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Unwinding in Paris

Sunday, October 20, 2013 @ 08:37 pm from France France
Day 116

The train ride into Paris wasn't too bad last night. The bottom bunks (which I was on) were weird because the backrest for when they are seats was still there so it was really awkward sleeping. Aside from that, the fact that the train didn't get into Paris until 10:20am meant I wasn't rushed to wake up. Even though sleeping on the train isn't the best sleep ever, I slept off and on until about 8:30. I ate a donut for breakfast that I had bought back in Italy before departing.

I changed into some jeans before getting into the station and then started my 2.5 mile walk from the Gare du Lyon station up to the Gare du Nord station where I'd catch the train up to the airport (where my hotel is at). It was actually much warmer than I was expecting it to be in Paris. It had just rained but was only partly cloudy out so the humidity was pretty high. I was actually starting to sweat in my jeans, short sleeve shirt and jacket.

I made a few detours since I was staying at the airport away from easy access to food. I first bought some apples to snack on throughout the next 24 hours. The next stop was a place that was selling pastries so I bought a croissant for breakfast in the morning. I stumbled across another busy bakery that was selling sandwiches so I bought one for dinner.

For lunch I had a chicken doner sandwich and some frites which was nice and filling. I went into the Gare du Nord station and bought a one way ticket up to the Charles de Gaulle airport and scoped out where I'll be meeting Holly tomorrow morning. Next I took the shuttle down to my hotel and checked in.

This is the first time I've had a room for myself without other people around or having to share a shower since my 2nd week when I stayed at a hotel in Limmerick Ireland. I checked in around 1:30pm and haven't done anything all afternoon aside from read, listen to music on the TV (French and random pop songs) and eat dinner. It's so nice being able to have some time to not do anything and not have to deal with shared living spaces.

Caio Italia, Bonjour Paris

Saturday, October 19, 2013 @ 05:18 pm from Italy Italy
Day 115

I've covered quite a bit of distance today. I started off in Naples, Italy at my hostel (Hostel of the Sun). After eating and packing I went to the Napoli Centrale train station and got on my train to Rome. I arrived in Rome a little after 12pm and went in search of a bag check so I could go explore the town for a few hours before my train to Paris left.

After a few minutes I finally found the baggage drop off point but there was a pretty heavy line. Rather than wait in line for a half hour and pay 5 euros to drop off my bag, I just sucked it up and carried it around with me. I set off to the Colosseum first. Unfortunately they had a large section of it behind scaffolding. I guess that's one of the disadvantages of visiting big monuments in the off season.

I saw the Roman Forums which are next to the Colosseum and then walked over to the Pantheon. Along the way I stopped at a grocery and got some apples and a to-go sandwich and ate lunch in the shade of the Pantheon.

From my last trip to Rome back in 2008 I remembered a really really good gelato place. It has over 150 different flavors, all of which are delicious. I wanted to see if I could remember where it was and find it without checking my map but unfortunately I was off by a street.

When I got to it, I ordered a pistachio stracciatella / Kit Kat gelato. Both flavors were really good. With plenty of time to burn I went over to the Piazza del Popolo and then looped back to the train station. Carrying around my big backpack plus my small backpack in my hand and the heat of the day kept me from running around more. I had time to run to the Vatican but it would be only to snap a photo. I still remember it from last time I was here so I didn't feel the need.

On the way back to the train station I ran into a guy who was staying at the same hostel as me in Naples. It's pretty funny how run-ins like this happen with as much frequency as they do. Another example was a girl at the hostel in Naples was talking about how she did a little bit of traveling with one of the guys who I stayed with at my hostel in Florence. Another "small world" moment.

Back at the train station I bought two small wine juice boxes and a donut for the train (the wine for tonight with some sandwiches I made earlier and the donut for breakfast). Fortunately I found an outlet in a waiting area at the train station so I can do some last minute charging of my devices and sit in comfort while waiting for my train.

