Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September Monthly Update

Route Overview & Highlights
I immediately crossed the Italian border to start off the month of September, pedaling along the Italian Riviera until Genoa, where I headed north through the mountains to the northern region of Italy.  From there I cycled East to Venice and took a detour to The Dolomites with Thomson Bike Tours for a week.  I picked up in Venice again, mid-month and traveled up to Udine, then East to Slovenia, and traversed the country through the southern region making my way to Zagreb, wehre I headed south to Bosnia-Herzegovina to follow the Una river.

Featured Site
This was a tough call as I was traveling through a lot of mountains and countryside this month.  Although I am a now a big fan of the Dolomites, I think the Una river detour I took at the end of the month in Northwest Bosnia deserves some attention.  A proud Bosnian informed me of this river, claiming it rivaled the River Soca in Slovenia for beauty.  I took a complete detour off my route to go explore the Una and the scenery blew me away.  I followed it for about 60 km southwest of Novi Grad, Bosnia, through a valley densely forested with deciduous trees all beginning to show signs of fall.  The river has countless waterfalls and rapids, and occasional calm and transparent pools of water.  The Una National Park is just south of Bihac and you can take a 70 km route through the park to see more of the river and wilderness. A must see if you travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina!

School Visits
American School of Milan
International School of Treviso
Aviano Depatment of Defense School
Udine International School
American International School of Zagreb

Bike Mechanics
It feels good after lots of minor adjustments!

Support & Thanks
Thanks to all the schools who let me come and share my experience with them for a day. Also, a special thanks to all my hosts! This month I hardly camped because of all the  warm shower and schools who took me in!  A special thanks to: Andrea & family, Marc & Elissa, Laura & AJ Lopez, Jamie & Lied Ballard, Maja & Roman Sajovic, Matej Cinkole, Silvo Rozman, and Emina Radonic & Maja.  

This Month's "Best of" Awards
Best Campsite: None to speak of really
Most Picturesque Scenery: The Dolomites
Favorite City: Cremona, a small Italian town with a beautiful piazza del Duomo, cyclists everywhere, bike paths galore, and a lively feel
Most Difficult Climb:  Stelvio, Italy 
Most Hospitable People: Hard to say, enjoyed all my hosts this month! 
Best Never to Return: Genova: big, busy, noisy, ugly.....
Most Delicious Treat: Apple Streudel in Norther Italy
Scrumptious Meals:  Grape picking lunch feast in Croatia
New Foods: Burek with any filling
Favorite Vocabulary: Avanti!?!?!?!
Most Interesting Facts: With every host I visit in the former Republic of Yugoslavia, I always try to learn a little bit more about the history of the war.  I didn’t realize that Slovenia was only at war for about 9 or 10 days and then became an independent nation.

September Expenses/Daily Average Expense: 334, 25€ /11,14€  

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