First, I went to Tuscany with the family for a week. The place really reminded me of home: the hills, the vegetation, the houses and the smells of food, flowers and fruit. It was a “work” week – playing with the children, relaxing by the pool and eating delicious food.
After that, my friend (my host dad’s sister’s Au Pair) and I went to Florence, Rome and Venice. The weather was beautiful, the cities are incredibly charming and needless to say, the food was amazing! Oh, and GELATOS!
We met a solo traveler from the US and toured Florence together.
We joined a couple of friends from Belgium who were also in Rome. We threw our coins in the Fontana di Trevi, saw the Coliseum and lots of other ruins and museums, drank water from the fountains, visited Vatican City.
We didn’t go on a gondola ride in Venice, but we got a free ferry ride + free entrance to the Casino where there was a live singer and piano player and they served us champagne and strawberries.
I could understand a bit of Italian and I loved being called “bella”. Oh, Italy!
As an English graduate, I always dreamed of going to London. I wanted to be where all those writers had been inspired. I wanted to see where the royal family lived. And of course I wanted to see Platform 9 3/4!
It was the first time I surfed someone’s couch via Couchsurfing. It was amazing – he showed us around during the weekend and we had great conversations!
We went to the Nothing Hill fair, rode the London Eye, went on a boat ride on the Thames, saw the Parliament, the Abbey, the Palace and the change of guards, Piccadilly, rode the red double deck bus, went to pubs and had a great time watching people on the street (it was Halloween).
Oh, the joy of warm weather in February + speaking my own language! I don’t know if that’s what made Porto one of my favorite cities in the world or if it’s just one of the factors.
Porto has a lot to offer: river, beach, historical city center, modern city center. The food is simply fantastic and cheap (once we got a full meal – salad, stew, potatoes, a drink, dessert and coffee - for 6,50 Euros!).
We visited one of the caves and tasted red and white Porto + we went to a wine festival where there were hundreds of producers’ stands.
The hostel we stayed was THE best I’ve been – nice house, clean, comfortable bedrooms, yummy breakfast and super nice people. We all dressed up and went to the Carnaval parties together!
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