I’m so sorry it’s been ages since we have posted. And apparently the keyboards in France are different to the rest of the world, but only slightly, therefore more annoying. Well after departing a very cloudy Slovenia and saying a sad goodbye to Niko Will and I headed for Italy and the farm. We did get a bit wet on the way but nothing too serious. Our first night in Italy was spent at a very fancy campsite near Ravenna, with a beach and some great facilities. We quickly realised that the price to camp in Western Europe was the same as a 2 star hotel in the East. The next day we raced down to Todi where we were met by my whole family. It was really great to see them again after such a long ti,e of traveling. I was also very glad to meet my aunt’s washing machine. My brother and Grace had also arrived at the farm only a few hours earlier. I was quite impressed that I remembered how to get there after 6 years but the farm still looked as beautiful as ever. The dam was full, the cherry trees were hanging heavy with giant, red cherries and I got to meet the two new dogs on the farm, Birba and Buc. I’m very proud to say I was named their Godmother.
We spent almost a whole week on the farm. It was so great to just relax and not move around from place to place. We went for walks everyday with the dogs, strolled through markets in Todi and had the most amazing food. The one meal that always stands out is a trip to Titignano. This meal consists of about 6 courses of the most amazing home-made Italian food available, including wild boar. And with as much wine as you can drink and great company it makes for a splendid evening.
Will and I also went in to Rome for 2 nights with my aunt and uncle. We had one day to see everything Rome had to offer, and we did it! It was so great to be back in one of my favourite cities. We had an early start and managed to walk the entire Rome flat. We even managed to see St. Peters which never fails to take your breath away completely. We walked around the Colleseum, tossed coins into the Trevi fountain, looked at art in Piazza Navona and ate gelato on the Spanish steps. Every street in Rome has something amazing and beautiful to look at so to go by foot it the best way, I think. We returned to the farm for one last special night. My aunt, Will and I sat on the porch, ate a wonderful meal, drank champagne and watched the lunar eclipse. It was a great way to end off a stunning week in Italy.
The next day we were back on the bike, which had a few new repairs and brand new tires. We headed straight for France and Marseille. I have never seen such a fancy and beautiful coastline as that of Italy and France. Though the road was a bit busy we drove through some of the cutest little towns along the coast with the most amazing views of the sea and ports with the biggest yachts you can imagine. If I was a super-rich-famous-person, that would be the first place I’d buy a house. We stayed in another campsite just past Genova and arrived in Marseille in the late afternoon the next day. It was so great to see our friend, David, from Korea again. He showed the best time we could have had in Marseille. We had a stunning dinner on the beach and watched a beautiful sunset on the first evening. The next day we went out with his father and family on their sail boat. This was my first time on a sail boat and it was great! I was feeling closer to my apartment on the Italian coast already. The weather got a bit bad so we headed back. this was an experience on its own: it felt like the boat was going to tip over any minute and I had to hold on in order not to fall off the other side. It felt like I was in the Volvo Ocean Race. It was great! The next day we took a stunning drive to a nearby village along the highest cliffs in Europe. We spent the rest of the day burning to a crisp on the beach. Will tried very hard not to look at all the naked boobies. He failed 🙂
Our next destination was a tiny village not far from Montpellier where some of Will’s friends lived. It was Florian’s Birthday and to celebrate we all headed for the mountains and camped it a beautiful forest. It was a really great evening, though French was the prefered language. We sat around the fire, ate wild boar pate on bread and drank wine. The next day we went to some amazing pools for a swim. The water was freezing but Will made me go in. I could only manage to dip in once so I skipped out on jumping from the rock into the water below. That night we went to a little bar in another nearby village and listened to the guys practising with the band. They were really good and Made for great entertainment for the evening. We ate pizza, pate, breads and sausages at the bar then went to a little music evening out in a parking lot. There were mostly kids there with their parents. It was really funny to watch a couple of little boys standing in front of the DJ’s smoke machine all night, waiting for it to blast them with smoke in the face. I can’t imagine that to have been very good for them but they loved it.
We arrived in Montpellier yesterday. Will was very excited to be back in the city he stayed in for a year during university. He gave me a quick tour of the city centre after eating a wonder kebab at his favourite place. We stayed at a youth hostel last night which was very expensive but our only option. Today we are meeting his friend for lunch and possibly another day at the beach. Tomorrow we head for the Alps and a town close to Montblanc called Chamonix. Then It’s on to Paris!!