Thursday, August 22, 2013

Last But Not Least.

 We took a shrot ferry ride from Santa Margherita to the stunning town of Portofino and were amazed that Italy could still surprise us. We figured we would be used to the beauty of it all and then we arrived here and once again our jaws dropped. 

It was so bittersweet gettin on that train the next day. We were exhausted and missing our family but so consious of the need to enjoy every last second we had in the place we may never come back to. I really hope that's not the case but it definitely won't be anytime soon!

The whole experience felt so surreal and almost like I was living in a dream. Being home now and continuing to create these blog posts, looking through all my pictures, and reliving the whole things has given me the opportunity to reflect on it all and continue to be filled with endless gratitude. The places I saw, the people I met, and the experiences I had are ones I know not many people ever get to have, especially not at 20 years old, and I will never forget how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity.

"I am not the same person after seeing the moon shine on the other side of the world"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Santa Margherita: With a name like that who wouldn't love it?

 So fist, we walked into our hotel room and saw this outside of our balcony. 

 Second, we were in complete shock at how this could actually be real.

Third, we were the two happiest girls on the planet.

Fourth, we left our hotel and spent the next four days walking along the beach, eating and drinking while staring at the beach, laying by the beach, swimming at the beach, and loving everything about the beach. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Welcome to Milan.

Even though our stay was only for 20 hours, we were still glad we made the stop.  Other than the heart of the city where you can find any store your heart desires, we were surprised with how ordinary this city appeared to us. Coming from other cities filled with so much history and ancient architecture we were a little underwhelmed with how modern Milan felt.  I think it's just a testiment to how many beauritul and breathtaking places we visited that a city as beautiful as Milan seemed ordinary to us.

We walked, we shopped, we ate, we slept, and we were off on our way to our final destination. I still can't believe how fast it all whirled past me.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lake Como

 We went all the way north to Lake Como which lies on the Switzerland border giving incredible views of the alps. It was overcast most of the time we were there but we were happily welcoming the cooler weather and a lightning storm that resembled a christmas light show. Scenery wise, this was my favorite place of the intire trip. It just doesn't get better than a lake surrounded by mountains, but maybe that's just the Oregonian inside of me :)

Our time there was almost perfect, minus the fact we didn't get a personal invitation to George Clooney's lake house, Imagine our dissapointment! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Series of Fortunate Events

Leaving Venice we had every intention of arriving in Gardone Riviera 2 hours later, but when two 20 and 21 year olds travel alone in a foreign country they're bound to get on a wrong bus at least once, right? Fortunately for us, that bus took us to one of the most beautiful towns and places I have ever seen and I have never been more grateful for getting lost.

What was kind of a disaster ended up being one of my favorite days filled with country sides I didn't even know existed in Italy and a bus driver who either felt sorry for us or was just really nice. He didn't make us pay for any other tickets and told us to sit in the front of the bus as we stared in awe at the mountains which appeared to be neverending. As far as Italy goes, the North isn't too bad.

After 4 hours in our discovered town, a 2 1/5 hour bus ride back to the station, and another 2 hour bus ride, we finally saw the clear blue water of Lake Garda. We spent the next 2 days reading, swimming (in the best water ever), eating, and repeating until it was time to pack up and go again.