Hey guys, sorry for the late updates…. getting wifi for 37 people in a hotel room in Italy isn’t as easy as one would think.
For the 4th day, our first official tour in Italy we took a little trip to Pisa. We got a chance to see the field of Miracles and take some awesome pictures near the leaning tower. A lot of us got presents from the vendors, but it was extremely hot. After the leaning tower we stopped a beautiful farm/vineyard and enjoyed a well planned out lunch. The 21 and up crew got a chance to taste some organic wines and we were given a tour of the farm and learned about the process of making olive oil and their wines. At this fantastic vineyard we also discovered that “Love is in the air”, because we had a very flirtatious waiter and the humor was unbelievable. I even got an Italian boyfriend named “Julio” who barely spoke any English, but insisted on kissing my cheek in a “photo”. It was pure fun and laughter and it’s great to see how a sense of humor can bring relaxation into a group (p.s don’t worry Sam, you’re better looking haha). After lunch we headed back to our hotel in Montecatini where we had a couple hours of free time to explore. Personally, I took a little bit of a nap….. but after I woke up I took a small stroll around Montecatini and bought a few things from their local market. Our next adventure would be Florence.
^^ yes, I think I’m cool for kicking the tour back up….. lol
We woke up at an early time and headed over to the center of Florence. We went on a 2 hour guided tour of the city and gained a lot of insight on the history of the financial capital of Italy. Florence is famous for this production of leather and during our free time most of us spent some money in the piggy market buying leather for ourselves or as presents. We spent about 5 hours total in Florence and I still feel like there was more to see. The city definitely had a lot of history and was a big attraction to tourists. I will admit that the 5 hours spent were exhausting, but we still had our second match to play. We got back on our bus and headed over to stadium where we would play a local women’s team. The game was very intense and different than the game against the French side, but unfortunately we only managed to tie them 4-4. The team was a lot better individually, but under other circumstances I’m positive we could have won that game….. regardless, it was certainly a match to see. After the game, we headed back to our hotel for dinner and most of us were ready to pass out forever….. except we had to be up at 530 in the morning because our next stop was Como, 4 hours away and breakfast would be served at 6 am.
The alarm went of at 530 sharp and we loaded up our bus before breakfast so that we could depart at 645 am. The bus ride was fairly silent and we would spend about 5 hours traveling to the city of Como (it took longer because we had to take a detour to Milan to drop the Gibbons off at the airport). The day was already looking drowsy and we were expecting rain. After arriving to Como around 1230 we were given about 2 and a half hours to explore the city on our own. Possibly do some shopping or walk by the lake and enjoy its beauty. At 3 o’clock we were given another 2 hour guided tour of the city, learning about its history as well as admiring the beautiful architecture from the medieval times. It wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been because less than half way through our tour it began to pour and a lot of us weren’t dressed for the weather. Instead of having another hour of free-time in Como we simply headed back to the hotel and enjoyed a nice relaxing evening to ourselves. Our next adventure is Milan, where we’ll get a chance to visit the stadium belonging to both AC Milan and Inter.
^ haven’t gotten any pictures up for this one.
P.S. My apologies for the late updates, but flickr has been struggling with the uploading and the wifi is so inconsistant that blogging has been hard too. Check back for some more updates tomorrow though
During the second day of our journey we were given an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful city of Cannes, France. This city is particularly known for the annual Cannes Film Festival that usually occurs during the month of May (it’s a shame we were about a week or so late for the festivities). The city of Cannes is very similar to Nice, but it has it’s own features as well. There were very many shops and restaurants for tourists to visit, especially since the city greatly relies on tourism for income. In Cannes we got to explore the city on our own for several hours. Some girls did some of their shopping, while others visited the more historical sections of the city. Below you’ll see a Panorama picture off of the castle that I visited with my free time.
After our free time to explore Cannes we attended our first friendly soccer match against the local women’s club team “US Cannes Bocca Olympique”. They hosted us in their own stadium, right next to the men’s stadium. The UMW Women’s Soccer team upset the USCB with a 7-2 victory. It was a great game and I particularly enjoyed it because it was clean play and purely a fun and enjoyable environment. I was also excited because I scored my first goal for UMW! The French girls were very ecstatic to hear that we were from the Washington DC area and although only one or two of them knew english they tried extremely hard to communicate with us and make new friends. After the game they provided us with snacks and even gave us all a present. It was truly an amazing experience and I’m excited for the next two games as well. After our long day in Cannes we returned to our hotel for a late dinner and our last night in France. In the morning we would pack up and move onto our next hotel in Italy.
After leaving the Hotel de Baou in France we made our way to Monoco & Monte Carlo. It was about a 40 minute to an hour long journey, with traffic included. We stopped on top of a cliff in order to take pictures of the France that we were leaving behind before we entered the independent state of Monoco. It is safe to say that Monoco is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I have visited a few countries in my 20 years of life, but this is by far one of my favorites. There was something so peaceful and appealing about Monoco and it’s appearance that made me feel as if it was almost too good to be real. We enjoyed a short tour of the city and got a chance to see the houses of the princess’ as well as the princes’ palace. Monoco is a very very wealthy place and it was evident that everyone wanted to preserve it’s beauty. I took the time to visit some of the souvenir shops and buy a few gifts for my family and friends. It’s amazing to see how the prices change from shop to shop, but it’s also interesting how the residents attempt to speak english and assist us as best as they can. After our little shopping session we also wandered around the city and got to see different views of the harbor and the massive yatts that were coming in and out. We then got back on our bus and headed on our 4 hour journey to Italy…. toward the Tuscany region.
This picture captures 3 different countries. Monoco & Monte Carlo, France, & then Italy:
Tomorrow we will be visiting the Leaning tower of Pisa and going onto a farm for some food tasting. I will make sure to blog about that as well as keep the pictures coming.
Today, June 3rd… my soccer team (UMW Women’s Soccer) begins our journey to France and Italy for a nine day trip. Beginning on the 12th I will take a side trip to Bosnia to visit some family with my friend Erin. During this trip I’m going to blog about all of our adventures and make sure to post plenty of pictures for everyone to be extremely jealous, but more importantly so that I have an opportunity to share it with my friends, as well as look back on it for myself.
After 4 long days of training and preparation at UMW, our team is finally ready for take-off. We will be flying from Dulles International to London, Heatherow and landing at our destination in Nice, France. We will be playing 3 different friendlies against teams from both France and Italy as well enjoying various beautiful cities in both countries.
Keep checking up on my blog for further updates and to check out all the fun things we’ll be doing. I will try to blog as much as I can, but it all depends on the wifi availability.
Also, there will be photo streaming from my flickr account and those will be coming directly from my iPhone, enjoy.