August 4th… I think
Another day another country, or TWO! Our group hopped on the bus once again and made our way to Austria. The drive was beautiful, and the mountains were GORGEOUS. Ingo mentioned there was a famous ski jump in the mountains, and I can see why. They are absolutely incredible.
We didn’t stop long, but long enough for one of the members of our group to lose her phone at the Swarovski flagship store. This place had some really intricate crystals, and some really expensive designs. I almost picked up a couple penguins I saw, but decided to spend my money on some chocolate instead.
Some of us found items to bring back home, weather it was a crystal flower or a pencil with a crystal tip. I brought back photographs.
The group separated to explore the city, which is when I found myself some delicious chocolate. The bags didn’t last long enough for photographs, sorry. They were delicious though. One bag was of chocolate covered coconut treats, and the other was a bag of miscellaneous cookies covered in chocolate. Delicious, and way better than any Milano cookies.
It was really interesting how depending on the street, the place could feel completely devoid of humans to a bussling tourist spot. Here is one of my favorite little nooks I found.
…and moving on to one of my favorite performers I saw in the streets.
Pretty awesome, huh? The colors in all of the building we visited in Europe were also really cool. About this time most of us were getting pretty hungry, and many of us picked out the spot Ingo recommended for lunch. It was, indeed, delicious once again.
Now that our stomach’s hunger has been satiated, we move on to our hunger for adventure. WHITE WATER RAFTING! Unfortunately I didn’t have an underwater housing unit for my camera, so no photos, but it was awesome. We all hopped into our wetsuits, including our driver Barbara. Collectively we took three rafts, each having eight of us. This was my first time doing anything of the sort, but I would do this again in a heartbeat. We started out making sure we could all swim to short if needed in a more mild current. I was a little worried, but with the help of the life vest I actually made it. Our rudder would spin us around and we would hit a rock backwards. It was hilarious. He would do the, “look, a bird” trick, which I was surprised still worked on everyone… multiple times. I think Ash Ponders got me accustomed to not falling for those tricks. My favorite part of the rafting was that we went down THE FRICKIN SWISS ALPS! The region we were in was actually Northern Italy, and we could actually drink from the stream the delicious, chilled, mountain water.
Dried off and on to the next city, we made our way to Padua, Italy. This is where we would stay, and also the first time with air conditioning. Oh air conditioning, how lovely you are. Also, Italian food like my calzone.
I kind of wished I could have ordered a Campagnolo, but the Campagnolo I would want costs about a thousand dollars more and is served on two wheels.
The restaurants in this city all looked nice and quaint, which was to be expected since this is a college town. Sort of like Tempe or Dinkytown in some ways. There is even some silly graffiti which Austria lacked.
Hopefully tomorrow or this weekend I can write about Verona and possibly Switzerland. I have some good 35mm photos I will want to scan before though. Switzerland was my favorite part of the trip, so likely lots of photos.