I have been back in the states for about a week and a half now and have been experiencing the biggest culture shock of all, REALITY. I started working two days after I got home. Between being extremely jet lagged and being upset that my highly anticipated abroad experience is over, I have been absolutely miserable. I honestly cannot believe how fast my semester in Florence went by. It seems like just yesterday that I was pulling up to Via Gino Capponi by an Italian taxi, with the weirdest feeling of both horror and excitement all at once. I would do anything to go back to that day! It wasn’t until I got home that I realized how truly lucky I am to have experienced all that I did during four short months spent in Europe. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited to see everyone from home; however, it only took two days for me to want to go back! It has been a bigger culture shock coming back home than it was adjusting to the Italian lifestyle. I got so used to the way that things were in Italy, that it was hard to come back and adjust back to my life as a normal, American college student. So…. What is in store for me this summer? Well I wish I could say a weekend trip to Spain, and a day trip to Cinque Terre, but I can’t! So, I’ll be here in Connecticut working almost every day & living the average life of a twenty year old while trying to shed off some of those excess gelato pounds! CIAO!!
take me back!
Two weeks out of the year when the flowers begin to bloom, Munich is taken over by its infamous Fruhlingsfest, which is a beer festival that celebrates the Spring! We thought it would be a great idea to participate in these German festivities for our last trip abroad. It was a perfect way to end our amazing abroad experience. Early Friday we explored the beautiful city of Munich. It is a very clean city and there is a lot to do there. We experienced our first German beers & sausages in the afternoon and later we went on a bike tour throughout the city. The bike tour was a great way to see all of the city & we even stopped at the worlds second largest beer garden half way through the tour for a stein of beer! After the tour we freshened up and went to the beer tents for the night where the festival is held. It was like nothing I have ever seen before. There were just so many people with huge beers and pretzels everywhere. Outside of the tents there are tons of carnival rides and stands with food. So we went on all the rides & got some late night treats! Saturday morning we walked around in the beautiful sunshine and went to the Hofbrauhaus for beers! It was packed & definitely worth seeing. The rest of the day we went back to the beer tents and celebrated with all the Germans. After a great weekend filled with too much beer & pretzels, we went to Dachau concentration camp before heading back to Florence. It was an extremely sad thing to see, however It was worth it. It really touched me to be standing in a real concentration camp. I think its important to see things like Dachau along the way with all of the fun stuff because it reminds us of our history & puts everything into perspective. Overall, Germany was a GREAT trip & I definitely see myself going back there someday. It is so bittersweet that our journey is ending in one week. It really flew by! But its 80 and sunny in Florence so we are looking forward to a great last weekend! CIAO CIAO.
Croatia was one of the most interesting and beautiful places I have visited yet. It was really cool to see Eastern Europe. Overall, we had a great trip despite the rain. On Friday, we went white water rafting, which was definitely the highlight of the trip! We rafted down the emerald green Cetina river. It was gorgeous and a lot of fun. Luckily we all got to be in the same raft and got out pictures taken throughout our adventure. Friday night we went on a pub crawl throughout Split, which was where we were staying. It was really fun! On Saturday we woke up early and went on a boat to tour a couple different Islands in Croatia. However, we only made it to one other Island because the water was so rocky due to the bad weather! :-( But it was still beautiful. We went to Brač which was a quaint beach island. After our rocky cruise on the adriatic sea, we took a bus to another part of Croatia called Trogir for dinner. We enjoyed a delicious dinner filled with lots of seafood. It was so yummy! Also, the ambience in Croatia was great! Much better than in Italy, so that was refreshing. Sunday morning, we woke up early and headed to Krka national park. Krka was a beautiful park surrounded by waterfalls. It was gorgeous! Croatia was a very relaxing trip, and we all know we want to go back someday to enjoy the countries beauty in nice weather! CIAO!
BUONA PASQUA! For Easter weekend we took advantage of the long weekend and bussed it to the Amalfi Coast! There were SO many students on our trip, which made it really fun. Friday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn and took a ferry from Sorrento, where we were staying, to Capri. When we got to Capri- we took a boat tour around the entire Island. The weather was beautiful. We saw the blue grotto, but we couldn’t go inside because the water levels were too high. ;-( It was still a gorgeous tour surrounded by crystal clear blue water and rocky caves. Once the tour ended, we hiked up to the town of Capri to enjoy the scenes from a little bit higher. After, we took a bus up to Ana Capri which is a smaller town way up high on the mountains of Capri. The bus was driving on these narrow windy roads up the mountain. It was AMAZING. I literally felt like I was on top of the world. After, we took a chair lift ALL the way up to the tip top of the mountain. It was so high, but it was definitely worth it. The views were breath taking. Friday was the best weather day so we took advantage of it and sat on the rocks by the beach before heading back to Sorrento to watch the sunset.
Saturday was the WORST weather out of all of the days. It was POURING…. However, we headed to Positano since our days were limited. The rain didn’t ruin the day. Positano was beautiful. It was filled with colorful houses all built on the rocky hills. There was a really pretty beach at the bottom of the town, and if you walked up there were all little shops and restaurants. We had the BEST panini at this little deli. It was delicious. After, we sat by the water in a cafe to keep warm! It cleared up just in time for us to watch the sunset later that night.
On Easter Sunday we went to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. We splurged and got a guided tour through Pompeii which was definitely worth it. It was really sad, and amazing at the same time walking through Pompeii. It was a lot bigger than I expected and the amazing thing is that 1/3 of it is still undiscovered. We got REALLY good pizza in Pompeii, which fueled us for our long walk up Mount Vesuvius. It was exceptionally cold, but it was all worth it because we can say that we hiked up an active volcano. When we reached the top, the best part was seeing all of the craters in the mountain that had red crusted lava all around them. It was such a natural high! Later Sunday evening, we went into Positano and went to a club in a cave, it was so fun & quite an experience. We ended our trip on Monday by stopping in Naples on the way home for lunch! It was one of my favorite trips yet & It is somewhere I KNOW I will have to back to! :-) We are heading to Croatia this evening for the weekend. Cross your fingers for good weather!!! CIAO CIAO.