Our logbook - The trip

Part 2: From Amsterdam to Stockholm
Published by Oltrape crew on 2019-08-19 in Events
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Hey guys! On our tour while we were travelling we stopped in Slough, near London, to meet Tony Prince. He's a super disk jockey and radio presenter who is part of the history of Radio. He interviewed us about our trip OLTRAPE
Listen to the interview here!
DAY 26
23th of August
Today was really the big day: we are in Stockholm! We arrived on a Friday, exactly one year since the first strike made by Greta ever, and unfortunately while on the other side of the world the Amazon forest is burning. This morning we jumped on our Ape and we went in front of the Stockholm Parliament, where Greta and the other guys from the Fridays For Future movement strike every week. And for them it's the first strike of the new school year.
When we arrived Sophia with her pink hair welcomed us. She's one of the most active and with her there were other guys from the FFF in Stockholm, but also 2 guys from Zurich, 2 girls from Turin and 3 Korean journalists who are shooting a documentary, so they took a lot of pictures and asked questions. There were also other people of very different ages.
As soon as we started recording the episode it started raining and even though it was really difficult to stay under such a strong rain nobody wanted to leave.
We stayed there all morning, making interviews and striking. Then we moved towards the Italian Embassy because today we will finally have the chance to plant our oaks!
At 16.30 at the Embassy the Counselor Water di Martino, who's the vice of the Italian Ambassador in Stockholm made us visit the Embassy. The history of the Italian Embassy is beautiful and while the Counselor was telling us all about it, other visitor joined us and celebrated with us our arrival.
There was a class of Swedish guys who study science and technology and they were all in their suits plus other Italians in Stockholm who wanted to know all about our experience and our Ape. It was really incredible for us to be there, it was unbelievable that we were in a place like that and that all of those people were there for us. The Counselor gave a beautiful speech where he explained how our trip is an example of civic duty for our country, and this made us feel very proud and emotional. Then they offered us a free buffet of Swedish food, and that didn't hurt hahah
Luckily it eventually stopped raining and after the buffet we went in the park. Bea and Matteo planted the first oak and it was a beautiful moment that we ain't ever forgetting.
It's difficult to describe how I feel now that we reached our goal.

I don't really want to go home. I was on the road for 26 days and 4852km, there were moments of joy and satisfaction and others of great difficulty. I travelled trough an Europe that is reachable for everyone, that has to be lived like this to be truly discovered. Free of having our own ideas, free of stopping people to talk with them, with the will to listen, to look and to tell.

I found out I'm proud to be Italian and European, but in my country there is still a lot to do for the environment. I learnt that I was lucky to have made such and experience, and that more people should be allowed to do that at our age.

I also learnt that we can't save the planet, it's not enough to think about what we as individuals can do. We have to give examples and create the conditions for everyone to pursue a lifestyle that is fair and respectful towards the planet.

I come back home with the eyes and the heart full of beautiful things, and with the desire to go back in every country I have seen from the window of a 1970 blue Apecar.

