Our logbook - The trip

Part 1: From Castel Guelfo to Amsterdam
Published by OltrApe crew on 2019-07-28 in Events
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DAY 14
11th of August
The relativity of time is a paradox. While we travel, it seems like time never passes and it's always like we have a plenty of time before we arrive at campings in the evening. And when we get there and we park the ApeCar, that's it, the day is ended.
Well, don't take me too seriously, maybe I'm just tired and I'm overthinking. It's 11.30 PM and we still have to record the episode, wash our clothes (after 14 days of trip it's quite necessary) and then obviously there's a bit of melancholy.
Today a part of our journey ends because tomorrow Pietro, Cata and Alice will come back home. While Ludo, Vittorio and I will continue the trip till Stockholm with other guys who will arrive tomorrow.
The path is still long, and that's a pity because we had already started to tolerate each other, like when you begin to laugh even about the things you can't stand about the people around you. So, let's start from scratch again.
Today we've crossed Holland: apart from the clouds which created a dull light, I got my eyes full of green. To see the countryside and those endless fields relaxed me a lot... I think I couldn't do without this kind of landscape. That's why we have to take care of our planet.

During our journey we keep our eyes wide open, we try to pay attention to everything. Today in Rotterdam's canal we saw some trees on floating vases. So cool! And in the subway we discussed about the metro's tickets because they're made of paper but they also have chips inside. So are they recyclable? Don't know.
Our journey goes on, with a lot of other questions. And maybe in Stockholm it will also give us some answers.

DAY 13
10th of August
Yesterday we arrived in Belgium and it's my first time here. As usual during our journey we stopped some people along the street and asked a few questions about the environment. We also interviewed Silvia Stefanelli, who works for the Climate Action department of the European Union. We were also interviewed by RAI 3 (a channel of the National Italian TV network). Tomorrow we are going to Amsterdam, where my trip will end.
I'm very sad about this because we had just started to get used to the rhytm of this adventure and everything was very fun. Now it's up to the next group to keep on doing what we started and, even if they will need some time to get used to this, they will surely have plenty of fun.

P.S. The name of the man you see in the picture is Pieter. He read about us and came to meet us, so we gave him a Radioimmaginaria t-shirt. He's Dutch and he has a Piaggio Ape Car too!
DAY 12
9th of August
Hi guys, this is the last article written by me that you will read; yes, because in three days Pietro, Giovanni and I will come back home and we will give other teenagers like us the possibility to continue this beautiful trip; we will surely miss all of this, but now we are just trying to enjoy as much as possible these last days.
In my opinionon, for example, today has been one of the most interesting days and our activities were all linked to the main purpose of the trip.
We left Dunkirk this morning, we went to Belgium and we arrived at lunchtime in the beautiful capital Brussels, where there is the European Commission.
In fact, we visited the capital beacause we were lucky enough to have the chance to interview Artur Runge-Metzger, director of the EU Climate Action. Our trip is about climate and Europe, so it was really blow minding.
This interview, that you can obviously listen on our website, made us understand a lot of things and we also had the opinion of an expert about the climate issue. It is interesting to know the opinion of other teenagers, but sometimes it is also good to interview people who deal with this topic for their job every day.
From Brussels that's all, I'd love to say "we will meet soon at the next article", but unfortunately I can't, so this is my farewell article.

DAY 11
8th of August
Today is the 8th of August and the 11th day of our trip. Basically we spent the whole day in our car, but after driving for hours, we had the honor to visit the dodgiest city in the whole UK: Dover.
The main attractions of the place are half naked drunk dudes, very young moms and crazy boring seagulls.
The best place in town was the Turkish resturant where I had for just ten pound a scromptious vegetarian dish.
While we were waiting to board on the ferry from Dover to Calais, we decided to ask a few questions about Brexit to some teenagers. We found out something shocking: they don't care!
Luckly we finally arrived in Dunkirk (yes the one of the movie) and we wiill spend the night in a super legit hotel, waiting for the caravan replacement that Alan is going to bring us tomorrow.
Now it's time that I finished Clockwork Orange, if I manage to do so and then I'm sleeping, hoping to sleep more than three hours.