I'm set to arrive in Paris a little after 10am tomorrow morning. I'm glad I don't arrive too early. The last couple of night journey's I've done have gotten me in around 6am which makes it hard to get a full night's sleep. When I get into Paris I'll do a little shopping so I can buy some food for dinner and breakfast for my hotel. It's going to be quite the shock having a 20+ degree drop in temperatures from southern Italy up to Paris. It's been nice wearing shorts and t-shirts for the last couple of weeks.
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The Colosseum (under construction)
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Gelateria Della Palma (the greatest gelateria in the world)
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Dome in the Pantheon

Last Day in Naples

Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 10:02 pm from Italy Italy
Day 114

I didn't really have any kind of plan for the day. I got up, ate breakfast, handed off my laundry to the staff at the hostel and then set out to find a reading area with a nice view. Unfortunately between the lack of public benches, the lack of shade and the overwhelming presence of flies I had a hard time finding somewhere to relax.

I hopped around a few places until it was time to seek out some lunch. First I picked up another spice pack that I can use in Paris (it's a similar spice pack to what I got in the Cinque Terre... garlic, red pepper, oregano, salt, and some other stuff). After that I went in search of another quick and easy folded up pizza for lunch.

I ended up at Di Matteo again since they were constantly churning out new pizzas every few minutes. They were fresh out when I showed up so I saw them make mine from scratch, throw it in the oven for a few minutes and then wrapped it up in paper for me all in front of my eyes.

Like I mentioned yesterday, the pizza al forno is a great and cheap way to get pizza on the go. They're a little smaller than a normal pizza but perfect for a lunch portion. They don't really have as much cheese on them either but the flavor is amazing. They fold them in half, then in half again and wrap it in some paper and give it to you to eat while walking around. If you can find them hot and fresh there's nothing better. I've seen some shops that have a bunch of them sitting in little cases but at Di Matteo they're constantly being purchased and made.

After eating I came back to the hostel to read, answer emails and relax the rest of the day. Being my 4th full day here I didn't really feel the need to be outside all day. I guess that's one of the perks of long term travel.

Before dinner I gathered up my laundry that had been air drying and then went back up to the kitchen to make a mix of peas and corn with a side of bread and dipping oil. After eating I was absolutely stuffed and read in the lounge for a bit before finishing the half bottle of wine I had left over from last night.

At 7:00 tonight the hostel organized an outing to a local pizza place where they tried a bunch of different types of pizzas. If I wasn't so stuffed I would have tried it out. There was a pretty big group that took advantage of it.

Tomorrow I have a train booked for 11am to take me up to Rome. I'll have about 7 hours in Rome before my overnight train leaves for Paris. I'm planning on dropping my bag off in the luggage storage area at the train station and exploring Rome quickly. I was there for a few days several years ago but it'll be cool to see the Colosseum again.
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Pizza al forno at Di Matteo
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Pizza al forno takeaway

Naples from High and Low

Thursday, October 17, 2013 @ 06:51 pm from Italy Italy
Day 113

Today was great weather for walking around and exploring Naples. I didn't really have a plan when I left the hostel this morning but I knew I wanted to see the old Castel dell'Ovo down on the water as well as the extremely awesome views up at Castel Sant'Elmo.

I started off by heading to Castel dell'Ovo and passed through the Galleria Umberto on the way. It's a big glass enclosed block that's filled with all kinds of food shops and stores. I was there too early for much of anything to be open though. From there I went through Piazza del Plebiscito but they had a bunch of tents set up in the big piazza which ruined the view a bit. A short walk later and I was at the castle.

There's no admission to enter the castle which is cool. I walked around and saw some good views of the port and Mt Vesuvius. I stayed there for a little while taking photos and enjoying the view. I could see the Castel Sant'Elmo towering above the city and knew I should probably start working my way over there.

There's a tram that runs up and down the big hill but I didn't have any real change for the ticket machines. Instead, I decided I could get some exercise and walk up there. Getting up there took me through all kinds of narrow bricked streets filled with crazy mopeds and hole in the wall markets and convenience stores. I was definitely out of the tourist area back in those streets.

Eventually I found the main road that would lead me up to the castle. After winding around a bit and dodging mopeds and cars I made it to a huge staircase that took me the rest of the way up.

The Castel Sant'Elmo costs 5 euros to get into which is actually pretty cheap compared to a lot of the big sites. I guess I was there early enough because it was deserted. The views from the ramparts up there were amazing. You don't truly realize just how much Naples expands into the surrounding areas. Since the castle is the highest point around Naples, you can see pretty much 360 degrees around the city.

It was almost noon so I went back into town to hunt down some pizza. I made it back to the main drag and realized there are a couple different styles of pizza consumption in Naples. Most of the younger crowd and locals get the 1 euro margarita pizzas that are a little smaller but are folded up and wrapped in paper so you can eat them on the go. With no real need to pay an extra 2.50 for a marginally larger pizza that has a little more cheese, I got one of the "to-go" pizzas and another arancini and ate it in a small square.

