Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nice & Avignon, France

Day 7 - August 16th
Similar to every day on this trip, we had an early start on the train to make our way from Genoa, Italy to Nice, France.  After a day of intense hiking, it was nice to relax on the train and enjoy the beautiful coastal views as we made our way through the last of the Italian Riviera and into the French Riviera.

Our first destination when we arrived?  Crepes, of course!  Our mouths were watering as we ordered - crepes with lemon & sugar and banana & nutella.  After inhaling the deliciousness, we walked around and enjoyed the old city of Nice.

Second stop?  Gelato!!  Luckily enough, Nice is close to the Italian border and carries on the tradition of yummy gelato.

Day 8 - August 17th
One of my favorite parts of Nice was the market.  They had everything imaginable - fresh fruit, flowers, breads and more!  We packed our bags with breakfast / lunch and made our way to the beach where we enjoyed a couple hours on the French Riviera.

That afternoon, we strapped on our backpacks and made our way west and a little north to a quaint, charming town called Avignon.  This little city is bordered by medieval walls and is often referred to as the City of the Popes as it was once the capital of the Catholic church.

Pont de Benezet

Day 9 - August 18th
This picture is for my uncles sport the brand "Carhartt" - they always joke how they can't wear this brand anymore because it has been trendy.  Looks like it has made it's way to France!

Back on the train - making our way to Barcelona!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cinque Terre

Day 6 - August 15th
Early Monday morning we made our way to the Roma Termini and caught a train to La Spezia.  Upon arrival we stored our backpacks at the station and caught a local train to Monterosso, the northernmost city of Cinque Terre, where we began our hike through three of the five cities.

The trail from Monterosso to Vernazza was by far the most difficult.  Although the hike was demading, it was absolutely breathtaking as its path wound through olive orchards and vineyards.  Vernazza reminded me of a mini Venice.  Very quaint, yet packed and touristy.  Corniglia was my very favorite.  It seemed like many hikers bypassed this town.  Too bad for them as it seemed to offer the most authentic Italian coastal living.




Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rome, Italy

Day 4 - August 13th
Early Saturday morning we left Ghana to kick off our backpacking trip through Europe!  First destination?  Rome, of course.  Jonathan will find any excuse he can to make his way back to Italy.  After eating rat, whole fish and other obscure meals, he was even more excited to get to Rome and eat!!   Pizza, gelato, pasta, gelato, gelato...

We got in late afternoon on Saturday, so we only had a day and a half in Rome before we were off to our next destination!

We stayed at a little bed & breakfast right near the Pantheon.  It was the perfect location - within walking distance of so many of our favorite sights, restaurants and gelaterias!

Day 5 - August 14th
We packed as much as we could into our 60 hours in Rome.  Jonathan spoke the language beautifully, and I attempted as much as I could thanks to his training.  We did the entire day on foot, which looking back now was a good decision considering we made 3 different stops for gelato.  

I absolutely loved being in Rome again and not feeling the pressure to see everything.  Instead we were able to meander through one of our favorite cities in the world and enjoy the things we saw along the way.  Our stops included:

Piazza Navona

Piazza del Popolo

Villa Borghese (Rome's Central Park)

The charming streets of Rome


Gelaterias - favorites include Frigidarium & Giolitti

Vittorio Emmanuelle II

The Forum & Colosseum