August 2016. Stefania and I, with the excitement of the new FJR1300 motorboat, organize our historical-cultural-passionate holiday, to visit Aushwitz and then move to Brno for the World Championship
April 2, 2022
P.We leave Occhiobello early in the morning, on August 16, with the first stop scheduled in Austria.
Taking the A31, up to Piovene Rocchette, we then continue on the Asiago plateau, then to Enego, descending to the beginning of the Primiero valley, to head towards the Dolomites, in the spectacular scenery of the Pale di San Martino; then off to Val di Fassa, Val Badia with a refreshment stop in the splendid setting of Lake Misurina, on a spectacular day.
After enjoying the magnificent Dolomite scenery, we leave for Austria, continuing on the SS49; we are in Tyrol with an incredible green made of pastures and scents that the helmet does not filter …
Arrived in Lienz continue until the start of Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße, which will take us to the glacier of the same name, upon payment of a toll of € 22; the road offers a unique scenario, even if unfortunately, when I arrived at the glacier parking lot, I must see a retreat of the ice tongue of hundreds of meters since I visited it as a child.
A quick lunch, I remain dressed, because even if in the middle of August, at the almost 2400 meters of the pass, it is not hot at all.
The descent to Zeel am See is equally spectacular with the snowy glaciers that wrap around you, up to the entrance to the vegetative area, where you walk through about ten kilometers of thick wood.
It is now the afternoon of the first day of travel, and we turn our trusty FJR towards Vienna, to grind as many kilometers as possible, towards Slovakia.
Overnight, after about 112 hours on the motorbike and 850 kilometers up and down the mountains, in a modest hotel on the E60 near Vienna (remember to buy the motorcycle sticker).
P.departure on the second day of travel direction Oswiecim (Ex Auschwitz), where we arrive in the afternoon after traveling the fast roads of Slovakia to Brno in the Czech Republic and then diverted to Poland (where petrol cost around € 1 in 2016).
In the town sadly famous for the infamous concentration camps we are hosted by a couple of wonderful people, welcoming, humble and polite, who provide us with a room just renovated in a building that once housed the offices of the SS; they welcome us with an indoor parking for our motorbike, and offer us a slice of cake in their garden, as if we were family friends.
A pizza for dinner in the small town makes us immerse ourselves in an economic reality light years away from us, where you dine in 2 for € 12, where a half-liter beer costs € 1 and bread a few cents a kilo.
The next morning we go to the entrance of the Auschwitz state museum; yes, because the visit to the concentration camps is free and you only pay for the guide (in our case an austere Polish lady, a history teacher with a great command of Italian) who allowed us to immerse ourselves in historical, disturbing and emotionally demanding memories of what happened in those places of the sadly known town.
On the side of the road, they are still there the tracks that carried the wagons with the deportees from all over Europeand all the buildings outside the camps, once residences of the German officers, are now sober buildings in a working-class neighborhood … Definitely an important and emotionally trying experience, even if I recommend planning it in winter, to try to understand even remotely, what it could have meant to be locked up in those places.
Stefania and I carry this experience in our hearts, the humanity of those who welcomed us, the smile and friendliness of people far from our lifestyles, true, sincere and with a big heart.
The landlord left us the laundry to change and freshen up after visiting the concentration camps, and before leaving for Brno, another slice of cake and a big hug, thank you very much.
In the afternoon, having loaded our trustworthy FJR, towards Brno, we face the fast and deserted Polish motorways towards the Czech Republic, with a lot of emotion in our hearts.
The lack of knowledge of the places around Brno led me to book overnight stays in a small town 50 kilometers from the Circuit, which I thought could be covered in a heartbeat; I was very wrong, because just outside the city the small hilly road that leads to Vir becomes ever narrower and more tortuous, allowing you to enjoy the blind rural reality, but prudently imposing modest transfer speeds; we are surrounded by countryside, cows, with still horse-drawn carts on the road.
It’s really weird, trotting on a 150 horsepower motorcycle alongside them.
Once in Vir in the evening, we realize that outside the large inhabited centers, there is nothing of what we are used to even for a quick dinner, so after having knocked in vain at the only tavern still open, we go back to our room to sleep, without dinner, since therethe kitchen was already closed.
In the following days we commuted from Vir to Brno for MotoGP tests, spending the afternoons in the beautiful Czech town, full of life, impressive architecture, nightlife animated by motorcyclists and many university students.
No.n the evenings spent in Brno and its surroundings we enjoyed the typical grilled ribs in sauce and the refreshing beers that are truly unique for the purity of the water with which they are produced; small suburbs outside the city that seem to have remained behind in time.
At the circuit, I remember the famous crickets on the meadows, which annoyingly surround you.
The day of the GP it rains and we go to the circuit, where an immense parking lot of motorcycles only, with an adjoining changing room, welcomes us; we will have to wear the rain suit until 3 pm, the races were all held under water.
At the end, at the exit of the car park, the bitter surprise: the parking attendants, located on a slight slope, have seen fit to spread a large layer of earth with the bulldozers, which with the pouring rain has become an impracticable mud: unthinkable of push the 300 pounds of my FJR out on the road.
Stefania, in an attempt to push me out of the mud, gets a tear in her back, after having seen one by one the first motorcyclists awkwardly groped to get out of the mud by falling like pins, I take courage and after putting the 2nd gear on, I open the gas trying to float.
I can get out unscathed, with the bike that he seemed to have traveled halfway through Dakar.
Tired but happy, we stop for a pizza with other Italian bikers, always at more than fair prices.
The next morning, of course, splendid sunshine and we leave for home, leaving behind us an unforgettable journey, full of contrasting emotions, unique people, funny and grotesque situations, unique flavors and wonderful places.
Thanks to Stefania, who grinded with me hours and hours on the motorbike, 3500 kilometers under heavy heat, incessant rain, without ever complaining. Great!
Thanks also to our beloved FJR, tireless, protective, even if bulky and heavy.
Leonardo Boarini & Stefania Bevilacqua
The travels of readers: in Brno for MotoGP (and beyond)