Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Italy - Day I Vol. II (Venice)

I'm back again! Hopefully I will find more time to post all of my remaining adventures from Europe. Anyway, I will resume where I left off. Here are some more photos from our first day in Venice, Italy. Click here for my previous post from Venice.

On the first day, we walked from our hotel near the train station to San Marco's square. It took us about an hour and a half to make our way through the tiny streets, walk across all of the hidden piazzas, and cross countless bridges to get to the other side of the island. Along the way, we stopped to look at some of the shops and markets. While walking around, I couldn't believe how colorful but yet faded these buildings were. We toured the Basilica di San Marco, which was beyond amazing and incredibly beautiful. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to take any photos inside church. Afterwards, we took a gondola ride through a few of the canals. I wasn't too thrilled about spending a lot of money on a gondola ride, but my flatmates did not want to miss out on it. In the end it wasn't too bad, but I didn't think it was worth the money.

All in all, it was a great first day in Venice!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Italy - Day I Vol. I

In early February, a few of my flatmates and I were thinking about places to travel to for our Spring Break. We were thinking that Italy would be a great place to go, since none of us have ever traveled there before. After thinking about it for a few days, we thought "why not?" and booked ten nights in four different cities. We found some really cheap plane tickets and hotel/hostel rooms online. Luckily, our Spring Break was during the off season. This meant that the overall trip wasn't too expensive. Plus there were fewer tourists than usual, so they didn't clog up the cities.

We were in Venice for the first three and a half days of our trip. I've heard a lot of comments from other people who have traveled there saying how much they did not like Venice. Some say it is too touristy. Others say its incredibly dirty and smelly. Both of those statements are true. However, I was able to overlook that. All three of us LOVED Venice. We thought it was one of our favorite places that we traveled to during our spring break.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Easter Weekend Vol. II

On Easter, my flatmates, Jackie and Jordan, met up with one of my colleagues, Elena, for church. We decided to brave the crowds and attend service at Westminster Abbey. It was packed! We waited in line  in the freezing cold for a good hour before the doors opened. It was definitely worth it, because the service was so beautiful!

After the service, we headed to Elena's place in Richmond for an Italian Easter meal. Elena is from Italy, and some of her friends (also Italian) came over to join us. We talked and laughed about our cultural differences while eating some of the best pasta I've ever had. The Italians learned about the Amish, and they were completely fascinated by them. And somehow I got dragged into their debate about which is the better city: Milan or Bologna. Still, no answer on that one.

^^Jordan, Jackie and I^^

^^Elena and I^^

On Monday, my other flatmate, Claire, and I took a day trip to Oxford. We walked around and visited a few of the colleges for several hours. Regrettably, we only got to see a fraction of the town. We didn't have a plan or a list of places that we wanted to visit, so most of the time we were wandering around aimlessly. But, we did make it to the Oxford Castle and mound, Christ Church College and cathedral, Bodleian Library, Trinity College, the Covered Market, and a few other places. Oxford is a really nice place, so I'm sad that I didn't get to spend as much time as I wanted to. 

And then… well, we just couldn't resist. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Weekend Vol. I

I celebrated my Easter this year with some good friends here in London. This was the first time I've celebrated Easter without my family, so it felt really strange. But, I will have to admit that it was pretty awesome. Since Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays here in the UK, I had a nice long weekend to relax and tour more of the city. You know what that means: multiple blog posts about Easter for the rest of the week. Hurray! 

On Friday, my flatmate, Jackie, and I woke up early to explore Hyde Park. This park is another one of those Royal Parks here in London that I keep mentioning. We walked, talked, and took lots of pictures. This park is so big that you forget that you're smack dab in the middle of a busy city. Most people use the trails that go around the perimeter, so it felt like we had the park all to ourselves when we ventured towards the middle. I'm sure when the weather eventually warms up, the parks will be packed with people.

^^Starting to look like spring over here!^^

^^Jackie has some weird obsession over all animals. She was in bird heaven here.^^ 

^^The swans are gorgeous, but they can definitely get aggressive.^^

^^Don't be fooled by these pictures. It was only sunny for like two hours.^^

Later that evening, I went on the London Eye with a few of my flatmates. When it's nighttime, the Eye and the park below are all lit up in blue, which looks pretty awesome against the dark sky. Taking pictures inside the glass capsule was a nightmare because of all the reflections.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Local Adventures" - City of Westminster Vol. II

After our walk around Buckingham Palace and St. James's Park, we headed towards Horse Guards Parade. From there, we walked down Whitehall and passed 10 Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Palace of Westminster, and the London Eye.

If you want to see my previous post of the City of Westminster, go HERE

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