Welcome to Part 5 of my travel journal! If you are interested in receiving a referral code for $100 off any EFCB trip, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good morning! I’ve decided to start writing in the morning on the bus, because there is so much travel time. Hopefully the details won’t be too fuzzy.
Yesterday we left at 8, after a quick breakfast. We boarded the bus, and headed to our first stop: Verona! Verona contains the balcony that inspire Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I was so excited to see this; I first read Romeo and Juliet at 10 years old, and I had always been captivated by the story.
When we walked into the city center, the first thing I saw was the huge arena. It is the most well preserved arena in all of Italy; much better preserved than the Colosseum in Rome. As we walked around it, we saw that there were props laying all around – such as sphinxes, medieval weapons, and towers! The arena regularly holds plays and operas, and the props are stored outside. I think that would be an amazing excursion; I would LOVE to see a play in the arena.
Fabrice led us down the main road, which was filled with people and shops – the road itself was quite narrow though. When we got to the end, we turned right, and entered the Juliet house. There was a small tunnel entrance, and the walls were covered with writings of “So-and-so loves so-and-so.” I wanted to put down my name with Hunter’s, but I didn’t have a marker.
We exited the tunnel, and there was a huge throng of people crowded around Juliet’s statue. Rubbing her breasts is supposed to bring you sexual prowess.. So, of course, the statue’s breasts are a different color from the rest of her, because they had been rubbed so much! I took some pictures of the balcony (which was beautiful by the way), took an obligatory picture with the statute, and headed to the gift shop to buy a magnet. I settled on a simple one that had the balcony on it, and a border of flowers. I was tempted to get a magnet of one of Juliet’s boobs, but I decided against it.
The courtyard was really too crowded for comfort, so I moved on to explore the marketplace. I found a lovely little stand selling fruit cups; I picked one up that had grapes, pineapple, kiwi, and strawberries. Yum! I also stopped by a pizza place, and bought a slice that had garlic, tomatoes, olives, and loads of cheese. It was probably the best piece of pizza I’ve ever had.
For the rest of our free time, I walked around with Shannon and Lesly; we took lots of pictures in front of buildings and signs. Just a fun, touristy thing to do. Around 1, we started heading back to the arena to meet with the rest of the group. We headed back to the bus at 1:30 – this time, bound for Switzerland!
Good Bye, Verona!
We were on the bus for several hours on the way to Switzerland. About 6 or 7 hours actually – we didn’t make it to the hotel until almost 9. the gorgeous scenery did make the ride go by quickly, and we stopped at a couple of rest areas. Right near the border of Switzerland, Fabrice pointed out a huge lake, and told us that George Clooney has a house there. So cool!
Every country seems more beautiful than the last, but Switzerland really takes the cake. It is gorgeous! But, there is a price to pay for all that beauty. Switzerland is one of the most conservative states in all of Europe. There is even a 1000 euro fine for washing your car on a Sunday!
We stopped at a rest station in Switzerland, and the difference in pricing was astounding. 5 euros for a tiny bottle of water, and 20 euros for a gas station meal. As beautiful as Switzerland is, I would go broke if I lived here.
We got to the hotel a bit later, and it is by far the best place we have stayed. Actually, better than any hotel I’ve ever stayed at! It even has an attached casino, which I may check out later.
I was rooming with Taina on the second floor. When we got in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the huge window. It was an entire wall made out of window, and the view was spectacular; a lake, picturesque mountains, and train tracks.
I took a shower and met some members of the group downstairs at the hotel restaurant. I was looking forward to eating Swiss food, but there wasn’t anything traditional on the menu. Unless curry and tacos are traditional in Switzerland, haha.
Afterwards, I went upstairs and opened the Moscato I had bought at the wine tasting. I was going to save it for when I went home, but I decided to have a little wine tasting of my own with Taina. After that, right to bed. Not the most eventful day, as most of it was spent traveling. Until next time!