domenica 23 agosto 2009

Inglorious Basterds!

After leaving Denver we headed to Des Moines (Iowa) where we visited the Art Museum (done in three times by Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei and Richard Meier), 2 buildings by Mies van der Rohe and a beautiful library designed by David Chipperfield...
After the last visit we leaved Des Moines for Iowa City, where we arrived in the evening. Here we went to te cinema to see "Inglorious Basterds": a fantastic movie! Quentin Tarantino is a genius! The only thing we are perplexed about is the last chapter... We don't want to ruin the film to you so we don't tell you more...

Today we visited Iowa City University, where we've seen a building by Frank O. Gehry and the Art Museum by Steven Holl (unfortunately the museum was ruined by a flow in 2008 and seems far to return in the "normal mode").
We headed to Cedar Rapids where we looked 2 buildings designed by Louis Sullivan in the 1911-1914 and, in Independence, a wonderful house by Frank Lloyd Wright: the Walter House (or Cedar Rock)... Simply perfect!

now we are in Madison, Wisconsin, ready to go visiting Taliesin.


We stayed in Denver until yesterday. In these days we visited the city and the borrows (Boulder, Golden, Lakewood, Englewood…) and we have to tell you: this city is a very nice place!

The day after our arrival, Juan Carlos lent us his car for visiting the town (the U-Haul was a pain in the ass to park!) and we visited the Denver Art Museum (realized by Gio’ Ponti and, for the new part, Daniel Libeskind), the Conference Center and a bank of Charles Deaton. In this last location we found an interesting military shop and we digged in… some hours later we got out of the store with a set of bags full of clothes!

In the evening we met with Juan Carlos and his family for dinner. Then we helped him to move in his new house filling up our U-Hauuul.

Next day we met Juan Carlos at the University of Mines (in Golden) where he works. He was a perfect host and guided us through his department and the University. In the afternoon we visited on our own the University of Colorado in Boulder (the classes start in few days and the campus was in ferment!), the Center for Atmospheric Research (realized by I.M.Pei) and we tried to visit the “Sleeper House” of Charles Deaton but was impossible to reach it because of the strict private property policy around it.

In the evening we moved to “LoDo” (The Lower Downtown of Denver), a very cool area of the city with many old bricks buildings, transformed in lofts, art galleries, pubs, a good place where we drank some beer, played pool and listened to some good live jazz music!

Friday morning we returned the U-Haul and went to visit the MCA Denver (a very interesting museum designed by David Adjaye); after this visit we headed to the Airport to take the new car we rented: they gave us a electric blue Dodge Caliber . In the afternoon we met for the last time Juan Carlos and his family to give him back his car and great them for the last time before continuing our trip.

Now we are on the road again, next stop: Iowa!

mercoledì 19 agosto 2009

Land Over

Yes… After a fantastic trip in the Monument Valley at sunset and a sleep on a campground inside the valley, the next day we were on the road to Moab when, at 2 p.m., a strange noise came inside the Land and we had to stop in the middle of nowhere!!After some tries the diagnosis was: the gearbox was broken! After some time waiting we received help from the vice-sheriff of Blanding, the most near city to us..a tow-man moved our car downtown.

Arrived in Blanding we couldn’t to do anything ‘cause it was Saturday and all the services were closed. But Fabrizio started to talk with the owner of the motel, a mormon artist who showed him his impressionist paintings and told about their religion. So bad luck sometimes brings good things.

We waited here until Monday, planning how to solve the situation and getting to the visitor center where we searched in internet flights, cars, mechanics and other things…

For short: we decided to rent a U-Haul truck with a trailer to bring the Land from Blanding to Denver where we found a specialized mechanic and rent a car to reach Chicago in time.

Monday we moved to U-Haul Office in Blanding but apparently there was no reservation… After a long morning we discovered that our U-Haul was waiting for us in Monticello, 22 miles north to Blanding. Fabrizio decided to hitch hike at the gas station and, after a wonderful ride in the back of a red neck’s pickup truck , he reached Monticello and came back with the U-Haul.

When he returned we had our last lunch in Blanding and we talked with the owner of the motel (and the restaurant, and other properties in Blanding): he is an old man, very interesting and full of ideas about create an art museum of the town: he asked to send him some ideas or projects about it. Great occasion! Isn’t it?

