Wednesday 13 May 2020

Restoring the Mighty Mustang to pride of place

This is Gordie’s 1968 Mustang with Table Mountain in the background.
Cape Town September 2011 just before the start of our adventure
More info and photos here
I started this blog in 2011 to cover our trip in a Classic Car -- The Mighty Mustang, above -- with about a dozen other classic cars, starting from Cape Town and finishing in Cairo six weeks later. 

Then we did the Mille Miglia Italian rally in 2018. I thought I’d just put some of the photos of that even also on this blog. 

If you want to see posts from ONLY from our 2011 road trip from Cape Town to Cairo click here.
Or just go back to the First Post. And some more nice photos.

If you want to see posts ONLY from the 2018 Mille Miglia click here.

Monday 4 June 2018

Mille Miglia 2018

Our 1951 Ermini.  More info on Ermini here.
This car took part in the original Speed version of MM, in 1952 and 1953
and so has automatic entry to today's time trial version of the MM
Posted on 10 May 2018:
Ok, so here we are. I can't find anywhere else to put photos and posts about our first outing at the Mille Miglia, to start next week in Brescia (16-19 May), so I'm going to put it here, as at the least this is a blog about a car trip.
And how about that?  It's seven years, no less, since we did our cross Africa trip.
Goodness me.
As Groucho said:
Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana

[PS: this is a "pinned post" meaning it will always be on top; until June 4]

LATER (22 May): Quick description of the Mille Miglia, below the fold.  (more on the MM website here).
LATERER (28 May): Well it seems that I've allowed this to morph into an Italian Road trip.  Oh well, so be it... As the Italians would say perche non?
EVEN LATERER STILL (6 June):  Back in Hong Kong and jet-lagged.  Explanation to why this is called "Cape to Cairo" is that I've just piggy-backed on this earlier blog I did in 2011 for our road trip across Africa.  And great trip that was too!  So, this time it's May/June 2018 starting with Gordie and my go at the Mille Miglia, which took place 16-19 May.  The first posts are 12 May 2018.
You can either click on the Label "Mille Miglia 2018" on the above right, which will filter all the MM posts, or just start at 12 May, which you can get to via the "Blog Archive".  Basically, it's all the posts in 2018.
Then I ended up adding photos of the road trip we did from Brescia/Milan down to Sicily and back to Milan, with John and Jing joining in that.
And, reminder, below the fold is a quick description of the Mille Miglia, and how it works.

Saturday 2 June 2018


And so we end as we began, with the Mille Miglia.
Sirmione, where we are now, has an ongoing festival to
the original 1947-57 MM, the real Heros, as they zoomed
around the 1,000 mile open roads at speeds up to 290kph

Lunch by the lake in Sermione, John tucked behind the flowers

There's simple beauty everywhere
in Sirmione, indeed in Italy...

... simple beauty, like this, Lago di Garda

And our current version of the Mille Miglia, a Regulated Time Trial
a bit like this, a kids' game compared with the Heroes.  Still, takes
some getting 61+ year old cars around Italy's rutted back roads...

Hotel Sirmione, our pub there.
Damiano takes us out on a sunset cruise
on a Bertoldi boat

John, me and Jing. In front of the Roman Villa at Sirmione.
It was 200 metres by 100 metres, 2,000 years ago...

Sunset on Lago di Garda

Mirror with Damiano and our crew

The Sermione castle, only one in the world (or Italy?) with its own
port inside the grounds

and so to bed...


Well, Herculaneum really, but who's counting?
One of the beautifully preserved mosaics in this
excavated city, found earlier but excavated later
and better preserved than Pompeii because it was
entombed in mud instead of ash
Jing Capulet.... at Juliet's house and famous balcony
Osteria Sottoriva, where we ate horse meat stew, a specialty of
Verona.  We discussed meat eating, agreeing that it's all
immoral, horse no more or less immoral than all the other we
eat.  We eat meat because we like it; not because we need it....
The Arena in Verona, being prepared for a performance of Aida.
Quite the best and most beautifully preserved Roman Arena in the
world and the longest continually used venue ever.

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Icarus revisited

John's great tone-dropout of the fallen Icarus at the Temple Concordia, Agrigento,  Sicily
No people!

Monday 28 May 2018

Fabulous Agrigento, Sicily

Temple Concordia from John's room, at Villa Athena, Agrigento, and....

... and, Villa Athena from the Temple Concordia

The Temple Concordia

Icarus lies where he landed after his ill-conceived attempt
at solar space travel

Temple of Giugnio
John, at temple in Agrigento

 Unlike Marsala, which was a bit of a damp squib, Agrigento surprised delightfully on the upside.  The largest UNESCO cultural heritage site in the world, with beautifully preserved temples.
And Villa Athena is the place to stay when here.  With fabulous views over the Valley of the Temples.  Here's a description from a book "New Luxury Hotels" by Nicola Lecca, which they provide in each room of the Villa:

Marsala, Sicily

Punch and Judy on the lawns of the Cantine, pretty much the only
thing worth seeing in Marsala.  

The "Cantine" in Marsala. 5 Euros gets you an endless tasting glass

Marsala Production and consumption process

Saturday 26 May 2018

Towards the boot... Calabria and Sicily

On the west coast of the tip of Italy, a little town called Tropea.
Worth a visit if you happen to be in the region.  This is the
little church called, not surprisingly, "The Little Church of the Island"

Some major buildings in the middle of Palermo are still decrepit.
Note no floors to the balconies....

The house of Judge Falcone, the Mafia hutnter was bombed to rubble, killing him.
This is what remains. Palermo, 26 May.

Ruins of the Mafia wars, left, and the regeneration on the right

Many places in Palermo still ruined by the Mafia wars

Teatro Massimo, Palermo, 26 May

Friday 25 May 2018

Pompeii is great!

I first went to Pompeii with sister Anne, mother and dad, must be in about 1955, shortly after they'd done the most recent excavations.  Then again, I guess sometime in the early seventies.
Now it's much bigger than I remember.  Much more excavated, and walking around is like walking around a Roman town.
We were thinking that it's so big now, they ought to take a small section of it, and rebuild it as it would have been just before the eruption. It wouldn't take much and would be fantastic.  But the Italians won't do it, I'm guessing, either because it's not allowed (likely) or because it's not la bella figura...
In any case, it's well worth a visit, a great day....
Some of Jing's photos:

Roman roads, just wide enough for two chariots 

The Large Theatre


The Forum

Apollo guards the city gates

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Florence, Pisa, Rome

From our apartment in Piazza San Spirito, Florence
20 May

Our Florentine Friend, Padg, on her local transport.  Elegant woman
in elegant town...

The classic, one has to take, but resisting
the pretend-holding-up, the leaning tower (torre pendent)

John and Jing, on the balcony of Relais Donna Lucrezia, Via Emilia, Rome
The place to stay in Rome, next to Villa Borghese.  21 May.

Two modern statues added to the Fontana di Trevi

The water's still clean and clear, despite the crowds.  

Wildflowers and Roman ruins, throughout Rome