To everyone sending prayers my way - I just wanted to say thanks. I am on the mend. Still have a cough but otherwise I feel good.
Today is pretty cool because our study abroad group is going to the Siena vs Bologna soccer match later tonight. I bought a jersey and everything. :D
Also pictures are coming. Internet and picture editing have not coincided well the last few days so patience is key.
So you know that sore throat I mentioned just now. Well it festered all day Sunday and became a full blown cold today. I've had the sniffles, a stuffy nose, and a lovely great cough. I bought a liter of orange juice and box of tissues today, and I even went to the Farmacia to restock my Ibuprofen supply. I drank the orange juice in about four hours so hopefully that will be enough vitamin c to last me a while.
We'll see if I can't get rid of it in a day or two.
Some prayers my way would not go amiss seeing as how my poor roommate's bed is literally pushed against mine, and I don't want her catching what I've got. I thank you in advance. I expect a full recovery in 24 hours ;)
Another reawakening to real life is the fact that I have two exams this week and more homework than I think I can do. (if I procrastinate like usual) So overall it's been a productive Monday.
On Saturday I woke up with a sore throat which we attributed to leaving the window open all night. We spent the morning at the beach in Riomaggiore. The Brittanys (there are two girls named Brittany) and I rented snorkling gear. It was amaing to see how many fish there were even right next to the shore. It was an amazing experience to see all the life under the sea. I even saw a jelly fish.
After the swimming we got some lunch. It consisted of a cone of deep fried seafood. squids, calamari, anchovies, and veggies. I only tried one anchovy which was actually not too bad. But it wasn't particularly appetizing since it still had all the skin and tail still there. The tentacles were probably my favorite part, even though it sounds a bit gross.
After lunch we tookthe train back to Siena. Again we had a bit of a tricky time getting there and we had another 5 hour ride. We did get there in one piece and our host mom cooked us up some dinner once we arrive
So to continue the story ...
After watching the sunrise, the group got ready for the day and we started our hike. We had a short easy hike of 20 mins along a paved path along the coast. We arrived in Montarola where we bought train tickets to skip over to Vernazia. We had a bit of a wait till the train came so we bought some pastries to tide us over. After taking the train we got to Vernazia.
For the sake of documentation and a funny story I share with you the following:
So before starting our hike we decided to use the public restroom at the train station. It was one of the squatter kind. With the toilet bowl in the ground. This was the first we had come across so far in our study abroad so it was a new experience. Not a good one, but new. There was no toilet paper, so we had to use up the travel pack of kleenex I brought and since there was no soap either we passed around Sharissa's purell. It was a bit traumatising for some of our group who had never before laid eyes upon such a bathroom before. My previous experience with such places had me prepared but not particularly happy touse a bathroom like that. But so is life.....
After shopping a bit in the the town we began our trek to Montorosso. It was an arduous trek up hundreds of unever bouldery stairs. Eventually we hit the top and it was a bit easier the rest of the way. After some time we made it to Montorosso and the beach. The beach there is not really sandy so much as gravelly, but we had a grand time swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.It was blue and clear and gorgeous.
After a few hours on the beach we took a ferry back to Riomaggiore. I had my first proper seafood and pasta. Dad would be proud of me. It had prawns and mussels and clams and shrimp. Brittany had to teach me how to deshell all of these things. It was a delicious dinner and I learned that I actually like real seafood. :)
The final enstallement will be coming shortly as will more pictures.
So this weekend we had a three day weekend where we had Thursday afternoon and Friday free from school. So a group of us went to Cinque Terre. A series of five towns set into the cliffs on the seaside. We took to the train. It was a bit of an ordeal to get there actually. We had to change trains three times at three different stations we overshot some stops it was fun. After five hours on the trains we arrived in Riomaggiore. We checked into our hostel, got some dinner and explored the town. Friday morning a few of us woke up at 5:30 to see the sunrise. It was really incredible. We waited for about an hour and fifteen minutes, but it was worth it. Stunning. Incredible. Phenomenal.
I tell you the rest later :D
So on Monday the whole group went to Florence and visited a few places. Part of the group is taking Humanities 201 which studies ancient Roman and Greek history. I'm taking the 202 class so I just got to hang out and come along for the ride. We went to a museum and saw most of Donatello's work. I got to see his David, and St. George sculptures. I also got to see the actual pieces submitted by Ghiberti and Brunelleshci depicting the scene with Abraham sacrficing Isaac. It was really incredible to see pieces of art that I have seen in books and magazines, and studied in class for so long.
After the museum we went the duomo to look around the outside. Then broke up for lunch. Guess where we went. .........
After three weeks of only having hot milk and cookies for breakfast we were craving a proper American breakfast. Those are homemade chocolate chip pancakes with maple, strawberry, and blueberry syrup. Brittany got an omelet with all kinds of delicious stuff inside. It was heavenly. You don't realize it, but American food is very savory, very flavorful. Italian food is delicious but the flavors and spices are more subtle. American food is like a punch in the face in comparison. I like both but it was nice to have a taste of home. Also. Ketchup is really good. We had it with some hashbrown (ish) things and man. Good stuff.
After lunch we met up and went back to the duomo. We toured the inside, and then climbed up to the very tip top. 460 something stairs. In tight cramped hot tunnelish passages. Being on the top was worth it though.
Guess what we found at the top amongst all the graffiti?
So yesterday after class and everything Sharissa and I went on a run. It was beautiful and we actually did really well. I don't know what the elevation is here but it is way easier to run here than in LA. We went nearly 2.5 miles. Tomorrow we are planning on going again and Sharissa is pumped and ready to go twice as far next time. We'll see if I can make it that far. :/
The common room. It's so colorful and bright and I love it :D
I love going to school here. The bright colors and atmosphere make me energized and excited for school. I've never liked going to class as much as I have here.
A girl with big dreams, crazy ideas, and plans to make it all happen.