so this is a long overdue post. I’m sorry for my vanishing act- it was due to some technical difficulties and the fact that I got back five days ago and it’s been a crazy week. but I’m back and I have a few last thoughts on my trip to Italy as well as what I did on my last couple of days there.
So after all of the unique experiences I had so far that week- gelato making, a four course Italian meal, brick oven pizza making, etc.- I topped it off with a hike named “the path of the gods.” My dad and I set out in the early morning and headed for nocelle, where we would start our hike. The whole thing takes about 4 1/2 hours but because we didn’t want to stay gone all day with my mom and sisters left at the villa, we hiked it for about 2 hours and then turned around and hiked it back. I have never hiked a more gorgeous trail than this one, and I mean the table mountain one in SA was pretty amazing. The trail was a bit challenging, lots of up hill and downhill walking and climbing over rocks and such. It wasn’t a very well marked path but that was part of the adventure. The route was so scenic- we were basically hiking around the top of a mountain which meant beautiful views of both the ocean off the Amalfi coast and woodland type scenery. The varied scenery really made it such an interesting and meditative hike. There were farms built on terraces on the mountain and we saw a farmer herding his goats at one part. There was such an abundance of wildflowers and greenery as well and it was so quiet and peaceful. It was just an abosutely gorgeous and memorable hike.
So now that I’ve shared my last memorable activity on the trip, I will give some last thoughts. First of all, I don’t think Italian drivers have ever heard of road rules. I’ve been to quite a few foreign countries and except for SA, these people were the WORST drivers. Not to mention that my dad was driving us around. My life flashed before my eyes too many times as we were almost hit by tour buses driving down the little windin mountain roads and avoiding the Vespas that would make their own lanes even if there was oncoming traffic. the funniest thing to come out of experiencing Italian driving was the time when we were driving to Sorento and saw a dog running alongside of a car. Now this might sound pretty normal and you’re probably like so what but I haven’t added the fact that the dog was on a leash and that leash was being held by the passenger in the car. The window was rolled down and all I could see was the person’s hand sticking out of the window holding the leash while the dog ran alongside the car. The dog was a huge Great Dane so I’m guessing they couldn’t figure out a way to fit the dog inside their sardine box. Or maybe it’s a new Italian trend- dog walking on the go. I mean hey you gotta do what you gotta do- even if it means walking your dog from a moving vehicle. Probably the best thing I’ve seen in my life- excluding the time we saw a naked man walking down the street of the Castro district in San Francisco, wearing nothing but a hat, socks and shoes and holding a briefcase. I was ten at the time. Ah culture, ya gotta love it.
When we stopped over in Istanbul coming home, we got to spend the evening in their downtown area. It wa such a fascinating experience. The architecture was amazing and the Blue Mosque was so beautiful. We got to go inside the main area of it and hear the call to prayer which was cool because I have always wanted to hear it. The culture is so interesting there as well and when we went into the mosque, we wrapped our scarves around our heads as that was the respectful thing to do. We tried Turkish delight and oh my god is it delicious. We bought like ten packages, to give to our friends back home.
One other thing- the security in the Istanbul airport is crazy. We went through 4 passport checks before getting on our flight to Boston. And we had to go through security just to get inside the airport. I think they’ve tightened it even more what with the ISIS conflict, seeing countries like Syria are bordering it, which means that they are a hotspot for people sneaking across the Syrian border to join ISIS rebel forces. A little scary but I actually felt more comfortable with the extra security.
All in all, it was an amazing trip and an experience that I will never forget. It was bittersweet because of the fact that it was my last spring break family vacation. College will have a different break time. I am so thankful for all the places I have gone in just 18 years of life.