Amalfi CoastSiena, Spring 2012

This weekend some friends and I headed down South to the Amalfi Coast area.  I was a little bit sad because it was going to be my last trip for the semester, but I was also so excited because it was going to be like a real vacation! The weather was supposed to be beautiful and we were actually staying at a hotel, not a hostel.  For anyone who has stayed in a hostel, you know that is a very big deal. We took a six hour long train on Friday afternoon from Florence to Salerno.  The hotel shuttle picked us up and we had a late dinner at the hotel restaurant (which turned out to be delicious, and we wound up eating there again). We all unanimously decided that Saturday would be our lazy day.  Since breakfast was included at the hotel, it was easy to get an early start at the pool.  It felt so great to lay in a lounge chair and soak up the sun.  We read, listened to music, and strolled on the beach.  Once we had had a sufficient amount of sun for the day, we ate some appetizers at the hotel, and then headed to a restaurant across the street for dinner. Sunday was a great day.  Previously, I had been unsure if I would be able to motivate myself to get off a lounge chair once I was in beautiful weather, but we decided to go on a day trip.  We spent the first half of the day in Pompeii and the second half in Sorrento.  It was surprisingly easy to get to both places, since the hotel shuttle took us to the train station and from there we only had to take one train. I was very impressed by Pompeii.  I had learned about this archaeological site in school, but actually seeing it was an amazing experience and I am so glad I ventured out.  There are so many homes, bath houses, and pieces of artwork that have been preserved since the time of Vesuvius' eruption (thousands of years ago).  We got lucky, it was almost too sunny.  It is a lot of walking and I could not have imagined doing it in cooler weather.  I was most fascinated by the dead bodies that have been preserved by the ash.  These people appear to be actually frozen in the position in which they died.  It's truly unbelievable. We took a train from Pompeii to Sorrento later on that afternoon.  Sorrento is a coastal town that is well known for their limoncella and other lemon products.  We saw so many lemons and lemon products everywhere we walked.  Some of these lemons were also HUGE, definitely the biggest I've ever seen.  Apparently these lemons have more of a sweet taste than the smaller, sour lemons that we're used to.  In Sorrento we had a leisurely lunch in a cute little restaurant relatively close to the water.  When we were finished, we walked down to the beach, and the views were gorgeous.  We spent our remaining time there walking around and shopping for Sorrento souvenirs- (which was mostly lemon themed food and post cards) as well as things such as jewelry and clothes.  By the time we got back to the hotel it was close to 9 and we were exhausted, but it was really a great day. Another memorable part of the weekend was when we went to the beach across the street from the hotel to watch the sunset.  It was so perfect to watch as the sun hid in the mountains.  We sat for a while taking pictures, and enjoying the warmth and the water.  I did my best to just appreciate where I was and and who I was with in that moment, because all of these wonderful places and people are within reach right now, but in about two weeks, they will all be gone. [caption id="attachment_39749" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Pompeii"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_39747" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="view in Sorrento"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_39746" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Friends and I at the beach at sunset"][/caption]
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