Friday, August 28, 2009

La Fin d'Été

Opa, Oma, me, Leah, Jessica-Phillips, and Ann in Fos
Les Calanques de Cassis (France)
Manarola, Cinqueterre (Italy)

After Rome, Ann and I spent a few days on the Italian Riviera at Cinqueterre. This national park has five villages (hence the cinqueterre) that over look the Mediterranean. Our hostel here was cute but strict, which, in a way, was nice after having spent two rough nights in a room with the rowdy Belgians. By saying “the rowdy Belgians,” I do not in any way wish to stereotype or generalize all Belgians as rowdy. Belgium is in the top three on my list of favorite European countries.

I have two lists. The first is ranked by the quality of scenery; the second is ranked by the quality of the people (this may be somewhat controversial). The first list, appearance, is as follows:

1. France (because of the variety of landscape: ocean, sea, alps, Riviera, camargue, and everything in between)

2. Scotland

3. Italy

4. Poland

5. England

6. Belgium

7. Spain

8. Czech Republic

It was challenging to rank the top 7. The Czech Republic, however, unarguably remains in eighth place. With the exception of Prague.

The second list, the quality of people, well….here we go.

1. Scotland

2. Spain/France

4. Poland

5. Belgium

6. Italy

7. Czech Republic

8. England

And, of course, there are always exceptions. Each of those countries is without a doubt amazing and should be experienced.

Back to Italy. The hostel in Cinqueterre seemed to be built for people like me…people who like having rules and who like to follow them. The “shower coins” were a little ridiculous, though. Every afternoon, we had to go to the front counter to get our daily shower coin, which granted us five minutes of shower use. The shower had a little slot to put the coin in, which would turn on the water, then, after five minutes, the water would shut off automatically. I forgive the hostel for this shower rationing, however, because they highly promote sustainable tourism and protecting the environment, which I guess makes since because it is in a national park.

The scenery in Cinqueterre is stunning.

After two days here, Ann and I finally returned to France after 9 days of traveling through Italy. Our good friends Jessica-Phillips and Leah Tucker (who caught up with us in Rome) caught up with us again in France. We’ve spent the past few days relaxing at Oma and Opa’s house, eating at Le Pili Pili, and visiting Provence. Yesterday we drove to Cassis and did a boat tour of the Calanques and then went swimming. To get into the water, we had to jump off high rocks…it was a thrill!

Tonight is my last night at my grandparents’ for a while. It is weird to think that my summer vacation is over. This has been my longest summer vacation ever. This weekend we journey to Toulouse to visit my cousins and on Monday I will be in Angers!


1 comment:

  1. that looks amazing. everything here is new or "remodeled" (i.e. torn down and rebuilt)


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