we are in Seville, in the south of Spain, and are enjoying our thanksgiving tapas-style. we´re looking for any tapas made of cranberry, turkey, potatoes or stuffing. im not sure we´ll find any, but sangria is thanksgiving-y, right? We spent a couple days in San Sebastian, a city with the most bars per meter in all of Europe. We tested it out, just to be sure, and are confident that is an accurate statement. We then headed to Madrid where, on a suggestion from an old guy on the train, ran to the soccer stadium and scored last minute tickets (although they weren´t together) to the Real Madrid game that night. Real won 3-1 and we celebrated, separately, with the old men smoking stogies next to us. Beckham was there but didn´t play, for those of you wondering. Madrid was awesome though, we did some museum sighting, the Prado and Thyess...something. We also hit up the hugest flea market we´ve ever seen. Lots of old junky stuff just waiting to be purchased. On to Cordoba, home of the mosque-turned-cathedral. very upsetting to see a beautiful, beautiful mosque from the 700s, with a huge glittering cathedral plunked in the middle. From a design standpoint...it sucked. We also spent an afternoon in a traditional Arab bath house, going from warm to hot to cold baths and finishing it off with a nice massage. Amazing. We got to Seville yesterday and have visited the Alcazar, the oldest royal residence still in use, and the cathedral, the third largest in the world. There was something important going on in there, we think...at any rate there were soldiers with machine guns pacing back and forth. We´ll be here for a few more days then Granada and then Barcelona and then home and then none of you will have any more distractions at work or school...
Adios! Love C,K&E
Location: Firenze, Assisi, Roma, Pompei!, Italy
Ciao Ciao! weve just made our way through Italy, and since we know most all you care about are the pics, we've summarized italia for you in these highlights!
Firenze! Four days full of great food, and busy markets, we also got to the Accademia to see the David, who is even more impressive (and taller then youd think) in real life. Also got to the Uffizi to see the Birth of Venus and some other gems. We spent our last day there on a wine tour with our fantastic guide Todd. We wound our way through the heart of tuscany, and got to two different wineries, where we bought as much vino as our backpacks allowed.
Siena and Assisi were two quick stops, In Assisi we lucked out and stayed at a really fanstastic Camera where an adorable old lady greeted us with hugs, cheek pinches, and yells of BONJOURNO!! each morning. we also go to see an amazing concert of a choir, bizzarely enough, from the states. These three days were also packed with seeing dead folks, namely the preserved body parts of St. Catherine, St. Clara, and St. Francis. we know how to live, huh?
Roma!! After litterally running into Maggie on the streets of Roma we stayed four days, and got to recharge and relax on her couch! So good to see familliar faces! Here we also couldnt help but see the masisve (but cool) Il Vittoriano monument, to those in the know, its the "wedding cake." Also strolled through the forum, and couldnt help but think how cool a game of hide and seek would be in there. Then to St. Peter's where we wondered much it costs to get an all access pass to St. Peters and the Vatican... Also, no Pope sightings, though I'm sure he would have grabbed a drink with us if he knew we were in the 'hood.
Pompei. Our first thought on getting into Pompei and seeing the ruins was, why on earth has no one made a shirt that say, "I got Ruined in Pompei" all the same, the ruins were amazing! got to see more dead bodies that had been preserved, and also got to the top of Mt. Vesuvius! Which was incredible! we got up there on a clear blue day, and had a blast collecting as many volcanic rocks as we could manage. we thought they'd make great stocking stuffers.
From there it was a quick 38 hour train ride to spain, where were reporting live from now. San Sebastian is great so far, and we'll update again soon!!
E, C, & K!!
Location: Cinque Terra & Venizia, Italy
Ciao Ciao! Were in Italia now, first stop was Cinque Terra, probably the most beautiful place in the world.. but certainly not the biggest. it consists of 5 small fishing villages that line 8 miles (were not bright enough to convert in to km) of rocky coast in North West Italy. We spent a few days in the biggest of the towns, Monterosso--great food, nice people, and a single street. The highlight was the 6 hour hike we took from Monterosso all the way through the other towns. The brilliant aqua sea to our right, and lush olive groves to our left---not too bad at all. We really roughed it, and at one point hike leader Sierra forged her own unbeaten path, and led us to a nice quiet, secluded spot. We've spoken to health experts, and are confident that this spurt of excercise has burned off at least 50 croissants, which is excellent news for us.
Speaking of excercise... we had a nice run to catch our train to Venice and lucked out with two adorable seatmates. They told us all about Venice and its hotspots. most notably, how to find a hotel. Venice--absolutely beautiful. equipped with four rather active imaginations, it was just like a fairytale. seriously. if you dont believe us, go rent Cassanova staring Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller. obviously a film of high quality. For a nice bookend to our 24 hours in Venice, we ran, yet again for our first, and second trains to Florence. Andiamo Raggaze!!!!