The pizza I got was literally fresh out of the oven when I bought it (I saw them making, baking and pulling it out) and it tasted amazing. Eating it like a 4 layered sandwich was a little awkward at first but it works surprisingly well if you use the paper they give you to keep the sauce in check.

Since my lunch was pretty big, I wanted to have another light dinner so I got some peas, corn, bread and some wine from a market on the way back to the hostel. I thought the wine was on special for 2.99 but apparently it wasn't so I'm going to be trying a 5 euro bottle of wine tonight. We'll see how it tastes!

Back at the hostel I answered emails and read for a while before making dinner. I'll probably do the same the rest of the night while enjoying my wine. I have a full day here in Naples tomorrow and I'm not really sure what I'm going to do yet. I know I'm definitely going to do some laundry but they do all of the washing and drying for 3 euros which is a pretty good deal.
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Naples looking northwest
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Vesuvius from Castel dell'Ovo
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Me on top of Castel Sant'Elmo
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Old and New Naples

Subterranean Naples, Arancini and Pizza

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 04:52 pm from Italy Italy
Day 112

Since it was supposed to rain today I didn't really have much planned. The only things on my list were to get some local food and possibly go on the subterranean Naples tour.

After eating breakfast I worked for a couple hours and booked a flight from Paris to Barcelona where I'll be staying for a week. The flight ended up being about $100 cheaper than an 11 hour train ride would have been. Easy choice. A week in Barcelona will be nice since everyone I've talked to while traveling has said nothing but good things about it... plus it has several beaches I can relax on.

It poured down rain for a while but stopped around 11 so I changed and headed out to go find some lunch. I went up to Gino Sorbillo's Pizzeria but they didn't open until noon. There were a few other recommended pizza joints along that street so I went down to see if they were open. The next one on my list, Di Matteo, was open. I didn't see a menu or anything outside listing the pizza prices but what did catch my eye was something I'd read about in Saveur magazine about a year ago. They're rice balls that have been filled with cheese, pasta sauce and peas, then they're breaded and fried. These rice balls of awesomeness are called arancini (Arancini on Wikipedia). I couldn't pass this up, and for 1 euro they couldn't be beat.

While walking around eating my arancini I came across the entrance to the guided tours of the Naples underground. There were a bunch of people gathered around and I guessed a tour was starting soon (apparently they only start every 2 hours). People were just aimlessly standing around but I saw some people paying for tickets so I made my way through the crowd and bought a ticket. Apparently that was for the Italian guided tour that was starting so I just had to stand back and wait about 10 minutes for the Italian group and then a French group to start.

We made our way down a bunch of steps into the old aquifer the Greek original built under the city. Apparently at it's greatest size, the underground tunnels spread for over 200 kilometers. What we were standing on was only refurbished around the time of WW2 when they were used as bomb shelters. For hundreds of years trash was dumped down in the tunnels so before they were converted into bomb shelters all of the trash was simply covered with concrete. If the trash wasn't there, the tunnels would have been about 5 meters taller than they are now.

The tour talked about the various uses, how people got water out through wells, how ancient people had to walk around in there with oil lamps burning around their neck with skimmers to keep the water clean and more. Some family brought what looked like a 3 month old baby on the tour which started bawling its eyes out about half way through the tour. They're actually doing some experimenting with growing plants down there. The temperature is so constant and the air is so humid that they can actually keep plants alive without watering them for up to 7 months.

After the aquifer section, we came up and then went over to check out some of the old amphitheater that was forgot about and only recently discovered in the foundations and walls of existing homes. We entered through what used to be an old lady's wine cellar. Behind all the plaster in her cellar was actually a big hallway that the actors would run through as well as one of the changing rooms. All of the old roman brickwork was still there (apparently they mixed large horizontal bricks with diamond shaped ones to help prevent damage during earth quakes).

After the tour ended I walked back to Gino Sorbillo's but the crowd outside was massive. Not really wanting to wait that long for a pizza I went back to Di Matteo but it was the same way... super crowded! There was one more place that I had on my list that wasn't really by any of the tourist areas so I headed over there. Sure enough the line there was crazy as well. Getting pretty hungry at this point I just started walking back toward Gino Sorbillo's and eventually found another pizza place that only had a couple people in line. I could handle waiting a few minutes so I ordered a Margarita pizza (the original with tomato, mozzarella and basil). What I didn't realize is how big the pizza would be. I still ate the entire thing though and it was amazing. I'll check out the other places later in the week at different times when there hopefully won't be as many people.

