Wow, what a trip! Looking back on this trip, it amazes me that in 4 days time we were able to travel over 900 miles, make it to 3 major Italian cities, on not much of a budget, not really have any travel problems and still make it home alive. God was definitely with us to help everything go well, and although we had a few problems in Venice, everything went smooth. One of my biggest concerns was that something would go wrong with booking our train tickets. As a matter of fact, we had no idea what to do, but we just need to somehow end up in Venice on Wednesday morning to fly home.
Tyler and I arrived right outside of Milan in the small city of Bergamo. We explored the cool city for an hour or so and then got a train to Milan. In Bergamo, there is this awesome part of town called Cittá Alta (Tall City), which used to be the Italian stronghold against its enemies. This part of town lies on the top of the hill with a huge wall surrounding it. Quite amazing. In Milan, we barely had enough time to see the Duomo Cathedral and the Sforzero Castle before it got dark. The cathedral is gorgeous, and is the 3rd biggest in the world. Apparently that same night had a huge carnival going on that night and there were people in the streets with masks, while silly string and confetti was flying everywhere, it was chaos. After a while more of walking around, we headed back to the train station to figure out our way to Rome. The last train to leave, left Milan at 11:20 pm, and arrived in Rome at 7:20.
At the time of planning this trip, I had thought that going by train in theory would be a good idea…but during each train ride, i was MISERABLE. The only negtive thing about this whole trip was the lack of sleep. That was due to the lack of comfort on the train. Being a college student, we weren’t going to pay $90 for a bed on the train, when we can grind it out in a seat for $60. Our cabin fit 6, and to our luck, we had 6 crammed in there. Language was a huge barrier and I’d like to see a video of me trying to have a simple conversation with some of those other passengers. At one point, not knowing how to express what I wanted to say, I simply said “pizza” and “pasta” in the most Italian accent I knew, which brought laughter. I’m pretty sure it was more of a ‘Dumb American’ laugh, but oh well. The only Italian I learn on this trip was “Parle Englese”…Do you speak English? I figured that was all I needed to know, because if they responded with ‘no’, then there was no chance of communication and I’d find someone else.
Once in Rome, we had lots to see. Everyone knows of the major sites: the Coliseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican, and the Pantheon among others. But what amazed me is that everywhere I went, every corner we came about was full of rich history and architecture. We went into every church possible (they are free) and we were constantly amazed at the amount of decoration and detail that is everywhere. Every arch, every window, every roof space has something decorating it. Of course we did get to see all of the major sites. I saw the Colosseum, The Pantheon, St. Angelo’s Castle, the Vatican Museum (The Sistine Chapel), St. Peter’s Basilica, and many more. My favorite building was St. Peter’s Basilica. I’m not exaggerating when I say this, but I’m pretty sure Rupp Arena could fit inside of St. Peter’s. The place is so huge that I didn’t really even bother to take picture. Pictures just don’t do it justice.
After a full 3rd day of exploring, we made it on our 2nd and last train headed to Venice. The train was exactly like the first train, except it was an hour shorter, thank goodness. One of the passengers on this ride actually was Peruvian, so I was able to communicate via Spanish to at least one of the others in our room. We arrived in Venice at 5 am. Of course nothing open up till 7 or 8, so we simply sat outside of the train station, freezing our butts off trying to get a few extra zzzzzzz in as we waited.
Once everything opened up, we were able to find the only McDonalds in town to use the free bathroom (oh how I miss free bathrooms) to change and brush our teeth. We got some snacks for the day and simply did what we do best, walked around for hours. Venice is such a bizarre city. Who was the retard that thought that using a system of canals and boats would be a good way for ALL transportation in the city? I saw a ambulance boat, a police boat, a gas station boat…you name it. There is not a single car in that city, only long skinny boats, and gondolas. There is a reason why old Venice is nothing but a tourist town, because it makes no sense what so ever to have a city that runs by boats. All it is are a bunch of shops and restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Venice, but man it had a different feeling to it. And also, everything is a lot more expensive in Venice. The Paolo Cathedral in Venice is simply breathtaking though. Inside, the who top half of the cathedral is made up of a giant mosaic. Everything in that cathedral was a mosaic. Unfortunately they are really strict about not taking any pictures of it so I could only take mental pictures.
The only hiccup in our trip was trying to figure out a place to stay the last night. We had plans to stay with a friend of mine, but when that fell through we needed to find somewhere to stay. I had no money left and was mentally exhausted but willing to sleep in the train station that night if need be. Tyler was not up for that. So eventually we found a hotel to stay at that was a little more expensive than we wanted, but it was all that was left for such late notice. At this point, the lack of sleep had caught up to us. Once in the hotel, around 5 pm, we were both in our beds and would fall asleep soon after. The flight home the next morning went smooth and well.
Now I can finally check off a lot of things from my bucket list. It has been such a good time, and was definitely worth it.
Sorry if this is a long blog… even as so I had to eliminate a lot of things because I didn’t want it to be extremely long. I’m always thinking about my followers ha.
P.s Pictures are on facebook so check them out!
P.s Pictures are on facebook so check them out!