AND WE’RE BACK! After a 6 week winter break full of fun and adventure, I’m finally back in Denver. I’ve wanted to post for the last few weeks, but I haven’t been in the same place for more than a few days and posting is very time consuming. I have to sort through all my new pictures and decide which are worthy for the g27 gallery, title them, color-correct, clean and crop them, and then pick thumbnails. And then write the post and links and thumbs and oh man it’s a lot more work than it looks like. ANYway…
As you may have read (if you’re a regular around these parts), Molly and I went to Europe over break. We never had time to study abroad during the school year, so we scraped together all we had and jumped the pond over to our homeland. The trip started out as a relative Hindenburg catastrophe(ok, not that bad) due to some unforeseen illness. Read on…
About an hour before I left for the airport to meet Molly and fly to England, I felt a little bit sick and kind of achy. Whatever. I never get sick. We flew for about 3 hours and watched The Island on the little headrest-TVs. About 10 minutes before the end of the movie, my head felt like it weighed a million pounds and everything got a little blurry. I literally stumbled to the back of the plane to get some orange juice – I could barely walk! I was swaying back and forth as I took each step and almost falling to the ground with every row I passed. I was pale white and sweating, had a bunch of juice, felt a little better, so I went and sat back down. Soon after that, I started shivering like I was naked in the Arctic. I wasn’t even that cold, but my body was freaking out and I had no idea why. After a bunch of blankets and one of those red rubbery heat-pad thingies, I felt better and made it through the rest of the flight.
First stop was Plymouth, England to visit Matty. He studied abroad at DU last year and I was the first American friend he had. It was his idea that we come to Europe and stay with him. After a seemingly endless bus ride from Heathrow airport to Plymouth, and 2 accidental phone calls to some lady’s house…
Peet: Oh, I’m sorry, I guess I called the wrong number again. The number I’m trying to get to is _____, did I dial the country code wrong?
Angry British lady: I’m not going to give out my phone number!
Peet: Well, I just called you twice… I obviously have your number.
…we eventually got a hold of Matty and he picked us up in his tiny clown car (especially for him, being 6’8″ and all) and took us to his place. During our stay, we hung out with his crazy, what-the-hell-did-he-just-say accented housemates. We explored the town, ate their weird food, and visited the National Marine Aquarium. We were some of the only people inside and we saw a lot of cool marine creatures. Huzzah.
A trip to Matty’s University of Plymouth Health Center and a very talkative doctor explained why I was so sick – tonsillitis! He gave me some antibiotics and I started feeling better quickly.
After saying our goodbyes, we made our way to London where we stayed for 2 nights. Our hostle couldn’t have been much worse; it was directly over a very loud and very obnoxious pub, they booked 5 people into our 4 person room, only had us booked for one night, had a fire alarm at 3am… it was a disaster. There was some definite fun had in London, though. We explored the city, saw the changing of the guard, did a lot of jumpkicks, and took a walking Beatles tour around the city. Good times.
Small things I picked up about England:
Then it was time for Italy. The flight to Bologna was great – short and sweet and the food was really good! Little french bread pizza type dealies, made the whole plane smell yummy, which we loved because some of the other passengers were preeeeetty stinky. You can say it’s a cultural thing, but, um, damn do some of these people reek. Francesco has excited to have us in town, and we spent the next few days hanging out with his housemates who were all very anxious to practice their English on us. We all sat around the dinner table and they would eat dinner like 3 times a night! Molly was
in heaven. We had a lot of time to really explore Bologna, and we even had time to develop a favorite pizza place! All hail the Drago Verde. One of the best pizzas I’ve ever had for under $4, cooked fresh right when you order it. Yum. I think we went there 3 times in 5 days.
We were fortunate enough to be in town for the Italian Motor Show, where we saw many crazy foreign cars and a few domestics as well. It seemed like the whole freakin’ town was there. How can they all go to one thing at once? Who’s gonna make the pasta??
The highlight of Bologna was the university party. Francesco and his housemates took us to a giant party-hangout thing at some school in Bologna, and man oh man was it crazy. Picture the school in Dangerous Minds, filled with highly political, motivated, and insane Italian kids. The walls were covered in graffiti with the anarchy symbol, quotes from famous rogue philosophers, and general chaotic scribblings. The characters matched the setting perfectly; dreadlock-laden Euro-punks with tattered clothes and about 9000 piercings between all of them, drinking heavily, smoking heavily, and generally having a good time. I had a feeling that these kids would start a revolution any minute if they weren’t so distracted by wine and pot.
Finally, we ventured to the famous island of Venice. We did a lot of walking and exploring, avoiding sketchy street merchants (“No, I swear, it’s a real Gucci bag” “Get outta here, dude”), and toured the island of Murano, where they hand-make all things glass. Glasses, animals, everything. Big shoutout to our tour guide Alberto.
Oh, right. The pigeons of San Marco square. A few blocks from our hotel was this glorious location, in which the pigeons are their own government and no other international body may interfere. Holy crap where there a lot of pigeons. Whenever we weren’t sure what to do, we would go play with our feathered friends and it never really got old. :pigeon noise:
Huge huge new gallery with a sampling of some of the best pictures we took on our adventure.
Thanks for the good time, Europe! And a giant thank-you to Matty and Francesco and all the people that helped us along the way. From beds to sleep on to helping break down the language barrier, we salute you.
Listening to: Mae – Embers and Envelopes