DAY 25
22th of August
Stockholm. It really seemed impossible but we're here! Yesterday we got to the camping which was not really in Stockholm, so we can consider today as our first official day here. On the 23rd we have some appointments so we have to get prepared.
First of all, this morning we took the metro and arrive in Stockholm. Once at the Central Station (the one where Greta leaves from!) we met Thomas Salme, a captain who, for many years piloted planes without a license. He wrote a book called "Confessions of a Con Pilot" but right now he's working on a different project. Listen to the episode if you want to know more!
Later, we went to the Italian Embassy to speak to the vice Ambassador because it's right there we're gonna plant our trees tomorrow. The Embassy park is called Oak Hill, and our trees are precisely oaks! Coincidence?? I think not.
Then we went at the Rosendal Tradgarden and we recorded our episode. We were a bit outlaw because we stayed there until late.
Yesterday we also met some professors od the Environmental Humanities Lab, a great laboratory in Stockholm University where some researchers study the effect the climate crisis is having on people, and they suggest politicians new laws or actions to avoid the damage and improve our approach for this issue. It's a bit difficult ti explain, but it was really useful for us to have another explanation to this trip... Tomorrow morning we will be with the guys from the Stockholm FFF and we will strike in front of the Parliament house. We really can't believe what we're doing, but we're doing it!
DAY 24
21th of August
Finally we are about to arrive in Stockholm! I'm super excited but also tired, I feel like it was yesterday when we went to the zoo in Amsterdam but tonight we are arriving at our final destination.
Anyways, today we didn't do anything and we haven't traveled a lot till now because we had a problem this morning with the ApeCar. I was very worried because we arrived till here and it's not possible that the ApeCar stopped so close to the end! But it did it again! So we are still on the road heading to Stockholm.
Anyways, today we got some terrible news: the Amazon forest has been burning for 3 weeks and no one knows about that because it seems the Brazilian government is trying to hide this fact.
During this trip we asked ourselves a lot of questions about environment, about the behaviors we should have to change what must be changed and I'm super afraid because Amazon is the biggest lung in the world. If I think it could disappear, I feel like one of my own lungs will die.
Coming back to our trip, I'm looking froward to arriving in Stockholm, even because I need a new pair of trousers because I destroyed the only pair of jeans I had with me.
Apart from this, I'm very happy also because tomorrow we will meet a lot teenagers and we will have a super party all together, even though it will be on the 23rd and I still have to wait another day.
Then we will travel 3/4 days to come back to Italy and Matteo, Leonardo and I will stop in Verona, while the others are going to our Radiocamp in Riva Ligure.
Stay tuned!
DAY 23
20th of August
Yesterday night we arrived in Sweden! We had dinner very late so we didn't go to sleep very early..
But this day of our trip OltrApe started well because we had a big breakfast with everything including yoghurt, marmalade..
So when we were all full, we left to go to Aspen headquarters, which is the company that produces the super clean fuel we are using for our tour from Castel Guelfo to Stockholm. There we met and interview Pontus Kristensson.
We left again with 2 canisters of Aspen fuel and we really have to thank them because they supported and helped us giving us all the petrol we need for our journey.
We decided to stop to eat something near a gas station and this decision turned out to be very bad. Bea, Holly and I decided to take some sausages with French fries, but the waiter wanted to add a strange sauce made with mushrooms and fish. You can't imagine how difficult it was to explain we didn't want the sauce because he didn't understand English at all.
When we left, Leo went on the ApeCar and he will stay there till about 9 PM. I don't know how he will do that without freaking out.
Now I feel divided into 2 parts: one doesn't want to end this trip and to
go home and wants to stay with this fantastic group of people, the other one can't wait to be home to sleep in my bed (even though I will have to cope with all the questions by my family about the trip). My mom for example asks me every day to send her all the photos I take.

In few hours we will be in Stockholm and I feel a lot of responsibility because we will have an event at the Italian Embassy, we will joined the strike with Fridays for Future Stockholm where this movement was born an year ago..

I still can't believe it.

DAY 22
19th of August
Since we are on the ferry, I feel seasick and there are 2 possible explanations: either the sea is really rough, or the captain can't steer the boat, because it's like being on a carousel.
Anyways, this morning we left our camping in Randers and Matteo, Holly, the 2 Leos, Vitto and I went to the Aros Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Aarhus, while Giulia and Mic were traveling on the Piaggio ApeCar.
When we arrived at the museum, we bought the tickets, we put our bags and jackets in some lockers and then we started our visit. I enjoyed it a lot, there were a lot of works of modern art, artworks made with rubbish, huge statues, audiovisual rooms.. But my favorite part was the top of the museum because we could see all the city from above trough stained glass with all the colors of the rainbow and all the panorama was full of colors.
Then the cow went back fast to the camping to pick Ludo up and we went directly to Frederikshavn where we took the ferry to Sweden. We had the ferry at 4.45 and in a nutshell we really risked to miss it. Fortunately the girl who controlled our tickets was very kind and we managed to take it.

Now we're about to arrive in Göteborg, Sweden, where we're sleeping tonight. Tomorrow we will stop at Aspen headquarters, which produces the special petrol we're using for the ApeCar.
I'm very excited about being in Sweden. I have never been here. I expect it to be green, like Denmark and Netherlands, and to be clean and careful to pollution. Although we won't meet Greta, this Friday we will meet a group of young people of Fridays for Future Stockholm and we will strike with them. We will also have an event to celebrate our arrival in Stockholm at the Italian Embassy and I can't wait.
I just know I'm really excited about this experience.

DAY 21
18th of August
Today we left from Sønderborg heading to Randers. Tomorrow we have a ferry from Denmark to Sweden and we are every day closer to our final destination: STOCKHOLM.