Location: Marsielle & Cannes, France
Salut Loyal Followers!!! Weve been busy tracing our way along the southern coast of France, namely in Marsielle and Cannes (alas not durring the film festivals, although we didnt see any of our celeb pals, we did see quite a few lookalikes..or as kate calls them, doppelgangers. namely mr. rod stewart. (erin is certain it really was him. said his hair was instantly recognizable.)
To put all this in perspective, while most of you NH residents were experinceing the first frost of the season, we were regretting we didnt bring sunscreen. the beaches are gorgeous, and so are the 70 year old topless broads who gave themselves over to skin cancer long ago. Highlights include: hitting the 2 week mark, great morrocan food, hundreds (maybe thousands) of pastries, forgetting about the fall back time change, yachts, yachts, and more yachts, and running for just a few trains.
Bonjour! This is Caitlin and Kate. We are in Marseille now, finally. We had our first travel kink the other day. We planned to go to Marseille but according to our ticket officer (who goes down as the second unfriendly Frenchman we've met) all the trains for the entire day were full. So we "rolled with it" and took a train to Toulouse, a city known for it's rose-colored architecture. However, it was a bit more of a dive than we thought, or at least the area close to the train station where we found a hotel. So instead we hopped on another train to Lourdes (you may recognize that as the name of Madoona's daughter, trust me it is no coincidence). Lourdes is known for it's most famous resident, Bernadette, now SAINT Bernadette. As a kid Bernzo saw 18 apparitions of the virgin Mary now it is a big pilgrimage site, to the tune of 5 million people a year. Now there is a huge church and a small stream (which actually comes out of a neat little fawcet system) that supposedly heals people...ie, cripples come in wheelchairs and braces and leave on their own two feet. Aside from the obvious humor in such a place it was really neat to observe all the people who were really moved, although we didn't see any miracles. We splashed in the holy water, poured some on erin's stomqch to heal her Chrons, then poured some on Kate's face in hopes that she would become beautiful, and Sierra drank some to cure her sore throat. No luck. What was lucky however was on the way back there was an accident on another train so we were re-routed to buses. Apparently these things must happen all the time because the French just sat down, pulled out their guitars, smoked some cigs and milled around. Erin was so flustered by the whole situation she went into the men's room... So then our bus came and we pilled on but as we left we got in our first bus accident! OUr drive backed into a lamp post; apparently also nothing new to the French since we gqve ourselves away as Americans when we started laughing. We finally got to Marseille this morning and walked down to the waterfront. We have been surrounded by Victoria Beckham look alikes and we are scanning the water for P.Diddy's yacht...otherwise I think we will enjoy the local seafood and relax for a few days. Now I have to go rescue Kate from our very friendly neighbor at the internet cafe...
LOVE, Caitlin, Kate, Erin, Sierra and the internet cafe guy
Location: Bordeaux, France
So we've moved on from Paris and after some tough travelling we have made it to Bordeaux. One struggle that keeps coming up is our panic to get off public transportation...when we're not even at the stops yet. French doors can be tricky, we'll try and cqpture it in film for you all. After the Louvre we had a great dinner at an Indian place where they served us a mint tabacco hookah. The next day we left for Tours. It felt like a fake city, the buildings were really old and medival looking. We only spent a night there but our care taker Gerald made us feel at home. We're finally realizing how little French we know now that we're out of Paris. Sierra is picking it up like a pro, though. We are now in Bordeaux in a "questionqble" hotel. The city is a lot bigger than we thought and it's beautiful. Tomorrow we are off to Marseille, where we're sure to find an adventure on our 6 hour train ride. We'll update again there and hopefully with more pictures and funnier stories.
Love, The Girls
Location: Paris, France
We are in Paris right now, at the Aloha hostel (how French). We got in a few days ago and have walked nearly the whole city since then. We are trying to get the tourist spots done and are making some good progress. Eiffel tower, Louvre, D'Orsay, Notre Dame, Arc De Triomphe, Champs-Elysees... We have also done a fair share of cafe sitting, croissant eating, getting lost, drinking wine and sleeping in a small, slightly smelly bunk-bed room. Paris is unreal though, it's so old and beautiful and there are gardens and parks everywhere. We would all move here--if we could afford it. My French is getting us by, but not by much...We're heading to the markets tomorrow and Versaille in the afternoon. Then the D-Day beaches and Mont St-Micheal on Sunday. Hopefully we will be in Provence by early next week. We'll try and update some pictures too...we've got some great ones.
Caitlin, Kate, Erin & Sierra