A Travellerspoint blog

Venice... Not What I Was Expecting

Europe 2011


View Europe Tour 2011 on Advontuura's travel map.

Our second day started out with a minor disaster. My friend and I ended up using the wrong converter for my hair straightener... Her bangs were nearly fried off. Fortunately Italian coffee and croissants make everything better, and by the time we finished our breakfast, excitement had evaporated the mornings horror (although its questionable whether or not my straightener is broken).

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I cannot deny the fact that Venice was beautiful. As far as appearances were concerned, it was everything I thought it would be; the canals were picturesque, the streets were narrow and bright. The reason it wasn't what I expected is this:

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The city has become so commercialized and crowded that there are few places left where you can just sit, and get a feel for what life must've been like back in the day. In quite a few of the more popular areas I had to wait longer than five minutes to get a good picture taking spot by the rail. Of course I was probably there at a bad time considering it was the middle of spring break. Despite the crowds we still had a fantastic day wandering around the city, and a tour of Doje Palace. The history of the Venetian Empire is fascinating. It's ironic how a place they built deliberately somewhere no one would want to go is now one of the most visited places in Europe. We got a stunning view from the top of the tower before heading back to our boat out of the city. Back in Abano Terme some friends and I went to get gelato-apparently a must try in Italy-and wandered around the town. I loved how it had a bit of a more relaxed feel to it; it felt more like somewhere I could actually live. I leave you with my favourite photos of Italy. Tomorrow... Austria.

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Worth a fifteen minute line up and 8 euros? Actually yes.

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So much gold...

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This is what I picture when I think of Venice.

Posted by Advontuura 16:26 Archived in Italy Tagged buildings boats italy europe_tour Comments (0)

Ciao Italia!

Europe Trip 2011


View Europe Tour 2011 on Advontuura's travel map.

Since this is a travel blog, and I'm not actually going anywhere till next weekend I figured I mind as well tell some of the stories I already have. So for the next few months (or however long it takes me to run out of good stories) I'll be posting about my spring break trip to Europe. It was a bit different traveling with a large tour group, and while I probably won't do it again, it was certainly an amazing experience. It was a chance for me to travel with my best friend, whom I'll be moving away from next year, and the ideal opportunity to see several of the "must sees" in Europe. I herby present:

Day One

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Waiting at the airport

The scene at the airport was almost comical. I'm used to traveling with just my family, so being a part of the huge tour group was definitely a bit different. It takes at least 10 times as long to check in and go through security with 34 other people, but on the plus side you're a lot less likely to get a pat down (I mean what airport staff wants to pat down a teenager while 34 others stand around watching and clogging up the security area?). I spent most of the time in the airport playing cards with a few friends. Our flights went smoothly and I managed to catch the latest Harry Potter film thanks to my complete inability to sleep on airplanes. When worst came to worse I just plugged in my ipod and listened to Bob Marley-My ultimate feel good music.

Once in the Heathrow airport we had to take a bus to Gatwick. It amazed me how green the countryside is in London. It was nothing like my childhood memories of walking for hours though empty grey streets, searching for a place to eat lunch that would allow children into the restaurant. I guess I didn't get the greatest impression of the city the first time around; it would be nice to give it a second chance in the future.

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The surprising greenness of London (and the surprising brownness of the roads).

The flight to Venice was short, but when we arrived we still had an hour long bus ride to our hotel in Abano Terme. They served us a full Italian meal of pasta, turkey, and some sort of chocolate log for dessert... So good. By the time we went up to our rooms we were exhausted and stuffed after our 36 hour day, and yet almost too excited to sleep. Tomorrow... Venice.

Posted by Advontuura 18:57 Archived in England Tagged planes england bus italy airports europe_tour Comments (0)

To Travel Solo Or Not Travel At All?

Why I plan on doing it alone

You know those times when everyone tells you its a bad idea and yet you do it anyway? This summer I'm taking my first solo trip and I can hardly wait. I'll be spending two weeks in Spain; the first will be mostly taken up by Spanish classes, the second will be spent traveling up the east coast. If I'm lucky I'll get a chance to rock climb and hopefully windsurf while improving my fluency in Spanish. After all, the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it, right?

Why go alone?
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Wandering into the desert by myself

I know, a young woman traveling alone sounds a little bit sketchy. My friends have assured me I will be undoubtably robbed and taken advantage of if I go through with this crazy plan. While I know that sometimes bad things happen I think its important not to let your fears prevent you from living your life. My desire to travel solo goes a long way back. In eighth grade my best friend and I made a fantastic around the world itinerary. For weeks we researched the countries we wanted to travel to, searched up the best time to go, and painstakingly planned our schedule for a trip 5 years in the future. When a few months later she told me it wasn't going to happen I was devastated. After lamenting my lost dreams a came to a conclusion: I would do it alone. Since then I've managed to convince myself that I would rather go alone, and while my RTW trip is still four years away I'm far to antsy to wait until then to travel. Thus in about two months I'll be grabbing my backpack and running headlong towards adventure. The thing about solo traveling is that you can be as selfish as you want. The only person you have to please is yourself; no compromising over where to eat, what to see, and when to take a rest. I also find that you're more open to meeting people when you're alone, which will help me to come out of my shell a bit, and give me more opportunities to practice my Spanish.
I plan on being incredibly careful of course. I am aware of the risks and precautions I should take to avoid any dangerous situations. The thing is that people overestimate how dangerous travel is. My city has just as much, if not more crime than the places I'll be traveling to. I'm prepared to avoid wandering at night, sketchy neighbourhoods, and anything that gives me a bad vibe. I still believe that the world is an essentially good place with only a few exceptions, not the other way around. When the options come down to taking a bit of a chance or staying at home all summer the choice is obvious:Off to Spain I go.

Posted by Advontuura 17:42 Tagged me people spain solo_travel Comments (0)

The Journey Begins

As one chapter closes the next is about to be written

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe”……Anatole France

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Narnia or British Columbia?

Whether it be on a stunning Caribbean beach, or my own suburban backyard, I've always found there to be something magical about wandering, no destination in mind. It's a chance to let go of everyday problems, and let your imagination run wild. Total freedom is something I have yet to experience; however as I finish my last year of high school it gets closer and closer. This blog will be a tribute to my summer adventures, moving to a new city, living alone for the first time, and eventually my trip around the world.

Posted by Advontuura 18:57 Archived in Canada Tagged me Comments (0)

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