I'm back at the hostel now and will have some more wine with dinner which will probably be pretty light since between the arancini and the giant pizza I'm still pretty full. The forecast for tomorrow looks good so I'll spend it doing some more sight seeing in town.
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Underground Naples - original plaster on walls from the greek aquifer
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Experimenting with growing plants in the underground
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Pots would be lowered from the surface to collect water
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Got to have some pizza in Naples

Mt. Vesuvius Destruction - Herculaneum and Pompeii

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 @ 08:18 pm from Italy Italy
Day 111

Last night I went out for a glass of wine with two of my bunkmates when they wanted dinner. Everyone says Naples is some crazy scary city but we were out walking around for a good half hour after 10:30pm and didn't feel unsafe at all. I think as long as you're smart about it and avoid shady looking areas you'll be fine. That being said, it was nice being in a small group too.

This morning I got up at 8 to eat and figure out where I was visiting today. I rechecked the weather and saw that today was supposed to be dry but tomorrow is going to be rainy so I got a ticket to Herculaneum after breakfast. The guy selling tickets got confused and only gave me a one-way ticket which I didn't think would be an issue since everywhere else I've been in Italy I could buy tickets at the station.

It took about 20 minutes to get to Herculaneum, which is another town that was destroyed by Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. Herculaneum was a much smaller city than Pompeii and due to the type of lava flows that hit it, it had some much better preserved structures, murals and original wood used in the houses.

Since I knew I wanted to visit both Pompeii and Herculaneum I bought a multi-site card that ended up saving me a couple euros. I walked around Herculaneum and was trying to avoid one giant tour group after another. I thought I had gotten there early enough to beat them but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

This brings me to a side point I've been noticing a lot in Italy... I'm so glad I'm doing this trip now instead of 40 years from now when I can't walk up stairs or be outside in the sun for more than 15 minutes. Watching and hearing some of the people in these tour groups makes them sound like they're hating every minute and they'd rather be back on the cruise ship or air conditioned bus.

I was able to see just about everything in Herculaneum due to its small size and I still had half the day ahead of me. I was talking with one of the guys in my dorm room this morning and he said he hit both Herculaneum and Pompeii in one day yesterday. I figured I could do the same.

I hiked back uphill to the train station but the ticket counter was closed (even though there was a guy in there seemingly chilling) and there weren't any automatic booths. Pompeii was on the same train line just 20 minutes farther away so I said screw it and got on the train without any kind of valid ticket.

In the 13 days I've been in Italy so far (and the overwhelming train travel I've been doing), I've only had my ticket checked once and that was on the long haul between Florence and Naples. Of course no one came by and I got off in Pompeii and beat the lines with my multi-site card I bought at Herculaneum.

I didn't realize just how massive the Pompeii site actually was. I got in and was overwhelmed by the labyrinth of streets and buildings everywhere. I spent several hours walking around and checking out the various buildings. Quite a bit of the area was actually closed off due to excavations and renovations.

By the time I was ready to head back to the train station I was completely lost. There are multiple entrances and exits to the site and it took me about a half hour just to find my way back to the entrance I came in (directly across from the train station).

Back at the station I was debating not getting another ticket but I decided since it was under 3 euros to get back to Naples I should go ahead and do it. The trip took about 45 minutes and dumped me off about a 15 minute walk from the hostel. On the way back I went to a market and got some bread and a bottle of Chianti for dinner.

I was pretty hungry by the time I got to the hostel so I went up to the kitchen (which is on the 7th floor and my room is on the 2nd) an cut up the rest of my head of broccoli and green beans I bought yesterday. I mixed them with the Cinque Terre spices and olive oil again and with the bread and wine it turned into a very filling meal.

I didn't realize that every Tuesday they do a free dinner which would have been nice to try, even though it was going to be nothing but carbs and starches (potatos, pasta, tomatoes, onions and parsley) which I guess is a regional dish here. I was much happier with my greens.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow so I'll just stick around Naples. Apparently there's a pretty good tour of the catacombs and Naples underground that runs every 2 hours so I might try that tomorrow if it does end up raining. I'm also planning to start my pizza eating extravaganza tomorrow. There are several places that have been recommended both by random travelers, the hostel staff and the Saveur magazine.

