Monday, July 11, 2011

Italy - Part One

Luca, our first Italian friend (through couch surfing, of course) picked us up at the Pisa airport.  He rode his bike there and pushed the bike home as we walked the 30 minute trek with our packs on our backs.  The flight to Pisa was another Ryan Air scramble to get the best seat you can.  Matthew and I were apparently at the end of the scramble because we did not get seats together.  My feelings of being homesick and missing friends and family were starting to crescendo.  My thoughts during the flight were directed towards them as my hopes of sleeping through the flight were interrupted by the little girl banging on the back of my seat through the duration of the flight.  After seven weeks of traveling, the backpacker's lifestyle was starting to get to me.  There were definitely times in Italy where I did not feel like walking around outside in the hot sun all day looking at yet another statue.  I missed my couch.  Yes, we were couch surfing on other people's couches but I missed my own couch, and being able to stretch out and take a nap on it.  I was thankful that Matthew was patient with me during this homesick bout.  Despite my traveler's fatigue, we saw some amazing sites in Italy, including Pisa, the Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice, and Rome.

Luca made dinner for us after our walk back to his house.  The sky was just getting dark and the lights in Pisa along the river were gorgeous.  After our Italian dinner, Luca toured us around Pisa where young people lined the streets hanging out.  He kept commenting on how no one was out tonight but we kept thinking there were so many people outside!  He told us stories of the history of various places as we walked through the square in Pisa until we reached the Leaning Tower.  It was lit up and I was glad we saw it at night because it was beautiful.




The next morning we hopped onto a train to head to the Cinque Terre where we would finally end up staying in a hotel for the first time on this journey.  Another first was that we didn't know where we would stay when we arrived.  We would find a room once we got there.  After finding a place that rented rooms, we followed two Italian guys down the street and into a little alley way, then up what felt like a million stairs to the room.  It was pink.  All of it.  From the walls to the bedspread, to the pillows, to the pictures on the walls.  Pink.  We took it.  Who wouldn't after hauling your luggage up the million stairs?

During our few days in the Cinque Terre we blended in with the rest of the tourists.  We heard more American accents than any other accent or language.  It was a fun few days of hiking between the five Cinque Terre towns, enjoying Italian gelato, chatting with other tourists, and me sitting by the water watching Matthew dive off cliffs into the refreshing water.  Here are some photos of The Cinque Terre:










And a video of Matthew cliff diving :)

video

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