Making the switch from Baguettes to Ciabattas
So after some hardships I finally made it into Italy …
On my last few days in France (see map) I went from Digne over my first pass to Nice. After Nice I had to go back into the Alps and clear another three passes. All in all those passes had a total of more than 4000m and taking into account that I was already a bit worn out from riding against headwinds during the past few weeks, I was quite happy to leave the mountains behind me.
It turns out that I was quite lucky, because there was a tunnel after the last pass which I would not have been allowed to go through by bicycle. Of course nobody bothered to tell me about that seemingly unimportant fact, when I was asking for directions to the tunnel. In any case when the police told me to go back (down the mountain I just climbed, to another pass) an Italian couple came to my rescue and shuttled my bike and me through the tunnel.
Plans for Europe
I think I now have a more or less clear picture of how I am going to spend my next couple of months. For now I will make my way straight across Italy along the Po river (I am going without maps since I left Germany, but how hard can it be to just follow along a river?), which means I don't have to worry about mountains for the next one or two weeks.
Afterwards I am going to go in Slovenia – hoping that after I visited both Slovakia and Slovenia I will be able to tell both countries apart – and then I am going to more or less follow the route I had already planned for the Balkan area.
My warmshowers.org host in Nice (Regine) was a big help in planning my route after Turkey, because she has already been to a lot of Middle Eastern countries. So I think I will not go into China along the silk road through Kazakhstan, but instead I am going to go around Pakistan by taking a ferry from Iran to the UAE or Oman and then to India. From India I will make my way into China.
Or something along those lines …
But all of that won't matter much until the end of this year, for now I am just looking forward to an awesome summer in SE Europe. So without further ado here is a map that shows some of the places I intend to go to within the next few months: