So Friday was a really sweet day because we rounded up a massive group of people (18 to be precise) to take the 2 hour journey down to Sperlonga Beach. It was definitely a great day!
As we were heading out there, we had many a setbacks, but it all ended up working out in the end. First, one girl, Jessica, a contact that ripped as we got ourselves to the bus just to get over to the train station. She had to go back and then meet us at the station all the way across the city.
Once she did meet up with us, the ticket machine wouldn't print out her a ticket no matter how many different train times she tried or anything. Fortunately we ended up trying like 5 different machines and finally got one to work. So then finally all 18 of us managed to at least get on the train, albeit very separated in different cabins.
We then took the train for 1hr 15min South to the town of Sperlonga. Once we get off, we had assumed we would be at the beach, but it turned out we had to take one more bus to get there! So I, using my wonderful Italian skills, spoke with the local Tabacchi employee (a tabacchi is a place where they sell bus tickets, cigarettes, etc) and got us a group discount of 25% off on tickets where he literally gave me a whole packet of tickets for the ride to the beach and back. Good stuff :)
So one more bus ride later, and we finally arrive at the beach! Everyone was so happy to be there that we couldn't stop taking photos and just enjoying the views of this nice spiaggia (beach)
|Me, overlooking Sperlonga Beach|
Check it out! They have the most awesome basketball court I've ever seen right up next to the beach! Me and the other guys wished we had a basketball, but alas we had to make do with some frisbee.
|Basketball Court next to Beach|
In the back of this picture was a little shop that sold me some water, sunscreen, and limoncello. Now I don't know if you know anything about shops in Italy, but I entered this one shirtless and shoeless. I assumed it would be fine since I was literally next to the beach.
Upon entering the shop, I asked them if it was legal to drink on the beach, to which they starting chuckling and then proceeded to explain that it was legal to drink on the beach, but not to be shirtless in the shop or the areas away from the beach. Fortunately, they were EXTREMELY friendly and helpful and told me that I'm fine and not to worry, but just that it was ironic that what I thought would be illegal was legal and vice versa.
So, I bought this yellow alcohol called limoncello, which is essentially like extremely alcoholic lemonade. I was unaware of how extremely alcoholic until I'd already had a whole cup of it. It turns out that this stuff is 31% alcohol! Wow.... Needless to say, the tiny bottle that I purchased was plenty for the day for me and some other people had some too.
So I chilled on the beach with my friends, sipping my limoncello and relaxing in the waves and also in the sun up on the beach.
After playing some frisbee with the guys, Austin and I decided to go on a bit of a walk up to this building at the edge of the coast, so here are some photos of that :)
|Looking up at the hill of buildings|
As Austin and I walked along, we enjoyed the views of the ocean and the beach. Here's him looking like a boss with the ocean in the background...
Anyways.... here's a couple more shots of the cool building.
|Nice pathway leading up to it|
Unfortunately we had some troubles on the way back from the beach, resulting from people wanting to leave at different times. Because of this, we separated the tickets into individual tickets instead of leaving them in the packet, which apparently renders them null and void.. So everyone had to pay another euro to get back to the train station. Then once at the train station, the train came earlier than we thought and everyone was split up, so a group of people missed the train and had to wait for the next one. It was certainly not the most ideal journey home, but at least everyone made it back in one piece, having enjoyed a wonderful day at the beach!
Once the group of 8 (yes, only 8 made it back on the first train) got back from the beach, we all went out to Tony's Restaurant, a place where the owner is extremely friendly. Having met him and ate at his restaurant before, he remembered me and of course my hat. Thus, he gave us free dessert again :) This time was a nice little cake with homemade whipped cream on top. Tony is the man!
And thus ends our journey to the Italian beach of Sperlonga.