From Pisa, we set off to our next destination, Switzerland. Once again, the Italian scenery was some of the most beautiful I’d ever seen. And it only got more so as it began to transition into Swiss. Plains and forests began to give way to mountains and lakes, which provided a majestic view and exceptional contrast.
After we left the Vatican, we made the drive to Florence. It was a long drive, but not quite as long as the drive to Rome was. Normally, I’d sleep on these drives, or listen to music or something (I’d long since given up trying to type up this blog on my little phone). But the Italian scenery was so amazing, I couldn’t help but stay up and stare out the window.
We got into Florence rather late, so for our first night, we really only had time for dinner at the hostel and a short tour of the waterfront afterward. Continue reading
Ah, Rome. The Eternal City. Capital of the Roman Empire (fun fact, both Constantinople – now Istanbul – and Ravenna, also served as capitals). All roads lead there, so it was inevitable I’d find myself there eventually.
The drive from Venice was surprisingly long. I’m guessing since we had to travel around the boot of Italy to get there. Still, the scenery was absolutely stunning though. Italy is a beautiful country.
Once we got into the city, the first thing we had was a walking tour so we could see some of the sights.
Sorry about the delay, South Africa has been keeping me really busy! Anyway, here’s the tale of how we got through the doorway of Italy.
In most of the places I’ve written about so far, we stayed for two days before visiting the next city. In Ljubljana and Venice though, we only to stayed one day each before leaving. So I thought I’d include them together.
It was an nice drive from Budapest. Hungary and Slovenia had beautiful scenery, I enjoyed looking out the window as we drove.
Before arriving at Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia), we had a scheduled stop at Lake Bled (also in Slovenia).
The morning after the pierogi dinner, we packed our bags, boarded the caravan, and started on the long and perilous journey to the distant and exotic land of Budapest.
Aside from a few bandit attacks, the journey was mostly uneventful. After many months of traveling we stopped for provisions in Banska Bystrica, a small town in Slovakia.
I’m writing this from the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. I’m just two hours away from boarding a plane to Johannesburg, South Africa.
I really enjoyed Europe, and it was hard saying farewell to all the people I met on my tour. But, rather than say “goodbye,” I preferred to say “until I see you again.” Because I’m sure we’ll all meet again someday.
Now, you may be wondering: “What the hell happened to the rest of Europe? Didn’t you have other places you were going to write about?”
Well, as it turns out, keeping up a blog takes a lot of time. Something you don’t always have if you’re on a whirlwind tour through Europe. So, sorry about not keeping up with my blog.
But don’t worry! I fully plan to keep writing this blog and write entries for each city I visited in Europe (the remaining ones being Ljubljana, Venice, Rome, Florence, Switzerland, and Paris).
I’ll try and get some entries done in the airport today, so look forward to that! Next, I’ll have up my post on Budapest!
Let’s talk about something a little happier today, shall we? How about I tell you about my time in Krakow?
We got in a little late the first night. We had just enough time for a small rest before dinner. It was an okay dinner. Polish cuisine is pretty unique.
It was our first time staying in a hotel in awhile, rather than a hostel. So it was nice to have some amenities for once. I was pretty tried out from the journey, and from visiting Auschwitz, so I decided to stay in for the evening.
The next day, we had a little free time before our first activity. So, I decided to take some time to explore the city. As I am want to do.
Between several of the cities we’ve visited, we had little interesting side trips. Ive talked about a few. Between Vienna and Krakow, we visited Auschwitz.
I didn’t take any pictures. I thought it would be disrespectful.
It’s been a few days since we were there, but I’m still having trouble processing it all. I just can’t process that much death.
I think the most harrowing part of the experience was going through the parts of the camp where they stored the stolen things from everyone who died. Seeing the piles of shoes and glasses and things really helped me to ge the a grasp on how many people were killed.
I still don’t think I can fully process what happened at Auschwitz. But, I’m still glad I went.
After Prague, we set out for Vienna. First though, we stopped at the Kutná Hora, the bone church.
It was a pretty crazy sight. On the outside, the church looks normal enough. It’s little morbid, since it has a graveyard right outside, but otherwise, you might think it was just a normal church.
I don’t feel it an understatement to say that Prague is possibly the greatest city I’ve ever been to. It’s been a few days since I was there (this tour’s been keeping me so busy), but I still remember it vividly. Honestly though, I’m not sure, I can adequately describe the experience I had in words.