Monday, September 14, 2009

Second attempt at Viareggio

Beach. Win.
After the debacle that was Transportation Fail Day, we decided to give Viareggio another shot on Friday, September 11th. Using the tickets that we had purchased the previous weekend (you buy tickets, but they are valid for a specific route for a specified time period, not a certain date and time) we managed to successfully catch the train to Viareggio.

Viareggio is a seaside resort on the western coast of Italy in the Tuscan riviera. Many of the beaches are not for public use; instead one must pay a lot of money to rent space and chairs from a "bathing establishment".  There are only a few free beaches that are inconvenient to reach. Thankfully, the high season of tourism is coming to a close and the all of the beaches were relatively empty. We caught a bus from the train station (we can never figure out exactly which one to take - everyone tells you something different).

A few of the highlights of swimming and sunbathing in the Mediterranean Sea:
  • Building sand castles
  • Enjoying the beautiful scenery: mountains, beach and city all right there
  • Napping
  • The clean, warm sea water
  • Taking girly pictures like the title photo
  • NOT having a transportation fail day!
A few low points:
  • Old man getting naked and changing in front of everyone
  • Old lady going topless
  • All the men, young and old, wore speedos.
That night, the group split up before heading to Cinque Terre the next day. Seven of us decided to stay in La Spezia, just north of Viareggio. However, we hadn't yet made reservations at a hotel... When we arrived, we were worried that we would be homeless for the night; each place we went to seemed to be booked up. One of the last places we tried, Hotel Astoria, had a room available for four people. Good thing we thought to only send a few people to check it out.

After securing the room, we snuck the others in! Coincidentally, there were 7 soaps and 7 sets of bedding for the four person room - perhaps it was meant to be. It was a nice place and included a good breakfast in the morning. The best part was that our sleepover only cost 17 Euros each! After everyone showered up from the day at the beach, we ended the night with a game of "cell phones" - our MacGyver'ed version of the card game "spoons" before resting up for Cinque Terre.

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