Travel Journal: England
Hello from London! I just got back from an incredible spring break and I have to say: it felt like home as we left Italy and arrived back in the bustling and energized London. And that’s a pretty cool feeling, to “go home” while you're in a foreign country. Granted, it’s obviously not the same as actually going home, but it’s as close as I think you could get without it actually being so. Mission “Make London Feel Like Home” accomplished. But let’s talk about Cinque Terre, possibly one of the top five most wonderful places on earth.
For spring break, three other Londoners and I went to Cinque Terre, Italy where we met eight other Centre students who are currently studying abroad in Strasbourg, France. Seeing the new but familiar faces of friends was incredibly refreshing. And to see those faces in a place like Cinque Terre made it even more refreshing. Cinque Terre is made up of five towns along the coast of Italy, all of them incredibly beautiful. The towns are built right on the coast and then continue up into the mountains. So they have what I consider to be the best of both worlds: mountains and oceans—an absolute dream! Seriously, I wouldn’t mind living in a place like that. The town that we stayed in is called Riomaggiore, and it’s bay was absolutely gorgeous. Six of us girls (three from Strasbourg and three from London) stayed in a three-story apartment in town while the guys had an apartment right on the bay. It was one of the most relaxing trips I think I’ve ever experienced, which was my ideal spring break.
Our time was devoted to exploring each town. That included figuring out which shop offered the best gelato, trying delicious pastas, and admiring the fresh fruit set out daily in front of small grocery stores. We spent a lot of time walking on the beaches or along paths, and hiking—since the trail that runs through all five towns was closed because of landslides. While perusing through shops and talking to local shopkeepers, we soaked up every single sight since all the views were picture-worthy. Along the way we tried some of the white wines that the area is famous for, and watched the sunsets that lit up the sky. I even got a “Z” tan on my feet from wearing my Chacos, which was a definite bonus in my book. It was a most wonderful spring break.
There is one walk between Riomaggiore and Manarola that is called the “Path of Love” that I, ever a sucker for cheesy things, adored. Couples go to Cinque Terre together, each with a combination or other type of lock. They link their locks together and then attach/lock the pair of locks onto the fences lining the path, throwing the keys (if there are any) over the edge of the rocks. How lovely is that? The most lovely.
By the time Sunday rolled around, I wasn’t quite ready to leave. The weather pushed us to go on though, as it was a chilly and dreary morning, which reminded me somewhat of our “home” for the term. Our flight back to London was out of Pisa, which meant that we naturally had to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which impressed me more than I thought it would. Honestly, it was really fascinating—it really does lean...and more than I thought it did!
Arriving back in London was definitely a good feeling, as I mentioned before. Spring break recharged me and reminded me that there’s still so much to do. And now that we have just about a month left, it means that it’s time to prioritize and organize the things to do and see list, which is still quite long. So, let’s get to it!
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