Today was our last day with our guest and my last day in Italy. We started our day with breakfast at our hotel and then packed up for the drive into Florence. We drove our guest into Florence, right where our journey began. It was our Tuscany tour coming full circle, it was surreal that we had accomplished and seen so much of Tuscany in just one week. From conquering the hills of Italy to each and every city we rode through, the trip was a success. This was my first trip with Austin-Lehman and Iâ€™m hooked! Seeing a country by bike is the best way to see a country and the only way I want to travel from now on. All of our guest during this trip came together as a group and had the time of their lives. I think everyone gained a new passion for cycling and traveling. Another huge hit was the introduction of the e-bikes (electric bikes) on this trip. Our Tuscany tour is a level four difficulty for the biking part and there is some tuff hills to climb. But with these e-bikes the hills of Tuscany are accessible to anyone. When I first got the call to go to Tuscany and document the release of the e-bikes, I knew the bikes were going to be great; but I had no idea they were going to be as powerful as they are. You know the e-bikes work when you have someone twice your age passing you going up hill with a big grin on their face. I even got on one of the e-bikes to see what they can do and its incredible the extra power they give you. You still have to pedal, they donâ€™t do all the work for you. But they give you that extra push you need to make it up the hill or just keep up with the group. The best part is the batteries last all day and when youâ€™re going downhill, you can recharge the battery. When you select the recharge function it also acts as a gear to slow you down, so your not having to squeeze the brake as hard as you can to slow down. These e-bikes are changing the game of cycling and the way people commute, we saw a glimpse of this in Europe as you can see more and more e-bikes riding around.
After we dropped our guest off in Florence, George (the guide) and I drove to Pisa where I was flying out of the next day. I spent a few hours walking around the city and taking a 1,000 photos of the leaning tower of Pisa. I even paid the 15 euros to walk to the top of the tower, but it was well worth it! Walking out to the edge of tower that is leaning is even a little rush for me and the view at the top was phenomenal.
After I was done saving the tower from falling over, I walked up and down the Arno river before I headed back to my hotel for an early morning flight.
Thatâ€™s it! My whole Tuscany adventure laid out in a few blogs. It truly was an adventure of a lifetime and something I will always remember. I got to see the Italy I always dreamed of, tried some new food and gained a new passion for cycling. I want to give a personal thanks to my guide George; he provided me and all of the guest with an unbelievable trip. To give you a little insight of the effort that our guides provide for our guest, itâ€™s a 6:30am-12pm job! Getting the bikes ready in the morning, going over the route directions, serving fresh fruit on a silver platter, being our translator, driver, motivation and our friend. After all that, heâ€™s planning out tomorrow while everyone heads off to bed. The crazy thing is thatâ€™s about half of everything he is doing for the group. Always having someone there for you while your traveling is priceless and thatâ€™s what makes Austin-Lehman special. We have the most experienced and dedicated guides in the business to provide you with the ultimate adventure vacation. So I invite everyone to stop dreaming of an adventure vacation and make it happen with an Austin-Lehman Adventures.
But thatâ€™s not the last of me! Iâ€™m headed to Haarlem in Holland tomorrow to check out our Haarlem to Odoorn tour. So if you like flowers or cycling or traveling or just a good story, then I invite you back here for a taste of Holland. Also keep checking our website and Facebook for a lot more photos from my adventure!