In attempt to get away from the South African winter, and a desire to explore my new found independence and yearning to “soul search” amongst other things, it lead me to realise that my spirit needed to take a flight and explore the majestic wonders beyond our boarders.
I found myself saving all my small change, working long hours, giving up my social life, all because of the end goal that was so real, I could almost touch it. Then the day finally arrived, nerves, excitement, tears of joy and sadness to be leaving my loved ones, but at the same time opening the door to an amazing adventure. Mediterranean Europe!
29 June, 2 pm, It Is hot, I am in a foreign country, all I know right now is excitement and nerves. OLA Madrid, Spain. The need to change into my summer dress and sandals was too much to ignore. My first experience of Spanish cuisine came in the form of Paella (chicken, rice, and seafood) with JUGS of Sangria ( a fruit cocktail mixed with cranberry juice and some alcohol) to wash it down. Expecting the sun to have set by now, much to my surprise I had to wait until 10pm to watch my first sunset in this beautiful country. Unbeknown to me Spain actually has a Royal Palace, majestic in all its rich history not to mention the art and furniture that was out of this world to look at.
My next stop was Barcelona, which later became my favourite city. My shopping experience in Barcelona cannot be matched, being that it is the shopping capital of Spain. Much to the appreciation of my limited budget, I happened to arrive just in time for the end of season sale which allowed me to splurge…A LOT.
Barcelona’s night life can be compared to Cape Town, on New Years Eve, Long street, Camps Bay, Clifton and the likes. I said Adios to Spain and Bonjour Avignon France. Yet, again we made it just in time for a monumentous event, Le Tour De France. As the sun set I made my way to the glamorous, romantic French Rivera, Monaco, the home of the rich and famous where the day to day car could be anything from a Rolls Royce to a Maserati . After a delicious dinner, in a classy eatery we made our way to the Monte Carlo Casino which has been featured in many Hollywood films.
With time on my hands, I strolled through outdoor markets, shopped at upscale boutiques (well, window shopped) and sun worshipped on the pebble beach.
I “hitched a ride” on a fairy to the Cinque Terre region (region of the 5 bays) and explored the colourful cliff-side villages.
Arriving in Pisa, Italy, on a scorching, hot morning. I made my way to The Leaning Tower of Pisa and took the ever iconic “Hold up the Tower’” photograph.
Heading to my final destination, Rome, I was privileged enough to visit the phenomenal Vatican City. I am not very religious, but I was overwhelmed with emotion upon visiting the beautiful Sistine Chapel and St. Peters Basilica.
When in Rome, I explored the “Eternal City” and tapped into the “La Dolce Vita” lifestyle. The Colosseum, is more beautiful in real life than in the movie Gladiator.
I made a wish and threw my coin in the famous Trevi Fountain hoping that one day I will find my way back to this enchanted city.