Kusadasi, Sorrento & Florence
End of June 2013
The ending of our cruise was upon us. We spent a day in Kusadasi, Turkey, where we walked about the Grand Bazaar of Kusadasi. There were thousands of rugs, bowls, lanterns and other handmade objects for sale. We were called the Spice Girls as we strolled through. Beautiful colors and smells and fabrics were all around us. It was spectacular. Later, we took a taxi to a very crowded, very hot beach. I could only last on the beach for an hour before I felt like I was at risk with my skin. I went back and relaxed on the ship.
Our last stop was in Naples, Italy. After much debate between visiting Sorrento or taking a tour at Pompeii, we decided to take a taxi down to Sorrento and see the beautiful, vibrant colors of the ocean. It was a quaint area with tons of south Italian culture. We spent the day lounging on a deck on the bright, blue sea.
Our last night on the ship was bittersweet. We felt as if we were reliving saying goodbye to our Switzerland classmates all over again. Over the course of 12 days, we became so close to our friends on the ship, and we had experienced so much together. Also, we were so very sad to say goodbye to our friends that worked on the ship, most importantly our waiters, Sampon and Marco. We felt like queens on the ship and never wanted to leave. Nevertheless, we had one last amazing dinner, entertainment show, and night at the dance club before we all went our own ways.
The girls and I were on our way to Rome to take a train to Florence to meet my parents, who were touring Italy for their 25th Anniversary. Once we finally made it to Florence, I went off on my own to visit my parents at their hotel. A few wrong turns down the leather market, a stroll by the Duomo and a walk over the Pontevecchio, I finally made it to see my parents for the first time in 7 weeks. I instantly burst into tears out of happiness. We walked around the bustling streets of Florence and settled into a quaint restaurant in the back streets. They regaled me with stories of their trip, and I was so happy to be in their presence. Later that night, Kayla, who had lived in Florence before, took us to her favorite restaurant, Anita’s, where we agreed we ate our favorite meal of the trip. Afterwards, we meandered the dark streets to go to Lion’s Fountain, a famous student bar in Florence. There, my parents and I met a few Irish couples and just enjoyed our time together.
The next morning, my parents and I took a private tour throughout Florence. My favorite part was getting to skip the line at the Academia and going to see the statue of David in person. I knew my Art History teacher in high school would be proud. After a long day of touring, I had to say goodbye to my parents before leaving Florence to go back to Geneva to finally fly home to the states.
Of course, there had to be a few more misfortunes before leaving Europe. Just to round out the trip. We didn’t have seats on the train from Florence and had to sit on the floor for a few hours. When we finally reached Geneva, we didn’t have a hotel room either, and we had to pay an extreme amount of money for one night. But hey, if we had learned anything these two months in Europe, it was that nothing will go as planned and you have to roll with the punches and smile.