Sunday, April 17, 2011

Italy! (days 231-242)

hey world! guess who is back from italy...your favorite blog writer jamie of course! hope you all didn't miss me too much while i was gone. i had a ton of fun going around italy with everyone from school, i'm super glad i made the decision to go with them! i guess i'll sort of give you an overview of what we did along with some pictures, but in general i can that we saw TONS of things, ate LOTS of gelato, pasta, and pizza, and especially ENJOYED the sun and atmosphere of historic, educational, beautiful italy. so here we go!
day 1: left belgium after dinner time and got on the bus to head to italy! basically slept the entire night on the bus, took a few rest stops and noticed that one rest stop was the same one we went to with my first family on ski vacation..odd?
day 2: arrived in italy mid-morning..lots of italian traffic after our breakfast stop, but eventually arrived in PISA! who knew that there is more to Pisa than the leaning tower? we saw the tower, toured a church and some other important buildings that i don't remember..but most importantly, i got my typical tourist photo i've always wanted :)
after pisa we rode yet again with the bus to Montecatini where our hotel was. this Montecatini place is where i enjoyed my first italian gelato...a deadly start to my ice cream eating filled adventure...
day 3: Florence, Italy! saw just about every important square, church, building, and statue (david included) or as many possible things as we could in one day. pity that we were only there for one day, i think it was my favorite out of them all!
had to walk up so many stairs to get to the top of some church and see this view!

apparently some known little shops on a bridge? cute!
legend says touching this thing gives me good luck..we'll see about that
day 4: Siena, Italy! two hour bus ride there, the another 7 hours in the bus later that afternoon! we weren't long in this town, but it was cute. saw an important square and a church then had a picnic in the sun (fresh mozarella and tomatoes included...mmm)!
apparently my shorts were too short, because i had to wear this silly throw away skirt that they gave me to go in this church..haha trade off for such nice weather!
day 5: Pompeii, Italy! this is the place where Mt. Vesuvius totally demolished everything way back when, but everything was somehow preserved through the ash and then they found it we spent most of the day looking at all the ruins, it was interesting but very warm..good thing there's ice cream to fix that!
wooo for old ruins from houses! check out the cool main bedroom i'm in..haha
more ruins and the volcano. so then later in the day we rode the bus about 4 hours to our hotel in rome..boring bus.
day 6: Rome, Italy! lots and lots of walking, some bad pizza for lunch, lots and lots of churches, buildings, statues, fountains, but the best part it that it was SAW THE POPE!
check the vatican and whatnot in the background..nice eh?
and theres the Pope! coming out of his office to say hello in so many different languages!
throwing a coin and making a wish with girls from my class in the Trevi Fountain!
and finally the spanish stairs.
day 7: Rome, Italy. saw everything dealing with "old rome" lots and lots of ruins! as the main attraction you would automatically assume the colosseum, right? but NO! it was (*&%$ing) CLOSED! because there was an exhibit inside or something. so we only saw the outside. guess that mean's i'll have to come back again in my lifetime, eh? but for the rest it was just old ruins, churches, and a museum..

day 8: Rome, Italy (still..). all we did was go to the Vatican Museum then sit on the bus to ride to Assisi that night. i did get to see the Sistine Chapel though, so that was cool..check out Michelangelo's neat ceiling!
followed by St. Peter's Basilica..such a big place! it was huge!
and then some gelato and some newly bought sandals. sort of fitting for rome, isnt it?
day 9: Assisi, Italy! Nice relaxing day in the quaint yet touristic town of Assisi. We saw St Francis Basilica and the Basilica of St Clare. The afternoon was really relaxing, we walked up a big hill to a castle looking thing then laid in the sun drawing the whole afternoon.
day 10: Ravenna, Italy. left our hotel in Assisi and rode 3 hours with the bus to Ravenna, where we visited yet another church and then had really thick noodles(or worms?) for lunch. actually, pasta is just an appetizer in italy...don't even get me started about how i never want to eat spaghetti, pizza, or ice cream ever again! ah!
day 11: Venice, Italy! we stayed in a super weird hotel on the sea, so the following morning we didn't have to sit in the bus forever to get a boat to venice. when i say super weird, i say that because the entire bathroom was a shower..there was a shower head/hose in the bathroom and no actual shower. so odd! but anyways, for our last day we went to Venice. This was my 3rd time in Venice and i've decided i really like it. The other two times were in the heat of July and it was just a lot more pleasant without smelling stinky warm canals and sweaty tourists and pigeons. We did a walking tour around a few important things then we had the rest of the day free. i went with a few girls from my class and had a panini for lunch, bought a few things, ate some ice cream, then stopped in the hard rock cafe for some ice tea before we left to get the boat then go back on the bus.
day 12: back in belgium! we rode the whole night with the bus back to Turnhout, Belgium. we got here this morning but what made my morning (besides eating belgian french fries again...that was more like afternoon though) was what was out the bus window this morning as i was just waking up. hot air balloons! and lots of them! there were like 12 in the sky all over and it was just so pretty! aww...
A part of me will really miss Belgium when i'm gone..things like hot air balloons are just things i don't see much of at home, haha. but i'm content with knowing i've seen and experienced so many things this year that i will never forget and will always be thankful for! and met so many people too! ah! it has all been very nice. so that was my trip to Italy. i hope you read to the end, enjoyed the pictures, and didn't miss me too much while i was away :) goodnight!

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