Saturday, June 20, 2009

Soaking up the Italian Sun

8:00 am Bus ride to Sperlonga.

2 hours later we arrived at a small town and the huge bus had to climb up this extremely small town on a hill with very thin roads. I honestly can't believe we made it. I was scared for my life. I couldn't even look out the window I was so scared. Finally we got to the top of the hill where we could look down at the amazing city and the Mediterranean sea. It was absolutely fantastic. At this place we found a questionably feral kitten which Asia decided to take a picture with. It was extremely cute.

After this place we headed towards Sperlonga towards Tiberius' villa. This is easily the best place we've been to so far, minus the mosquitoes, which the others seemed to be attacked by more than I did... hopefully its something in my blood. Anyway, walking through what was actually a villa was cool, but after that we saw the grotto where Tiberius held dinner parties and damn, that place was beyond belief. In the water once stood a statue of Odysseus and his men being attacked by Scylla with Odyssues looking on. This statue was in the museum we went to right after. In another part of this cave was the statue of the Cyclops being blinded by Odysseus' men. On the top of this grotto overlooking the entire villa was a statue of Ganymede being carried off by Jupiter in the form of an eagle. The statue was acutally there now, although a recreation. The real one, or at least what's left of it, which was most of it, was in the museum. There were still fish in the pond where Tiberius' guests could actually pick out which fish they wanted to eat.

After looking at this and going through the small but incredible museum, we headed down to the beach for about 2 hours where I at least put my feet in the shimmering blue water, but instead of swimming laid out on the beach and tanned. I fell asleep on my stomach, as I'm ought to do apparently. Luckily though my back did not burn! I got really tan, and after shaving today discovered I have a beard tan line... Its awkward. :)

Tonight I had one of the best dinners of. my. life. Sara Hershman, the girl on the trip from Columbia, and her parents took the girls from the group, and me of course, out to dinner at this amazing restaurant. 4 course meal starting with grilled artichoke and breaded asparagus with mozzerella, and about 4 bottle of wine for the entire table. After that were 3 plates with different kinds of fish. Also just incredible. I had breaded lamb and I just about died after the first bite. I thought this was the end, but boy was I wrong. After this the waiter brought out dessert. Dessert consisted of Frutti di bosco, wild forest fruit, and ice cream. There were blackberries (my favorite) raspberries, blueberries, and tiny tiny strawberries. I put some kind of alcoholic dessert sauce on it as well, but I wasn't a huge fan. But the fruit itself. Well, lets just say I'm never eating fruit again in America. Ever. I can't even explain how thankful I am for this dinner from Sara's parents.

The rest of the night was a bust though. Many people wanted to go out, but it turned out to be one girl and guy lying to the entire group trying to get us to go out so that they could have alone time. Now, I would have been fine had they just asked for the room, but lying to me and the rest of the group encouraging us to go out after none of us wanted to is completely unacceptable. After leaving for over an hour I decided it was a waste of time and money to even try go out so I headed back to the room where I kicked the girl out of my room and my roommate wasn't too happy. I don't really care though. I realized I'm not here to make long lasting friends. Rome is the reason I'm here. The Roman's remains are the reason I'm here. Self-discovery is the reason I'm here. I'm not here to please everyone on the trip. I'm here for me and my education. This realization will probably carry me throughout the rest of the trip.

For now, I think I'll sleep. Tomorrow is our first day off this entire time. Hopefully I'll make it to mass to experience it in the Vatican city. Hopefully.

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