23 & 24 – Grand Finale!

, Cities23 & 24 – Grand Finale!

From the moment I woke up this morning I was slightly nervous. “This is it! Today is the last day of this cycling madness.”- I thought. Gosh, it is so hard to believe the six months has already passed. Such short, but on the other hand so lengthy period of time… The picturesque Swiss farmlands or the busy streets of Paris or the crazy car honking in Albania every metre of this adventure it came with its own ‘signature.’ All in all was worth of every euro, kuna, lev, lek, złoty, krone, dinar or mark I spent. By the way, soon I’ll be able to share with you an actual dollar figure for this trip.

The road to Vatican and Rome was more or less 20 kilometres combine. A totally ridiculous distance, but for some reason mentally challenging in my head. Maybe too much vino night before? Even though ‘all roads lead to Rome’ I used my gps to get to His Holiness home through all the potholes on the way. This was my first stop. Unfortunately, the office of Pope Francis ignored my request for a personal meeting with the Papale.

The Saint Peter’s Basilica in the rays of mid morning sun brought many flashbacks from 1985/86 when I temporarily ‘lived’ here. The largest church in the world and apparently the burial site of Saint Peter was flooded with tourists. And I mean flooded. The lineup to get inside around two hours. A total insanity at this holy place?! Beside tens of thousands of tourists the heavy security with the polizia, Carabinieri heavily armed military units around. On top, endless barriers and gates surrounding the Saint Peter’s Square. Those images were known to me from the stops in Paris and Brussels earlier, but here? I guess, that’s part of
today’s reality of travellers almanac. After I checked mark my 23rd capital time to move to my final destination, Rome. In the next few days I’ll be back in Vatican anyway. After all I need to refresh my rusted knowledge about this incredible place. Of course this time without my two wheel ‘truck’ though 😎.

It took nearly a half an hour to ride/walk/explore next five kilometres to finally arrive to the most significant landmark in Rome, the Colosseo. Yes, the very same place, which during the festivals and games claimed 500,000 human lives and over a million of wild animals. Today the Colosseum is admired by thousands every single day and it became the last stop of my cycling adventure. Yep, this is it! From now on I am a tourist abroad 😎… With a week to spare I have a lot on my plate.

The security is tight

“Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

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2018-10-10T06:32:31-07:00 October 8th, 2018|Capitals, Cities|12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Keith R. Inman October 10, 2018 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Well Jacek I think I previously eluded to the fact that actions speak louder than words and that you have put into action what many of us are only able to talk about doing. So I just want to offer my congratulations on your completion of such and epic journey which I know can only have been so precious in memories and learning curve of all the good and the bad moments of it all.

    I can understand your nervousness at what appears to be the end of this amazing feat as I also felt the same when I finished the “end to end ride of the UK, France etc. The feeling of where do I go from here and what is next comes over ones self like a small tidal wave. However I have gradually begun to realize that life is and amazing journey and we simply just have to make that journey happen in the most interesting and useful way.

    And so for you, most likely just lurking around the corner is something else to pursue that you maybe have not even thought about yet. For instance there are no OEM’s up on Mars and so you could be the first! On that far out note I will end my dissertation by saying, never put off until tomorrow what you can achieve today. Thanks for allowing me to start his amazing journey with you, I only wish I could have gone the whole way! Keith

  2. Erika October 10, 2018 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Impressed, proud, jealous – these words all come to mind when I think of your accomplishment. You are an inspiration. When you told me about your plans for this trip; years? ago I thought “yah right” talk, talk, talk. But I should have know better. This is Jacek – he does what he says he will do. And he does it with gusto.
    Congratulations, you should be extremely proud and I shall try to emulate you instead of just feeling jealous!

    • Jacek Laszkiewicz October 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      LOL,I know ,I have to learn to keep my mouth sealed, but it is so hard to do it in my ‘profession.’ 😉 THANK YOU for a couple of great hours in Budapest. Very memorable!

  3. Derek October 10, 2018 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Congratulations Jacek! What a huge achievement and an inspiration.
    Enjoy your well earned rest.
    I look forward to seeing you before too long.
    Derek

  4. Harry October 10, 2018 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Congratulations on the completion of a very challenging journey. I can well remember a day about 50 years ago slogging up a hill on my single speed CCM in the summer heat when I firmly decided that my future was in motorcycles not bicycles. Back then I could never have imagined somebody making a trip like you have done and actually I still can’t but you did it !!! Amazing.

    • Jacek Laszkiewicz October 10, 2018 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      I am totally on the same page with you. I had a lot of self talking time on this trip. Trust me…it feels surreal, but very happy of accomplishment. This past February my buddy and I went to Abbotsford or Mission (memory thing) to check on a bike show. Oh man, the Indian Chief Vintage is in my head since then… Thanks Harry! Your comments along the way were very encouraging and fun to read. Just don’t stick those toes anywhere 😉

  5. Kevin October 10, 2018 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Jacek!!
    What an incredible journey and remarkable milestones you made it in this extreme challenging!!
    It is indeed impressive!!

    I’ve been thinking myself to ride a bicycle from my place to work (5.5KM for 10 minutes) and still couldn’t make it happen for over two years!! 🙂

    Cheers!! Buddy!!

    Kevin

    • Jacek Laszkiewicz October 11, 2018 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Thank you Kevin! You can doo it mate. It starts with the baby steps 😉

  6. edk October 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Jacek,
    You did the heavy work, I enjoyed your reports and did the Google Earth travel with you. Thanks!
    You look a bit skinny to me, so let me know when you are back in town. I will buy you a good dinner.
    Now, just think about it, you accomplished so much over the last few months! Hard work yes but what memories!
    However, here is the secret – for the next few days in Rome follow the Italian way of relaxing; Il dolce piacere del far niente. So, occasionally seat down at a coffee place, slow down, smile and reflect on your accomplishments.
    See you in town,
    Edk
    Keith, by the way, you could also use some additional kgs. Please join us at the dinner table.

    • Jacek Laszkiewicz October 11, 2018 at 8:47 am - Reply

      LOL… Non sarà difficile non fare nulla
      I am appreciate for your feedback. This blog became my filing folder for perhaps a next journal? I don’t know yet, but OMG… so much to talk about it. See you in Q1 next year Ed 🙂

  7. Lauren October 12, 2018 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Congrats Jacek!

    • Jacek Laszkiewicz October 12, 2018 at 10:54 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lauren! Stay tuned, more to come 😉

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