The travel plan was to leave Bellagio and ride 50 miles to meet Francesca, my new couchsurfing.com friend, for lunch. The ride from Bellagio started off wonderfully. Bellagio to Lecco is simply spectacular. The video below captures a typical part of the ride along with the voice of my GPS lady:
After the peaceful ride from lake como, I neared Milan to encounter 3 flats and road construction. This put a major delay in my travels and caused the GPS battery to die. At one point, I literally had absolutely no idea where I was. So I stopped at local business and spoke to a non-English speaker about using her outlet to recharge my GPS. That was fun. =] It was even more fun to watch her eyes explode with shock when she realized that I was ridding my bike "all the way to Milan."
Francesca was very patient with me as I was 4+ hours late to meet her. Her accent was worth the trip and her place was great. She even made me some dessert!
The next day we had breakfast, which in Italy means bread with cappuccino. After "breakfast" I usually find some place to eat crepes.
I briefly toured around Milan on my bike. When I saw this Duomo in downtown Milan, I was shocked. I can't believe the humans can make such artwork. I've never been struck with awe for an architectural creation before this one. As I rode around it, I was simply in a state of misunderstanding. It's just so beautiful that it's hard to believe anyone could build it.
I took the "tren" from Milan to La Spieza near the coast. It was somewhat intimidating to purchase a ticket at Milan Central because all of these scam artists kept buzzing around telling me lies about what I needed to do (without me asking for their help), but I deflected their crapola, figured it out and found the correct platform for departure.
I rode from La Spieza to Riomaggiore in Chinque Terre, which was about 7 miles of insane up hill riding. Cinque Terre is a region of 5 very small villages on the coast of Italy. The villages are connected by a foot path along the coastal cliffs. After arriving, I quickly found a room and then hiked 8 miles among 3 villages to capture the pictures below.
Even though I was sporting running attire on the hike, this graffiti brought out some west coast love.