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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Aug 8, 2014.
just be careful out there https://www.tispol.org/
Exactly my words.
Every time when I come back from Europe, I find it difficult readjusting to ride/drive in States. And these left-lane campers...
Would be nice to see law enforcement try to raise awareness of the dangers of stupidity instead of just enforcing speed. Typically people who speed at least know how to drive (or die learning)!
This video pretty much demolishes the myth that speed is the problem.
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Back to Rome and death.
Or maybe just Rome first. From the Coliseum it's a short--almost nonexistent--distance to the Forum.
Then onto more stupendousness:
My mind wandered to earlier in the morning.
I was thrilled to see that no one was on the backside of the Spanish steps. I hoped, for a second, that perhaps the other side would be just as desolate. Proof that hope is as worthless as the air it's printed on.
Maybe it's the stress of travel. Or maybe it's the retardedness of the world. I'm not complaining that not a single person was on the backside. I enjoyed my isolated-from-tourists-walk. But then I crested.
This is the least nauseating picture I could post of the Spanish Steps. With a little fuzziness it's almost cute. Couple looking over junk, but still they try to be as much in love as they think they should be.
I avoided this area before, but thought, 'ok, what the hell...have to experience before you judge. Awful.
Now I can judge. This is about the only guy who got it right.
Its just another attempt at raising revenue rather than a concerted effort to make roads safer, the police here in England seem more preoccupied with catching speeding motorists than actually solving crime we're just an easy target for them ,
When you get to Spain you'll see very few speed cameras outside of the major cities and some of the best biking roads in Europe I've gone past the Trafico police at well above the legal limit and they didn't bat an eyelid maybe because every other Spanish driver was doing the same thing
If you go to tourist areas (especially during tourist season) you shouldn't whine if you encounter tourists. Maybe a Rick Steves guidebook would be useful.
Back to death again. And morbidity.
Nothing loves (or gives meaning to) suffering like the Catholic church. If it wasn't so, the church wouldn't have as their idol a man nailed to a cross. 15 centuries ago they might have asked for the laity to crawl upon the stairs on bloody knees. Now they just charge 10 Euro and make the laity wait in line for 2 hours. After hours of riding through nature and seeing both the best of what man and the green countrysides have to offer, cathedrals seem so ostentatiously nauseating, as if walking out from under the bright blue (or grey or white) sky into a church was like walking into a plague. Powerlessness, weakness and despair is the intended end-result of the architecture, despite what's taught in the books on art history and monumental stone. Maybe it's just me, but freedom and self-assurance terminated anytime I walked into hallowed halls, whether in Florence, Rome, Milan, Orvieto or Siena.
I never said I was surprised. Maybe a reading comprehension course would be useful?
Anti if you go through Slovenia check out Lake Bled. In 2000 we stayed at a Pension on this lake. Its got an island in the middle of the lake with a church on it.Lake Bled is close to the Julian Alps.Its worth checking out. Drago owned the pension. My friend Jeff went back there with his wife a couple times after our visit.I will get back to you on the name of the Pension.
I have been following your RR's since day one. Happy we are on another ride with you RTW.All the best to you Dennis.
I really like the pic of the stairs on the back side. For many years I have wondered why people like to hang in big crowds like that. When i get around crowds like shown the infection comes to mind with reality.
The church scene is very much the same in a different way.
Fresh air and clean water and few people are the way to go ! Things are comfortable now.
The ostentation was meant to impress, their form of televangelism I guess.
If you want to read a good book (or listen on CD,) read "The Religion", by Tim Willocks. Not a lot of good things going on back then.
When those cathedrals were built across Europe most people were living in abject poverty in servitude to their indifferent feudal lords. They had tallow for lighting with the only running water being the open sewer running down their filthy dirt streets, they were lucky if half their children lived to adulthood and if they themselves made it to their 50th birthday. At least they found some form of comfort in the thought that maybe, just maybe something better awaited them in the future and afforded them somewhere nicer to visit than the shit hole that was their home.
You're looking at this through 21st century lenses while riding a marvel of the modern world when those people were lucky to have a cow and a few chickens.
And much of that horrid condition was a result of the greed of "the church", which then was as much a political and war making machine as it was a religion. Still, that war making Catholic machine turned back the hordes in Malta. Religion did provide hope for people who had little.
That were different times in history. People didn't know anything else. In 500 years (probably much less) others will say the same about us.
Each cathedral afforded virtual life time employment for a large number of people, where before then there was none.
WTF? Is this gonna turn into a religious discussion? How about we stick to Antihero's RR. :dog
Edited my post to more closely fit the attitude you are displaying.
That is the benefit of an Antihero RR...a lot of riding, adventure, art, architecture, some philosophy, some history... Renaissance Man...
This was the main reason I came to the steps, the final dwelling of John Keats.
Contrary to how it's commonly used today, the word Romantic, especially when applied to literature or art, has nothing to do with swooning or hugging and kissing. At the core is the the desire to experience and to explore. (Which is why we are all here on ADV, no?) Tennyson best captures the essence of the romantic in Ulysses: "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
In part, the Romantic movement was a rebellion against the age of reason and in part it was a rejection against the church. Both science and religion provide certainty, or at least the illusion of clarity. In doing so, we are robbed of experience. Science tells us how the world works, religion what it should mean. Both de-emphasized individual experience and neither celebrated or encouraged the emotions that provide depth to experience.
The awesome and the mysterious and the unknown are all around us. John Keats, coined the term “Negative Capability” to describe this type of perspective and it's what motivates a lot of the inmates here on ADV. Depth of experience, getting more from life, sucking the marrow. And perhaps, as a group, we are not quite as comfortable to have an unchanging view of life (Keats refers to this as “egotistic sublime” as your average person. Keats crystallizes this notion with the term, 'negative capability'--or, the willingness and the capacity to embrace the uncertain and the mysterious. A formula, if you will, of transcending the circumstances that form the settings of our lives. Perhaps that's what makes travelers different than tourists. The former yearn for new experiences, the latter simply want to repeat past experiences in different locations.
As a tragic aside, considered among the greatest poets in English literature, Keats was 25 when he succumbed to tuberculosis in 1821. He'd moved to Rome with his friend Severn, who noted that Keats would sometimes weep upon waking to find himself still alive.
He was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water."
Unfortunately the cemetery had shut down for the month when I visited.
So we'll just have to make do with a picture from my previous visit.
I had no idea at the time, but my visit to John Keats' grave fell on the same day the actor who played John Keating (in reference to Keats) in Dead Poets Society, ended his own life. Robin Williams, RIP.
They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.
(From Dead Poet's Society.)