Milano – a touristic perspective

So many times i passed Milano, the big, fashionable city of the North of Italy, but never stopped by here. Till now. At least getting a glimpse of the city, i thought. But why i come in the cold autumn, i asked myself after a cold night looking into a misty, cold morning.

First comes first. A real cappuccino with marmalade filled croissant in a typically Italian coffee bar. What a delight. Although this has not lifted my mood for a city walk, i have to admit.

But since i’m here anyway, i approached the famous Cathedral of Milano. At its wall i discovered a relief with the scene of the expulsion from paradise. Paradise, as i would define it, a bright, peaceful place with enough space and food for everyone, and warmth. Instead i found myself between huge pillars in a gloomy dark and cold room. People scurry by, whispers floating in the air, swallowed by the flickering candlelight and incredulous prayers are sent to the unreachable dome. Only the beautifully windows brings some bright colors into that dark mystic room and tells some stories of hope and light.

Talking about places of worship, there's this huge 'Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II'. A palace of consumption, excess and decadence. Just next to the catholic cathedral, also equipped with a huge dome, people flock in to get lost in shopping. Those who don't believe in their prayers for luck only, has the change to get some more luck by placing their heels on the balls of a bull figure on the floor and turn themselves three times around.   

My walk lead me to the famous 'Teatro alla Scala'. There i passed the statue of Leonardo, certainly one of the most famous person of all times. Finally i reached 'Castello', but didn't visit it, took some time in the big park behind it, where joggers run between trees and lovers meet up at the bridge, where they hope to lock their love at the rail.

I need a break, i decided, and rattled towards my camp by public transport...

In The Boudoir With Thembi

Can we do some boudoir photography? Thembi asked me.

At least we gave it a try…

At the pump station – somewhere in South Africa

On our search of a good and cool location for another photo shooting we came across this abandon pump station on a farm. We decided for a rather shabby but sexy look. Maybe a bit like the pin-ups from the 70’s, but darker and less colorful.

Thembi got an old, stained, short trouser and a teared shirt. With her curly hair and a stern look, she posed in front of the huge petrol drum. The gas pipe in the hand she gave a self confident look to the camera.

Despite the serious look, it was all fun and we captured few shots. But decide for yourself…

 Overlander Car Issues With ‚Tina Tortuga‘

A bright lamp enlightened all the issues of my newly named landrover Tortuga, #tinatortuga. I was standing under the lifted car with a mechanic to check the state of it. There’s an oil leaking and some unsolved problems with the prop shaft, what brought me to this mechanic. The source of leaking was founded quickly, but as I requested we went trough the entire vehicle, more or less.

Beside the leaking from transfer box there’s also leaking from oil filter housing, Even the tank is leaking and had to be repaired as some bushes and hoses has to be fixed and replaced too. Despite there isn’t much electronics in that vehicle it turned out difficult to find the bug which is blowing my indicators and hazard lights continually. In short, quite an overhaul.

I need a stay for the time of repairs. The estimated period of four to five days was doubled, as the costs of repairs was too, due some difficulties, mainly with the transfer box. All bearings of that part must be replaced. I didn’t care so much about the time, since there was heavy rain predicted. All i needed was a quit and dry spot to be.

Luckily I found a beautiful place outside town of Mbombela/Nelspruit. Friendly hosts welcomed me and showed me around the self catering house where I got a nice room with a glass door towards pool side and amazing view to the valley. That’s the place to stay for a few quit days. Reading, writing journal and sorting photos next to the pool. Having a beer or a glass of red wine in the evenings, after cooking myself a tasty meal, and chatting with the owners, while waiting my car got fixed. That’s all part of traveling too and must try to use the time as good as possible. 

Just the day before I could pick up ‚Tina Tortuga‘, another Landrover Defender arrived at the Lodge. Same model as mine and even the same color. A couple got off the car and settled in the accommodation. It turned out they are from Brazil and already four years on the road. So there was lots to chat about and share travel stories and experiences. And of course, as a Landy driver there’s also about workshop stories. That lovely couple gave me a lift to the landy-workshop and get a oil/filter change for their ‚Pandora‘ too. Who wants to see more of the journey from Eduardo and Rafaela visit their website: www.pandoraontheroad.com.br

Ten lazy days later I checked out of ‚Highland Creeks‘ and got ‚Tina Tortuga‘ back from the workshop. Since it was late of the day and weather forecast predicted another storm with heavy rain, I decided to stay another night at an apartment on my way out of town. Another jewel in the mountains as I found out. After all, the day ended beautifully with a glass of wine and a bath in a tube with a view. 

