So, once again a bunch has happened since I last blogged. But mostly, it's been a sweaty ride.
I believe I left you hanging in Prague. Prague was...interesting. Trav was feeling super crappy so we basically took a vacation from our adventuring. We did a small walking tour to which we ditched half way through due to heat exhaustion and stomach pains. We tried to rent a paddleboat but literally no one in Prague takes cash and nearly every currency change is a scam. So we ate from grocery store food. Which is preferred anyway. Oh boy, I miss my kitchen back home. Overall, Prague was gorgeous but the people we encountered were pretty rude. We were honked at multiple time for walking across the cross walk when we had a "green man." We got scoffed at for trying to pay with a credit card and talked down to when we tried to make a train reservation. I wasn't sad to leave. But hey, it's gorgeous and I'm just one person. Please judge Prague for yourself!
Next stop, Budapest. Turns out everyone and their mother goes to Budapest from Prague on the weekend so we didn't take the night train. We took the 15:42-22:30 train. With no air conditioning. In 90 degree weather. Aka after about 4 hours I thought I was going to die. Until some random kid took a wrench to the windows and opened them, saving us all. Budapest was awesome. By awesome, I mean incredibly cheap. We stayed at an awesome airbnb owned by a kid named, Daniel. If you're ever going to Budapest, let us know and we'll give you his contact info. Day 1 in Budapest, we went to the thermal baths for a little r&r. It was so nice! Cold waters, hot saunas. We definitely needed the detox. We left the baths and stumbled upon the Redbull air race on the Danube River. So that was awesome. Day 2, we attempted to go to church (a Hillsong plant called Budapest Connect) and failed because apparently they meet on Saturdays despite their website's information. That night we splurged with a drink boat tour along the Danube where we got to see some awesome buildings lit up at night but we mostly talked to the Americans behind us and the Canadians in front of us. We ended up hanging with Joel and Heather Alexis (Canadians - who do in fact say 'ey' frequently) til 2am, spending our time talking about Crohn's Disease and a quick run through a ruin bar (a bar literally made from garbage and the like) which was much to crowded and loud for us all. We shopped a bit the next day and headed off to Salzburg, Austria mid-morning.
Salzburg. Apparently the hills are alive with the sound of music or something. Or alive with euros. We tried to hike to the castle but failed when we were told to pay 8€ per person to continue on the gravel path. So we marched back to the station and went to Wallersee. A beautiful small lake surrounded by small mountains. The water was clear and cold. The old man speedos were a plenty. And the sun was hot. After a day in the sun, we shopped a bit more and took the night train to Rome. Praise moment: our train from Salzburg to Innsbruck (where we would connect to the night train to Rome) was running 20 minutes behind and we only had a 5 minute layover to begin with. Aka we had missed our train (with our $70 reservation) BUT that train was running behind as well and we made it on to our crowded 6-person sleeper cabin with time to spare. Amen.
Note: when I say "shopped" I usually mean walk around in air conditioning which just happens to be in malls with the occasional purchase of something small on sale.
Rome was hot and crowded. I'm not saying this in a bad connotation, just as a fact. Seeing ruins from BC was astonishing. Walking 15-20 miles in two days was exhausting. But we loved it! Vatican City was so cool. The walls were incredibly impressive (we walked the entire way around them.) we pulled a classic "us" and definitely cut in line instead of waiting 2 hours to get into Saint Peters Basilica. We waited about 12 minutes, oops sorry guys. We enjoyed a very classic Roman Apertivo in which you order a drink and the bar has a buffet of snacks. Did someone say free food? We love free food. So Rome treated us well and we headed off to Napoli. After a long, sweaty wait in the Train Station.
Napoli, Italy. I honestly don't want to write much about Napoli. It was dirty. I was sort of sick. It was incredulously hot. I'm sure it has its perks, I just didn't manage to find them. Instead of deluging into my struggle with Napoli, I will just brag on my husband. I was a hot mess, crying and wanting to go home. Travie stood by my side. Wiped away my tears. Held my hands. Hugged me. As unfortunate as it was that Napoli didn't meet my expectations, I truly believe God wanted us to go there for me to learn something. To learn that Travis is as full of grace for me as is humanly possible. He has seen me at my worst and hugged me and loved me still the same. Tears still threaten my eyes as I think about how blessed I am to have Travis by my side. As my travel partner, best friend and lover. I've seen utter, undeserved grace only given to me by the grace he is filled with by the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We are out of Italy and back in France. We love France. More to come soon!
Much love all,