Rhineland (Heartland) - Beirut
This was it. This was my last trip while abroad. I decided this would be as fitting as any as it would keep me in home study country of Italy, take me to the Southeastern coast which enters a completely different domain of Italy, and it was going to be nice and warm. I have enjoyed the warmer excursions. After some advice from my family and friends back in O, I decided that this would be a fitting last journey despite it's price. I did this trip through Euro Adventures, as I did Switzerland and Venice Carnevale. They come recommended from Fr. Bruno and do a great job. The guy who runs it is a class act and extremely personable.
So we left for Sorrento around 7:30pm and got in around 12:30-1am. It was a long bus ride, but it was made shorter by the fact there were movies on playing on the bus and I was one of about 8 or nine guys. Okay, so that was good and bad. There was a group of about 7 of us from ISA on this trip, including my roommate Andrew's cousin, Adam. Once in Sorrento, we were all cashed and immediately made we to the bungalow that EA had us staying in. There were 7 of us dudes in the one bungalow. We really didn't get to know the other guys that well as we kind of had differing schedules and we knew how to party. Anyway, we crashed that night and got ready for our excursion to Capri the next morning.
In the morning we all made our way down to the bay area and rode a ferry that took us to the island of Capri (C-ahh-pree in Italiano). Once we got there, we had the option of hiking to the highest point of the island or to just chill until we the cruise around the island was offered at 2:30pm (which we all knew we wanted to do). Most of us had gotten our fair share of hiking in the last weekend in Cinque Terre (10 miles of treacherous terrain), so it was a no brainer for us that we wanted to stay back and check out the island and the beach. So after walking around the island for a bit, we decided to go chill on the beach until our boat tour around the island. So we relaxed on the beach had a few drinks and admired the fantastic views and took in the amazing weather we were blessed with. So we did start to have a few drinks around 12pm, but then again it's 5 o'clock somewhere, eh Jimmy? So after chillin on the beach and jumping of this weird rock, we headed back over toward the docks and got ready to go on the boat tour. I have failed to mention to this point that Fr. Bruno actually accompanied us on this trip as well. He joined us on the boat tour and the craziness ensued. The boat tour was absolutely gorgeous. Riding us around the island we took in the breathtaking scenery with the fresh sea breeze wisping past our ears and the kiss of the sun glancing down on our cheeks and shoulders. We continued to have a few drinks and occasionally our driver would stop the boat to let us jump off and refresh. During this time, being the males we are, we decided to throw this random ball that we had found on the island into the air and jump off the boat and attempt to catch it. Now this is by no means out of the norm of any boat trip to your local suburban lake, but one particular throw was a bit high and carried over into one of the other cruising boats that was also full of students. Of course they held the ball hostage until our next stop until they proceeded to make the same mistake we did. After recovering our ball, perhaps due to a little a liquid courage we decided to razz the other boat a bit. After thinking the 10 seconds or so of taunting the other boat, Fr. Bruno proceeded to back us up by starting up the chant, "Your boat sucks!" Even though I know Bruno to be quite the character, I was caught quite off guard by his provocation. The rest of the boat tour was fantastic as we checked out all of the grottos (white, green, and blue), while only the blue is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. As we came into shore, we hopped back on the ferry back to Sorrento and made our way back to the bungalows. On the way back, we decided to make a pit stop for margs with Fr. Bruno. If you are given the chance to have a marg with a priest (especially one as cool as Bruno), you take advantage of it. That night, we went and walked around Sorrento a bit more and checked out one of the bars that EA personnel recommended to us, The English Inn. This place was pretty cool, as you go inside there is a bar on the main level but then you climb the stairs and are taken to a beer garden outside. It was neat-o.
The next morning came around 11am and we decided to check out one of the nearby cliff villages, Positano. Paul and Adam decided to rent vespas while the rest of us took the local bus. It was about a 45 minute trip with spectacular views on the way there. Positano wasmy favorite place from the weekend. As you can see in the pictures, it was absolutely beautiful. Everywhere you walked in the city gave you an amazing view of something. It amazes me how Italy has all these little gems of locations that are relatively unknown to many people. The weather once again was perfect. The day pretty much consisted of walking around Positano, a little more beach time, and just taking in the stunning vistas. I saw what was probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen while in Positano. It ranked right up there with the ones I get in my backyard back home in SoDak. That evening was pretty similar to the one before except we sat down for a nice seafood dinner and rode vespas around the city of Sorrento. More bar action and we called it a night.
The next morning, Fr. Bruno took a group of us to the ancient ruins of Pompeii. After a short train ride there, we checked out the ruins and received a partial guided tour from Bruno. The ruins were pretty amazing and it was astonishing to think about how long they had been around what sorts of things those ancient rocks had seen. That kind of stuff is all over in Italy and never ceases to amaze. Nothing I have seen as far as ancient architecture goes can compare to the ruins vastness. It was a sight like none I had ever seen. After walking our way through the ruins, we hopped on the train and made our way back to Sorrento to get on the bus to head back to Florence. On the bus ride home, I couldn't help but feel the first of several bittersweet feelings that my trip was coming to an end. After taking my last trip, it had really hit me how close I actually was to making my way back home. Nevertheless, this was an absolutely amazing trip and it was a fitting last journey.
As far as my abroad posts go, they aren't quite done. Though my journeys are done, I still have a few posts left and a wrap-up in mind. I know that just made your day. Till then, I currently have 2 finals left and 3 days to take it all in. Arrivederci!