DAY 10
7th of August
This is our 10th day.
Yesterday we arrived in London and I would have never imagined to get here passing through the English Channel on a blue ApeCar.
Few days ago it was very difficult to get past the border controls to get on the ferry from France to the UK.
We were asked to show our documents 3 times and we were also stopped and asked a lot of questions before letting us go.
It was so strange to me and made me think that if Europe didn't exist, the same situation would happen in all the countries we'll visit during our tour.
While we were going to the heart of the city, we randomly stopped at the Italian Cultural Institute to take a photo.
For our day in London we had a full schedule: at 1.15 PM we were ready outside the BBC building and we had a visit at BBC 1Xtra's studios.
We were guided by Sarah, who is the producer of a music radio program and it was so cool!
When we finished at BBC, we ran to Slough, outside London, to meet our friend Tony Prince. He is a legend of the radio and we broadcasted live with him on United DJs. When he was just a little bit older than us, he lived the '68 revolutions and he said that what we are doing now for the planet reminds him those demonstrations. It was the first moment when teenagers understood they had to make their voice be heard.
He told us to go and spread this message.
Moreover a group of us is now in Lausanne at Smile for Future, a summit for climate, and this morning they talked to Greta about our journey. Look here below!

6th of August
Yesterday night we arrived in Flokestone, we were exhausted and it was as cold as in winter. But now we are in the UK, which is amazing. Even though we slept in a hotel that was probably cleaned the last time 25 years ago, this morning I was so thrilled! Being one of the oldest means I have the driving license, and when this morning it was my turn to drive the jeep we use as auxiliary car to follow the ApeCar, I didn't expect that driving on the left would have been so hard.
Today we went to Canterbury to visti the city, everyone seemed not to be very interested apart from me. I love historical monuments, walking through hidden streets etc. But everyone is fond of food and we went to a place where there were sandwiches with eggs and a lot of strange ingredients. And the 2 cooks were (as Pietro likes to say) very cool.
Everywhere we go, we examine carefully the situation and we observe how trash is recycled, if drinks are in plastic or glass bottles or in cans, and we give a mark. Pietro is the best of us, we now call him "Dreaming Kyoto" because sometimes he is too much. He does well, but you know, too much is too much..
Now we are in London, in a flat. Ha, I almost forgot, 2 days ago we had an accident with the Caravan. It seemed something easy to solve, but right now we are traveling without it because it has a destroyed axle (I ignore what an axle is) and we have to find a solution to continue our trip.
Here you can see how Giovanni was helpful in that difficult situation.
Guys don't worry, we will arrive in Stockholm, on foot or dragging the ApeCar if necessary. You really don't have to worry.
Tomorrow London City and a short visit at BBC and United DJs! COOOOL

5th of August
Today's been a disaster, we didn't do anything at all and I spent all the day busting my balls. Right now I really want to come back home because I'm here and I'm doing anything.

4th of August
Bounjour a tout le mond!! Nous sommes en Paris!
Guys, I wanted so much to continue this article in French but my language skills are quite a problem.
Today is the 7th day of our crazy trip and after two long days of journey, we finally arrived in the French capital: the great, stylish, charming and romantic Paris.
The last time I came here, Italy had just won the World Championship, so I think you can understand how much I wish to be here again.
We arrived very calmy in Versailles, the beautiful royal palace that immediately received well our Piaggio ApeCar. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go inside and visit it. So we went to the city center, where we had breakfast at 12:30 PM and then we went straight to the Arc du Trionphe, which was triumphant (sorry for the pun) in front of us.
In the time left we visited the Tour Eiffel and the Champes d'Elisee, and we had a chat with a French woman in the underground (even though we didn't know a lot of words in French), and I think this is one of the main goals of this trip, that is to discover Europe: in fact trough people's stories you can deeply understand the culture of different countries.

By the way, after this serious moment (one of the few in my articles), I send you greetings from the deep French countryside, that is the place where we are right now, on the road to Amiens.

3rd of August
It's the 3rd of August and as on typical Saturday night, we are going to spend the night out. And the facr we're not about to live the "Paris by night" experience at the feet of the tour Eiffel like in a romantic movie is because because we are later than Brexit (just to talk about Europe).

