From January to May of this year, Norwegian Ayla Vinje Fagerland traveled the globe, reaching nine countries over four continents.
Last week, Ayla previewed her entire trip and then shared the story of her departure and arrival to the first country on her agenda: Italy.
For most of her trip, Ayla traveled alone. But she started off with her mother by her side. This week–with word, photo, and her own video (below)–Ayla shares her story of traveling Naples and the Amalfi coast with Mom.
Italy, with Mom
Traveling with my mom was just amazing. She is so good at learning languages! We were sitting at the airport on a layover in Munich, Germany and she wrote down a bunch of words. Then she looked up and asked the lady sitting opposite of us if she spoke Italian. The woman straightened her back with a proud gesture, stated she was of Italian heritage, and that she was traveling to visit her family. Mom asked her to translate her list of 20 or so words to Italian. Words like excuse me, dinner, and left. From just these words, my mom basically spoke Italian after five days!
This came in handy during our time in and around Naples.
Italy is just one of the most beautiful countries of Europe, filled with lovely food, gorgeous views, and narrow roads. From January 28-31, Mom and I explored this country starting with the city of Naples:
We walked to the neighboring city Maiori (20 minute walk by a small road with mountain on one side, cliff on the other, and cars driving like crazy!) We had the famous lemon cake and homemade ice cream.
Then everything just shut down at 1 o’clock. So we decided to go back to the hotel to have a siesta as well.
The next day, we went to nearby Positano and Amalfi. We went in to this little grocery store in Positano. Hams hanging from the ceiling, pasta in every possible shape, smells from every corner, and the cutest couple behind the counter.
In a church we ended up in the middle of a funeral.
There’s something magical about the celebration of a life. Even though people are sad, you get to see the love they had for the person and all the happy memories that comes to mind. And every once in a while, you see people smile through the tears after remembering something that happened a long time ago. We went out after a couple of minutes, not wanting to disturb.
Next to the church was a little café. After getting the lemon cake and an Italian ice cream, we sat down inside and the barista started singing, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie. That’s amore….”
This day, we also finally got our pizza! Food is a hard thing to find outside the tourist season. All the restaurants are closed! Don’t Italians eat? Where do they go out on dates?? Finally in Positano we found a pizzaria. The pizza was amazing. (Of course. This is, after all, Italy)! It took 2 days, but in the end, we got our pizza.
The narrow streets, the beach, the lemoncake, the pizza, the scariest–but also the most beautiful–bus ride in history, the homemade ice cream, the flowers, the houses clinging on to the mountainside, the lemons, the oranges, the fountains, the crazy driving and all the stairs. Splendida Italia! Bello!
When Mom was leaving, and we couldn’t find our way on the trains, she just asked someone. In Italian. She was actually quite worried when she saw me just kind of giving up trying to speak Italian when I saw no one understood me. But thinking back, I guess I stopped trying because I knew she would fix everything. That’s just how moms work, right?
Next week, Ayla tells us the good (and the scary harassment) of traveling Italy by herself.
Until then, please enjoy Ayla’s video #2–Traveling Italy, with Mom:
Ayla is a 20-year-old Norwegian who loves to learn new things and study new cultures. She’s Christian, and in her more normal life (when not eating donkey sandwiches in China and taking trains across Italy), she does dancing and karate. For any questions for Ayla or about travels, please comment below.
And if you’d like to share your story on The Periphery, please email me at Brandon@ThePeriphery.com. We’d love to hear all about your adventure.