*apologies for the late post, I've been having trouble connecting to wifi!*
And We. Have. Made. It. TRIESTE! It is crazy to think we have just successfully completed the European Peace Walk!!! 500 km, 6 different countries, many different people met, and one hell of a time.
Jana prepared a lovely breakfast this morning at 6:30 AM, and after playing with her tiny cat for awhile, we hit the road for the last 18 km of the trip!! The beginning was a really nice walk that brought us out of the village and into a winding forest. Jakob sang to us as we walked (I have promised to learn the lyrics of all these songs), and when we finally came out of the forest, we came to a clearing, where we crossed into Italy!! I'm znot sure what I expected because I realized there would be no borders, but we crossed a small bridge and suddenly we were in a new country -- the beauty of walking. It soon turned into a massive uphill climb, which gave a beautiful view of the mountainous view on the other side, as well as Trieste and the sea in the distance! We soon started on the bike path home :)
Along the way, we stopped by the coffee recommendation on the guide, which was a cute hotel downhill off the bike path. After refreshing ourselves, we walked the 8 km more on the bike path & through the city, weaving downhill on streets until finally...the beautiful plaza and fountain that seemed so familiar in pictures 😍 Honestly, it's still hard for me to think that we will not be continuing to walk for the next few days, but we had our photo glory by it, and then soon afterwards, we treated ourselves (or rather our "grandparents and father" treated us) to an amazing lunch, celebrating with champagne!!! We did it AHH!!
The rest of the evening has gone by so quickly, but we met up with Tina & Barb for drinks at 5 PM after showering in our respective hotels (where I met another Peacewalker from Singapore who had arrived a few days earlier!), and then once again with everyone for dinner as a final hurrah. Trieste itself is an absolutely beautiful and bustling city, and not to mention the Adriatic Sea is right there--we had gone through everything from cornfields to dirt roads to mountains to the sea. It was so bittersweet saying goodbye to everyone, but I have faith that our travels will allow us to cross paths again.
I plan on doing a reflection post later on (since I have not yet been able to slow down--traveling now in Italy!), but I do want to express my sincere gratitude towards everyone on the Peacewalk, since it was such a challenging yet rewarding experience. It was such a good first walk (since I had not done any before!), and I do hope to come back, whether it's a few years later with family or when I'm much much older. I do know that I will become a "Walker" since it's such a great way to see the country, really meet people, and just clear your mind to focus on walking and finishing each day.
"Once life becomes easy, then you know you're dead" -Jakob
I am thankful, and life is good :)