Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Port Cros Island

On Saturday we woke up at the crack of dawn to catch a ferry over to Port Cros Island.  Port Cros is a Nationally protected island full of old french forts once created under the order of Napoleon.  The island is completely cut off from technology and the outside world.  No one lives on the island but you can take short visits and sleep in forts.  The fort we spent two nights in was used by the Nazis in World War II.  I found this to be completely eerie but a fantastic way to experience the weekend.  On the first day we arrived at the main port where there is a small "town".  It is mostly little restaurants, cafes and gelato  stands.  We hiked up to our fort and had a cafeteria style lunch that was less than appetizing (we were on an abandon island so I tried not to be picky).  
We spent the rest of saturday and sunday hiking around the island.  By the end of the two days we had hiked a total of 26 kilometers (most of which is uphill).  The hike was probably the most challenging I have ever encountered.  It was full of extremely steep cliff like trails followed by a almost vertical downhill.  However, the views were spectacular and unlike anything I have ever seen before.  On sunday we took two stops to snorkel.  The first was right off of a cliff full of sea life.  The water was so cold it took your breath away.  The second snorkel was right off a beach where they had a little obstacle course set up that took you through the most scenic areas of the cove.  
In the evening we would have dinner then take blankets to the roof of the fort with countless bottles of wine.  Here we would just lay and count shooting stars and constellations.  The weekend was long and tiring but worth the lack of sleep.  We got down and dirty with nature and you all know I love to be outside.  I must say that coming home to civilization was pretty amazing as well.  Five of us were pretty excited to get back into the nightlife here at antibes and went out last night and closed the bars. 
Tomorrow we are waking up at 6 am to hike the Alps.  Then after a long day of hiking and traveling we are catching the 9:50 pm flight to Rome where we will stay for 2 nights before we train to Pisa then Florence.  I will be back on Saturday afternoon and look forward to catching everyone up! BEST!      

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