Come stai? Sto molto bene! (See I'm learning some Italian!)
Man I have the adventures to share with you all! :) My friends, Emily, Gena, Madeleine, Corey, and Jeff went to Cinque Terre this weekend. We left Thursday evening and caught a train from Roma Termini to La Spezia. The ride was a little over three hours and it was fun to see mor
e of the Italian countryside and the coast! After arriving, we took a taxi to our hostel in Bassia. In terms of hostel criteria..it was ok. Decently clean and quite, however we did see a mouse in the hallway when we left to grab dinner! Stayed there for one night.
We got up the next morning and took a bus into the first town, Riomaggiore, where we had a hostel booked for the next 2 nights. After dropping our luggage off we went exploring and found a beach to spend the afternoon at. Oh side note..my good friend Andrew Smith met up with us because he is traveling around Europe before his year in Spain begins! A fun addition to the trip! :) Anyyyways...spent the afternoon on the beach. Jeff tried desperately to get as tan as I am (it's hopeles
s) and we all swam in the Mediterranean! Yes, I, Kristen, who is deathly afraid of water, swam in the M. Sea! Be proud.
After the beach we went back to check into our hostel. Our hostel ended up being at the VERY top of the town in an adorable apartment style complex. The view, as Jeff informed me, was worth the 60 euro and I now redeemed myself for every moment we've been lost so far for this semester. ha Yeah another side note, our group tends to have difficulties deciding who will be the leader and make the decisions, so it usually ends up being me. But then I have no idea where I am ever going so we end up lost. But we always find out way eventually! Every moment's an adventure!
After checking in, we all cleaned up and then went out to dinner. We ate at this very nice place right in town. There was this old Italian man who went around the place serving the wine, folding napkins, and just visiting with people. For not really knowing any Italian, we were able to understand what he told us. He thought Corey and Andrew were brothers and that all us girls were very beautiful and he approved of the fact that the guys were with more girls! He was adorable! He pretty much made my whole trip!
The following day we woke up early and hiked the famous Cinque Terre Trail. It's a 9 km hike that connects all five of the towns. We started in Montorosso and endedin Riomaggiore. The hike was incredible!! Soooo many stairs and a lot of up and down (which didn't go over well with my knees), but the views were amazing! It felt great to finally be in some nature and in small towns without any noise or pollution. We stopped in each of the towns when
we reached them and snacked. In Vernazza we had pesto pizza
because this town is known for their pesto.
In Corniglia we had gelato. One section of the trail was closed because of mudslides so that was kind of a bummer. The very last section of the trail is called the Via del Amore (Trail of Love) and people (lovers) hook padlocks on the fences and wires all along this section. It was very cool!
After our exhausting day we hiked the 300 stairs back to our hostel and cleaned up and then enjoyed a lovely dinner at a place right at the bottom of our place. The next morning we needed to catch a train back to La Spazie because we had a train back to Roma at noon. Well...we got to the station with plenty of time only to be announced that the train was delayed. And it kept being delayed..more..and more. I was praying the entire time that it would arrive or that our train to Roma would be delayed so we would not have to wait or pay more before we could get back to Roma. Finally the train came and arrived in La Spezia at 12:09 (our train to Roma was supposed to leave at 12:06). We got off the train and ran to our platform and what do you know! The train to Roma was delayed and arrived about 2 minutes after we got there! It was definitely a Hallelujah...come again...HALLELUJAH..moment!
It was a great weekend! I learned a lot about traveling with friends and how people have different traveling styles. There were definitely some tense moments on the trip but I think we all really had a great time. I thoroughly enjoyed the small town feel of Cinque Terre and I was able to spend some quality time walking and talking to Jesus when I was on the Trail. We had a lot of laughs..I almost lost my Nalgene water bottle...we tried n
ew food...practiced some Italian..oh, I almost forgot! One of the best moments on the trip...we were sitting on the wall down by the water and all of a sudden, I recognized someone! The DU Bologna group just HAPPENED to be in Cinque Terre the same weekend! Talk about a small world! But then after that...we kept running into DU people...it was so funny! We didn't know any of them but we got some great laughs out of realizing that DU has infested Italy with study abroad students. I guess DU's whole 85% study abroad rate really rings true!
Well that's all for now! I hope ya'll are enjoying reading about my crazy adventures as much as I am enjoying having them!