Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cruising :)

Ok so I'm not gonna lie:  I have always been one of those people who make fun of cruises.  I think about how cliché they are, and how it's like taking a vacation with 2,000 people you don't know and having every minute planned with them... I don't know I've never seen the appeal.  I was quite wrong.  Cruises are awesome!!  There is always something planned for you to do, if you want, like volleyball on the deck, the food is free and there's plenty of it, and when you go to explore a city you have a guide that knows where they're going.  It was actually a lot of fun.  Here was my itinerary:


This day was mostly a loading day, getting settled, meeting the crew, and exploring a little bit of the Spanish island Palma de Mallorca.  I loved it.  It was very interesting because most of the store owners spoke German even though it's a Spanish-speaking region because the number of German tourists is so high.  That night was a late night celebration for taking off, and we also stayed up until midnight to celebrate my eighteenth birthday (picture below).


My birthday was the one and only sea day, a day where we made no stops.  We lounged on the deck, I read books, listened to music, swam.  It was nice to really relax for the first time in two months on my birthday.  


We stopped on the island of Corsica on the third day.  Our activities for the day were visiting a turtle park and going to the beach.  Yes, I said a turtle park.  Initially, I was quite interested in the turtle park because a) I had never been to one, b) I have friends that LOVE turtles, and c) turtles are cool.  When we got there and started looking around, we couldn't see any turtles... It was too cold out and they were all in there little incubated areas.  But then we kept walking and found the turtles that were willing to brave the cold and come be fed by us.  These turtles were humungous! I have videos and pics for people who want to see.  It had warmed up by the time we went to the beach, and for those of you that know I'm beach crazy, you can imagine how excited I was to get to swim in the ocean.  Well, the water was so cold that at first I didn't notice how different it was from any ocean I had swum in before.  The water was crystal clear.  I could see my entire body as if I weren't in water, and I could see everything else too.  I was surrounded by fish.  It was awesome.


In Rome I did a panoramic tour of the entire city, which was really interesting since I got to see everything in a nut shell.  Then we had free time and my host family and I went exploring.  The street we took, however, was the most exciting part of Rome for me :)  It was, of course, the shopping street.  Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Gucci, Tiffany's, Mui Mui, Missoni, etc. Right there!  I didn't get to go into any though :/


In Pisa we did the obvious:  We visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  I found the stone that the tower was made of to be very beautiful since it was so white and gleaming.  We also almost missed our bus back here and had to run to catch it.... yeah that was an interesting site let me tell you.


This was probably my favorite day because we saw so much and heard about so much interesting history, not to mention we were in a very rich area where the taxis were BMWs and such.  In Monte Carlo the normal streets that cars drive on had diamonds mixed into them so that the streets glinted in the sun.  Beautiful, and horribly expensive.  Monte Carlo is also home to the casino where the first of the modern James Bond movies was shot.  So cool to actually be in the place where those scenes were shot.  


In Barcelona my host parents split from the host kids and me.  The host kids and I went on a bike tour for the entire day through Barcelona. If I had known that Barcelona is quite hilly, I think I would have rethought my choice to do the bike tour.  All in all though, I bet the bike tour was the best way to see an awesome city from head to toe, and my legs didn't hurt... that much... afterwards :)

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