Introduction: Cinque Terre Nestled along the north western coast of Italy is a group of five fishing villages known collectively as Cinque Terre, or “Five Lands”. Their relative remoteness from other major cities in Italy has allowed the area to preserve its culture and authentic Italian feel. The dramatic scenery of the Italian coastline, along with the towns built up densely upon the steep cliffs makes it one of the most photographed locations in Italy, and is attracting more and more tourists every year.
Florence is an extremely photogenic and beautiful place to visit, no matter where you go. The narrow streets and the sea of red roof houses give it so much personality, and it is hard to mistaken it for any other place. With that said, there are still some prime locations that allow you to capture the best of Florence. Follow this guide to discover the top 5 best views that Florence has to offer.
Travelling between cities in Italy is most easily done by train, and is often the fastest, as there is an extensive rail network and plenty of high speed train service. This is true for travel between Rome and Venice, which is the option we went with. We had reserved two seats on Italo, one of the high speed rail services in Italy.
Our first stop in Italy was Rome, a city with no shortage of awesome landmarks and ancient architecture. If you wanted to see everything, you could easily spend a week or more here, depending on how much you want to take in at each site. We only had a couple days, so we were only able to see the main landmarks.
We landed at Dubai International around 11am, so we had a good amount of the day left to do some exploring and settling in. After picking up a pair of data sim cards at the airport (we purchased two Tourist Plans from Du), we proceeded to the taxi stands to get a ride to our hotel. As we approached, the attendant immediately guided us towards a black cab. Little did we know that the black cabs are actually VIP taxis, and charge about double the rate of a regular taxi, which are cream-colored with red accents.
For the first segment of the trip, we had a 12:30pm departure out of Vancouver, and a layover of five hours in Edmonton before catching the flight to London. As this was a domestic flight, we arrived at the airport roughly two hours before departure for check-in. The check-in process with Westjet was smooth with plenty of self-check kiosks available. We immediately dropped off our bags after printing our boarding passes.
Since we had a few days in Dubai, we decided to visit the neighbouring city, Abu Dhabi. We managed to book a day tour to Abu Dhabi with a tour company called Arabian Adventures, a well known tour operator in the UAE. The tour included a free hotel pick-up and drop off, so we were shuttled from our hotel to a designated meeting point, where we boarded the coach for the one and a half hour drive to Abu Dhabi. During the drive, our tour guide, Mohammed, gave us a an overview of the history of the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi. He was really engaging and gave us a glimpse into the culture and daily lifestyle of the Emirati people.
Upon arriving at the YVR domestic terminal, we checked our bags in, and grabbed a quick bite before heading to the gate. Our short flight was on a Bombardier Q400, which cannot park at an actual gate with a jet bridge, so we were required to board the plane from out on the tarmac. Unluckily, it was pouring rain that morning. As we sprinted for the boarding stairs, we saw that our plane was sporting the University of Washington special livery.
This past May, Peterson and I took a 2-week long trip to the United Arab Emirates and Italy, and it was perhaps the biggest trip we’ve been on so far, for several reasons. It was the first time we were able to book every segment of our flights in business class. It was our first time flying Emirates. It was also our first time flying on the Airbus A380, which is the only fully double-decker plane, and the largest passenger jet currently in service. Having been total Emirates fanboys for the past year, it’s no surprise we were both really excited for this trip.