Denmark is stunning. I've been traveling since the 29th of July and we've already crossed France, England, Netherlands, Germany. Till now the countries I liked the most are Holland and Denmark. They're green, they have uncontaminated spaces and today there were no people on the streets. We passed through the Danish countryside and there were no cars, just people jogging or riding bikes on bike paths.
Before going to the camping in Randers, we had a stop in Kolding and we met the Twins of June. They are 2 twin brothers who have a band and play together. Giulia's known them since they were children and we just took the opportunity of this trip across Europe to meet and interview them.
Obviously we asked them the question "If you had the duty to decide, would you choose to save humans or the planet?" (their answer is in the episode ;) )

Honestly I didn't imagine Danish people were so nice and open. Everyone describes Northern people as "cold" but it's not true at all.
Now we are at the camping and at night I feel exhausted and frustrated. It's 21 days I've been traveling.

Last days it always rained, and we usually sleep outside in campings. We try to avoid comfort, to live as much sustainable as possible. But it's not easy, and these last few days that were always in a hurry, we went to bed late, we woke up early, there were moments when I wish I could come back home.

Guys it's not easy at all, but we should get used to some good behaviors (even though I must admit our trip is a bit extreme sometimes..), but if we want to change something we should do our best.
Let's think about Greta who is now in the middle of the ocean without a shower..
Always hold on!

DAY 20
17th of August
I woke up in Denmark. I have never thought I would have been here. It's not an usual holiday destination, like when someone says: "My dream is to go to Denmark!". But this is just my opinion, of course.

Anyways we're here, and we arrived on an ApeCar.
This is the 8th country we've crossed, Sweden is the next and last one. We're about to end this trip and if I could, I'd do it again now. I'd like to turn back time to do everything again.
I'm terrified about coming back home. It's amazing to visit places and meet new people. I will feel depressed when the adrenaline leaves finding myself on the sofa, at home. Like when everyone asks you about your trip and you just want to leave again.
When we left I was worried about my English. Would I have been able to make other people understand me? Would I have left other people breaking the ice instead of me?
Honestly I did it a bit and I pushed Ludo sometimes, but just because she's very good.
It's evident she likes speaking English and she's cut out for it.
But I can't shut up so I pushed myself and even if sometimes I make mistakes or I do long pauses between a word and another, I overcame my fear. I'm really happy about it and for me it's an important goal.
Today we visited Sonderborg and Danish people are very nice. Everyone said hello to us, stopped us to talk, they smiled to us along the streets. Is it so evident we're foreigners? I think I would like to live in this city for a while. Everything is perfect: streets, grasses, houses. And this is that kind of perfection which is natural, not too much.
Tomorrow we're leaving, we are staying in Denmark for too little time.
Now there's the last part of our journey and I want to make the most of it. I don't want to back off and I hope to seize all the opportunities. We are almost there!

DAY 19
16th of August
We left this morning from the super luxury camping in Bremen. We have to travel a lot because we have to catch up since we lost a lot of time for a broken piece of the ApeCar. We arrived in Bremen, we ate and we visited a bit. We saw a lot of monuments about the "Bremen Town Musicians", there also were graffiti about them!
If I must say, I didn't really like Bremen, the houses weren't that good in my opinion. Now we're in Hamburg and it's really weird. Every corner you turn it gets weirder. I am really getting bored in the car because we've been traveling for more than 3 hours. Now we're going to Denmark. Btw I keep seeing Porsche, even in the Netherlands. I expect to see modern buildings in Denmark. I expect it to be very crowded too. We'll see.

DAY 18
15th of August
Yeaaaah we're finally leaving! Saint Renato from the Borghi, our mechanic, arrived yesterday at late night with a suitcase full of spare parts taken from other ApeCars. He worked all morning on the wheels of our racing car. We were so nervous, it was like we were assisting to a dear friend's heart operation. After 4 hours we got our report. We can get back on the road. And we're finally in Germany!
Amongst other things, with my luck, yesterday I caught a fever and made everyone panic. I almost was put in quarantine in the video-maker's tent. But I'm better now, we have traveled for some time now and I must say that time passes really fast. Between listening to music, gazing outside the window, laughing and joking these 5 hours haven't been too tough.
This morning we were all so happy to leave the Netherlands, we really had had enough of that camping in the middle of nowhere. And now er'er getting to Bremen. Tomorrow we will try to enact the Bremen Town Musicians, I wonder who will be the donkey...
Day 17
14th of August
Hey! Today's been very exhausting even though we didn't travel any km with our poor ApeCar. This morning Mic told us that the only thing to do was to cross our fingers. Fortunately, tonight or tomorrow morning Saint Renato dei Borghi, our beloved mechanic, should come from Bologna to help us. He's one of our 4 protectors who helped us to make this trip possible.
This morning we had a walk along a big canal. It was very nice and we also stopped some fishermen, cyclists and passers-by to ask some questions about environment and Europe. We also picked up all the trash we found on our path.
The thing that surprised me the most was that everyone here rides a bike.
Moreover, we also went to a tiny village near the camping where we're staying and it's very cool because each house has its own small lake. This village is very nice but I would NEVER live here. It's quite boring and we kinda meet only elderly people.

