We are officially back in the U.S. and have all parted ways. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to explore Europe together. Goodbye, Au revoir, Ciao, Adios, Arrivederci to Europe and to each other…for now. Looking forward to our next trip!
Day 25 - July 29 - Barcelona, Spain
Planetarium day! (For real this time, we promise). We pulled on our dresses to look nice for the planetarium (as well as for our last day in Europe of course). Fourth time is definitely the charm. Not only was the museum open, but we got in for free after showing them our umd student id cards! Maybe it was firtune that we never made it to the Roman plantarium - we never would have came here otherwise. The museum, called Cosmo Caixa, was a science student’s dream. Or anyone really. The exhibits ranged from evolution to tehnology to rainforests to rocks. a little of everything!
We first walked down a spiral staircase, which had signs that walked us through the history of the earth/cosmo/life formation. It resembled the staircase from the vatican museum, and served as the Helix of Life. We ended up on a floor of exhibits amd interactive activities including cameras that follow your body movements, a robot that can draw your face in the sand, games that you can control with your mind, a brains exhibit, and a tropical rain forest where we saw fishes and a giant rodent.
At 5pm, we wento to watch a 2.5D show, “We Are Astronauts”. We were so excited to see the stars! Unforunately, there were very little stars and the majority of the show was about how to observe astronomy. Vy used the time to catch up on sleep. Melissa struggled between napland and being awake. Rosie and Angela managed to stay awake by amusing themselves by watching Vy sleep. The grapics were beautiful though, especially when they showed the stars and forest and cute box characters.
Next was the 6pm show about natural selection. Instead of the kid friendly theme of the last show, this one was more for the older crowd with its more realistic 3D graphics. During the 3D adventure, we met Darwin and followed him through the Galapagos islands. It also hsd funny moments, like fiesta music during fertilization of an egg and a random guy playing on his guitar and whacking dodos with it.
After the museum was our last europe dinner ever. So we went to las Ramblas to eat at Egipte, the restaurant that we had spotted on the first day of Barcelona. This time, we ordered a full european meal. Sangria, tapas for appetizer, and seafood paella. eveything was delicious, and we ate unil we were stuffed. we really do like spanish foods! We tried to enjoy every bite of our last meal here.
After dinner, we strolled along las Ramblas one last ime before headim home. Good niht barcelona, we will be leaving you by 6:30 in the morning.
Day 24 - July 28 - Barcelona, Spain
Guess where we are? Relaxing by the shore of the Meditteranean Sea. :-) Rosie and Vy are lying on beach chairs listening to Kenny Chesney and Toes while Melissa and Angela are out on a food run. The difference between european beaches and american ones? First of all, topless people laying all about. Also, theres interesting Spanish architecture - a pile of boulder sized cubes in the middle of the water. Rosie and Vy went cube hopping earlier on the cubes hobbable from the long stone pier. Theres also a rope web, as well as random exercise machines by the pier. This was one of the more entertaining beaches that we’ve ever been to. We spent most of the afternoon eating, swimming, laying under our rental umbrella, and exploring.
We pre-dinnered by eating yummy ice cream cones from a nearby grocery store, and then headed over to a restaurant Cheriff to try the famous Spanish paella dish. It was a fancy restaurant, so we were once again a bit awkward. We were lucky enough to arrive exactly on the dot and received their only non-reserved table. Upon arriving, the waiter made Melissa hide her bottle of water under the table., no grocery store agua allowed! We ordered the Cheriff paella (the restaurant´s special), as well as a canadian lobster paella (the spanish lobster paella was 90 euros while the canadian one was 20 euros!) Each dish consisted of flavorful rice and delicious seafood like squid, shrimp, clam, and lobster. We also tried to ask for tap water, but the only water available was 4€ per person (grr and the waiter knew that we had a big bottle of water hidding under the dinner table, too!) So we ended up getting a sparkling catalan cava style drink instead, which was a perfect compliment to our salty seafoody meal.