After a long trip on the U-Haul (and our last night in the tent on the Land’s roof, over U-Haul trailer beside the Colorado river) we reached Denver where we left the Land in the mechanic hands; after a complete checkup the guys from JC rover 4x4 confirmed our original impression: the gearbox needs to be changed. It worked without oil for miles, and it died after a legendary ‘20 years’ of service. Fabrizio will send parts from Italy and come back to Denver in October or November for bringing the Land in New Jersey and shipping back (maybe) to Italy.

This evening we met a friend of Fabrizio, Juan Carlos Madeni - they met each other in Bolivia on a previous travel- who lives in Denver, doing research and teaching at the University of Mines in Golden: we had a very good speeking with him about university system in US and we’ll meet him again tomorrow in his office.

The Land may be over (just for the moment) but off course not our trip!

venerdì 14 agosto 2009

National Parks and other adventures

Last time we left you with a problem to the Land’s lights. We arrived just in time to a 6th Motel in Flagstaff where we stayed for the night. Next day we tried to find the problem but without results and we decided to go to Grand Canyon National Park, promising not to drive after the sunset.

We had a great time in Grand Canyon, looking at the beautiful panorama and go thru a part of the trial that descend to Colorado River.

Maybe we waited a bit longer in the trail because on the road to Page we encountered the sunset! After a run against time, Fabrizio drove for half an hour with only the emergency lights (the only ones working properly)!

After a restoring night in Page, in our plans was the visit of Antelope Canyon and Bryce Canyon. But, sometimes, plans don’t work as well as on paper… We arrived late for our reserved tour at Antelope (we arrived in time but the clock in the Tours Office was 10 minutes in advance!) and the only chance was to wait for the 3.30 p.m. tour… We decided to wait for it and for passing time we visited Glen Canyon Dam (I wanted to visit Hoover Dam but it’s out of our itinerary… So we take the opportunity to look at the second dam in USA).

The Antelope Canyon is a stunning show! After the visit with the trip in the Navajo Guides’ cars (Fabrizio was sad he can’t use the Land for it) we decided to stay in Page for the night but in the camping of the Glen Canyon National Park, just out of the town; a very beautiful place on Lake Powell; we were blessed with a night sky full of stars and falling stars!!

The next day we leaded to Bryce Canyon, opting for a “little” offroad trip (more than 100 kilometers) taking the road thru Johnson Canyon… We are having a good time when, unfortunately, in the middle of nowhere, we found an hole in one of the tires!

We changed it like professional pilots of Camel Trophy and arrived at the Bryce Canyon just in time for a visit and preparing the tent for the night.

And now we leaved the spectacular hoodoos of Bryce Canyon with destination Kayenta, where we plan to start our trip though Monument Valley to Moab and the Arches National Park.

martedì 11 agosto 2009

From Taliesin to Flagstaff

In Phoenix we visited Taliesin West, the Biltmore Hotel (where we tasted the original Tequila Sunrise!!) and the 2 creations of Architect Paolo Soleri: Cosanti and Arcosanti.
We met the Architect, who was arrived in Arizona from Turin, and we invited him to return to Turin for trasmit his ideas to the young students...

After visiting Arcosanti we directed to Sedona, where we tested the Land in an off-road trip: simply great!

Yesterday evening we arrived in Flagstaff where we separated with Alberto and Daniele: they need to travel more rapidly to Chicago... The days passed with them was very enjoyable and funny.

After that, we visited Meteor Crater and returned to Flagstaff... Just in time! The shadows of night are coming and we discovered that the lights of the Land didn't worked anymore!

Now we have to go... Stay tuned for more news about our trip!

sabato 8 agosto 2009

Arrived in Phoenix

We're in Phoenix! After a very long journey two days ago (in the Highway 10 which we came to know is a Coast-to-coast way... enormous spaces, with desertic panoramas, some little sand storm) we reached Tucson, where we met Daniele, a friend of Fabrizio who had arrived in Houston some days after us and travelling by train for reaching us here.. from now on he will travel with us.

The next day, in Tucson we visited the studio and some houses of the architect Rick Joy (very interesting buildings made with the use of earth walls) and checked the Land with a mechanic about a little problem on front right wheel and steering... Nothing to be scared about.
We continue to met interesting people, curious about the Land and very kind to us...

