Tuesday, January 05, 2010

THE trip!

Well, I'm now back in the "grind" of village life. And today I woke up to snow which makes me not want to leave my house... maybe I'll take my trash out just to see what it's like to walk in real snow! :)

Obviously, the trip was AMAZING! I was able to spend Christmas with my original host family from training. That was a blast getting to see the people there.

Milan, Italy
Not long after, Stephanie and I met up and headed to the airport to catch our flight to Milan. We flew Wizz Air for super cheap and (thank goodness!) had no problems with our flight. Turns out that the airport we flew into was about an hour from the actual city. No problem though, they had regular buses running to and from. So we hopped on, got dropped off at the train station (beautiful!) and began the search of our hostel.

We found it after awhile (we had a map) but the problem is that buildings aren't really numbered, no signage and they're the buildings where you have to get buzzed in. Well, we accidentally walked past it and had to circle back around and eventually found it. Here's my hostel review of "Central Station Guest House, Milan." It's close to the train station and since we were only spending one night there it wasn't too bad. The girl who was working the desk didn't know any of the "hot spots" and had NO recommendations of where to even go for dinner. It was odd. But the hostel was nice and small. If I were going to stay in Milan longer, I probably wouldn't stay there again but it's good for passing through.

The next morning, we woke up early and headed out to spend the day walking around before our train at 7pm to Zurich! Stephanie and I had the map and started walking toward the area we wanted to go. After slowly making our way around the city, we got to the Piazza del Duomo which is amazing! (It's the area in the picture from the previous post.) We climbed the steps to the top of the church and then went inside the church. A beautiful church! Basically, we spent the rest of our day wandering around, eating delicious food and then heading to the hostel to pick up our backpacks and get on the train!

In front of the Milan Train Station
From the top of the Del Duomo Church
Charlie the Caterpillar from McKamy Elementary on his worldwide adventures!
The Piazza had a giant pink snail display. I have no idea why but they were fun!

Zurich, Switzerland
At about 11pm, we arrived in Zurich greeted by Stephanie's sister and her boyfriend who is now living in Zurich. The four of us headed back to his house where we stayed (yay for free housing!). We woke up the next morning to begin our wanderings around Zurich. This is what we did the next few days:
- Spent a lot of time wandering and shopping in Old Town (the area you see in the picture from the previous post).

- Tried some delicious chocolates and sweets at specialty shops

- Went to a museum that I can't remember the name of but saw some Picasso, Monet, etc.

- Went to the Bodyworlds Exhibition that they've had in Dallas before. It's basically "preserved human bodies and body parts that are prepared using a technique called plastination to reveal inner anatomical structures." (Wikipedia) You're able to see the inside of bones, muscles, learn how the body actually functions, etc. It was really cool - and also kinda gross at times.

- Ate sausage and saurkraut and then really, really wanted to go to Germany and have it there.

- Went to Freitag whose building is old shipping containers stacked on one another. You can walk to the top and look out over the city. They makes bags and accessories out of used truck tarps.

- Spent New Years in Old Town where they had set up a huge festival with food and drinks and music. There were SO MANY people there. Watched the fireworks over the lake and were happy :)

- Slept a few hours and then began the trek back to BG.

FYI, if you ever go to Zurich, they sell a 3 day pass for about $37 that allows you to get on any of the trams or buses. It also gets you into certain museums for free and discounts at certain restaurants. The ticket also offers a boat ride and the bus up to a lookout point over the city. We didn't do these since it rained every day while we were there. The tickets are available in the train station!

That's the gist of the trip. Is it too early to start counting down the days for the next one in May when my parents get here?!? HELLLLLLO Greece and Turkey! (Of course it won't be official til I get my PC approval!)


Vicki said...

Great travel reporting and the pictures are so lovely!! Incredible visual treats there in Italy and Switzerland...even non-snow Alps are pretty impressive!

Deborah Lea Bird said...

Val! You look awesome! I can't believe how long your hair is. I wish i could come over there and visit you...if I win the lottery I totally will...k? ha anyway, it looks like you are having the time of your life. Love you!

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Pink, i have bought tickets from
http://ticketfront.com/event/Pink-tickets looking forward to it.