I’m sitting in my hotel lobby (that’s a story to be told a little later) in Bari, Italy ready to catch up from the last couple days.
First, here is a picture of some beautiful ladies dressed up for the Farewell Croatia Super party we had Saturday night:
After the super, we all walked down to Nichola’s bar to watch the USA-England World Cup Match. It was great! Half the bar were Americans and half the bar were English! Lots of friendly banter went back and forth and at the end of the night, it was a tie – so we could all walk away friends. All the Americans stood and sang the National Anthem loud and proud (none of the Brits did! – and never mind that we messed up some of the words.) We chanted “USA! USA! USA!” as often as we could, and the whole night was filled with extreme Patriotism! We all love traveling overseas, but there’s no place like home:
I can honestly say that I only had one beer the entire length of the game. It just happened to be this large mammoth that gave me calluses on my hands lifting! And yes, that mug did go in my purse at the end of the night:
Sunday was departure day :( I had such a great time in Croatia! But I was super excited to get back to Italy. This is our ferry that we took (and I didn’t even feel sick one time!):
And a beautiful sunset 8 hours later when we finally arrived:
Me on the boat:
Then, the drama began. I followed the instructions from my hostel EXACTLY and after an hour and a half of walking, searching for it (following the instruction EXACTLY), I still couldn’t find the place that was only supposed to be a 300 meter walk. An hour and a half carrying my luggage around in the humidity! I was supposed to meet the Mazza’s for dinner, I was dripping in sweat, had needed to use the restroom since I got off the boat, and was no where near finding the place than when I started despite asking for help a dozen times (no one here speaks English – which I actually love about it – it means the place isn’t crawling with tourists!), so I gave up and just got a room at the first place I could find that had vacancy (thank you, Uncle Chase Mastercard!)
Then, when I get in my room, after about 30 seconds, all of which I spent pulling my luggage in, all the lights go out – even the AC – and I’m thinking a fuse blew. I feel around in the dark and can’t get anything turned on, so I decide to open the door so I could use the light from the hall, but the handle of the door fell off in my hand. So I was trapped in my dark room after spending an hour and a half carrying my luggage around. I was ready to shout obscenities at the top of my lungs! But I found a slot to fit my room key into and when I put the key in, everything came back on!
I made it to dinner with the Mazzas (Danny and Bonnie were on the study abroad as well and here with me, but in a different hotel.) The local cuisine is amazing! If I never eat another piece of pork nor another stewed vegetable for the rest of my life, I will be beyond OK with that.
So a great meal with good friends and a nice long shower to watch the filth off me, and my spirits were amazingly lifted! The bed here at the Grand Hotel Leon d’Oro is the softest I’ve had so far and it’s right across from the train station where I need to be in the morning. Breakfast at the hotel was full of real, fresh fruit and delicious pastries – amazing by European standards!
And now I’m sitting in the lobby interneting. Bonnie is meeting me here (Danny is taking the day to do the final!) in about 10-15 minutes and we’re going to explore this old town full of ancient Roman walls and charming churches and beautiful people. Italy plays it’s first World Cup Match tonight, so I’m sure that will be on my agenda as well.
In the morning, I hop on a train in an effort to get to Zurich. I’m pretty sure I have to go to Milan first, so I think the whole ride is going to take between 12-16 hours. Boooooo! But hopefully, I’ll see some cool countryside and be able to find my hostel in Zurich! Then, Wednesday, I’ll explore Zurich on my own. And then, Thursday, I’ll wake up, taxi to the airport, and fly HOME!