As Ludo's just said, we are "lost in the woods" and with nothing around us I was able to reconsider some life pleasures, like completing crosswords and insulting Giovanni.
Considering that French camping sites are stuck in the Middle Ages and we can't get in after 10 PM, (since they close their fenches) we can only sleep in a "campanile" or "Disposable hotel" as Alan said. Dope, tonight I won't need to build my table, chair and bed.

With a seatpost shaped ass, we only need to find a place to have dinner, or maybe breakfast.

2nd of August
Third day in France.

The way we travel: we use a navigator, otherwise how can we travel for 4500 km without getting on the highway? We use 2 GPSes and every night we set all the maps for the following day. To communicate between us from the car to the ApeCar we use 2 radios, they're like walkie talkies, even because we have to travel all over Europe and I don't have enough money to recharge my phone.

Our fight against plastic doesn't stop (but right now to be honest, plastic is winning). You know what? Today at a supermarket we tried really bad for more than an hour to buy something for lunch without any plastic packaging and it was I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E. But we won't give up.
This afternoon we had our first stop at the mechanic, not good news. After another climb, our ApeCar decided not to move anymore, so we had to stop and go to 2 different mechanics.. I challenge you to explain IN FRENCH to a mechanic just few years older than you that your Piaggio ApeCar doesn't get into gear. I can only say "merci" and "pardon". But don't worry, in the end the problem was fixed and Vittorio even managed to go to Clermont-Ferrand.
Tonight we had onions for dinner with a nice Swiss family and we shared huge philosophical reflexions about the future of humanity in front of a coffee (an Italian one, for sure).

OK, in a nutshell this was our day. Too scanty? Listen to the episode and stay tuned!

1st of August
To travel slowly has pros and cons. The cons are obviously that the distances are longer and traveling 10 km takes almost half an hour. The most amazing thing is that you can admire the landscape and focus on every single particular that in other situations you wouldn't notice that well.

And you can also smell all the perfumes.

Today is the fourth day of our journey and we left behind us Gap and the lovely camping Les Pres a Veynes, which was so lost in the middle of the countryside that there was no signal. Now we're heading to the center of France, passing across unknown but beautiful villages.
As I said, you can also smell perfumes because today we passed by a lavender field and Leonardo, the young videomaker who is traveling with us to make a documentary about our trip, asked Pietro the top ten of his favorite scents (I'll start from the bottom because it creates more suspense):

10. The marker pen we used the first day of our trip to make people sign our flags (sooner or later e will tell you about that)
9. The smell of petrol
8. Correction fluid
7. The scent of the plastic book covers
5. Fresh mint
4. Basil ice-cream
3. Caramelised onions
2. Chocolate biscuits
1. Carta d'Eritrea (which is an essense you can spray at home)
Anyway, today was a real on-the-road day. Stops were few but nice, like one we did today when we stopped to buy some fruit up the road and to eat some sandwiches near a stream in the middle of super high mountains. To spend so much time together begins to be a bit hard, we lose our temper very easily, we sometimes panic and cry because we are tired, but I think it's normal, isn't it? Maybe we should really blow off some steam, switch off the phone, look outside the windows of the ApeCar and to fully enjoy this journey and these streets.

Tomorrow Clermont Ferrand and 170 km. YEP!

31th of July
The third day of this incredible adventure has come to an end. Although we've been travelling just for a little more than 72 hours, it's like we've been on the road for weeks. Even though we haven't slept a lot and despite the endless hours on the car crossing the steep Alpes, we've had fun every single moment of the day.

Since the very first moment we got in our jeep this morning, Pietro and I had the idea to write a rap song wiht the typical slang of the streets like the gangs and those stuff you know. Unfortunately none of us have any kind of experience and we decided to trust someone who knows a whole lot more than us: wikihow.

Well, the advice that wikihow gave us were quite ambiguous and ridiculous but in the end we manage to create a lyric which has all the trumps to enter the top 10 of the most listened songs on Spotify. Which is a lot for us if you think it's our firts song. Tomorrow we will produce the beat and record the videoclip, everything without spending a penny because we like to call ourselves indipendent singers.
While we were working hard on our hit, the other members of the crew (maybe bacause they were a bit annoyed by our creative stream) decided to stop for lunchtime in a bar up the road. Even though my sandwich with würstel e ketchup didn't look so good in the first place, it turned out to be incredibly tasty and well cooked.