We finished the day with a dessert of tutti fruitti and boy scout. fruit and roasting marshmellows by the fire, a perfect ending to the day. =)
Day 23 - July 27 - Barcelona, Spain
Our first day of exploring Barcelona! We slept in and left the hostel a bit past noon. What better way to explore this new country than to trek over to Las Ramblas, a busy shopping street filled with Barcelona life? On Las Ramblas, we first encountered a statue dedicated to Christopher Columbus. At that time, we had no clue what it was, but proceeded to take pics anyway since it seemed like a tourist attraction. It´s really easy to overlook the city´s landmarks, especially since we weren´t familiar with any of them. Nothing obvious like the Coloseum or the Eiffel Tower to be on a lookout for! Las Rambas was a great street for street shopping. In the middle were street vendors, while restaurants and shops lined both sides of the streets. We had a lot of fun looking at jewelry and other items, although we didn´t find a charm to represent Barcelona.
We spent the day ambling about, making our way up Las Ramblas. On the way there, Melissa spotted a smoothie place in what seemed like an alley, so we wandered off Las Ramblas to check it out. To our surprise, we found that we had stumbled upon la Boqueria, Barcelona´s famous food market. They had fruit and smoothies and gummies and meats and fish and mini bar-style places to eat. Our favorite type of shopping. :) We devoured fresh fruit smoothies and mixed fruits, all very fresh and for a great good price. We wish we could bring back this market back home!
After the fruit break, we proceeded back along Las Ramblas, until we stumbled upon another tourist attraction, la Plaça de Catalaña. Pretty fountains and flowers and tourists everywhere, but what made the square stand apart from the other squares that we had visited throughout our Europe trip was the presence of pigeons. They were everywhere, more pigeons than we had ever seen at any given place. It was a great place to relax and people watch. As we got ready to leave the square, a pigeon decided to give Melissa a present by pooping on her head. hehe she really is lucky during this European adventure! Too bad we weren´t in italy where pigeons pooping on head is regarded as a sign of good luck.
As we were postcard shopping, we realized that we hadn´t seen the majority of the landmarks featured on the postcards. So we decided to make the postcards our tourguide, taking note of the places on the cover of the postcards and attempting to track down those sights. Our first destination was Casa Batllo, a building restored by Antoni Gaudi and Josep Maria Jujol. Finally we get to see an example of the famous Spanish architecture! This building is known by locals as Casa dels ossos, which stands for House of Bones. This was fitting, since it is very skeleton-like and has balconies that resemble skulls. The spanish are quite creative with their construction! We then went down a couple of blocks to see the Casa Mila, which was another building designed by Gaudi. It was a very curvy building of stone with a spiral tower coming out of its roof. Thank you post cards for being a great tour guide!
Then it was time for what we all had been looking forward to all day - a tapas dinner at Cerverceria Catalana, a restaurant praised by locals and tourists alike, and considered by many to be Barcelona´s top tapas restaurant. we got there before 8pm to beat the crowd (the spanish like to eat their meals later than we’re accustomed to). Even so, the place was extremely packed. We ordered 10 tapas, all of which were extremely delicious. We had ¨Cabreaos¨ egg style (a famous dish consisting of mini french fries with egg), prawn skewer (who knew that shrimp could be so flavorful?), Spanish omelette (which was much yummier than the one that melissa and vy had eaten the day before) mont entrecot de buey al cafe paris (beef cooked french-style), navajas a la plancha (a really yummy and juicy long clam), fried hot green peppers (our least favorite out of the batch), chicken with cured ham croquetes, gambas roja a la plancha (clams), fried sardines, and more shrimp.
