Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Rimini, Italy and San Marino

4 of the 6 of us girls that were on the trip...eating lunch right off the side of a mountain! I cannot believe I am getting to do this stuff...I am so blessed!
Me and Allie, my roomate, in San Marino.
A fun street in Rimini, Italy...exploring the city!

The First Tower of San Marino- we got to climb all the way to the top, beautiful views!
View from the top of the first Tower- you can see the Second castle in the distance...does not even look real!

Two weekends ago we went to Rimini, Italy and San Marino (which is a tiny country in the middle of Italy…yes, it is its own country!!) for a few days. The trip definitely had some bumps in the road, but overall it was a great weekend!

 We decided very last minuet Thursday night to go ahead and join some other girls on the trip…I figured why not? I am only here once right! So we brought our stuff to school with us Friday and left straight from school for the train station in Trieste. It took us about 5 hours total to get to Rimini, with 2 stops in between.  Friday night we FINALLY got to Rimini at midnight. We though we could easily get to the hotel, but it turns out, as usual, it was more difficult than expected! Thankfully we found the two nicest ladies that spoke a tiny bit of English, and they literally walked us across the entire city directly to our hotel!

 Rimini is a great beach town off the East Coast of Italy, one of the most popular beach towns in Italy. We stayed at Hotel Bahama, this very nice, tiny hotel right by the water.  There was a mix up with our reservation when we got in so late, so we had to wait for about another hour at the hotel for them to sort things out…mind you this is us trying to communicate in very broken English and Italian to somehow come to an agreement.  They ended up giving us 2 rooms instead of 1 though, which turned out GREAT! So the next morning, after our complimentary breakfast J, we headed off for a quick day trip to San Marino. It is actually its own country right in the middle of Italy…how cool is that?!!? I am so so glad we decided to go there, it was by far my favorite part of the weekend! The city is absolutely gorgeous and has such great character. It is on the top of a mountain with 3 castles and towers along the very top; all the streets are cobblestone with rustic shops and caf├ęs lining every road. It was the most beautiful and quaint city…my new favorite country! Then, we had an incredible lunch literally right off the side of a cliff….visiting all these places truly feels like a dream!

 Once we got back to Rimini, we went straight to the beach! It was a little chilly out, but perfect weather for a nap on the beach J Everyone got into the water but me haha, those Northern girls said the water felt like a bathtub…I thought my hand was going to fall off from the icey water! So I opted for a more enjoyable nap on the sand J But it was a great, relaxing afternoon by the water. Later that night we went to a late dinner, which always takes about 3 hours in Italy. Never expect to get out of a dinner any sooner than 3 hours after you get there! This is one of the things I love about the Italian culture though, meals are an event- meant to spend time with people and enjoy each other’s company. It really makes me realize how rushed American people are, always thinking about the next place to be the next person to see. This is one of the things I LOVE about living abroad! I definitely think that living overseas had slowed me down a little….I am so thankful, I can be pretty fast paced, not stopping to REALLY enjoy things, so this is so good for me J

 Now this is when everything started to go down hill….after dinner….oh goodness. Allie, Kelly, and I decided to head back from dinner early, a few of the girls went to a few bars...we decided to opt out.  So we are in this city we JUST got to yesterday and obviously still learning our way around! Well we got on the 4 bus, which the hotel told us would get us back there. Well little did we know that this bus was the 4 slash (4/)….and unfortunately Allie and me had just learned the hard way back in Trieste the week before- never get on a slash bus!!!! Well, it happened again, by accident, and somehow we ended up 40 minuets outside of Rimini with the bus driver having to call us a Cab. 45 Euros and 2 hours later we were safe back at the hotel, but wow that was an adventure! That was the first and only time I have ever felt unsafe while over here though…so it was a learning experience to say the least!

 The next morning Allie and me went for a run along the beach and it was great! I have been running a lot more since I got here, just because I do not want to spend money on a gym. Allie is the perfect running partner; she really is getting me into shape! I really have gotten back into routine though and I am LOVING it! We decided this weekend that we are going to run the Trieste Half Marathon in May…we are really excited! So after breakfast we go to check out from the hotel. Unfortunately it turns out that the man that quoted us our price on the rooms Friday night was not there. Long story short- Italians are VERY temperamental people and we have a few feisty girls in our group, that DID not make for a good combination. So a few of the girls ended up getting into a screaming match with the hotel because they refused to honor our price that was online and the man agreed to. We ended up compromising and paying a little extra, but not as much as they were asking. So all ended well, but it definitely made for a weekend of many mishaps!

 Overall, I am really glad we went, San Marino was definitely worth it, but I do not think I would go back to Rimini again…especially after how GORGEOUS the beaches are in Croatia this week! (more on that to come J)  So many lessons learned in another Italian adventure  J

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