• Zoom & Co taking a brief stop in Pisa

Zoom & Co on a train in EuropeWe’re on a 11,30 euro train from Florence to Cinque Terre. We is Amanda and I and Joakim, a hilarious Swede who we met in Rome, and Brylee, a Aussie with an increasingly foul (hilarious) vocabulary who we met in Florence. Booking this trip to Cinque Terre has been a crazy, drawn out process.

To start: Cinque Terre is a set of 5 small towns tucked away into the hills on the North Western coast of Italy. They are tiny, expensive, and booked out because all of the Italians are vacationing there during August. It was looking like Amanda and I were going to have to skip this crucial stop on her itinerary due to the suitable (cheap) accommodations were difficult to find. The only option on the short notice was to recruit two more people and split a private dorm four ways. After some convincing Joakim and Brylee joined the crew. Now we needed to only book the hostel and soon enough we would be off to the coast for beautiful horizon sunsets on the beach where the mountains and the beach meet with jagged rock handshakes.

But first we need to book accommodations. The four of us are sitting in our hostel in Florence trying to book the trip through the shaky wireless with an infinitely long password. And then the internet drops mid booking and “Damnnnn this is annoying, let’s just do this later!

We depart to Joakim’s hostel hoping to use his WiFi to try and book the hostel via an iPhone 3 and the Hostel World app. It doesn’t work: more confusion which still isn’t resolved after a 1 euro call to the hostel.

Zoom & Co taking a brief stop in Pisa

“Screw it, let’s do it later” (again) and we set off to climb the hill above Florence to Michelangelo Point to listen to a guitarist as the sun sets to the west, illuminating the city of orange tile roofs while we illuminate our lives with cheese, pesto, stale baguettes, and two bottles of white wine. Beautiful evening.

And of course we reserve the hostel seamlessly when we arrive back at our hostel before going out for the night.

Soon enough it’s an early 10 o’clock with a rush to check out by 10:30 and then a rush to connect with Brylee and Joakim at the busy train station and a rush to get on and get settled in the second class coach with a poor excuse for air conditioning. We’re off, to the beach, to the coast, for some relaxation on the rocky Italian sea side populated with colored buildings and whatever adventures lie ahead.

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