DAY 16
13th of August

Hi everyoneee! Today is the first day of trip for us of the second group. We were really excited and scared as well about this new beginning, but now that we are at the camping I'm happy. We had fun and the time we spent on the car has literally flown, which is something I didn't expect, even though we travelled less than what was planned because we had an inconvenient.
So we left this morning heading to a camping near the border between Holland and Germany, but after the accident we had to look for a camping near the area were the ApeCar stopped.
Then we found a camping and the group on the cow (which is a nickname for the other car we have) started to set the camp, to pitch the tents and unpack all our stuff.


12.55 PM
The ApeCar is still. Bad sound to the left wheel.
Mic takes off the wheel. We "expected" it to happen, since we arrived in France in the first part of our trip, we were afraid of suddenly hearing that sound again. It is an insistent noise that we used to hear and at the beginning meant nothing, but we knew it could have become something dangerous.
There's a strange rule in this journey which is that every day something has to go wrong. Even a tiny unexpected event, but something HAS TO happen every single day.
Till now we've always fixed everything, every time.
Now we are in a garage specialized in tuning, which means they modify cars' mufflers to make them noiser when you get on the power. Just a bit trash.
A mechanic called Hans is helping us and he found a garage 20 km far from here that may have the replacement part we need. If he had it, he would fix it without any problem. So it seems like we still have a chance.
At home in Italy we still have our guardian angels, and Giovanni the mechanic would do anything to be here to help us.
For now we can only wait.
5.00 PM
It's the wheel bearing, now we're sure about it. And we can't move our ApeCar. The only way is to replace the piece. The first garage we went to doesn't have it, but Hans was super nice and called a lot of colleagues to try to help us. Tomorrow morning we will go to another garage which might have the spare piece. We hope so, and we hope to really get to Stockholm! We don't give up!
DAY 15
12th of August
It's official: the halfway of our trip has been reached!
Actually on the total of 4500 km to go, we've already travelled more than 3000. But now that the second group is here with us, for me it means that the first part of the trip has finished and the second and last one has just started.
Today Bea, Matteo, Holly and Leo arrived in Amsterdam and we had a tour around the city. We first went to see the most ancient windmill in Amsterdam called Molen Del Gooyer and we parked our ApeCar there. Then we decided to go to the Artis Zoo which is in the centre of the city.
From the first moment I arrived in Holland I noticed something very unusual. Even though I live in the countryside, it's quite surprising for me to see animals like ducks or hares in the fields. Instead, here I saw fields literally full of every kind of animal. I asked a friend who lived here for a while and he told me that Dutch people find very brutal to go hunting wild animals, which is something usual in Italy.
I'm really fond of animals and it's been a long time since I went to a zoo. Actually zoos are usually very similar: they have wild animals closed in fences and cages, which is not an exciting description. But every time I see wild animals I really get excited. To be honest, Amsterdam's zoo is really cool and different from the ones I've been before. It's near the canals and it's full of architectures that remind the city, there are some fences on the water surface and others built inside ruins of ancient buildings.
But even though a zoo could be wonderful, seeing wild animals such as elephants, wolves and lions closed in cages make me feel sad inside and they also look very bored there. I understand it's important for people to have the chance to admire from close distance these kinds of animals, especially because not everyone has the possibility to see them in their natural habitat. Also to better understand why it is so important to protect them. But I find it disappointing that they will spend their entire lives in captivity..
Anyways, thinking that nature gave shape to creatures so majestic and unique always leaves me speechless. I stopped to think how it is horrible that a lot of species I saw today are in danger of extinction. We have to do something, and we have to do it as soon as possible.