Europe in between

So, that’s it, another big trip is over. After Europe, Oceania and South America in bicycle, Europe and North America in motorbike and a bit of kicking about in between I’m back on the mother land and on my way to spend a few weeks between the UK and Italy before I set off again for some far away destination.

Over the past year I have decisively turned away from place visiting and moved to people visiting. I have now a whole bunch of friends spread across the five continents and a growing desire to see them more. That said I also have friends on these shores and it’s high time I pay them some attention.

Long time since I did some tourism in Camden.
Catching up with Federica for lunch followed by a decadent dessert. Federica is a beautiful person and I always love to spend time with her.
Cristiano and Natalie taking me to a vegan restaurant for the first time. these crazy trendy Londoners
More tourism in London while waiting to see Andrew. One of my favourite paintings in the National Gallery. Andrew and I solved most of the evils in the world again, over a drink or three

First stop is London where I spend four night catching up with Catherine, Cristiano and Isabella and finally get to meet Natalie which whom I have mostly so far interacted digitally. It is remarkable how little the day to day life has remained the same for most of my ex colleagues, as I go back into the office I realise that not only some of the problems that were there when I was working with them are still there, and it’s almost three years now, but I also realise how much I have removed from my memory of what was my daily life was.

Distance makes reevaluate people and relations, it is really nice to see these people that, perhaps, I took for granted while I was in London.

Left London it’s off to Dumfries in south of Scotland, where I’m staying with my acquired cousin Pauline and meeting her two sisters Jeanette and Shirley with their respective halves and kids for the annual Drumbuster Whiskey Festival.

And then off north to spend some time with the Harrison clan at the whisky festival.
We only had water really.

A long day and a long night. Tasted 27 single malts and by the end really showing it. I started the day coming down with a cold and the whiskey din not manage to cure it. I was going to spend the next four days trying to paracetamol myself out of it.

Four days being all I had before the flight to Italy to see a whole new bunch of friends and family.

If you stand still for more than five minutes in Modena you meet someone you know.
Alternatively the party might come to you in the shape of all the crazy friends of my sis and their other halves.
Or you could go to it. I saw two cousins with their daughters within the same afternoon, that must be a record.
No me rompes los uevos. This only make sense if you have followed the USA Kinder egg saga on Facebook.
Started as a night with two people, ended up with all the swimming team.
WARNING: don’t do this at home! Parents opening a fake snow can with a screw driver.
In Milan visiting Ilaria, finally. Ilaria is a fourth degree cousin who I had met many years ago while a child and now has become a digital friend. I had a lovely time reacquainting myself with her, definitely someone that will feature more prominently in my future
It’s cold in Modena in December
Italy is food, in Bologna with Stefano.
And, dulcis in fundo, two beautiful girls from my past.

I managed to fit a whole lot of people visiting in Italy, between family and friends I kept a whole bunch of promises that I had made a long time ago and also, almost by accident caught Leticia that was to find herself in Modena at the end of my stay.

Too many to mention, the people I saw made, what at one point in my life I considered the chore of going back to Italy, a great experience. Some things however never change and that is why I live in Glasgow and not in Italy. Glasgow was where I was heading back to spend Christmas and new year and prepare for the next expedition.

Back home in Glasgow
A city of beauty and contradictions.
Christmas with friends that know I’m a traveller. I had promised to do this and failed to deliver before.
Starting the year at the pub, as one means to go on.
with good company
And then down to England in the clutches of the Harrison again 😉
We did not get completely wasted this time.

So, holidays are over and it’s time to run away from this god forsaken hemisphere of ice. I will take a break from mechanic traveling and revert to backpacking for what I hope will be a rather relaxing few months. No more worrying about breaking down or not finding fuel, on we go with the worrying about how much I can carry on a plane.

I will also experiment with light packing which means no laptop and probably a much reduced possibility of publishing. Most of the things I do appear on Facebook and Instagram first anyway, but I’ll try and do round up posts when I get in the vicinity of a computer.

The next five months.

See you on the other side.

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