I couldn't believe my eyes. My school was going hosting a trip through EF Tours to Italy and Greece! What an incredible oppurtunity, "Too bad my parents would never let me go". Or so I thought. I brought it up in passing, more as just a mention, then gauged their reactions… To my surprise, they were actually ok with it! In fact, they encouraged it. It's a great oppurtunity and would be a shame to miss out on.
So there it was, come June, I would be on my first international plane ride, to Italy!
Unfortunately I was in the middle of the plane, so I didn't get to see Rome as we landed…VERY fortunately though, I had made friends with the friendly Italian, and not to mention cute!, boy next to me who was headed home after visiting family in New Jersey. 🙂
Before we even got outside of the airport, we could all see how different it was from home. We went into the ladies bathroom, and there were men in there too! Just walking around like it was nothing. We couldn't believe it, that would never fly back in the states… but we couldn't wait to find out what other new experiences were ahead of us!
After waiting for the second half of our group from a seperate flight, we were finally able to step outside into this foreign and intriguing new world. I remember thinking how high tech the cop cars looked, and how HOT it was! Ooftah, I wasn't prepared for that. We boarded our bus and met our tour guide for the next 10 days. She encouraged us to go out on our free time to explore as much as we could, and eat as much different food as possible!
Over the next 6 days spent in Italy, I saw buildings more beautiful and intricate than I ever could have imagined. There were street vendors everywhere you looked, a gift shop on every corner, and gilatto shops every two blocks. I think we all lived off gilatto and pizza the first few days we were in Rome. Some of the many places we got to explore were Rome, Florence, Pompeii, the Vatican City and Capri.
I'll never forget our tour guides warnings about being cautious around gypsies. Elvira said, "You see that lady breastfeeding her baby? Well the baby's fake, and her third arm is pickpocketing you." Although a serious matter, it gave us all a good laugh.
To see buildings as ancient as the colloseum were beyond magnificent. The architecture and details put into that building are irreplacable. No words could capture the feelings you get walking through these places, especially Pompeii. The history just comes alive, you can feel it. Nothing could mimick the absolute beauty radiating out of these cities.
After 6 of the most wonderful days of my life, we boarded an overnight ferry to Greece. Standing out on the deck looking into the sea makes you realize how small you are. It's so vast and mysterious, it really gives you a perspective.
Two days in Delphi and two days in Athens. After seeing all the beauty of Italy, I didn't think I could ever find beauty to match it, but I was wrong. Seeing the parthanon light up at night…wow! We even got to go to a turkish flee market!
There is nothing in this world I would trade my experience on this trip for. It opened my eyes to a whole new realm and magnificence, structure, and history.
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