sarahblack: (Glam Christina)
Right now I'm in Prague! I'm safe and sound at a couch surfer's place, and I've been having a blast ever since Greece.

I spent an amazing day in Venice last Sunday - You will not believe the weather I got! At first it was cloudy, then it was sunny and nice, then it was cloudy again but with the added bonus of ominous thunder. A few random rain drops encouraged people to find shelter. Then it hailed for 15 seconds. After that it was like the heavens opened and all the water from everywhere just came pouring down in magnificent windy gushes! I got it on video... It was the most amazing rain I have ever seen.

During the 20 minute downpour I stayed put along with most of the crowd, enjoying the shelter, taking pictures and smiling at the craziness of nature. A few brave souls fought their way through the storm with umbrellas or ponchos as weapons. The occasional free spirit ran through the square with bare feet and bare chests - embracing the rain like an old friend.

Once it stopped raining the clouds lingered and a fantastic lightening storm entertained the crowd which was waiting for the next boat to the train station. I have never seen so much lightening! It was like a firework display!

When I arrived at the train station the clouds were disappearing and a rainbow could be seen in the distance. Through the train windows I observed the most stunning sunset I have seen in a long time.

But other than the weather - Venice was beautiful. I walked around, looked at bridges and beautiful buildings, enjoyed art at the Academie fine art museum and ate some delicious Italian food.

I didn't spend the night in Venice because my host lived about an hour and a half away from the city. It was a sleepy little town, and the view from his balcony was amazing. I liked being able to see a less urban side of Italy.

After Venice I visited Vienna. Oh, Vienna! It totally captured my heart. Especially Schonbrunn palace. My mother always talks about that place, and I completely understand why! It's amazingly beautiful. But I thought it was especially fun to visit it because of the history. My friend SigrĂșn lent my her DVDs with the Sissi movies - they're all about the Austrian empress called Sissi and her life. Very romantic! While I was touring the palace there were so many references to her and her life. Very cool.

While I was in Vienna I tasted genuine Vienersnitzel (yum!), Sacher cake from the Sacher hotel (double yum!), went to see the Hundertwasser house, the Karlskirche, the Belvedere palace, the Donau river, and generally walked around and appreciated the city. It was amazing. ♥

Anyway, I just got to Prague and I'm staying with a bunch of other surfers with a super nice host in a huge apartment in the centre of the city. The view from here is crazy amazing. I can't believe this is my life!

Greece

Aug. 25th, 2012 10:09 am
sarahblack: (Haaapppeee Audrey)
Right now I'm on a ferry that is on its way from Patras in Greece to Ancona in Italy.

Yep, I went to Greece!

After my last day in Rome - which I spent looking at churches, art, the Spanish Steps, the monument dedicated to the unknown soldier, and many other neat things - I spent two days and a night getting myself to Athens.

Sleeping on ferries when you have a deck ticket is interesting. On the ferry from Bari (Italy) to Patras I barely slept at all because there were so many people snoring! I got some sleep after the snore-a-sauruses woke up, though. This was a good thing because when I arrived in Athens I went straight to my hostel (Athens Backpackers) where I met awesome people who decided we should party all night. It would have been hard to have two nights of no sleep!

I had one full day in Greece. I went on a walking tour which was arranged by my hostel, and then I toured the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum. I was able to see a lot of beautiful buildings and ruins, statues and carvings. I really liked the museum - it was air conditioned! (It was 42 degrees Celsius while I was in Athens.)

I was a bit sad to find out that the British Museum is refusing to return the statues and things that were stolen from the Parthenon.

Anyway, I'm on my way to Italy again. I'm hoping to be in Venice by this evening. I've been offered a place to stay by a couch surfer. He seems really nice - an Immunologist like me!

I've had an explosion of couch surfing invitations. I think I have got a place to stay in every place that I want to go to now!
sarahblack: (Glam Rose)
Since my last update I have done a lot.

- I visited the Chateau d'If and said goodbye to Laufey and Marseille.

- I jumped on a train to Geneva, where I ended up drinking Swiss white wine aboard a boat on the Geneva Lake within hours of my arrival. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love the couch surfing project?)

- Visited CERN and saw physicists hard at work, analysing fresh data from the LHC.

- Spent more than 10 hours on trains getting myself to Rome. This included amazing views of Switzerland and Italy.

- Saw the Vatican museum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, the Castle d'Angelo, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Fountain of Four Rivers and many many other famous and important things.

- Watched The Artist under the stars.

- Ate the best gelato I have ever tasted. (Banana and dark chocolate flavours mixed together with whipped cream on top!)

- Went on a road trip to see the pope at his summer house (he totally blessed my hat) and then to see a small town called Palestrine, where there was a pretty cool museum with stunning views of the surrounding area. Ate at an awesome restaurant along the way - was the only tourist in there!

- Tasted real Italian coffee in the tiniest cup I have ever seen. (It was probably 50% coffe and 50% sugar, though.)

I wish I had time to go into detail about all of this, but I feel like I'm hogging my host's computer enough already. Maybe next time? Although by then I will hopefully have accumulated new and exciting stories to tell you.

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Sarah Black

March 2015

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