I decided to stop in Milan due to, mostly, the fact that it was the cheapest flight from Istanbul, and had an express train to Rome, which was my real next destination. Apparently feeling money-conscious that day, I also booked a bed in a hostel instead of a normal hotel room. The hostel is quiet nice. They put me in a more private room with two beds and a bathroom (I booked a cheaper room with four beds), whether through accident, or benevolence, or clever planning, I do not know. To my delightful surprise, there’s no one else staying there my first night, so I have a nice, if simple, room with a private bath for about a fifth of what I usually pay for a room! The second night, however, I will get a roommate, and he was a nice Polish guy, but I decide I’ll probably stick to hotel rooms from here on out.
Milan, like most of these old cities in Italy, is gorgeous. Even the train terminal (of which my photo did not turn out) is beautiful – big, massive, stone columns and arches. Continue reading “Short Stop in Milan”
Wanting to see a little more of Northern Italy while in the area, I take a day trip to Verona, a little town about an hour and a half out of Venice known for having a large ancient colosseum, and for being the setting of Romeo and Juliet. The train is quite comfortable, and I get some work done on the ride there. Once in Verona, I follow a walking tour from my guide book, which first takes me to the aforementioned colosseum, which is, I think, the second biggest Roman Colosseum in existence. Most interestingly, it is still used for holding regular events. The tour book promised I would be harassed by an Albanian gang outside the colosseum, but they appeared to have the day off. Apparently they are usually outside the colosseum, dressed as ancient gladiators, charging tourists way too much money to have their pictures taken. The police say they’d rather have the gang doing that than what gangs usually get up to, so they leave them to it. Continue reading “Verona Day Trip”
In Venice I’ve felt like a tourist every day, due to the whole place being oriented towards tourists, but today my friend Daniel (also most recently from California) arrived in Venice, so, after a great calzone for lunch, we set out to see some of the more poplar sites which I had avoided until now. We start with the Basilica dei Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari church, which is just two blocks away from my hotel, and has a pretty good free audio tour through Rick Steves’ Audio Europe app. Lots of pictures are taken, apparently a bunch of work by famous sculptors and artists. I particularly like the lazy lion. The winged lion is a symbol of St Mark, the patron saint of Venice, so shows up everywhere, including the flag of Venice. Continue reading “Tourist in Venice”
Thursday through Sunday update. Quite a few quiet days. I’ve been enjoying doing a little bit of sight seeing (usually just as I seek out an interesting place for lunch) each day, and spending some time working, and a lot of relaxing before my upcoming whirl of activity. I have had very poor luck finding any kind of cafe in which to get work done – all of the ones with good views along the canals are expensive, and all outdoor seating, so quickly get either too hot or too cold depending on the whims of the Venetian weather (it’s been almost 80 one day and cool rain the next), and most of the others have rather uncomfortable seating, so I have resigned myself to my hotel room for doing work in Venice. I’m definitely going to book a desk in a “coworking space” when I roam over to Rome in a few weeks.
Overall, a couple lazy days, with some time to do some work on Splody.
I do a little exploring on my first full day in Venice, deciding to head over to a church which has a flooded crypt you can tour. On my way, I pass through Campo di San Marco (“St. Mark’s Square”), the biggest tourist hub in Venice. It is full of tourists so I run the other way, but not until after grabbing a shot of the front of Basilica di San Marco. Continue reading “Venetian Wanderings”
In the morning I board my 6 hour train trip from Zermatt to Venice, with just one transfer near the beginning of the trip, so most of it is spent comfortably in the high speed train going from Brig to Venice. It is a nice train, and my Eurail pass gets me first class seats which are even better. I finally get a few hours to just spend working on Splody so do not notice much of what the train passes by, though a lot of it is in tunnels or through uninteresting urban areas. In the afternoon I am greeted with my first sight of Venice, and the city is covered in clouds, and being rained on, which I later deduce must happen a lot of days in the early afternoon, but it is pretty clear by the time I get off of my train, onto the city, and walk a bridge across the Grand Canal.