Then it was time to digest by the Montjuic fountain! This is a famous fountain located by Plaça d’españa that was called to our attention by (can you guess?) the postcards. From 9 to 11 each weekend, there is a water show on the half hour. We were drawn in immediately as the show began ,with colorful lights, fancy spurts of water, and the ¨Circle of Life¨ playing to the rhythm of the water. Their choice of music was perfectly aligned with our interests - the show was Disney music themed! It was nice to be standing among the mass of tourists, singing along to the disney classics, watching the kids dance by the water’s edge, and occasionally getting sprayed by the fountain’s mist. The show was so good that we decided to stay for every show until 11. We were happy to find out that the theme changed for each show. The next one was pop music, followed by classical, Barcelona patriotism, and then adult contemporary. Disney was by far our favorite.
We completed our first day in Barcelona with dessert. We walked over to a mall a bit off Plaça d’España, where we saw a gelato place. Everyone got gelato besides Vy, who was still not in the mood for gelatos. The end for now
Day 22 - July 26 - Rome, Italy to Barcelona, Spain
More packing in the morning. This morning we discovered how nice the hostel owner, Francesco, was. For the past couple of days, we were surrounded by cute notes in the kitchen signed by Francesco, and notes left by hostel guests thanking Francesco for his hospitality. But we hadn´t seen too much of him, or could even distinguish between which one of the two workers he was. But that morning, he let us print out our bus boarding passes for free, as well as keep our hostel bags in the room until 12:30, so we wouldn´t have to lug it around with us all day (even though other guests were supposed to move into our room). Other hostels would have never agreed to either of the two. The pizzeria wasn ´t until until 12:30, so we amused ourselves by taking a walk around the local area and playing a game of life in the hostel’s garden.
Back to Pomodoro e mozzarela we go! The set lunch menu was a more reasonable size - a water bottle, eggplant pasta, chicken, and salad. It was all very good. We definitely see why Italians consider American pasta to be overcooked - our pasta was much less soft than what we were used to. After observing other locals eating their meals, we were amused to see that the restaurant had kindly mixed our salad and added olive oil dressing for us. Every other table that had a salad had the dressing brought out for them so that they could add it themselves; they probably realized our touristy hopelessness from the start. (as demonstrated by our behavior last night when ordering).
Whoops, running late for the Terravision bus that was to take us from the train station to the airport. We made it just in time; it seems like we’re getting quite good at running for metros and trains throughout this trip! A useful skill to take back with us to the states. :) Now time for the much anticipated Ryan air flight! To our surprise, Ryan air didn´t measure, OR weigh , our bags. What about all of the horror stories that we had seen online? We should have guessed; Italy Ryan Air had adopted the chill attitude of the rest of Italy. Vy set off the alarm while walking through airport security. When she looked at the guard in confusion, he waved her past and barely glanced at her. Melissa and Angela forgot to take out their fluids. Vy still had her scissors in her bag. Flying in Italy is quite hassle-free! After a rather bumpy flight in an airplane that appeared to be filled with teens and young adults who talked loudly and cheered during the flight, we reached Barcelona safely. We metroed to our hostel to drop off our luggage, and then grabbed a quick dinner at a nearby bar cafe. Rosie had a ham sub and melissa and Vy tried the spanish omelette sub. Not too notable, as compared to the other european subs that we’ve sampled in the past. However, everything was quite cheap!
We then returned to our hostel, which was advertised as a high tech hostel. It looked very new, clean, and resembled a hotel more than a dorm like place to stay. It was a funny hostel, in some ways a little too high tech for us. The bedroom lights (besides the night lights and bathroom lights), automatically shut off at 11pm (so bunkers won’t bother sleeping bunkers). The toilet paper is kept in a locked dispenser. The window’s handle had been removed, so the window was sealed shut. There are security cameras for every corner of the hostel. When we went down to explore the kitchen-computer area, we were spotted and informed that it was closed at night. The elevator is programmed to disable travel down to the kitchen level during night time to prevent sneaky tourists from coming down. 8am, the room lights automatically turn on, and jazz music plays from the hallway. It was a pretty nice place to stay overall, the bathrooms were very clean and it was nice to have our own private room. and bathroom We are staying in the business district of Barcelona, and can see the famous Torre Agbar tower . We learned that the beach was walkable from our hostel as well. yay!
