I had already acknowledged that I was not able, or rather did not want to leave a place early in morning and drive to the next destination as quick as possible. If I could, and I was welcomed, I stayed a bit longer, had breakfast, and discussed various topics with other visitors and the hosts. After all, I was not obliged to be somewhere "on time". I had accepted the fact that if I leave a place later, I would drive in the peak heat. If I wanted to avoid high temperatures, I would have to arrive at the next place before 11:00 am. That meant no stops in between. However I wanted to stop wherever and whenever I wanted, admire a beautiful view, drink a coffee in a place I had never heard of.
Giacomo, the Italian host wanted to please me with all the food he had prepared. The breakfast table was full, fresh fruits straight from his garden, local salami, and a variety of different pastries: tiramisu (of course!), lemon cake, chocolate cake, fresh orange juice and iced coffee (Twice :P ). I was full. Everything was delicious.
I packed all my luggage, tied it to my motorcycle, and left around 10:00 am. Just before, Giacomo said "You are not crazy, you are nice, you can come here whenever you want." He wanted to give me 2 pizzas and a cake. I was, sincerely, quite overwhelmed, but, unfortunately, due to the limited space on my Harley, I could not take more than a slice of pizza, which, at the end, was the only meal I had that day.
Driving that day was truly sensual. Urban architecture and the busy life of Genova. Lazy and abandoned small towns, lively touristic places, rocky and sandy beaches, the smell of fresh or fried fish, burnt oil, suncream and sweat, were blended with a bouquet of Mediterranean wild flowers.
The, quite well maintained, Via Aurelia (ss1), located either close to the coastline or high on the hillside, took me straight to San Lorenzo della Costa. I felt hungry. I parked my Harley on the side of the street, sat on a rocky wall, and, looking down at Portofino, ate Giacomo's pizza. Half an hour later, I drove down to another luxurious Bay. I was riding back and forth four times from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino. The street was narrow, very curvy, and crowded. Crystal clear greenish-blue water invited, for at least a moment, to take a bath and relax in a shadow of a Chestnut tree. Few Yachts pulled into the luxurious Italian shore, and on every one of them, a beautiful lady in a bikini was exposing a long and perfectly shaped body. I found it amusing since I could not find a perfectly shaped man chilling out next to these women, and it looked a bit as if the women were a part of the Yacht´s decoration.
After an hour, I drove back to the ss1 and stayed along the coast till Torre der Lago. I changed to an inland road and, through Province of Lucca, made my way to Motrone - a small town in the Toscana region. The streets cut through Peppermint fields on one side, and Thyme, Rosemarie, Oregano, Lavender on the other. The Vehicles passing through were pressing the leaves against the wind releasing their aroma. The distinctive character of the chemicals stored in these precious plants found their way through my nostrils, dissolved and captured by the respective protein receptors. That immediately triggered a number of biochemical reactions, which sent various signals straight to my brain. My thoughts were trying to identify each fragrance and connect them to memories. It prompted emotions and, associated with them, images, and people. My senses were completely overloaded. Once I passed the city of Lucca, the landscape changed. On both sides I had dense green forests that covered the hills of Toscany. Smoothly curved narrow streets cut across them, old rocky bridges crossed winding rivers, and together with the moorlands they created a unique landscape. The morning mist gave climbing plants a way to shape tree-trunks from the bottom to the top and evergreen trees standing on both sides of the roads softly bent over, creating living gates from one valley to another. The air was clean and fresh, in contrast to the heat on the coastline.
I arrived at Motrone around 7:00 pm. The village has only several small rock-wall two-storied houses, and is located on the top of a hill. This time, I was welcomed by a couple from New Zealand, who chose to retire in Italy. I already knew that the master of the house was eager to meet me from a message I had received a few hours earlier, so I wasn't surprised, when I was asked to park my Harley in his small courtyard. I wasn't very happy with this. Since I had to drive through a narrow Cobblestone street. There was really no space to make a u-turn, and my thoughts were focused on how to park the motorcycle so I could easily leave the next morning without any need for help from others. I did it because it pleased my Host. He was clearly proud of having a Harley on his property. At one point, I was also asked about my origins, and I sensed a little disappointment when I answered that I was from Poland and not from Switzerland.
I was offered that I could have dinner and breakfast for an additional fee. I accepted the offer to have breakfast. I unpacked my luggage, took a shower, and welcomed an invitation for a glass of red wine. First, I was asked about my trip. How long it had been? Which places I had been to? Why I was doing it? If it was difficult? And so on. We also discussed the very rich History and Culture of the European Nations, the outcome of the Brexit vote, and the future and the past relationships of the UK with other countries, New Zealand and Poland, in particular. The discussion became difficult, when I heard that concentration camps located next to Krakow were built and run by Germans and...Poles. For me, my host was an example of a person, who was affected by the misleading term "Polish death camp"used in international (including German) media, and by public figures, in reference to concentration camps built and run by Nazi Germany in the General Government and other parts of occupied Poland
during Second World War. My host was indirectly blaming Poles for the tragedy forgetting completely that over 3 million of enthnic Poles lost their lives in the War.
Tension between me and the host hung heavily in the air. We tried to change the subject, but as a consequence, we just exchanged a couple of irrelevant thoughts of another matter. Shortly afterwards, I retired to my room. On the way to my room, I looked at the walls, pictures, doors, and quickly recognized Hebrew writing in several places.
I plugged in all my Electronic Devices for charging so I could use them the next day, and went to sleep.