Assisi, Bettona and Perugia, Italy

I took the train the next day to Orte where my friend picked me up and drove us to Assisi. We toured the church where St. Francis is buried. A church, I was told, may be even more important than the Vatican to Catholics. 

We left the church to find a heavy drizzle of rain. Monks strolled fully robed with their umbrellas overhead through an ancient town sitting high atop a hill. Fog rolled in blocking any view of the towns below. 
We hopped back in the car and made our way to the next town, Bettona. He wanted to show me where he was from. A tiny town of about 200 that dated back to the middle ages. We passed a wall built 4,000 years before Christ. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that old.

We drove to the next town of Perugia for dinner. We sampled the local flavor of cinghiale (wild boar), drank wine and laughed until we cried. But the laughs were cut short in an attempt to catch the last train back to Rome at midnight. 
My friend in Rome had a deadline to leave early in the morning and I had to vacate her apartment by 7 am. My friend in Umbria felt bad and offered to drive me back to Rome instead of loading me on the train that late at night. In an attempt to find a way to sleep in, I decided to grab my things out of my friend’s apartment and check into a hotel. Good idea until I found out that all of the hotels are booked in a 10 mile radius. We headed out to a hotel near the airport and I checked in there. It was almost 4:00 before I got to sleep. This would be, yet, another sleepless night. 

The next day, my friend and I headed out to the outlets for some discount shopping and that was where I hit a wall. I could have laid down on the pavement in the parking lot and slept comfortably for hours. Please!!!! I need sleep!!! I convinced my friend to allow me some time to sleep before we were to leave for a birthday dinner in Viterbo.
Again, dinner, drinks and a late night ensued. I had to get up at 7 the next morning to catch my flight to Berlin. I didn’t get to sleep until 3:30, but I had so much fun. It turned out to be the best weekend of the entire trip.
It’s been day after day after day of nonstop go, go, go.  A new city almost every other day and a new train system to learn, a new schedule to get used to, a new map to figure out. Booking hotels, trains and planes. Lugging nearly 80 lbs of luggage around with no help. I am beyond exhausted. I really need a vacation. A real one equipped with sun and beaches and fruity drinks. One where a warm breeze will massage my skin without any effort and bring me into a somber that will relax my soul. 
I am really looking forward to leg 3 in Southeast Asia. It is completely booked and planned thanks to my friend, Kelly, in Singapore. It has a warm weather climate with a backdrop of sunshine, palm trees and $10/ hour beach massages. Paradise is less than a week away! 

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