Our last leg of the trip was Roma. We dedicated 5 nights for this place because we knew we were in for a cultural explosion. There are just too many things to list out for this city, but I think we got most of it. Luckily, there was some celebration going on when we were visiting, so most of the sites had free admission! Also, this place also requires some reservations to see the places. Vatican Museum, and the more elusive, Borghese Gallery. The Borghese Gallery houses some of Bernini’s greatest works. This was probably my favorite museum of all. The Bernini statues were incredible. Sometimes, you forget that it’s stone. He was such a skilled artist that at certain parts of his statues, he was able to carve it so thin that it was translucent. St. Peter’s Basilica, wow. No words can describe this gigantic church. Awesome city! After this, it was a short flight back to Heathrow then off we went. I definitely do want to come back to Europe. Need to hit up Spain/Portugal, Eastern Europe, and also a Switzerland/Austria trip.
One last final advice for Europe if you are the type that likes learning and stuff. Do a little bit of research on the history of some places you go to. A lot of travel guides have some bits of it here and there, but it would be more rewarding if you knew the background of some of the sites you see. Also, for art museums, study up on art history, or for the famous pieces, try to learn about why it’s famous in the first place. It’s usually an interesting story, and makes you realize what the fuss is all about. Fortunately for me, my brother took a lot of art history classes, so he was able to explain a lot.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
ISAIAH 55:10-11 (ESV)
More HP. The line between VW and Audi is getting blurred. And 17″ rims? They decreased the stock size? All in all, looks good. Keep it up VW. DAS AUTO!
On to Venezia. What a journey this was. The original plan was to take a nice overnight sleeper to Venice. But, the travel gods were not pleased with us that night. We needed to take a train from Salzburg to a transfer station. We did that with no complications, but then we decided to step on to the wrong train. We realized this about 30 minutes riding it. After confirming with the conductor that we were definitely heading the wrong direction, he just told us we should go back. So, we did. At the transfer station, we went to the ticketing office and found that we missed the last train to Venice. I did not like this realization very much. I’m one of those people that likes to plan things out in advance, and if something happens to deviate from the plan, I get upset. My brother is the opposite, so good thing he was there. After pacing back and forth, venting out my steam, we went back and found that another train is leaving for Venice, but we would have to head back towards Salzburg and wait there a few hours. And, we would have to buy tickets for that train somehow. So back to Salzburg. The next challenge was buying a ticket. All ticketing offices were closed, and there was no way I could buy one at a kiosk. We knew what we had to do, so we awaited our fate at McDonald’s. It was time to board our train, and in a desperate move, we kindly explained the situation to the conductor, making sure to explain every detail, and reminding him that we are basically stranded if we weren’t allowed on board. We finally asked if we can hitch a ride on his train with no ticket. We wait. The conductor looks up with a stern face and replies- “Sure!”. And that was that. No questions, no nothing. All he said was, if there’s space, take it. Thankfully, it was a late night departure and wasn’t as crowded. Thank the Lord! We got on, found a nice cabin, and layed down. But, it was THE most stressful ride to Venice. Every stop we made, we were worried we would be in someone’s assigned seat and would have to get up looking for empty seats. That never came. And that’s how Venice started.
Venice itself is unique, and there’s no other city quite like it, with the canals and all. The Doge’s Palace, people watching at Piazza San Marco, and the Rialto. All good times. One day is enough here.