Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cinque Terre

Love-Hate Relationship. The cities and the scenery is stunning- bus system is terrible! Walked up a steep, steep hill with all our luggage from the train station when we firs arrived. Waited 2 hours for the bus. Got to our hotel, borgo di campi, and took our luggage down a long, steep flight of stairs. Our condo hung over the mountain and had an absolutely beautiful view of the water. We stayed in riomaggiore, the first of the 5 cities.

We slept in a bit the next day then once we finally caught the bus we checked out all of them except the 'C' city.. All uphill... My favorite was vernazza. Lots of shops! The water was a gorgeous blue and kids were cliff jumping across from us. It was a nice day until we missed the bus, again! But we got to have dinner over the city and watch the sunset.

The next day, Regan and I headed to the beach of monterosso. Rock beaches. Great sun! Finally made it to Genova that night and stayed in the largest hotel room I've seen since being here! We celebrated a little talking about "all the activities" we could do.

On another train off to nice! My family doesn't seem to enjoy this lifestyle very much. Grandmommy doesn't understand why they don't give you more of things and asks where the "dubbya c" is. Mom and kris forget that the people here aren't here to wait on them like at any other tourist place in the US. Logan gets to pick up Beau today and I'm pretty jealous... I'm very excited to see nice and show my family Paris, but Its time for me to go home. Being with my family and hearing them ... Complain?... Makes me realize how much I miss things from home and how different and inconvient my life here has been. Then again, I realize how spoiled we all are and how wonderful this place is and how much Europe has to offer. So much history, so clean, so many unbelievable views and buildings. "I'm lucky, I know, but I wanna go home."


Train from Florence to Rome. Snuck into hostel, discovered bunk beds! Bar free dinner!

Spanish steps, lots of piazzas and people watching. Great shopping. Gelato and best tortellini and lasagna. Lost traci, met up with the others that went to Vatican city. Went to the park to read new books. Drink wine. Leahs phone was stolen...

Naples- gross, dirty, great pizza!! Came
Across eat pray love restaurant, closed but we found some Across the street-3 stories, wood oven, tasty and cheap. Then train to Pompeii, the ancient city. Conserved by ash. Really neat. Gelato!

Meredith and I went to termi di caracalla. Walked around- first sign of tour groups! Blehh!!

Day alone- checke into hotel. Took a
Long, much needed nap. Headed off to piazza to read my book. People watching, avoiding boys. Walked around then anxiously waited for my family to be here.

Vatican city, piazza navola- everyone has a hard time walking, good sports though! Pantheon then Trevi fountain, first gelato!! Spanish steps and dinner. Early morning walk to colleseum and roman forum. Complicated!! Tour guides are a bad idea... Train to Pisa to see the leaning tower- leans a lot more than I had expected! Dirty town until you walk through the fence of the old town of Pisa. Bought my shot gloss that leans! :) off to cinque terre!!


Dinner- pizza! Terrace beautiful Florence
Wine tasting, grape escape: chianti region.
First winery taught the correct way to hold the glass, smell, and drink (slosh around in mouth) bought grappa, and truffle for crackers. All wonderful!
Another winery with lunch- cheese, and more wine) got to see process of making
San gimingnano. Small town with world champion gelato. Bought my hat.
Leather market after ride home.
Dinner with spaghetti and grappa- blehh!!
Duomo with rain! Gelato for lunch..and pizza. Dinner by the river. Walked around had a free glass of wine and tortellini. Went to bridge, warned not to lose my heart in cinque terre. More gelato! Pet the pigs snout for good luck! Watched a street show and raaaan to our hostel in the looting down rain.
Last morning, copy of David. Off to Rome!



Belgium Charleroi (makes me hate Belgium) met Joe on train. Intorduced us to old Amsterdam cheese sandwiches. Hotel experience was terrible! I bought a hotel room for two trying to fit 4 of us in there. It has never been a problem before. Of course, in Charleroi it would be! The front desk man would not let us have more than 2 people even in the HALLWAY leading to our room. I was furious! On top of that, I had to finish my 12 page paper. Bad night.

Apartment was great!! Ate paella. Beach- dirty, topless, nice to be in the sand.
KFC and fountain for dinner. Walked around

Will took us on a tour the next morning. Great breakfast place. Grrreat orange juice. 2 churches. Mexican lunch.
Tracis bag was stolen..We bought her some alcohol to take away the pain for the night. Later that day we went to the beach again. I got a 5euro massage from a little Chinese lady that was wonderful after all the stress of school. That night we ate dinner at a nasty burger place.

My favorite day in Spain: Rented bikes and cruised around Spain. Beach again. Naked man, again! Mexican food for dinner

Moved hostels then beach all day! Finished dear John, always thinking of Logan. All the reading I've done.. Can't wait to see all the movies. Shopped, bought shoes for 12 euro that resemble TOM'S. That night we went to the pier- my favorite night of Spain. Ate paella, spiked our drinks bc we're poor! Sat on pier and looked at full moon, listened to music from nearby restaurant, then fireworks started! Had a scare with some french boys trying to follow us back to our hostel. We so cleverly told them the wrong stop and they headed there instead.

Sleeping with 11 other people is never comfortable. There was a "snore-off" going on next to us. If you know you snore- loudly!- a hostel is not the place for you. We had to put our own sheets on our bet (one sheet to be exact) and no pillows. Not the best hostel we stayed in, but after staying in an incredible apartment for 5 days, it was time for a reality check.

Last day: off to Florence from Reus- ryanair seems to find the most random cities...


Birthday spent on the train for 9 hours. A Spanish man (at least, he only spoke spanish... played the accordian in honor of my birthday for an hour or so. It was great at first, then just became creepy. We played fun and silly camp games to pass the time. Unfortuantely this was not an overnight train- we had to sleep in regular chairs.

Balmer's Hostel- way cool! ate macaroni and apple sauce at a small restaurant by the train station and center of town. Once again we met some not so nice girls from Austin. It such a disappointment to talk to people from your home state and they believe they're better than you because they're from "Austin." Pshhh.

We took a bus to a private resort lake and got kicked out eventually. The water was freeeeeeezing. Beautiful mountains surrounded us as we Layed out. Dinner at hostel bar at funny farm.

Canyoning!!! Amazing! So fun! definitely one of the highlights of my whole summer. Switzerland is beautiful and to be able to adventure our way through the awesome canyons and experience its' nature was unexplainable.

Another manmade lake with a tall diving board, rope swing, lily pads, ducks, ate lunch. Funny farm storm came in an we watched on patio.
Hammock room- my favorite part of Balmer's. Switzerland was a relaxing weekend. There's no sightseeing, just seeing the wonderful, beautiful sights surrounding us. Went to balmers to watch germany uraguay

Left next morning so we could see holland play on championship world cup game!! So many people in highlander! So fun!

Earlier games: we beat uraguay and ran in the streets to listen to everyone blow their vuvuzellas and fly flags out the window as they drive down the street. People danced on other peoples cars and the people inside danced along.