Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Venice and midterm week

Hey, so this is midterm week and yesterday I had 3. So I was filling out tests all day. It was a little ridiculous. But I'm sure you all have been in the same spot too. Well I've got 2 more. My only midterm tomorrow is Italian Cooking Traditions. I had a midterm yesterday by the same teacher and it was a bit harder than I thought it was gonna be. The midterm yesterday was Vegetarian Cooking and I to write a paragraph on each question. Some were like what are the nutritive qualities of a carrot and I had to list the vitamins that they have. I mean beta carotene is a given, but I ended up making up a bunch of vitamins. I mean they're just a letter and a number, right? So I'm gonna have to put in a little more studying for the one tomorrow. The last midterm I have is on the history of the Medici Family, I'm pretty set on that since I'm a history major. But I gotta spend a little time memorizing the family tree. But whatever, I'll spend a little time studying tonight and tomorrow.
After midterms is spring break! I plan on going to Madrid, Amsterdam, and London with a few friends. Its gonna be some fun times! I won't have my computer with me so I don't know if I'll be able to post next week. But I'll come back with some stories.

But this past weekend I went to Venice! We left Florence around 930 in the Saturday. We found a side route to Venice that took a little longer and had
3 transfers, but it saved us like 30 Euro so we decided to take this route. Well we got our tickets but then it pops up that our train is gonna be 15 minutes late. Which means we had about 5
minutes to hop of the train at the next station, orient ourselves, find the ticket machines, buy them, validate the tickets (in Italy, you have to buy the ticket and then "validate" them right before
you use them which puts the date and time on the ticket. If you don't validate then the minimum fine id 50 Euro.) and then hop on the train. And thats what happened. Twice. We ended up
sprinting across some huge train stations.

Venice is farther from Florence than we thought. The train ride took 4 hours and we arrived in Venice around 2. We checked the trains back and the last one was at 730. We had about 5 ho
urs to spend in Venice. So, yeah, there was a lot of sprinting that day.

So anyway our first stop was the island of Murano. We went to the norther tip of Venice. There we found water buses. The only methods of traveling around Venice are either walking or taking a boat. So the public transportation system is a fleet of water buses, vaporetti in Italian, that take you to stops in Venice and in the surrounding islands.

We get off at the Island and they show us a pretty cool glass demonstration. I didn't think of taking a video, but I've got some pictures of it. And they have some really impressive glass
works on this island.

So we walk around, taking in all the glass, and we go to the line for the water buses and the place
is packed. Water buses are the only method of transportation between islands so people push and shove their way to the front of the lines. A bunch of people, mostly Italians, kept on pushing the the front, cutting the line. So eventually I had enough of this and started doing it back. Me
and my friends eventually, after 30 minutes of waiting, were in the front of the line.

When the next water bus came everyone pushes and shoves to get on. I'm surprised no one fell in the water. But it looked like my friends were going to get on and I wasn't. It was that close. So I grab my friend's shoulders in front of me. I figured if I attach myself to someone in front, it would be harder for people to push in front of me. And I said, "Hey if I don't get on the boat, I'm jumping on your back." I really was about to jump on his back but then the lady who decides who's the last person on the boat grabs me and pushes me into the crowd on the boat.

We were all laughing, the situation was so ridiculous. I was the last one on the boat. When I stepped on, my feet were right at the corner of the boat. I couldn't take one step back. But then the boat started to go. The safety rail wasn't even up yet. They just started going. Glad I had a few friendly hands to stabilize me, otherwise
I'd have had to swim back.

Anyway we get back to shore and I'm practically squeezed off the boat. We make our way down to Piazza San Marco. We really started to get a chance to just explore the city a bit and take in the beauty of it. Venice really is beautiful. Its incredible and its packed with so many interesting things. I was really disappointed that the whole boat situation took such a toll on our time there. But the buildings on either side of each street, for the most part, can be touched by extending both of your arms. The streets are tiny. And they're like a maze. Getting lost is half the fun of Venice, but you really wouldn't know how to get anywhere if there weren't signs pointing towards the major landmarks of the city.

Piazza San Marco is incredible. I was there when I was 10 and, back then it seemed limitless, but now that I saw it again, it seemed much tinier, but still huge. It was pretty beautiful. Apparently Napoleon loved San Marco square and he called it the "drawing room of Europe." Besides its beauty, both of the buildings and of the waterfront, the square is really special because there are absolutely no cars around. All the noise you here is from people.

I wouldn't mind spending all day there, but we had to go catch our train. We spent about an hour in the square which wasn't NEARLY enough. I'd walk around there all day if I had the chance. But we make it back to the train on time and headed back home. No problems.

Anyway I gotta go back to Venice. When you step in, you can tell how special the city is. I'm definitely gonna go back. If any of you get a chance. GO THERE


1 comment:

  1. Kev, LOVE the pics...Venice is truly a magical place. It's like stepping back in time to another world. It sounds like you're having sooo much fun! Eat up and drink up for me:-) and soak in all the sites of Europe, the place that I will one day call home!
    hugs, stephanie