Since our official study abroad in Paris ended, Jessy and I have been backpacking around Europe:
Our favorite. Reminded me of San Francisco so much but fewer homeless people and warmer weather in the summer so even better. Took a Gaga class, ran into James from Chunky Move, met up with Maurice Causey and the conversation with him was great and he thinks the dance world is much to slow to change, progress, leave tradition behind. Stayed outside the city in the coolest hostel/trailer park thingy ever, spent a day on the lake, biked to village of Abcoude. Anne Frank house, can’t believe how recent in history the Holocaust was. Red light district. Met the first and funniest and funnest of many Australian friends on this trip. Met the world’s coolest bartender and she should really write a book.
Strangely deserted, hottest week everywhere in Europe, stayed right off of Grand Place. Chocolate, waffles, sausage, fries. Walking the streets we decided it looked like one part France plus one part Germany. My phone got taken, stressful 24 hours but we managed to recover it. Fireworks on the Fourth of July, met two English comedians who we will probably never stop laughing about. Lunch and talk with Eddie for three hours, he’d just returned from a ten-day meditation retreat. He talked about how it’s about not getting stuck in craving or hating, so everything you notice and then move on and it made me wonder what that state is then and I wonder if it’s better to be driven by your passions instead of refusing to live in them. I respect Eddie so much and he seems so happy with it all and he said we don’t realize how untrained our minds are, especially in the U.S.
London robbed us! Most expensive place in the world probably. But we felt very at home, comfortable, mostly because of the language I think. Stayed with Brock and Carlos in their studio apartment, they are two of the greatest people ever probably. Saw a show! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Camden, Big Ben, Westminster, the Eye, Hyde Park, Sherlock Holmes museum (!!!!), Buckingham Palace and the mall, Covent Garden, saw Royal Ballet School and the Bridge of Aspiration, tower bridge. Kept thinking of Harry Potter things and Sherlock Holmes things and Jessy realized how many fairy tales and stories take place in London. Red phone booths red buses red guards’ uniforms.
Beach tourist town, like a Florida town on the coast, a nice switch-up from all our big cities, vacation. Living in Paris for a month made us pro-picnickers so we picnicked professionally on the beach after a visit to the Monoprix. It was France but it was so different from Paris. We are learning that Paris is relatively high-strung. Rocky beaches that kill your feet. A bus ride for €1.70 that took us through Eze to Monaco that we gladly would’ve paid hundreds of euros for because of the breathtaking views.
Cinque Terre, Italy
I love Italy and Italian food!!! Every single meal is a treat. Also lots of treats, especially gelato. 5 small villages along the hilly/mountainous west coast, hiked and took trains between them: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso. Like living in a calendar photo. Swimming with fish, jumping off steep rocks, getting cut on barnacles, or slipping on other rocks. Corniglia was our favorite, smallest, least crowded, coolest swimming spot, 400 stairs up to the village, great friends at the hostel, some girls from New Zealand that we will quote for the rest of our lives.
I’ve been into Greek and Roman history for ages and the history here is incredible. The city seems pretty standard, dirty, packed, hot, tourists, but the food and the history are what makes it stand out. Colosseum, Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, Pantheon, Vatican, Piazza di Spagna, Trevi Fountain (under construction). We went on a day trip to Naples and Pompeii and it was amazing and it was like walking through my Latin textbooks from high school and I was pretty excited the whole time. Hung out with the same Australian guys from Amsterdam. I love Italian food so much.
I fly back home tomorrow.
Jessy and I ate a McFlurry in every location, Paris was the best, Netherlands pretty average, Italy and London the worst. Still awesome though because McFlurries.
Jessy and I are perfect for traveling together and also great at doing nothing together and we pause to acknowledge how awesome everything is about once every ten minutes.