OK so the hotels on the first two Islands had wifi- for exorbitant prices. It is now day 30 (zoooohh my gooooodness how’d that happen?) and I’m currently sitting by the pool in my hotel in Santorini. Yes the wifi works BY THE POOL! Awesome sauce. I’m still way behind with my blogging but I’m going to work hard to catch up to myself- it’s just too difficult to type about things that happened almost two weeks ago! I’ll type in my spare time so that at the times when I have wifi access I can just upload straight away.
Ok, so are you ready? Are you ready for the cutest furry little motherfucker EVAR? Not really, but here’s days 16, 17 and 18:
Day 16: Rain, Hangovers and the Cinque Terre
Holy. Hangover. Like, my god! I crawled out of bed, quite possibly still drunk and somehow managed to get my suitcase onto the bus. At around 9:30am I suddenly realised that regurgitation was imminent. Luckily I had a plastic bag at my feet containing some things that couldn’t quite fit in my suitcase. So I emptied it and aimed. Unluckily this bag had a hole in it... Not pretty.
After that ladylike display we made a stop over in pisa, to see (obv.) the leaning tower thereof. It was raining, crowded and none of us were all too enthused about a tower on a slant. There are quite a few in Europe. 45minutes of torture and it was back on the bus. I was fine until we went into a tunnel and did a lot of stop starting. When we made our final stop I realised that it was round two and reached for the bag someone had given me earlier just in case. It wasn’t fun...
At the station waiting for the train to take us to the Cinque Terre (“5 villages”) I did something I’ve never done- I had pepto. I took pills to settle my stomach- Americans and their handy drugs! They must have worked because I survived the train ride, had some hot chips and a lemon soda and was relatively ok. The Cinque Terre are beautiful. We walked between a few instead of getting the train, about 2km on each trip. The first walk was rather rocky and steep but at the end we found a gorgeous lagoon that was fantastic for a swim. Gelato was consumed and we walked to the next Terre, to catch the train back to La Spezia. It was at this time that I realised why the metro is so good- because European trains are shit. It was 25min late for no reason.
That night was another of our “spectacular” included dinners. We had a really good first course of pasta (pesto or pomodoro- choices!). This of course made us preemptively excited for the main. Which ended up being chicken and hot chips. Chicken and hot chips. In Italy. Really?! The hotel however was pretty snazzy. Had a bit of a mod theme, with a hot pink hallway wall and matching chairs in the room. I think it’s safe to say I slept damn well that night.
Day 17: Fashion, Palmistry and more rain.
Day 17 was a wet one. It rained all day, which wasn’t the best setting for our visit to Milan but good indoor shopping conditions. Our first stop was Milan’s Duomo (big ass church). Unfortunately my outfit was not deemed church appropriate and I was denied entry but I’ve seen enough big ass churches anyway. Besides, I was far more concerned with the main reason people visit Milan: The Fashion. Being August, a lot of stores were shut, and to be honest there really weren’t any exciting stores that you don’t find everywhere else in Italy anyway. I payed a visit to Prada, Louis, Gucci, and a random “discount outlet” where expensive clothes were just made to look cheap by being thrown on tables and such. It was a fun and torturous day but I do have one complaint about Italian shopping: Where’s Chanel? I only saw one store, in Florence. I know, Chanel is French, you don’t need to point that out but so is Louis Vuitton and it’s still CHANEL. Nobody puts Coco in the corner!
While wandering the streets, my roommate Lisa and myself encountered a rather... interesting... individual. He stopped us and said “wow such a nice pink aura, you are a princess” to me and then started reading my palm. He said a few random things, throwing American city names around and talking about a “lion who did not understand me” on my heart line (bah ex was a Leo. Funny). For Lisa he said he felt bad things had happened in Turkey, which was pretty interesting because she’s Armenian. He then tried to get us to pay him for full readings. When Lisa said no, he accepted it, saying that she has a man’s brain and when she says no it means no. But when I said no, he turned a bit nasty. He pointed at me, like he was placing a curse or something and said “YOU will fall pregnant. You will forget to take your pill and you will have an unexpected pregnancy,” and then claimed that the positive energy he could pass on to me would stop this happening. Total bullshit, obviously but still rattling. He was an absolute nutter, telling us about how he’s getting gender reassignment surgery next year because he’s half woman, and occasionally speaking in his high pitched “woman voice.” Crazy Italians.
