I'll spare you with the boring details of my 11-hour door-to-door travel.
I arrived in Parma around 19h00, dropped my suitcase off at Jaime's house and met her host family sans dad, and then headed into the centre to meet up with Liv. The three of us had dinner at a Pizzaria. I ate pizza with tuna and onions. Yum. I was ready to make out with someone that night. Just kidding! And we shared a bottle of Lambrusco, a sparkling red wine. I could drink that wine every day!!! Afterwards we met up with a few other Pitzer students to go to a wine bar, since it was Peter's birthday that week. We shared a few bottles of wine and good conversation, and then around 1Am headed to a club called XXL. Jaime and I haven't really danced at all this semester, so it was nice to get out and have some girly fun. We got back home around 3:30AM and passed out cold!
We took it slow in the morning, woke up, showered, chilled, and then headed to the train station to meet Liv. The three of us got there around 11:30 to realize that our train didn't leave until 1:10PM, so Jaime and I sat in the train station café to drink capuccinos and eat Italian brioches while Liv double checked the address of our Hostel. It wasn't until around 16:30 that we arrived in Riomaggiore, since we missed a train and got off at the wrong train station... but once we got there... WOW! Cinque Terre (the region where Riomaggiore is) is the most beautiful place I have seen so far! Imagine little cities of 1000 residents built into the cliffs along the most turquoise stretch of the Mediterranean. We were at first extremely astonished by the beauty. Yet, once we arrived at our hostel, our "view of the ocean" ended up being the view of our neighbors wall, and our room was decorated in at least 5 different shades of pink, so it felt like we were living in a cupcake. We chilled there for a bit, and then headed back out. We bought a bottle of Prosecco and a basket of strawberries to have a pre-dinner snack on the beach as we watched the sun set. Catching sun rays at the beach with some of the most amazing people in the world was definitely worth all the traveling that I had done up to that point!!! And the sunset was incredible! Once it got a little chilly, we headed up the hill to have dinner. I had sea food pasta, which included scampi, and I wasn't quite sure how to unshell them, so I just let them be. We were pretty tired from the day, so after dinner we headed back to our hostel and went to bed.
This day was probably the most unproductive yet most amazing day I have had so far. We started everything off slow with a cup of cappucino and some sweets. We bought some fruit and chocolate cookies and headed back down to the beach where the rest of the day was spent! We all caught some amazing rays (=happiness), and also some amazing sunburns, which in my case is making my chest peal now. Yuk. Anyways, our day at the beach was quickly interrupted with a trip to a bar to have caipirinhas and mojitos, and then to get some gelato, only to take it back to the beach to eat it there. On the beach, we watched a group of 5-7 boys running around in their sneakers and tighty whities playing some battle game. They used rocks as guns. It was the cutest thing ever. Once it started getting a little chilly, we headed back "into town", but on our way back, we were stopped by some local who asked us if we wanted to get some drinks. We figured "Hey, why not, we're on vacation." This ended up to be an overall good decision, since we met him again later to go out to dinner with two of his friends and two other American girls that he had met the night before. It was definitely neat to hang out with a local and eat dinner with total strangers. Oh, and this time I ordered Scampi again, and one of the Italians taught me how to eat them. I was still a little unskilled at it, but at least I tried this time. The dinner was absolutely a feast and a lot of fun. Afterwards everyone went to a little bar in town, but again, the three of us were a little tired and decided to go back "home"
Woke up at 7:15 to have a 13-hour travel period from door-to-door. It was extremely exhausting. Everything that could have gone wrong almost went wrong but fortunately didn't, from losing my passport, my wallet, my $25 face cream, to almost missing my train from Paris-Nantes and getting squished in the train door... but I made it home safely with nothing missing. I even met an old couple who lives near my in Nantes, who ended up giving me their address. I'll stop by their house some time this weekend for un petit café.
Pictures can be found here: