Hello old friends! Me again! It has been A WHILE since I wrote about my final trips! But I finally have my laptop back and I am ready to goooooooo!
I finished my last exam at IMC Krems on June 23rd, and left the same day for Italy. I was backpacking from June 23rd and returning home on August 10th.
Within that time, I travelled to:
Italy: Venice, Rome, Naples, Sorrento, and Capri
France: Nice, Paris
Spain: Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona
Croatia: Split, Dubrovnik
Czech Republic: Prague
Greece: Banitsa (Vevi),Florina, Thessaloniki, Halkidiki
Macedonia: Orchid, Skopje
If you want to really get in the mood to read this post, please listen to the following songs that I sang the entire time I was in Italy.
Ok, now that you’re in the mood to read about Italy…
I packed up my life in Krems, and set off for almost 8 weeks of backpacking through Europe! I spent the first week with my friends from high school, Ellen and Sim. Italy was first on our list!
Ellen met me in Krems and spent the week with me before setting off for Italy to meet Sim. We started off in Venice by taking an overnight bus, as it’s about 8.5 hours from Vienna. we arrived at the bus terminal in Venice, tired and confused. Venice is an island, but we were staying on the main land. So, the question was, how do we even get there? FlixBus dropped us off on the island, and we took an above ground people mover to the main land. From there, we took a city bus to our hostel. We stayed at the Jolly Camping Hoste. This was a completely different experience for me because this hostel was massive, and we all had cabins basically. Our camper had 3 beds and a bathroom, and it was about 15 euro per night. There was an outdoor pool and restaurant that turned into a club at night. Because it was so far from the island, the hostel arranged shuttles that would take you to the water. From the water, you could take a boat to any of the islands. This was really confusing at first, but we finally got the hang of it.
We bought a 2 day pass for the boat for 30€. This would take us to and from the dock, and from there we would pay 2€ to get on the hostel’s shuttle. The boat was always busy with so many people and it would go from stop to stop which was around all the main islands.
The first day, the three of us spent the afternoon and evening on San Marco, which is the biggest touristy spots. The other islands we not as touristy. We spent the first day walking around and exploring the city. We decided not to do a walking tour because there was nothing significant to see- it was a nicer vibe to walk in and out of the small streets on our own. Our first dinner was amazing as expected. And obviously had to pair it with a gelato. We walked around some more, really just getting lost in the small streets. We ended up sitting with an espresso and watching an Italian band and it was such a nice way to end the first day!
Our next and last day in Venice, we took the boat back to the islands and had breakfast before finding a gondola. Taking a gondola ride was the perfect way to end our trip in Venice! It is such a cliche thing to do in Venice, but it was so much fun to get that perspective of the island. We really had to seek out the perfect gondola driver (is that what they’re called?) who was wearing a hat and stripped shirt. I really wanted the real deal, authentic stuff.
Rome was our next stop on our Italy tour. I think that everyone needs to take a trip to Rome just to experience the craziness that comes along with it. Personally, Rome is overhyped and overpriced, but that’s what comes along with being a tourist. It was a weird feeling finally seeing Trevi Fountains, the Colosseum, and the Vatican.
Rome was HOT. Like the disgusting heat where you’re literally wiping sweat from your head with a napkin at a restaurant and don’t even dare think you can wear grey unless you want to look like you just jumped in a pool.
Rome was also BUSY. You see them all the time in movies, but it was surreal finally being able to see them. There was never a time that Trevi Fountain wasn’t busy. You literally could not move, let alone get a space to sit in front of the fountain. There was a lot of police around as well to keep everyone in line.
We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast right across from the train station in Vatican City, so it was just outside of the Rome madness. It was perfect location to walk to Vatican City and only a short bus away from Rome.
I didn’t LOVE Rome. My logic of going to these crazy tourist traps is that you need to experience the hype and the excitement. It’s good to be able to make your opinion on a place. As I mentioned earlier, it’s fun to be able to finally place a picture to all the stories you hear. Additionally, you need to go to the capital city of every country. Obviously there is something substantial about it if it’s the capital. It’s worth a look see.
We were in Rome for 3 nights before heading off to Naples. We stayed close to the train station in Naples, with the intention of taking day trips to cities in the Amalfi Coast each day. We slept in Naples for 4 nights. The first day, we went to Sorrento, and the other two days were spent in Capri.
I really don’t recommend Naples. It was kind of sketchy, but the location was exactly what we needed for our trip. Seriously. I do NOT recommend Naples. Unless you aren’t ballin on a budget and stay in a nice hotel on the water…find another Italian city. HOWEVER. The BEST Italian food out of all the cities I went to in Italy was in Naples. It was fair trade off. You win some you lose some.
Annnnnnywho, the purpose of this trip wasn’t Naples, it was the Amalfi Coast!
Sorrento is only an hour train ride away and cost us 3€ each way. It was stunning! Just walking through the little town was so cute and everything was so pretty. We spent the day on the beach and walking around. What we didn’t realize going there was that all the beaches are rocks, and the big docks you see with chairs are privately owned. Sooooo we had to lay our towels out on the rocks. Not what I’m used to when I plan a beach day, but it was so much fun! It had a cute little town where we had dinner before heading back.
The next two days were spent in Capri, which required taking a 45 minute ferry from Naples. Capri is definitely one of my favourite places, so I’m glad we spent as much time as we did there. The beaches were a bit bigger than Sorrento, but it was a pebble beach. The water was clear and beautiful, and was much needed with the 30+ degree weather everyday. I took a walk throughout the town, which if you don’t take the cable car up, is straight up hill. Really fun in the humid weather too. But definitely worth it. The town was so beautiful- filled with clothing and jewellery boutiques and souvenir shops.
Not sick of me yet?? I hope not.
Next up: FRANCE!