For lunch we treated ourselves to a decadent meal from a charmingly Italian establishment called McDonalds. It was there, it smelled good, I wanted it... I got a McRoyale Deluxe which is rather a lot like a deluxe cheeseburger but the size of a quarter pounder and with tomato as well. We did have a laugh at some of the amusing burger names of course, e.g. the Crispy McBacon, but I’m still disappointed that I can’t get a Royale with cheese (what do they call a whopper?)
After failing to find Italian Grazia at yet another news stand, I picked up a German copy instead (yes, they had German but not Italian?) and found it quite interesting to see that it’s exactly the same as the Australian version. EXACTLY THE SAME. Same layout. Like, not only does it have the same sections, but they’re IN THE SAME ORDER. Now I know where we get our layout from, both French and Italian are totally different.
That night we stayed in the best hotel of all time. It was incredible- 4 star, only lacking one due to it being in the backarse of east jesus nowhere, just to the east of woop woop, but it was fantastic! We had a bath tub! And the lobby was really snazzy. For the first time we got a decent included dinner of saffron risotto followed by some description of meat. I don’t remember but I do know it was good. (any Contikiers, if you read this and know what we ate, feel free to tell me. Then, as it’s august and all of the bars were shut, and the hotel drinks were pricey, they let us bring our own booze down to the lobby and have a wee shindig. As the night drew on, the glasses got emptier, the voices got louder and people made ever more trips to the bathroom, but never once did they complain about noise! I thought it was fair decent of them, and we all had a pretty good chilled night.
Day 18: Verona, Venice and a very gay man (and MORE rain)
The day started in Sirmione (after the bus that is) where we discovered there is honestly nothing to do but eat/drink/wander in the sun. Like, there’s really nothing there, except for a ridiculously high number of restaurants and Italians celebrating the 15th of August by eating at aforementioned restaurants. I opted out of the optional boat trip over the lake to get to Sirmione, as did two others. Why boat when you can drive? We arrived at the same time as the boaters, and everyone sort of wandered aimlessly. I had gelato AND a granita. It was good. And that’s really all I can say about Sirmione... Oh and it smelled of sulphur. That’s it. Nothing else to it.
After Sirmione we headed somewhere actually exciting: Verona. The home of Romeo and Juliet. On the way in, our tour leader set the mood by playing Taylor Swift. I said to myself “Dire Straits would have been so better,” because obviously their romeo and Juliet song is totally awesomeand not at all lame. But whatevs.
When we arrived in town we ran straight for cover, because one of those awesome summer storms that last for 10minutes was underway. When it was over, a few people were talking about how cool it was to piss down and clear up so quickly. But that’s just November/December back home! Standard summer afternoon storm.
Of course, in Verona we visited Juliet’s balcony, where we copped a feel of her statue for some good luck (she has one ultra shiny bewb from all the rubbing, let me tell you. SKANK.) as well as a whale bone that’s attatched to an arch. They think it’ll fall one day but it looked pretty damn secure to me and in all honety the bone was small enough to dodge if it did fall. Total anti-climax. It’s meant to be Moby Dick’s rib bone but since he’s a fictional whale that’s not entirely possible.
Me and Lisa had the thrill of the most-adorable-and-knowledgeable-in-the-field-of-makeup-gay-man-with-a-quiff-EVAR in Sephora (cosmetics department store). He picked out the perfect foundation for Lisa straight away, and using a brush he had conveniently attatched to his belt, he performed visual magic on her face. He was adorable. When we left, he even said “Caio-Ciao!” and gave a cute little finger wave. We need more adorable gay Italian men who can operate a makeup brush in Sydney I say.
From Verona we headed to our final destination for the next two nights- Venice (well our hotel was a quick train ride out really). When we got on the bus to leave, my prayers were answered as dire strait's romeo and juliet played over the speakers. I much prefer the Killers version of course but it's such a good song (bah smart group memories!). That night we headed to the only restaurant still open near our hotel and then off to a bar that our tour leader recommended. Unfortunately, this bar was also shut. Luckily we found a bar basically underneath our hotel, but the clientele were a bit... interesting. We’d been there maybe 10min when a prostitute walked in. Well, to be fair we don’t know for a fact she was a prostitute but I sure hope she was after seeing what she was wearing.
I had planned to do day 19 as well but it’s getting late and I am sleepy. Big day ahead tomorrow- hiking swimming and donkey riding in Santorini and that’s all before lunch! Looking forward to it.
I actually have free wifi for the next few days so hopefully I’ll be back super soon!
p.s. can't believe I ended that post on a prostitute...