How do you balance life through constant stress and other daily grinds? Simple, TRAVEL! This is one of my favourite things to do to de-stress. Norway, being in Europe, gives me such a handful choices of many places I can visit without breaking the bank. I am a type that loves to plan ahead and do what is in the itinerary but unfortunately, it did not go as smooth as we wanted this trip could be.
November 2017, after a long summer of weddings, Me together with my INTJ-bestfriend decided to go on a trip to Italy not just to be a tourist but also to attend an International Youth Christian Conference. (https://www.facebook.com/oltre2017/) Although we didn´t know so much about the organisation, where it is exactly located or even how to get there, we decided to just go and be spontaneous.
Itinerary no.1 – ROME (2 nights & 3 days)
Of course nobody wants to ditch this ancient city when traveling to Italy! There is so much to see in this beautiful, tourist-filled place. We visited “the Colosseum”, “Fontana de Trevi”, “the Pantheon”, “Piazza di Spagna”, “the Vatican” and more. We stayed at Hotel Pulitzer which has a great access to the metro and many tourist spots in the city. Link (http://www.hotelpulitzer.it/)
Itinerary no.2 – San Salvo
Public transport in Italy literally blew our minds, it was a public disaster. The main goal for the day was to reach our destination, “Corte Rosetti Le Dimore”, our Hotel in Vasto which is located in the east coast of Italy. Fortunately, it’s easy to purchase tickets on the train station by using Trenitalia, or so we thought… when we had our tickets, we noticed that some information was missing like the time and where and when we were going to change trains. We had to ask the information desk to complete our itinerary. Our route looks like this: Rome to Campobasso (by train), Campobasso to Termoli (by Bus), Termoli to Vasto (by Train), and finally from Vasto train station to our Hotel (by taxi).
Looking for our train to Campobasso was like playing hide and seek, our train was hiding behind another train. We almost missed out trip. Fortunately, we saw people running towards it, following the crowd served well that time. We were very hungry when we reached Campobasso, so we looked for the bus station at once. It wasn’t that hard thanks to google maps. Campobasso was a one of a kind experience, it’s like we were teleported to the provinces in the Philippines. Only, the people speak Italian – only Italian! 15 minutes before our supposed departure we decided to look around for our bus and we did found one with the sign of our destination, only it wasn’t the right one! We wanted to cry when the driver said we have a different ticket and we were in the wrong bus station.
Thankfully there was a student who translated for us… He found out that the bus was at the train station (there was no information about this beforehand and no sign at the train station at all!). What we did was to run as fast as we could with our luggage. We didn’t care if we were running in the middle of the road, there were cars everywhere… nothing else mattered, we had to catch our bus. We were catching our breath when we finally found the right bus, it was just a matter of seconds before we missed it!
When we were sitting in the train to Vasto, the ticket inspector was astonished when he saw our ticket. I remembered how he looked at us when he realized how long our trip was. Though he can’t speak English very well, he tried to express how impressed he was. It was indeed a tough day full of struggles.
We realized that the day wasn’t over when we had to figure out how to reach our hotel. Taxi was obviously the easiest solution, if only the driver could understand English. If you’re wondering how we managed to make a deal with the taxi driver, go figure! You’ll wonder how three words and google map can save the day.
"Si, No, Gracias!" - Miss D
We finally arrived in Vasto. This place is amazing!
Itinerary no.3 – Exploring Vasto
On the fourth day of our trip we decided to explore Vasto! This place is spectacular, the beach is amazing and peaceful. The scenery and the landscape made up to the 4 hours walked around this place. The people in this are as so welcoming and warm. Although the temperature in November are usually higher and will require you a jacket, I would say that it is worth the trip.
Here we are watching the pastel-sky-sunset, drinking our cappuccinos and talking about life and to see how the things that we are praying for back then, during this trip, unfolds to reality in 2018. God is amazing and we are indeed too blessed to be stressed.
Indeed, Vasto captured my heart! I don’t think I will ever forget this extraordinary paradise and its beautiful people both in the street and from the conference we have been. CIAO…