I'm sitting in my sister's apartment here in rural Switzerland, looking out at the freshly fallen snow and coming to terms with the fact that, after all these years, the Silk Road Ride is complete now. Although the ride really ended at the ended of October in Turkey, I had a much more symbolic closure to the trip a couple of days ago when I rode my bicycle, with its rebuilt rear wheel, from San Vito al Tagliamento into Venice, finishing at the site of Marco Polo's house in the Secondo Corte del Milion. It was a cold, cold morning, but a pleasant, flat, uneventful ride across the Veneto plain, skirting the Venetian lagoon, across the causeway and into the city that for so many centuries was Western Europe's trading window to the East. And while Marco Polo returned home from Turkey by ship, it was still nice to feel that I was crossing paths with the Silk Road's most famous Western traveller again.
My friend Manuel had set up a welcoming committee of journalists to take photos and talk to me as I pushed my bike along the streets and up and over the bridges towards my finishing point. So far, there are two stories that have come out in the Italian press:
this one (from Il Gazzetino, the main daily paper of Venice)
and this one (from Nuova Venezia)
They are in Italian but you can make amusing translations of them using online translator programs.
So the trip is over; now, after some time spent riding elsewhere (most likely Ethiopia), it will be back to Canada to start writing a book to turn this trip into an entertaining, informative read for the general public. I hope that you, my faithful readers, have enjoyed the blog, and will look for the book whenever it comes out.