Hello again peoples still having to read my crappy writing :) Its been a few cruisey days followed by a few hectic days of sightseeing. I am almost castles/ruins/religioned out at this point so looking forward to a nice day of heavy train travel tomorrow through the swiss alps!
Where was I last time? Nice! What a beautiful place - VERY cruisey, nice weather and I really really liked it. I would imagine the entire Meditterranian area is like this but yea could easily come back to this area and spend 3-4 weeks here alone. As this trip was almost a quick taster of areas I wasnt too fussed and can save that for another trip maybe. First day was nice and relaxing but hangovers become the morn here with the beers being so cheap and the fact theres 20+ backpackers drinking to 1:30am every morn hehe.
2nd day we decided to bus it up to Monaco and wow what a place - A little older now but I can imagine in its day it would have been pretty awesome. It still is, the backdrop and the fact the entire city/country is on a hill or 2 is pretty impressive. We watched the changing of the guard (it wasnt as good as I thought it was going to be, and we kinda rushed to go see it), then visited one of the best if not the best aquarium I have been to, just the range of fish and lots of fish I have never seen before was really really good. Then went and seen the Prince (or is it king now?) personal collection of cars. I was really disappointed the fact it cost 6 euro to get into it, and we browsed it in 15mins maybe. If you were a real car buff maybe it would be worth it but yea for me a no go. On the way back into nice we stopped at the beach for the first time and what a weird feeling it is being on a beach full of rocks and no sand! And Im not talking grit or small rocks, some or most were half to a full fist sized rocks! Similar to smooth river rocks is the best way to describe them (I think I took a snap or 2 before looking like a perv - Lots of topless women sunbaking made having the camera out not a great idea lol). The rocks made it a little difficult getting in and out of the water a little bit but it was worth it. Funny thing is instead of leaving beaches at home with sand in every portion of your body, getting out here was dry off ready to go no mess no fuss! Was quite salty in the water, but was calm and could just float for hours in the water. Having your ears in the water too is the funniest but soothing sound of rocks clicking and rolling around with the waves.
Third day in Nice we considered going for a look at Cannes, but as we were doing a 12hr train ride that night decided against it. Spent the morning in the water again then went shopping or attempted shopping! At this point of the trip I still havent bought a lot (Dont want to be carrying too much crap!) but will by the end prolly a few steins to bring back hehe. That night we jumped on the train ride (LOTS of tunnels!) to Milan, then off that train onto our sleeper train for the night to Rome. I didnt mind the sleeper train at all we we in a double which is basically 1 bunk bed.
The only problem with the sleeper train was in the morning you get off, with no shower, then travel to your hostel/hotel, and usually they dont let you go up to your room till 2/3ish, you spend the day feeling pretty disgusting, specially in rome weather (it was 26/27 but pretty humid). We got over this, dropped our bags off and started to go exploring. The hostel or hotel where we were we REALLY excellent on arriving in the morning, gave us coffees and sat down with us to help us get the best out of 3 days in rome. Easily the best service we have had at any place we had stayed thusfar. We ventured out all smelly and greasy for the day anyhows and 1st stop where could it be but anywhere else - The Colleseum! Just getting there on the bus I now see where the saying of 'Rome has more ruins than dog poop' comes from - The entire city is just like 1 big museum and its a real shame that a lot got destroyed/pilferred over the years to build other stuff (the Vatican/Christians were the worst in reusing stone from other buildings!). The collesium was f***ing impressive - MUCH much bigger than I expected. We managed to get onto a walking tour of the collessium and roman forums nearby which was a great idea as it gives you WAY more information about the place, as well as the nice thing of being able to skip the MASSIVE queue. It still staggers me the fact that this stadium hosted battles EVERY day for 300 odd years. The walk also included a walk through Palatine hill that overlooks the roman forum. Having the guide here was really handy as knowing what was going on here or used to be would have been very hard. Finally we got back to the hotel to have that shower we had been looking forward to for a day!
Next day was going to be religion day - The vatican. The impressive wall around the whole country was impressive enough but so much history in one place - And without rest for the 3.5hour tour made me both physically and mentally drained after the experience. The amount of time mainly in the artwork blows me away mainly, especially in the sistine chapel... I really liked it here, but with a lot of things seen this trip, would not be something I would want to return to. Not being so religious probably doesnt help haha. Back out from the vatican meuseums and we had an eeary moment, inside the vatican walls it was not raining - By the time we exited back out to Rome it was absolutely pissing down! Around the corner we went to stand in St Peters square and seen where the Pope comes out to stand sometimes..! Finished the day off fairly early as we were all stuffed. What I had found so far too is that between France and Rome, im surprised that Egypt actually has anything egyptian left in it. We were told there is actually more egyptian oblisks in rome than there is in all of Egypt now. Also another tidbit - Italian meals are definately the best we have had so far ont he trip, but they are so massive I have only been able to get through one of them!
Third day in Rome - as we were still exhausted and almost ruined out we decided to start with walking the shopping streets of Rome, before carrying on a seeing quite a few different momuments including Travi FOuntain, and a heap of other churches/ruins/Piazzas that I dont have the names of handy. A good day of soaking up everyday life and not hanging around s***loads of tourists which was nice.
Yesterday was another one of those hectic, yet cruisey days, 3hr train ride to Pisa where we basically looked at the leaning tower. (Totally not worth it at all). I think the whole day was just crappy - crappy weather, had lunch as soon as we lobbed and that was crap too.. So really didnt have a good day today - Oh well if we only have 1 bad day from 38 or so I can handle that!!. We then carried onto Venice lobbing in quite late nighttime.
A day in Venice was on the menu today and what was really apparent was the lack of cars on the island (if I can loosly call it that) - Just awesome to be in a city with no car noise, it is REALLY REALLY good.. Walked all around must have gotten lost 10 times or so but it really amazes me and I really really like the city. If I am ever in this neck of the woods again I will definately return..! About an hour before we were due to train out we were standing on a nice bridge admiring the city (Its quite romantic) when Jo and I decided to go on a Gondola ride. Well it wasnt planned but it just felt so right and with tingling arms I decided to ask Jo to marry me..! Luckily she said yes which saved me from having to dive off and make my way back home alone :) So within my blog I would like to announce that Jo and I are now engaged! Sorry to all that I have not messaged you personally, but neither of us bought phones and only having limited internet access this will have to do for now :) For now We are now about to go to sleep in Milan, before heading up to Zurich tomorrow.
Although I am having an absolute ball still, it is time to come home soon, and not in a disappointed way to leave here, I am looking forward to be back home and out of crowds and back to nice open space up in the hills :) But before that happens I have a big mountain to conquer and also try and survive a few days of Oktoberfest!! Until next time! Oh and so Jo has been reading my blogs to see what i'm waffling about and she has realised in my previous post I may have missed a word. I stated I didn't make it to the top of the Effiel Tower when actually I did!! very shaky but I did make it and Jo took photos to prove it!