One thing I've noticed a lot in Italy, especially in the south, is the extreme change in personality between complete and utter laziness/uncaring/not-giving-a-shit mentality when it comes to pretty much everything (including serving food, keeping a shop open, smoking, etc) but as soon as you put a southern italian behind the wheel, their entire mindset suddenly goes bipolar and they turn into the most insane, wreckless, aggressive and hurried drivers I've seen so far this trip.

There's no such thing as stopping for red lights, lanes don't matter (I see mopeds driving against traffic on the other side of dividers), taxis will drive up onto sidewalks to get around a small line of cars and the use of a horn happens every few seconds when driving.

Trying to cross streets is like throwing all survival instincts behind and just hoping that you won't get hit. Since all red lights are pretty much ignored, you can't even rely on designated crosswalks to get across busy intersections. It's really weird coming from the States where people, for the most part, are pretty good at following road rules.
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Mosaic in Herculaneum
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Shop in Herculaneum
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Canyon? Are you a time traveling dog from Pompeii?

Down to Naples

Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 04:44 pm from Italy Italy
Day 110

I went to the train station and bought my train ticket for Naples which departed Florence at 11am. It was a direct train down to Naples that only took about 3 hours. It was nice not having to worry about connections and changing trains.

Naples is a giant city. I didn't really realize just how big it was going to be. I walked from the train station to the hostel and it seemed like the entire city is one giant melting pot of cultures, food and shops. Naples is also a coastal city with a big port that cruise ships use as a base.

Upon checking into the hostel, I was given a map and shown quite a few places to visit in the city as well as information on how to get to Herculaneum and Pompeii. I have 4 full days here so I'm not sure when I'll head out and visit those sites but I plan on spending at least one full day out exploring Naples and eating pizza.

I walked around a bit but it was really busy again here so I bought some groceries and came back to the hostel to get dinner ready. I'll probably take it easy tonight since I've been staying up pretty late the last few nights in Florence.

Crowded and Busy Florence

Sunday, October 13, 2013 @ 04:16 pm from Italy Italy
Day 109

Wine time last night was another success. There were about 8 of us and we went through 6 liters of wine through the course of the night. I went to bed around 1:15am and got up around 9am.

After breakfast I thought I'd give walking around town another shot to see if maybe it wasn't going to be as crowded today. One thing I didn't account for was some sort of 5k charity run/walk that seemed to bring in thousands of people. The entire city was filled with people wearing these yellow shirts and who had just finished a run. Between all of those people and the normal tourists, the city was mobbed.

I walked around a little bit more but didn't feel like dealing with the mess of people so I found a park and relaxed there for a bit and had lunch before coming back to the hostel. Back at the hostel I've just been doing work and more research on Paris information as well as where to visit when I'm in Naples starting tomorrow afternoon.

Florence is a beautiful city but with these kinds of crowds I just can't enjoy it. I didn't even make it into any of the museums that contain some world famous artwork and statues because the lines were taking an hour and a half just to get inside, then you have to contend with tour groups and tourists all trying to see the same things. I'm really hoping Pompeii and Herculaneum down by Naples aren't as crowded.

People Everywhere!

Saturday, October 12, 2013 @ 06:58 pm from Italy Italy
Day 108

Last night everyone stayed up pretty late talking, eating snacks and drinking the free wine produced by the hostel owner's grandpa. It's really nice to be in a small hostel full of fellow travelers instead of giant groups of people.

I didn't set an alarm this morning and got up around 9am, ate and then hung out at the hostel for a while. The forecast was calling for rain all day which is why I wasn't really in a hurry. When it looked like it wasn't actually going to rain I went out and started to walk around Florence.

Florence itself is pretty big but most of the big sights are within the old city walls and within easy walking distance. The closer I got to the Piazza del Duomo, the more and more people were out. By the time I got there it was basically wall to wall tourists everywhere. I walked around the leather markets where there were more massive amounts of people, then headed over to the Ponte Vecchio (the famous old bridge) and again, tons and tons of people.

It was a big mix of huge tour groups, people randomly stopping or changing direction in front of you, people trying to get photos across extremely busy walkways, street vendors trying to sell you stuff, mopeds and bicyclists flying all over the place and police and other random vehicles making their way through the streets.

