Hello again! We have met up again after spending Christmas in the UK. Scott went to London to see Courtney and her family, and I stayed in Southampton and ate lots of food. My Christmas was a three-day food extravaganza... I left Southampton on the 27th, wishing I could stay there for the rest of my holiday. Arrived in London and waited around for Scott in the pub next door to the apartment. It was great to see Courtney again. The morning of the 28th was freezing! and we spent all day travelling. Arrived at our hotel in Rome at 6:00pm exactly, just on time for our first tour group meeting.
Contiki is very much at the other end of the travelling spectrum from our Intrepid tour. So far the hotels have all been very nice, and our bus is new and shiny and even has seatbelts! Our tour guide Danielo is nice, he's been really helpful with finding meals that I can eat. We call him Danny. Our bus driver's name is Fabio. No Joke.
There are 32 people on this tour with us, mostly from Australia, South Africa and Canada. Scott and I are sharing a room, although if he continues to come back at 3am and fall over me I think I'll swap rooms with his drinking buddy Chris. That way they can just annoy each other instead of me! On Monday we left Rome and travelled down the Amalfi coast to Pompeii. The coastline is extraordinary, and seeing the ocean properly again was lovely. Pompeii is so big, I hadnàt realised the full extent of the excavation works. We did a guided tour, which I would have preferred to skip and just wander around, because everything was rushed through. From Pompeii we drove to Sorrento, where we spent two nights. Tuesday we visited the Isle of Capri. Capri is my favourite place out of the entire 7 weeks I've been travelling, I think. Maybe it was just because the weather was perfect, and I wandered around by myself gazing at the ocean all day. Anyway, Capri is intoxicating in it's beauty, and the gelati is pretty good too. I don't think Scott appreciated Capri as much as I did-he went on a guided tour.
Wednesday was New Year's Eve, and we left Sorrento very early. We drove up through Tuscany, which is lovely. The landscape is so different from further south, with cyprus and vineyards everywhere. We stopped for wine tasting outside Florence, and then checked into our hotel before going out to dinner. The traditional Tuscan feast was great! Afterwards, most people went out to the nightclubs for some partying.
Yesterday we didn't have anything planned until 1:30pm, which several people delighted in. We then took a walking tour of Florence. Unfortunately, everything is closed on New Year's Day, so we went into the Duomo and then I slowly wandered back to the hotel (picked up my fridge magnet on the way). Dinner last night was in a tiny alleyway on the other side of town, and it was great! Spaghetti is so yummy.
Today we go to Pisa for a wonky tower photo, before visited the Cinque Terre. Then Milan the following day, and two night in Venice before heading back to Rome.