But we have photographic proof. My travel buddy and I were heading back to Hanoi after a day out on Halong Bay. During our three weeks of traveling around Vietnam we had seen as many as five people on a motorcycle and had seen various chickens, snakes and produce but this was the first time we saw the WHOLE cow - whole LIVE cow headed to market on the back of a motorcycle. As we passed the trio, I looked the cow in the eye, maybe it was projection of my own sensibilities but there seemed to be a look of resignation there.
Life never passes you by
Someone once told me life on board a vespa never passes you by...and it doesn't...scooters are such a great way to get around and see the world!
We arrived the port of Messina via ferry boat (so the adventure technically began in Naples) and in 10 days we were to experience the entire coast line of Sicily. Now we had been to Sicily a few times before, but this time it would be different as we were to do it all on Marco's motorcycle. Dilemma #1 - where would I fit my hairdryer!!?? Looking back, it was one of the best trips ever - I learned so much and saw areas and things that you would never imagine to discover when in a car or public transportation.
...on the back of a motorcycle.
(Actually, I think there are two on 'em on there!)
When my husband and I visited Italy last year, we each chose one place we wanted to visit. I chose Venice: I wanted to see the famous canals and gondolas first-hand. My husband, a long-time lover of Ducati motorcycles, chose a tour of the Ducati Factory and Museum (http://ducati.com/company/visit_us/index.do?tab=museum).
We arrived on a Saturday and, unfortunately, the factory tour doesn't run on the weekends, but luckily the museum was open for tours and had a lot to offer fans of vintage Ducatis. The museum focuses on Ducati’s racing history, with examples of every major Ducati race bike to have won World Championships, the Paris Dakar Rally, and other famous races. My husband was in heaven, able to see up close the motorcycles he'd read about and seen in magazines.
The museum tours last about a half hour and provides a lot of interesting information about this classic Italian...
A buddy of mine and I rode 1400 miles from San Francisco through Yellowstone, Death Valley, Lone Point, Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Santa Margarita, Monterey, and Highway 1. The idea for the trip started with plans to reconnect with friends in Vegas to celebrate a big moment in another close friends life, and the road trip added a path to that. We rode through snow capped mountains, rolling hills, 110 degree blazing desert heat, gusting winds, and ocean side highways. The dangerous moments in the ride ( barley making it through a sand storm! ) just added to the trip and reminded me of how dynamic life can be, and how you get to those moments in life are as important as the destination.
In India, the family car is usually a motorcycle. It's not unusual to see two, three, four people crowded onto a motorcycle. A family of six, however, scores high on a photographer's hit list.
I loved Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Right next to it was this lively street. A bit touristy, sure, but a fun place to people watch. I was drawn to the building sitting on the corner, cafe on the bottom, apartments up top. Scooters and cars whizzing by. It was so "Paris". And all in the shadow of Notre Dame. I loved it.
A scooter is not the most practical way to get around Palm Springs, but it is the best way.
Briefly, the cons: senior citizens in boat-like cars & steep hills that defy kickstands.
Now, the pros: there's nothing but palm trees between you & the (outrageously blue) sky. You'll notice mountains seem to grow up straight from the quiet streets like movie set backdrops. Speaking of movies--you'll coast past beautiful homes that once belonged to glamorous people (Monroe, Sinatra). Brake to admire the work of brilliant architects (Neutra, Frey).
Bonus: John + David, who own Scoot Palm Springs, are knowledgeable, down-to-earth, and all-around delightful.
The people of Taiwan, like so many in their corner of the world, have made scooters like the above one of their preferred means of getting from Point A to Point B. Considering the ease they afford to weaving in and out of traffic and their hop-on-and-go quickness--that is to say nothing of the fuel economy!--it's not hard to imagine a few reasons why. Even Man's Best Friend wants a ride!
While touring around Vagator in Goa, I couldn't help but smile, and snap a photo, as this happy group of children were picked up from school. The elder driver of the scooter arrived, and was sitting outside as class was being dismissed. I watched in awe as not one, but four little kids climbed aboard with school bags and all, got settled in, posed for a picture, and then sped off down the road.
In Kampala, Uganda’s capital, and other cities, boda-boda motorcycle taxis are among the most popular forms of transportation. But away from the industrialized centers, makeshift—brakeless—bicycles and scooters built out of wood hurtle down hills with a few hundred pounds of charcoal or fruit strapped to their frames.
This appeared in the September/October 2011 issue. Photo by Kaj Iversön.
Arriving in Rome it becomes quickly apparent that the scooter is the prized mode of transportation. It's quick, easy, and let's admit it, it can be sexy with the right rider.
My wife and I are the only people relaxing on this white sand beach on the island of Lombok, when we her the buzz of a motor. We look up and see a Muslim girl learning to drive a scooter on the beach. The girl on the scooter seemed a little out of place, so I took a picture. This pristine oasis of white sand is flat and free of obstacles, so it works just as well for drivers education as it does for tanning and relaxing. We hired a driver at our hotel in Kuta, Lombok to take us to some secluded beaches and this was one of them.
I just liked the subject. Monuments and famous buildings are always great, but sometimes the typical European scenes of outdoor cafes, scooters, and good living are well worth your attention.
On a sunny day in May, my hostess and I zoomed out of Bologna on her Vespa arriving at Dozza for the city's annual Wine Festival. The entrance ticket gave us unlimited samples, and so we walked the medieval streets sipping the various regional wines and stopping every now and then for a nibble of prosciutto piadini to soak it all up. One block featured vintage vehicles -- cars scooters and motorcycles -- instead of wine. I liked this guy's bright red bike the best.
The best Vespa repair shop/bar in Nagoya! Huge burgers that run around ¥850, cold beer, and lots of vintage scooters.