It's about learning and reintroducing yourself, to yourself.
Today I am struggling with the simplest idea...I am growing up. (I can't find a better word then struggle.)
I don't want that to seem like I am upset about becoming a responsible person...I am always striving for that...but in admiration for transition, one based off of my own feelings, my own reactions to things, and for my one encounter with time.
I believe in regret, but I feel more passionate in the foundation that regret transpires. Who would I be without some of my poor decisions? I don't want to be invincible, I want to be real.
The rain on the train window this afternoon mirror tears, tears I don't feel anymore. I thank myself for that. I thank time for that. I thank growing up for that. This is never meant to be sad, but to be happy. To honor the lives that have touched mine, good and bad. To honor that this is my life, my choices, and my chance.
This is out of respect and understanding that emotional health is as valuable as my Eurail Pass and that traveling is not all beautiful Instagrams, but a bunch of unfiltered lessons.
(I've been listening to a lot of TED talks)
(But for now, back to France, and an unexpected night in Switzerland...who woulda thought it was Easter weekend, and that a lot of people travel?)
We didn't have a first stop booked, and these annoying girls in Madrid told me the one place I wanted to go in France was shady, so we decided to go to Lyon. It seemed rational, 6 hour train ride and I always wanted to get to Annecy, which is a mountainous lake town near Lyon. We found a beautiful, brand new hostel with reviews about how nice the showers were...which were needed. We needed to take a day and reset, maybe, look at a map...
Lyon is very pretty. Two rivers surround the peninsula that is the main part of the city. Lots of bridges cross the rivers at different points and the buildings are colorful and decorative. However, it's more on the expensive side.
After exploring a bit, we stopped at the store, and went back to the hostel. We have decided our newest dream is to open one, and this place was perfect for inspiration. It is so new, they don't even have a table yet, so we had to take over the smoking room...finders keepers. With the windows wide open as well as the door, we drank wine, played cards, made dinner and practiced handstands. Some kid that worked there sat with us, and just couldn't grasp that this place needed a table! The owner wants it to be a party hostel...I don't get how a table would hurt that vision, but whatever.
The next day we saw a castle at the top of mountain, so we went. We crossed one of the many bridges and found our way into a really pretty old part of town. We "fiked" our way up the sidewalks, huffing and puffing our way past ruins and through gardens to discover that our "castle"...is the most beautiful church. Mosaics glisten in the light and the walls are saturated in colors, thanks to the stained glass windows. We sat in a pew and just took a minute, I even shed a tear. What a beautiful surprise.
We made our way to the ruins, it was time for some wine and amazing sandwiches made by my personal chef, Kristin. We sat hidden on a ruin watching annoying kids on a field trip run around. We talked about doing laundry and which train to take in the morning. Then a guard spotted us and it was time to go...(we chugged the wine, don't worry).
At the bottom of the hill waited a witch doctor (my other dream) who gave me a potion for my skin and we bought the most perfect little day backpack we had been searching for. We did our laundry and organized our bags, made dinner and got ready for our train in the morning...magic is real!
Annecy is beautiful. The clearest water reflects mountains that I think are the Alps, and the park is a perfect place to hang out. The old town guides you straight to the road where our hostel is and a game of scrabble with some new friends brings laughter. This hostel has chickens, a must at ours, and is close to the grocery store. We went hiking on this crazy, slippery, rocky trail and laughed about how dumb we are once we made it back down. This place is calm now but I can only imagine the craziness that is summer here. Cool slides float locked to docks, while paddle boats crave attention. I'll just add this to my list of places to come back too...(maybe next MLK weekend my friends and I will come here...it's only a little bit farther than Deep Creek.)
A low sense of urgency gets us to the train station later than we planned, just to find out it didn't matter, every train to Milan is booked. We have to spend the night in Geneva to take a train to Milan in the morning. We don't even want to go to Milan, but it is middle point to our next goal that is Cinque Terre.
Geneva is really pretty too...old town, good food, and a 6 dorm hostel room all to ourselves! Milan is crazy busy and I couldn't leave our 10 bed mixed dorm fast enough in the morning (gasping for fresh air!) The train from Milan to Cinque Terre is once again booked so we have to stand/sit on these fold out chairs, but I don't mind. We've made it here and got the last room at this hostel...it's beautiful. It is a private room, with a loft and a terrace. Fresh air fills it up and it has pretty view. Hiking is on our to do list, but only after catching the sun rise over Manarola.
It's 4 am and I am watching a twinkling star dance by an almost full moon. My hair is brushed and I feel well rested. I could care less there is no wifi and I am excited for a few days in Italy.
(Shoutout to the Webbers for telling me about Cinque Terre, this place is amazing.)
Hope all is well! My go pro is charging, ready to take some pictures!!