Not your ordinary MTV Spring Break

By Nina Scimenes
March 17, 2005

Shawn Rice

After an 8 hour plane ride and 6 hour time change anything is possible in Europe.

Traveling abroad is an experience that will never be forgotten. This spring break I was fortunate enough to have a closer feel to what it is like to live and study in Italy.

My week overseas was not your typical MTV spring break, but it was anything but dull.

Staying in Italy was not our first choice for the week. We had the destination of Barcelona, Spain but due to our malfunctioning airplane we never made it.

My sister and I visited a good friend who is studying in Rome for the semester. From Rome we were planning on taking a trip to Barcelona but only made it 20 minutes in the air.

I have done a lot of flying and never once have I been on a plane that had to turn around. 30,000 feet in the air the flight attendant made an announcement in English,”We will be landing back in Rome in about 20 minutes due to technical problems.”

After the three of us heard this announcement we did not think there was much of a problem because no one else on the plane even twitched.

Well that was changed when the flight attendant then repeated the announcement in Italian. How quickly we forgot that we were probably the only English speaking passengers on the plane. It was a very frantic situation. Many explanations were running through my head.

I was in denial that I was really on a plane that was in the middle of the ocean on a plane that was not functioning properly. After the most nerve wrecking 20 minutes of my life we landed safely in the same airport that we had just came from.

While we were at the airport we had to make a decision, either attempt to go to Spain again, or enjoy the country of Italy more.

We had to make alternate plans last minute that ended being very memorable.

We traveled by train from Rome to the city of Sienna. Getting around on public transportation in another country is very interesting. We made sure we asked at least three different people if we were on the right train before getting on it. Who knows where we would end up if we got on the wrong train.

Since my friend had been living in Italy for two months she grew accustomed to the culture of Italy. She taught us a lot about the people, the food and the language. Throughout the trip she ended up being our tour guide who broke the language barrier.

The landscape of Sienna was made up of breathtaking rolling hills and small village alleys full of small shops.

We were lucky to see the city covered in a blanket of snow. Our time in Sienna was full of sightseeing, shopping and wine tasting.

Next stop on our train traveling was Pisa. This was my favorite stop because of the beautiful architecture. Taking photographs of the Leaning Tower of Pisa felt very surreal.

Being a tourist in a foreign country was a great experience for me, and I wish I could have stayed longer.

For anyone who gets the chance to go abroad, take it. You may never get the chance to do it again.

I guess my plane not making it to Spain was God’s way of saying that Italy was where we were meant to be.

Posted to the web by Shawn Rice

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Nina Scimenes

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