Hi kids! I'm writing from lovely La Spezia, which we reached today at about 4pm. After a pretty leisurely morning (getting up, eating free and delivered breakfast, checking out and hanging round the train station), we got on a direct train to La Spezia. So far, I am not hugely enamoured with Italian trains. They are definitely fast, and very new, but they are not as comfortable as some of the less fancy trains we used in other countries. Regardless, we reached La Spezia and our hotel is just 80m from the main train station. We met the hotel manager just outside the doors and she showed us to our room which is on the very top floor. This means a lot of stairs, but a beautiful view. It was also really sunny, and I think it might only be 3 or 4 degrees, but it actually feels warm compared to the temperatures we've been enduring.
Once we'd settled in, we went searching for a restaurant to eat a nice dinner in as it's Cara's birthday! While we were waiting for all the places to actually open for dinner, we went for a walk around the town. The language barrier is far more apparent here, as La Spezia isn't a huge tourist city like Venice or Rome. When we sat down for dinner, we discovered there was no English menu and our waiter had pretty much no English. This was good! We've been far too spoiled and I wanted to experience what it was really like to struggle with a tough language barrier. Our waiter was utterly delightful, and so friendly. We ended up looking at the menu, identifying words that looked familiar and then just picking stuff almost at random. It was sort of pot luck, but my goodness the food was good. We had excellent pizzas and desserts and the restaurant was so affordable, much cheaper than anywhere in Rome or Venice. We spent quite a while just sitting and chatting there and decided it was definitely one of our top dining experiences thus far. Afterwards, we headed back to our room and have just been chilling out. There hasn't been much opportunity to go out in Italy because we have only been in places for two nights, which means lots of early mornings. Hopefully, once we get to the UK, we will have longer times in less places, which means more time to explore!