Day 21 - July 25 - Rome, Italy
Planetarium day! we were excited beyond words to finally learn about stars. We woke up early and hopped on the metro…off to the planetarium we go! Except when we got there, the worker told us that the shows don´t start until night. grr the schedule on the back of the tourist map wasn´t reliable, and the museum didn ´t have hours posted outside so our 2nd attempt was also a 2nd fail. We found out that the show was in italian, but we decided to come back that night anyway to learn about the stars and milkyk way. Stars are beautiful, no matter what language. :) Time to eat popsicles to give us energy for the Vatican City! (It was super hot that day, but we were dressed in long pants in order to visit the sacred churches. )
Our Vatican adventure was going to be interesting. We got too busy to plan out Rome beforehand, so no tickets were booked. The tours that we wanted to go on were full. The Pope was speaking that day, so the crowds were going to be crazier than usual. How to get through the city without having to wait in the infamous lines that we read about earlier? Thanks to Angela´s research the night before, we used a couple of tricks to get through the Vatican city without waiting in a single line. We really do think that luck is on our side this whole trip.
Our first stop was the Vatican museum, which served as a good forum for our religious history discussions. We’re learning more and more each day! The museum was huge and fancy and filled with many famous paintings and religious works of art. The Vatican is so rich! The only things that we recognized in the museum, however, was a cast of Michelangelo’s Pieta and Da Vinci’s Last Supper. We spent a long time pondering the Last Supper before moving on to the room of maps. We also saw the museum´s famous DNA double helix shaped spiral staircase! We then followed the tourist crowd into the Sistine Chapel. We spent most of our time there craning our necks to see the frescoes on the ceiling. How uncomfortable it must have been for Michelangelo to lay on his scaffold, painting scenes on the ceiling. After a bit of hunting, we spotted The Creation of Adam in the middle of the ceiling. Mission Sistine Chapel complete, time to go to St. Peter’s Basilica! We had fun in the basilica people watching and observing people getting stopped by the guards for their indecent length clothing. We spent time on the steps of the basilica afterwards, eating our bagged lunch and watching interestingly dressed guards.
We heard that italian mail was unreliable, so people prefer to send mail from the Vatican. So we went postcard shopping, writing, and mailing. Afterwards, we waited in our only line in the Vatican City - the public bathroom. We were so luckily that we made it through the Vatican trip without having to wait for any line but the bathroom line! We made the wait productive by having a discussion about books.
We walked through St. Peters Square, as well as souvenir shops, on the way back to the metro. Rosie, Melissa, and Angela got over their very brief gelato break by getting another gelato from Blue Ice. Vy got a slushie instead. But after the gelato, everyone declared that they were officially done with gelatos for now. Which is perfect, since this is our last full day in Italy. On the way to the Spanish steps, Melissa had an interesting metro experience. Lucky day for her!
At the Spanish Steps, we took pictures of the steps. We weren´t too impressed with the steps until we read that they were considered Europe’s widest staircase! We also saw Keat the poet´s house (which is now converted into a museum). We then sat by the fountain and watched locals drink directly from the water spurting out of the statues in the middle of the fountain. Its going to be strange going back to America and not being able to drink from anything but water fountains!
We were planning to eat at a restaurant walkable from the Spanish steps, so we decided to walk around until it opened at 6pm. We had a lot of fun trying out shades of make up at Sephora! When we went back to the restaurant to eat, we found that they opened later than advertised. That was too late for our schedule if we wanted to catch the planetarium show, so we decided to head back to try the restaurant next door to the hostel.
