Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We're coming home!

We have already been traveling for the past two days and we still have another 24 hours of travel. We left Paris on a train that took us to Cherbourg, France. We then boarded a ferry that took us to southern Ireland. It was an 18 hour ride! Honestly though, it was quite the experience. There were bands, shows, and lots of crazy Irish people. It was fun to say the least, the only thing I would not do again was sleep underneath a chair. We had reserved seats, not beds, so we made the space under our seats a place to sleep. With the boat swaying back and forth, it was definitely an awful night of sleep.

After we got off the boat, we boarded a bus, and four hours later we arrived in downtown Dublin. It definitely is great to be back in the place where our entire trip began! It kind of feels like home. We stayed again with Julia and Colm, who have been such blessings to us. I will miss them greatly! It is now 2pm on Wednesday in Ireland, and in about three hours we will be heading to the airport! I am ready to arrive in Nashville, surrounded by good ole' southern folks and my momma! The first thing I plan to do Thursday night is get Pei Wei with some wonderful friends.

I have had such a blast on this trip, and I am excited for the adventures it might lead to in the future. I loved being with Veronica and Taylor for a month, and its a miracle that we never got sick of each other! I thank the Lord for giving us all the courage to do this trip, to do something none of us had ever done before. We stayed safe, and had little problems. I'd say it ended up being the perfect Eurotrip!

To Nashville and then Chattanooga! I can't wait to be reunited with everyone in my life again. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Paris. My oh my.

I can not believe this is the last city we are visiting before our long travels home. Paris was a nice city to end this trip on, mainly because I have no money and have been here before so I didn't need to spend any money! I owe Veronica an arm and a leg, but thank goodness I have some one like her when I have no wallet!

We arrived in Paris Friday evening, and our hotel was in Versailles which was normally about twenty minutes away. We decided to take a cab since it was about to poor down rain. We got into a cab, and soon enough we found out that it is not a good idea to get a cab in downtown Paris on a Friday afternoon at rush hour, especially when they charge you ten cents every twenty or so seconds. It took us thirty minutes to go half a mile. I swear french people don't know the proper way to use a traffic lFight. About an hour later, ( you can do the math of how much it euro...) we arrived to the hotel. We have been living luxury while in Paris, this hotel was a steal! We have a kitchen and everything, as well as a view of the Eiffel tower from our balcony. Beats the hotel in brussels that's for sure. We spent the rest of the night cooking meals and resting up for our day Saturday. Might I also add that I washed my clothes in the bathroom sink with hand soap? Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Saturday we woke up late, and our wonderful hostess from Ireland,(Julia) flew in and spent the day and night with us! Might I also add it was Veronica's birthday! We made crepes from a box and honestly napped and relaxed until late afternoon until we were all ready to walk into town. The four of us walked to the Eiffel tower and got the best nutella and banana crepes in town, as well as french fries. We got the classic pictures of the eiffel tower and then went for more crepes. We decided to splurge on veronica's birthday. :) we then went to a Paris market and bought a lot of neat jewelry. Taylor really enjoyed being with three girls! After that we started walking towards the Notre dome, only to find out it's a lot further then expected, so we started back to the hotel. After a long walk in pouring rain we made it back late and called it a night.

Today we woke up with lots of plans! We got onto the metro and got off right by the louvre, which holds a lot of van Gogh paintings as well as the Mona Lisa. When we got to the front of the museum, we saw the line to enter literally had thousands of people in it and there was a three hour wait. So, no museum for us! We then walked around the streets and saw lots of sites, but most importantly the Notre dome. Beautiful piece of architecture, and there seemed to be a sculpture of the hunch back on the side I swear! We then finished up our site seeing and went back to the hotel to say our goodbyes to Julia, who we will be seeing very soon back in Ireland!

I am so sad that this trip is coming to an end, but going out into cit after city and seeing site after site is so tiring. I am ready to be back in the states again! Let's see, if I did the math right, we stayed in 11 cities, 9 countries, and took over twenty trains in 28 days. I'm proud if us. :) be home soon America!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Switzerland. 3 days of bliss.

I can't even begin to describe how beautiful Interlaken, Switzerland is. We are staying in a hostel that has tent camping, and our tent is surrounded by mountains on every side. Most days the clouds sit perfectly on the top, and the mountians are the greenest green. The water every where is super baby blue, and so clear. It's like a little slice of heaven was put on earth in the middle of the Swiss alps. I love it here, and it's been nice to relax and be in the fresh outdoors for the past three days.

We arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and the first thing we did was drop off our stuff and head out to find the water. The currency here is francs, so we had to take out even more money. Besides the dollar this is the fourth currency we have been on. Crazy! We walked literally five miles without finding the lake, so taylor and veronica ended up jumping into the river. After looking around for a little while, we head back for an early night in. I soon realize that I am without my wallet, and it is no where to be found. Sadly, I am pretty positive it is on a train between Milan and Bern, and I won't be getting it back before we leave. Luckily, I still have my passport and veronica's mom is a sweet heart and is letting me use her money and I pay her back later. So no worries, I have money and will still be eating food! I definitely freaked out for a while, realizing my debit card and 75 dollars worth was missing, but my heart was calmed by sleep and good friends.

Wednesday veronica and I slept in while Taylor got up early to hike for the whole day. That did not sound too appealing to us, especially with the major thunderstorms. I could literally hear the thunder roll through the mountains. I have officially conquered my fear of storms. I convinced Veronica to get on a train with me and go up a mountain to a town called grindelwald. It is a cute little Swiss town with cottages spread out among the mountain side. It finally stopped raining and it was gorgeous being on cloud level. After that we went back into Interlaken and took a bus to one of the two lakes in town. Now imagine the color of blue cotton candy as the water color, along with mountains surrounding the entire lake for miles. I seriously could of stared at it for hours. We then met back up with Taylor at the hostel and had a very good meal of granola, milk, and coffee. Yummy!

Today we got up around ten and walked into town to the bottom of a hiking trail. We were ready for a two and a half hour hike up the mountain! However, thirty minutes into it Veronica and I were absolutely dying, and decided to go back down and take the cart up the mountain while Taylor hiked the rest. Yes we know, it's Switzerland and we probably won't get a chance to hike a mountain here again, but we didn't eat well this morning, which was not a good idea on our part. So we met taylor at the top and got a marvelous view of the entire city of Interlaken as well as both lakes that laid on each side. I loved taking in it all, thanking god for blessing us with such beauty. We went back down the mountain and went back to the lake, and now we are relaxing back at the tent site munching on food and enjoying the cooler weather. Currently a herd of cows just walked by on the street, causing a traffic jam. Amazing!

We are leaving for Paris tomorrow, our last city before we head back to Dublin for our flight! So sad this trip is coming to an end, but I am ready to get back and share pictures and stories with everyone! We are all doing well, very tired and sun burned. We are ready for some home cooking, so if anyone is offering one when I get home, I'll gladly accept. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

When in Rome!

Rome Is by far the coolest city ever! At least in Italy. The people are crazy drivers, but the food is carbalicous! I don't know if that's a word, but we have eaten pizza or pasta every day for the past five days! They don't joke around about their Italian food....or how much it costs.

Yesterday we were able to sleep in a little bit. Taylor did his own thing while Veronica and I went searching for the scooter rental place. After some nice tour guides led us to the right place, we found out shortly that they required us to have a motorcycle license. Now knowing that I won't even get on a motorcycle, we couldn't rent a scooter. We started looking at bus times and prices. Another tour guide from earlier approached us and decided that the man at the scooter place was wrong and took us to another place. Now, the man behind the counter asked us if we had ever ridden scooters before and we said no. His exact words after that were, " scooter is fun, but life is life." basically, it was too dangerous for two American girls with no experience to ride a moped around Rome. Oh well. :( so Veronica and I grabbed some lunch and started walking towards the colloseum. It was amazing, to walk where gladiators walked! The inside was even better, I would advise anyone who ever goes to Rome to go on the inside and see the ruins. From there we walked the streets of Rome, until we got to the pantheon ( NOT the parthanon). From there we went to the very famous trevi fountain. I was able to throw a coin into the fountain, which either means I will return to Rome in my life time or I will fall in love? Im not 100% positive which is true. Regardless, it was beautiful. It reminded me of many many movies. We then headed back to our hotel, even though it took us An extra 30 minutes because I can't read a map. You would think I would have perfected that by now, but those things are tricky. That night Taylor stayed in while Veronica and I had a very wonderful dinner down the street. We were laughing hysterically and made conversation about her birthday next week over margarita pizza and diet coke. When we were finished we were waiting a very long time for our check when the waiter brought us a surprise dessert. Then the two guys at the table behind us turned around and said happy birthday. Such a sweet gesture! We thought they were so nice for doing that, and later found out they were from Tennessee and georgia. It was great to meet more southerners who understood where exactly chattanooga was and that the sec dominates. We chatted for a minute and then we left back to our hotel for the night. Great day!
Today we slept in and started our long walk to the Vatican. We stopped along the way and finally did a little shopping! When we arrived, It was like watching the de Vinci code. We were hoping to see the pope, but no luck. The line was hours long so we didn't stay long but got a lot of great pictures of the outside. We then walked back to the hotel and have been resting ever since for our long travel day to switzerland

Even though I am sunburned and exhausted, I have loved Italy just as expected. I have also decided that I am going to invest in a moped in the next year. Seeing everyone on one makes it tempting. I am ready to be in switzerland in the snow cap mountains! Wish us luck, we are going all out while we are here, hiking mountains and whatnot. Adventures for sure. :)