I was thinking about getting a leather jacket here since Florence is supposed to be famous for its leather work but all of the stalls in the leather market had the same stuff and the stores just seemed to be filled with pushy sales people. If I had a better idea of what I was looking for it might have been easier but instead I didn't want to deal with the mess.

In order to avoid some of the crowds I walked up a big hill overlooking the city called the Piazza Michelangelo. It had some great views of Florence so I hung out there for a little while before heading down. On the way down I ran into one of the guys from the hostel who told me about a really good gelato place up the street. Since I hadn't had any gelato in Italy yet I decided to go get some.

I had some kind of dark sesame flavor and another flavor named after their establishment. I ate the gelato by the river then plowed my way back through the crowds to get to the grocery and then back to the hostel.

I answered some emails and read a little while before making dinner. A few new people showed up at the hostel so tonight I'm sure we'll have another good wine time.

The weather tomorrow is supposed to be really nice but I really don't want to deal with more tour groups and clogged up streets so I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.
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Ponte Vecchio
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Baptistry of St John
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Florence from Piazza Michelangelo
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Gelato from Santa Trinita

Back to Florence

Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 07:26 pm from Italy Italy
Day 107

I arrived in Florence on my flight from Vienna but immediately jumped on a train to Lucca so I didn't really get to see any of the city other than from the air and train.

My train from Riomaggiore today didn't leave until 10:45am so I took my time getting ready. I had breakfast, packed up, bought a few pieces of artwork from the guy named Oliver who lives at the hostel for 5 months out of the year to sell his paintings, then had a real early lunch of focaccia bread with cheese and pesto which was abnormally delicious. I'm going to have to start making that when I get home.

The train went from Riomaggiore to La Spezia, then from La Spezia to Pisa and finally from Pisa to Florence. All of the trains were pretty much on time and I arrived to a nice sunny day in Florence around 2:00pm.

It was only about a mile walk to the hostel so I did that rather than take a bus. The hostel doesn't really have any sign out other than the name on a door buzzer but it was easy to find. I checked in and the staff gave some great suggestions on where to visit in the city and highlighted a bunch of spots on a map.

The hostel itself is really small and has some great vibes. There are only enough beds for 12 people split among a couple rooms which is also nice. Another great thing about this hostel is every night at 9pm they do a Tuscan wine tasting with some snacks for free. There's also a book exchange which I've been missing the last several places I've stayed. I still think you can tell the character of a hostel based on the kind of books it has in its exchange (if there even is one).

I went down to the grocery and bought some food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next couple of nights. There isn't a full kitchen here but they have a refrigerator and a microwave/oven combo which is more than enough for me.

The market had some pre-made spaghetti that I could microwave so I had that with some sauce, bread as well as some peas and carrots that I could microwave.

Since then I've been doing more research into Paris and making sure all loose ends are tied up for when Holly arrives.

The forecast is calling for rain all day tomorrow which is a shame. Fortunately on Sunday it's supposed to be perfect so that'll be at least one full day of exploring. I'm planning on heading down to the leather markets tomorrow if the rain lets up to check out the supposedly world famous markets. I've been jonesing for a leather jacket for years so I might buy one if I can find one for a good deal.

No pics today since it was just a travel day and I didn't get to see any of the sights in my walk to the hostel. It also feels liberating to have access to wifi and a data connection again. It's funny how reliant we are on a constant connection to the world, whether it's for maps, researching destinations, running language translations or just keeping up with Facebook and my blog.
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Where I've been:

Good Evening… Planet Earth
All the countries I visited on this trip (in yellow).

What's this about?

Traveling is something I've loved doing for as long as I can remember. I've been lucky enough to travel out of the US a few times but never longer than 2 weeks at a time. I decided that I should go see the world and experience all it has to offer. I booked a one-way ticket to Dublin, Ireland to depart on June 26, 2013. After I get to Europe I'll let serendipity take hold and see where I end up. No schedules and no itinerary… just go with the flow. That's as close to a plan as I'm making.

Who am I?

My name's Brandon O'Brien and I'm a travelholic. Before this journey I've been to 11 countries and put over 17,500 miles on various motorcycle trips through the USA and Canada. I'm a self-employed web developer so I'm fortunate enough to be able to work anywhere there's an internet connection. That's what truly made this experience possible.


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