Each year on the balcony I clean the bikes.
Biking along the river we saw these two guys who had evidently flipped their kayak. They were just floating down the river not doing much about getting to shore. There are only a few places they could get out - where there are steps or a small pier. About ½ mile further down is the small waterfall at Isola Tiberina. Tomorrow we will pass by the waterfall and look for kayak and body parts.
There was some very heavy rain this winter and there were signs of the river overflowing the barrier. This huge tree was wedged against a pole along the bike path on the river.
Bike Path North
This statue is on end of the Ponte Milvio, one of the bridges that cross the Tiber River. This bridge is famous because it is where the emperor Constantine fought the Emperor Maxentius in 312. Constantine had the vision of a cross just before the battle and after made the Roman Empire Christian because of this. If he had not won that battle who knows what would have happened to religion. This is also the bridge featured in an Italian book and movie where two teenagers put a lock on a lamp post and throw the key into the river to signify their unbreakable love. There are lots of locks now of the bridge and although it is hard to see there is a lock on the ring finger of the Christ statue pictured here.
We took our usual trip to the cemetery outside the GRA (beltway). The bike bridge that had been closed for the past two years after a very heavy rainstorm was now open and they had repaved a section of the trail.
On the way there we noticed that they had extended the bike path and we thought we could now take this instead of going underneath a railroad tunnel that we had to do in the past. We followed some bikers who were going on the new path until we came to this locked gate. They proceeded to move a part of the fence that someone had cut open. It was just wide enough to fit a bike through. We followed but it turned out that we had to come back to the railroad tunnel because the path went in the wrong direction. We did see that the new section of the path was complete so it was funny that the gate was still locked and it was funny that the Italian bikers had cut through the fence.
This is the path that goes under the GRA to the other side of the Tiber River. We could only go about another 100 yards after we exited because that is all that is finished. It looks like they plan to extend the path along the other side of the river going south back to Rome.
The Good Shepard: When we take the bike trip north we normally see several herds of sheep - this is just 3 miles outside of the main city of Rome.
The King noticed an article about shepherds who tend the herds and that one in particular, for a beer, will regale you with stories about interesting parts of sheep herding. We did not have a beer but we did give Gregario a whole bag of cookies. (Note: Approaching Joke Zone.) Turns out his Italian was very bad and we could not understand him but we did learn that he used to be a professional boxer and his only trip to the country-regionUS was to Boston to fight many years ago. At night he sleeps with the herd and his three sheep dogs.
At the cemetery we cleaned the headstone of Boruch Litvak. It was a little more dirty than usual since we had missed a trip out there in the fall. The Israeli coin we had left one year ago was gone but we brought another one to leave.
The Jewish area is still being maintained a lot better than it had been. I suspect the Jewish community of Rome is somehow involved in this.
At least one of the Russian graves that had been a mess in the past has been fixed up with a new headstone. Someone in the family has obviously begun to take care of this one.
Bike Path South
When you take the bike path south they have stopped working on the path at a point that is about 6 Km from our starting point. The path continues after some riding on the sidewalks but you have to carry your bikes up the steps from the river.
On this southern route there are also sheep as well as goats. They seem to be in the same herd.
Villa Dora Phamphili
Our intention was to bike up the Gianiculum hill behind Trastevere to see a new museum exhibit. We got there at 1:15Pm only to learn that the last tour began at 1PM. This was not in the guidebook so we biked over the hill to the Villa Dora Phamphili. The Villa is located in a huge park that is very popular for biking, running and picnicking.
The Queen at the entrance to the park.
The park also has an aqueduct running through it.
On the way back we took the long way on the bike path that goes through the center of Parioli, a section of Rome near the Vatican. This bike path is very extensive and is a separate part of the roadway with its own traffic lights.