Pomodoro & Mozzarella Pizzeria. The length of the restaurant’s name rivals the amount of food that we were served there. We ordered the set dinner menu, which included an aperitivo (a yummy pink thing), a drink, 5 appetizers (bread and tomatoes, bread and spread, salad, something crunchy and fried, and another something crunchy), a pizza per person, and then dessert (flan, tirimisu, coconut, and fruit). Such a great deal; we ate until we were overly stuffed. completely. It was a perfect way to sample real italian food; even though we didn’t exactly know what we were eating, everything was delicious. We seem to never fall in love with a city until we find restaurants/foods to obsess over. Besides gelato, our eating experience in Italy had been largely disappointing. Where was that famous italian food that people we know and movies and books rave about? After eating here, we finally found a restaurant that we really liked. Despite the difficulty of ordering due to a lack of english speaking servers, the food was so good that we understood why the restaurant always seemed packed with locals. We paid for the bill and promised to return the next day to sample their lunch menu.
We headed back to the hostel to pack for our flight, scheduled for the following day. This RyanAir flight has given us so much headaches. Its weight limit of 22 pounds per person was harder to stay under than our overly ambitious selves had anticipated, so we caved in and paid for a checked in bag. Even with those extra 30 pounds, our luggage was cutting it really close. We packed and repacked and redistributed our items to make sure that each bag was under the size and weight limit using the hostel’s scale. We spent hours and hours on this, and lost track of time…
Running late for the planetarium! We sprinted for the metro, despite our uncomfortably full tummies. phew, we made it on the metro before it closed! We walked towards the planetarium, excited about our first night out (LOL) and thinking about the saying,¨the third time is always the charm¨ But nope, maybe that saying needs to be rewritten¨, because when we got there, we discovered that the last show had just finished. ahh it turned out that the info people that morning had given us the wrong hours! = ( we were so disappointed and sad and mad, since it was our last chance to be able to go in Rome. So when we got back to the hostel, we immediately researched planetariums in Barcelona. We must go someday, or our trip is not complete!
Day 20 - July 24 - Rome, Italy
We had accidentally scheduled in too few days in Rome when mapping out our Eurotrip several months ago. So we woke up this morning with a long itineray filled with touristy attractions to visit. The first on the list was what could be considered as Rome’s most well known landmark - the Colloseum. When we arrived in front of the Coloseum, we spotted the huge line of tourists waiting to go inside. Fortunately, we had bought Roma passes the night before, whiched allowed us to jump into the accelerated line to go inside. wow. We were fascinated by the Colloseum’s history and the events that used to be hosted there in the past. Those lion and gladiator battles, taking place in an arena lined by anticipating spectators, reminded us of the hunger games. Climbing the steps of the arena resulted in a great view of the ruins of the Domus Aurea, a complex that had been built for Nero’s residence back in the day. To us, the ruins just looked like a big pile of rocks.
Next, we went to explore Palantine Hill, which was a grassy area covered with more ancient ruins (or in our eyes, more slabs of ancient rocks). Slowed dow by Rome’s hot weather, we sluggishly sat down on a boulder serving as a bench, and enjoyed the scenery. So many tourists and rocks everywhere! Within Palantine Hill, we took note of major sites of interest, including the stadium and houses of affluent Romans. By noon, we quickened our pace, motivated by our hungry tummies and thoughts of trying roman pizza. We walked over to the Roman forum, which was a plaza that used to be the center of ancient roman life. It appeared to be a nice area covered with yet more rocks and columns and statues, but we were too lazy/tired/hungry to explore the area throughly. We were then done with the Colloseum, Palantine Hill, and Roman Forum. Time to head over to the Trevi Fountain to try real italian pizza!