At 6 p.m. we leaved Tucson for Phoenix when we met with Alberto, an other friend of Fabrizio who is traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast (he buyed an old cherokee car here).
After a big meal at Burger King and a restoring night we are now ready for visiting Phoenix!

giovedì 6 agosto 2009

The Longest Day, The Longest Journey

I'm writing at 6 a.m.

Today will be the longest day of our trip: we are leaving Fort Davis (TX) and our final destination for the day will be Tucson (AZ), passing thru El Paso where we give the rented car back ... Just 530 miles (850 Km)!

Yesterday we tested the Land going to Marfa (22 miles from Fort Davis) and we visited the Chinati Foundation and the House of Donald Judd (the founder of Chinati).
Everything had worked well so we are now ready for the big journey!!

mercoledì 5 agosto 2009

From Austin to Fort Davis

We have to thank a lot Yen for his help in Austin, for sharing his home with us and for guiding us in the city especially at night!!!

Before leaving Austin (it was Sunday) we had lunch with him at Rudy’s “The worst BBQ in Texas”… what a fabulous meal: the meat was delicious and the sauce was rich and tasty…very fun people there!

After lunch Yen helped me satisfying my curiosity about comic books in USA bringing us in a comic bookstore near his house. After that we greated him and left Austin for Fair Oaks Ranch, near San Antonio, where the relatives of Fabrizio live.

Our next stop was on the road to San Antonio: a big store named Cabela’s… Here Gianpaolo had something to do for his cousin…But this is another story.

Near San Antonio we met with Yen’s sister, who is also a friend of Fabrizio. We had a nice talk in a very hot starbucks café then we get again on the road to Fair Oaks Ranch.

Here the relatives of Fabrizio were waiting for us and we had a fabulous dinner: Allison your dinner was great (the best meat I have eaten in a long time)! All the family has been so kind to us and for a little while I felt like being a cousin or a far relative coming from far far away.

Next morning we had a Texan-mexican breakfast and then, after a strong wii session, we left for Fort Davis.

In Fort Davis we found Fabrizio’s Land Rover, at the mechanic’s garage and then started to prepare it for the next miles of 3overland.

domenica 2 agosto 2009

from Houston to Austin


Siamo finalmente riusciti a connetterci ad internet quindi cercheremo di fare un maxi aggiornamento...
Da oggi inauguriamo la versione in inglese del blog in modo da essere comprensibili anche fuori dall'Italia.

We've finally got an internet connection so we will try to do a maxi update of our adventures...
Starting today we will write the english version of our blog so everyone can read it.

In the last short post we announced our arrival in Houston, TX. We rented a car (a faboulous Ford Escape... For us it's a very big car but looking around here it's just lika a Punto in Italy!) and we got a room in a hostel where we was defeat by jet lag and the tiredness of the flight and we fall completely asleep...

The next day we wake early in the morning ( me and Fabrizio at 4 a.m.!) and, after a breakfast at Starbucks we started our visit of Houston with the Brown Pavillion of Mies van der Rohe and the Museum of Fine Arts of Moneo... After the visit we take a tour in the near Cullen Sculpture Garden and the Museum of Contemporary Art (where we created the 3overland dollar!).

After that we visited the very beautiful Piano's Menil Collection and Cy Twombly Gallery...

At 4p.m. we leaved Houston and we had lunch into a Whataburger (Fabrizio suggested it with the excuse "We are in USA...We have to try all"!).

In the evening we arrived to Austin but some bad news are here waiting for us: the mechanic who have in charge the Land of Fabrizio will be on holiday the days we have planned to pick it, the hostel was full and one of Fabrizio's friend wasn't in Austin... But there isn't only bad news another friend of Fabrizio called Yen let us sleep in his apartment...we had dinner in a nice restaurant named La Condesa and then walked along 6th street full of people and girls... What a beautiful night!!!

Today we take a rapid visit in Austin and after that we are going to Fabrizio relatives home in Fair Oaks Ranch, near San Antonio.

See you later.

sabato 1 agosto 2009

Siamo arrivati! We are landed!

Finalmente riusciamo a collegarci ad internet... Anche se solo per un rapido aggiornamento: siamo finalmente arrivati negli States!!
Dopo la giornata di ieri trascorsa in volo e l'arrivo a Houston sotto la pioggia... Ci sentiremo piu' avanti per un aggiornamento piu' corposo... Appena riusciremo ad avere una connessione stabile ad Internet.

See you later!