May I Introduce You: Tortuga, Tina Tortuga! 

Cars, especially travel cars and camper vans, needs to be named by their owners. I always denied this practice for my vehicles. Officially. But since many years I used to think, and tell in secret, if there’s a name for my beloved Land Rover, it must be „Tortuga“, the Spanish word for tortoise. 

„Tortuga“ is not beautiful, but adorable, slow, but strong, nice green, but colored inconspicuous. 

My friend Christa told me from a lady, who makes stickers for cars. After a few gin tonics and nice talks, I decided to give my motorized travel companion finally an official name. Now it was to find a nice turtle pictogram or drawing to put it on Tortuga as a sticker.  It should be simple, rather cute, but not too childish. I found something appealing, I think. Watch the pics and tell me your opinion on the comments, please.

Marloth Park, the place for the official naming ceremony, couldn’t be better. Free roaming wildlife all over the estate. Lots of green, lush trees and a beautiful riverside to walk or having a sundowner with friends. A spot which means freedom, security and lifestyle at same time. 

My friend Christa honored me to be the godmother of Tortuga for this event. After she helped me with the stickers, we got a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate that event. From now an, my Land Rover discovering the world with me not nameless anymore, but as 

Tortuga, Tina Tortuga! 

#tinatortuga

Tina Tortuga (#tinatortuga) is officially named 🙂

The Ngwenya Glass Factory In Eswatini

A pretty building with nice cafe and a small park, I thought when I parked my car. The entrance lead me into a showroom full of glassy souvenirs, but also nice vases and drinking glasses. 

Stairs goes up to a door. Behind that I found myself on a balcony overlooking the workshop. Red hot, molten glasses from an oven become nice wine glasses.mIt seems so easy, but certainly needs some skill to produce it all so perfectly.

However, I ended the short tour not with a glass, but a cup of espresso in my hand.

BEST OF GREECE 2021 (3/3)

Again some more images of the big variety Greece has to offer. Historical sites, wonderful landscapes including caves, canyons and mountains, vibrant small cities or relaxed beach life. And there’s so much more to discover. Certainly not my last visit here.

Best Of Greece 2021 (1/3)

Greece, rich on cultural heritage, legends and history. But there are also beautiful landscape with winding backroads leading to amazing spots. Just wonderful places for motorbiking too.

I spare you my boring stories from abroad, but show you some photo impressions from on-my-ways….

OST-EUROPA-MOTORRADTOUR #62: San Marino

Zum Abschluss meiner Motorradtour nochmals ein sprichwörtliches Highlight. Auf dem dreigipfeligen Berg Titano und steht die mittelalterliche Stadt San Marino, Hauptstadt der gleichnamigen Republik. Während an der adriatischen Küste noch Nebel über den leeren Strand zieht, erheben sich hier die Türme der Sonne entgegen. Der Ausblick über die steilen Felswände ins umliegende Land ist grandios. Die engen Gassen beherbergen viele Cafés, Restaurants und Souvenirläden, um die Touristen zufrieden zu stellen. Mich zieht’s zu den Zinnen der Burgen, die erstaunlich wenig besucht sind. Wie ein Schleier des Vergessens verbirgt der Nebel die Küste von Rimini, das Adriatische Meer, den Balkan dahinter und die ganze osteuropäische Landmasse, die ich bereist hatte. Nach 9 Wochen und 10’000 Kilometer ist San Marino das 24. Land meiner Motorradtour. Ein kühler Wind aus dem Norden erinnert mich, dass es Zeit wäre, die Heimfahrt anzutreten.

OST-EUROPA-MOTORRADTOUR #61: Rimini / Italien

Italien. Erst mal einen richtigen Cappuccino trinken. Ich muss zugeben, ich wusste nichts von Rimini, ausser, dass es schöne Strände geben soll. Die Altstadt überraschte mich dann mit grossen Stadttoren, römischen Ruinen und mittelalterlichen Bauten. Die Plätze und Cafés waren voll von Menschen, die das schöne Herbstwetter genossen. Die Betriebe an den Stränden hingegen fielen bereits in Winterschlaf. Ein kalter Wind wehte über den Sand den wenigen Spaziergänger entgegen. Die meisten Restaurants hatten geschlossen, verweigerten mir Schutz vor dem Wind. Dann aber fand ich doch noch eine Gaststätte, die mich mit typisch italienischen Speisen und Getränke versorgte: Pizza und Wein.