We walked into a pizzeria on the way to the Trevi Fountain. We ordered 4 different types of pizza as usual, to share among the 4 of us. The pizza surpassed the one that we had in Venice, and we all enjoyed the tomatoe arugula white cheese pizza the most. Fresh italian tomatoes really do live up to heir expectations. :-) these pizzas still seemed americany to us, although much thinner than regular pizza. Why are we having so much trouble finding the italien pizza that rosie had tried back in the US? Someday…
After stopping by some souvenir shops along the way, we finally reached the famous Trevi fountain. It looked just like the images of the fountain, but we were surprised to see how packed with tourists it was. There were rows upon rows of tourists; we had to slip through the crowd to get seats by the fountain’s edge. At the fountain, we took part in its tradition of throwing a penny backwards over our shoulder while making wishes. (Don’t worry, we threw in a penny to represent the wishes of our families and friends back home, too. We hope your wishes also come true…) We sat there for a long time, people and baby and dog watching.
On the way to the Pantheon, we stopped by souvenir shops. As Rosie, Angela, and Vy waited outside, Melissa comes out of the souvenir shop feeling angry and shocked. She was followed out of the shop by a couple who had just purchased a souvenir cap of Rome. it turned out that she had just experienced the infamous traveling-through-Rome experience of pickpocketing, and the couple was the pickpocketers. The couple, who were dressed like tourists, had unzipped two of the outer compartments of her bag, but luckily she felt it and smacked the lady´s hand until the hand was withdrawn from her purse. So the couple quickly tried to cover up their pickpocketing attempt by playing out their tourist act, immediately grabbing a cap and buying it. ha, Melissa thwarted the pickpockets, who ended up losing money in their attempt of pickpocketing her. Now we´ve seen real Roman pickpocketers in action! After that incident, our pickpocketing alert was on the rise.
We arrived at the famous Pantheon, which was a pagan church that was later converted into a Christian one. It was very ornate and fancy, but we didn´t spend too long in there since we´ve seen so many churches already on this trip. Also near the Pantheon was Piazza Navona, which was filled with painters selling their paintings. By mid-afternoon, we had finished with almost all of the tourist destinations on our list. Not bad for half a day in Rome!
Since our Roma pass included another free admission to a tourist attraction, we decided to go to Planetario e Museo Astronimico, the planetarium in Rome. Maybe it´s been such a long time since we´ve been in school, or that we’re just inherently nerdy, but we were looking forward to this attraction more than most of the other sites on our Europe itinerary. Unfortunately, after we walked through the wet streets and finally arrived at the museum, we found that the museum was closed, so we decided to return the next morning.
Time to go to Despar for grocery shopping. By this point of the trip, we were getting pretty lazy with the cooking-at-home tradition (even if our pasta dishes rival that of the restaurants). But we needed to use up all of our pasta sauces and pastas so that we could stay under Ryan Air’s weight limit. so pasta dinner time! We bought long fresh pasta this time, in addition to eating the pesto that we bought in Venice. So cool, combining Venice pesto with Rome pasta. We should have collected food items from each country and made a food collage meal at the end…next time!
We then went out for dessert, gelato of course. We went back to the gelato place near our hostel that attracted us with its colorful flavors. The service was super friendly and they gave us a huge serving of gelato, served very prettily with whipped cream and a mini cone on top. Too bad the only thing missing was the taste of the gelato. It was probably the worst one that we´ve ever eaten; we had trouble swallowing it down. The one we had earlier today from Blue Ice was much better. taking a break from gelato for now after that one! although they did have the friendliest service out of all the gelaterias that we´ve been at.
Day 19 -July 23 - Venice to Rome, Italy
The number 19 is Vy’s lucky number, but the day’s start was far from lucky. We woke up and rushed to eat breakfast, get dressed, clean, and pack to check out of the apartment by 11. In the rush, Vy clumsily set down a glass cup in the cupboard and heard a crack. Oh no. We were trying our best not to break anything so we wont lose our apartment deposit. So Vy and Angela ran around Venice trying to find another glass cup to replace the broken one, while Rosie and Melissa stayed behind to finish packing. Finally after all of the chaos, the mission was successful and the cup was replaced. yay. time to celebrate by eating peaches and making good use of the last couple of hours of Venice!
