence, Firenze, from Piazza Michelangelo, humid sunset.
detail.
Florence, Firenze, Statue of David on Piazza Michelangelo, after sunset.
David, the original is elsewhere.
our David and Hasna inside MB307.
David and Hasna.

More coming up soon ...

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > europe > italy > 20070507-firenze

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