Cruising the Mediterranean

For the next two weeks I will be cruising the coasts of France, Italy and Spain in style. One of my closest girlfriends has organized the trip for five of us to celebrate our college graduations.

The first week finds us boarding a private yacht in Nice, France.  We’ve already created a tentative itinerary but once we embark we are able to choose each destination as we travel.  Our floating mansion is called Desamis B and she boasts five luxurious cabins, fully stocked bars, lounging decks, a hot tub and a full staff including a world class chef to attend to our every need.  If I don’t make it back it’s not because I’m lost at sea, but rather because I will have discovered my permanent home on Desamis.

If we somehow manage to leave this beautiful yacht our second week will find us filing up the gangplank of the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, a boutique cruise ship catering to a mere 700 guests.

Obviously the cruise ship has a set itinerary so I can safely say we will be visiting the following cities:

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Marseille (Provence), France
  • St. Tropez, France
  • Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Florence, Italy
  • Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
  • Sorrento/ Capri, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
Advertisements

Morocco

..or at least that’s where I was supposed to be this weekend!

Thankfully, my friends and I were just too tired from our almost constant traveling. On Thursday night, the night before we would have flown to Morocco, I got an email from my Dad with the subject: “Not a Safe Place to Go” and I open it to find this link.

Now before I explain the link, let me just clarify that my Dad didn’t write anything else. No “Hi only daughter” or “I’m so happy you didn’t go to Morocco”, just the subject and the link.

Cryptic Dad, Thanks..

Basically the article said that a bomb had gone off in a cafe in Marrakech, Morocco and killed 15 innocent people, and injured 22. It also said that most victims were tourists. It’s so horrible, and scary to think that it could have been me!!

So yeah, guess it’s not the best time to be sightseeing in Morocco.

My First and LAST bullfight

I lasted all of FIVE minutes.

My Dad thought it would be cool to go to a bullfight in Spain, and Madrid has them every Sunday, including Easter.  After realizing you could buy tickets for as cheap as 8 euros, he figured we could try it out and if we left, it’s not like he spent a ton of money on it.  His exact words were:

“I just want to go to say I went. How many people can say they’ve been to a bullfight in Spain?”

It was horrible. Twenty or so “fighters” against one bull, taunting him, tiring him, and wounding him, so that eventually the “champion” matador could come out and fight the bull.  I didn’t even last long enough to see the matador come out.

Besides the fact that they were torturing an animal for pure entertainment and enjoyment, it wasn’t even close to a fair fight.  Maybe it would have been less unsettling to me if it was just one man against the one bull…

but probably not.

Toledo

We were only in Toledo for one day, since its a 30 minutes train ride in Madrid. Yet somehow, my mother managed to shop for and buy an “authentic” 200 Euro sword, and still get us to every major attraction in Toledo.

Oh and it torrentially downpoured, and the entire city is built into a hill so you’re constantly hiking up tiny, windy cobblestone streets..it was a BLAST!

It actually was very beautiful and interesting, despite the rain. Toledo was also the birthplace of the famous artist El Greco so they had a ton of his work scattered in museums and churches across the city.

Seville

or Sevilla as the Spanish call it!

I loved Seville. The Castle was breathtaking, the Cathedral was massive, but the Semana Santa processions got old pretty quickly.  Everything was crowded and congested and it was so difficult to navigate. Although in the beginning they were really cool to watch, and we could even watch them from our hotel balcony.

Here’s a picture of some of the castle (or Alcazar as they call it) gardens. They were stunning:

Barcelona

Barcelona was ahhhhmazing, and visiting made me realize that I should have studied abroad there. It’s the best mix of old and new, modern and classic, beach and city.

Also the food was 10x better than Madrid, and they had so many American and Italian places..it made me so happy 🙂

My favorite restaurant was Morelia, which we stumbled upon by accident.

Roma

Ah the eternal city!

Basically all I did was drink wine, eat pizza, sightsee, eat pizza, get gelato 20 times, eat pizza.

OH, and pretend I was Audrey Hepburn from Roman Holiday. Obviously I’ve been dying to go to Rome ever since I saw the movie when I was little and needless to say it didn’t disappoint.

Although I didn’t meet a Mr. Bradley or have a handsome man drive me around on the back of his vespa, I was enchanted by Rome, and I will definitely be back. I have so much to say about Italia, but I’m writing a paper about my Audrey Hepburn tour of Rome and plan on posting it soon.

Stay tuned…

Dumb Dumb

My roommate Irene left her camera and her Blackberry on the bus home from Malaga, and obviously realized it as soon as we got off the bus! We tried to talk to “customer service” but the people were so unhelpful and acted like we were a huge inconvenience. Kind of ironic considering they are supposed to serve the needs of customers, so helping us IS their job.

Needless to say both the Camera and BB are lost, even though we looked up the phone number for the next stop and asked the bus driver to check..