By this point into our trip, all of our backpacks have gotten significantly heavier with souvenirs, brochures, food, and who knows what else. How do real backpackers who carry their backpacks around all day do it? We chose to pay 5 euro each to store our bags at the train station instead of lugging them around with us all day. unfortunely, the bad luck continued and the luggae handler broke vy’s happy people pen. :(
By this day, we felt like we had explored venice to the max already. So we spent our last morning and afternoon in venice retracing our steps from the days before. We walked along Ca D’Oro, St. Marcos Square, and even ate at the same places (including Gelateria D’Oro, Crazy Pizza, and Brek). It was very relaxing, although we were getting a tad bit bored with venice. We walked all the way to our fave gelateria (the first one that we had tried during our 1st day in venice) for our last taste of venice gelato. Angela managed to subconsciously influence all of us into geting fruitti de bosco (mixed berry flavored gelato) with her enthusiasm.
Before we knew it, we were running late and had to make a run for the train station. Frantically running around seems to be a common theme of the past two days! We got to the train station with plenty of time to spare (it turned out that our train was slightly delayed and scheduled for later than we had thought). The train ride was pretty comfy, and the 4 hours flew by quickly. And then we arrived in our 6th city, Rome! Our first impression - what a dark city. Partially because it was 9pm, but Rome did seem much darker than the other cities.
We hopped on the metro, on our way to TwinCities hostel. Time to be on the alert for pickpockets! The metro deposited us in a sketchy looking residential area of Rome. The area seemed deserted; there were few people anywhere. We were excited to see that gelato stores were quite plentiful in this area of Rome as well.
We found the hostel easily, and was surprised at its small size. Unlike the ones that we’ve stayed in the past, this hostel resembled somebody’s apartment. It had a homey feel, with a kitchen, little garden, and rooms labeled by color. We stayed in the red room (which Rosie was probably happy about since red is her favorite color). The room had no air conditioning, but had a nice balcony that was much larger than our balcony in Paris. living in such a tiny hostel definitely has its drawbacks, but we felt very welcomed by this hostel’s friendly staff, who gave lots of individual attention to each guest. Time to sleep so we can have energy to conquer Rome in 2 days!
Day 18 - July 22 - Verona, Italy
Good morning, Italy! We woke up early today so we can have more time for another day trip, this time to the city of Verona, which is located one hour away from Venice. We bought ham sandwiches on special, thick italian bread from a cafe with free wifi, and boarded the train towards Verona.
Verona is a nice, but rather small, city. In contrast to Venice’s beach boardwalk feel, Verona feels more like an urban city. It was a change from Venice, with fresher air and less packed streets. Verona is most famous for being the site of Shakespeare’s most well known play, Romeo & Giuletta. We saw Giuletta’s balcony and rubbed her right bosom for good luck (as the superstition goes). We also left a letter for Juliette in her red ‘letters for juliette’ box. We then went souvenir shopping, and of course tried out the gelatos of Verona. (some seem to taste even better than the ones in venice)
Then we went on a quest to find free bathrooms. We went to our favorite free bathroom place, McDonalds. But to our dismay, there was an uptight security guard at the entrace of the fancy McDonalds. He watched us like a hawk the moment we stepped inside, and as soon as we wandered over to the access code-protected bahroom doors, he slithered over to protect the bathroom from non-customers like us. So we each bought a cheeseburger for the bsthroom access code. We realized that we really miss McDonalds.
Now currently on the train back towards Venice. We were really lucky to catch the train; if it wasnt delayed, we would have missed it. We’ve been really lucky with these european trains. :) Yummy homecooked pasta dinner and freshly squeezed orange juice. (our apartment comes with a juicer!) our deep convo of the night = celebrities and more.
the end to day 18. =)