While we were there, we noticed that every day we do actions that effect on the environment in both positive and negative ways. We got to the conclusion that we should give a score to everything we do. Some actions penalise you like having more than one shower in a day or to buy too many plastic bottles. Whereas sustainable actions such as peeing in the nature or buying drinks in glass bottles, reward you and make you score more "eco-points". At the end of today's trip, the ones who got more points would win something, I don't really know what kind of prize.
After our break, we reached our ApeCar and we stopped by a natural oasis near a little river where I rolled the dice drinking that water (if you are reading this article it means that the water was not only fresch but also potable).
We continued our race on the Alpes where unusual animals such as super muscled cows, fat groundhogs and normal goats. We were already prepared to face our French "cousins" when we cross the border because as soon as we saw the "Welcome to France" cartel, we waved our Italian flag and pumped up our national hymn. If we don't bother the stink eyes of French supporters who haven't overcome year 2006 yet, we made an amazing first impression.

Today was for me the best and faster since we left, even spending a lot of hours in the car was super fun. At the beginning I was very skeptical about this journey but now I completely changed my mind after such a fruitful day.

30th of July
Our second day has just finished and we are even more thrilled (and much more tired) than yesterday, which was the day of our departure.

It's the first time I have a journey like this, so sometimes I feel a bit dazed but also super excited. Travelling across Europe on the road has always been one of the things in my "must do once in lifetime" list and I've always thought I would have found the time and the opportunity to do something like this sooner or later.
Honestly, it happened much sooner than I've expected, so now I find myself facing traumatic situations such as: the alarm clock in the morning.
Today we woke up at dawn (actually it was 8 AM but that doesn't sound dramatic enough) and we left from Deiva Marina heading to Sestri Levante. After an endless series of galleries we got to our main stop for today: the stunning city of Genova.
Here we randomly plant a tree because we felt like doing that, then we want away.
Just kidding, I hope you haven't trusted me since the very beginning of this article. Actually you have to know that on the back of our super ApeCar we are carrying some trees that we will plant in some European cities and mainly at our arrival in Stockholm to compensate the emissions of our means. We decided to start from Genova because in November our event Teen Parade will be hosted by the huge Orientamenti Festival. So we kind of did a little recon and came to give a mark to the location (passed with flying colors, for instance).
The organizers of the event also gave us a very nice flag to hang up our ApeCar and to bring with us all over Europe!!
After a lunch at the harbour of Genova we left again and now I'm writing from the Monastery of Vicoforte.
For now that's it, now we're about to record a new episode so keep on following us and stay tuned!

29th of July
Our first, long day ended.
From Castel Guelfo di Bologna we travelled for 260 kilometers to arrive, veeery slowly, in Deiva Marina, near La Spezia...

A long parade formed consecutively by: the ApeCar, 10 Vespas and "the Cow" (the jeep that carries the Caravan and 7 of the 9 members of the crew) blocked the streets until Sassuolo (annoying quite a lot of drivers..), and stopped in Maranello to visit the Ferrari Museum.
Very calmly we arrived to Castelnuovo, a small village in the middle of nowhere where we listened to producer Lorenzo Confetta's song that he created for the soundtrack of our project, so cool!

When we were this close to the destination, we had to face the last big challenge: the climb.

Our Piaggio ApeCar hesitated, struggled and almost gave up, before finally defeating the mountains between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.
In the end we got to our beloved camping, where we turned our ApeCar into a radio station and we told you about all our adventure in 2 podcasts: 1 in Italian and 1 in English.

For today that's all: stay tuned and we will keep you up-to-date!

29th of July
What's up guys? It's time lo leave. We have been waiting for months and today it's finally the day. The planets are allined, everyone was looking foward to this, the hype is at his peak. Just kidding, we are not such a big deal. Castel Guelfo is still Castel Guelfo and it's empty, but today it's packed with people ready to start this journey! Everything's ready: we all have our uniforms, our luggage and our ApeCar ready to rock. We just drove trough the masted way out of town with our Vespa lover firends. Our journey has officially started! We are now headed to Maranello to the Ferrari Museum, that's serious business!