Sorry its been a while since I've last updated. Things have been pretty eventful in Europe!
Since I've last posted I've taken a day trip to Innsbruck Austria, gone snowboarding 3 more times (twice at Monte Bondone and once at a resort called Plan de Corones or Kronplatz in German), went to Lago di Garda again, and took a nice Easter holiday in Germany and England. Ill try and recap..
Innsbruck is easily reached from Trento on a relatively inexpensive two-hour train. I went with my roommate for the afternoon and we ended up having one of the best meals to date. We walked around the old town and then up by the river. There were a lot of shops in the area, so we did some shopping too. We ate at a restaurant in the old town, and luckily Joey knows how to speak German because the waiter didnt understand English or Italian. She ordered a fish dish and I had spinach and cheese ravioli. I'd say most of the time I never know what I am going to get when I order because I never understand the menu, but its usually really good.. and this time I got really lucky! I cant describe in words exactly what it was and how good it was but I'll try.. It was three big ravioli filled with spinach and cheese in an olive oil and herb sauce, on top of saurkraut with tiny pieces of pork mixed in... and usually I'm not a big fan of saurkraut but this kind was amazing, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! On the side there was this rice ball thing which I have no idea what it actually was, but it was good too.. all washed down with some Austrian beer. Mmmmmm...
Snowboarding was great as usual. One of the days at Monte Bondone the snow was perfect.. unfortunately no deep powder, but the consistency of the snow was perfect for some tight turns and deep carves :) Another day we went with our Italian friend, Ale, to Plan de Korones.. a resort farther north. Ale drove us, and also gave us free passes he got from his father who is chief of police in Trento. It was so sunny and nice that day, the snow was beginning to melt in parts, but the resort was a lot bigger than Monte Bondone and there were about 4 gondola lifts. It was a gooood day. I had a beer and brat slopeside and apple strudel for dessert. And contrary to some rumors I've been hearing, no I did not jump from a helicopter.. maybe next time!
Andrew was in Germany with his high school German class for ten days around Easter, and I decided to meet up with their group for a few days. So last friday (good friday) morning i took a train to Leipzig, Germany to meet up with him. It was such a longgg train... almost 6 hours to Munich then i had an hour layover there and i got a 4 and a half hour train to Leipzig. by the time i got to the hotel (i had booked a single room in the same hotel Andrew was staying at) it was late. but i saw Andrew that night!! It was soooo good seeing a familiar face! We had a huge breakfast buffet at the hotel and hopped on the bus to go to this really pretty city called Dresden. I'm not going to give a rundown on historical info of the city, but if you wikipedia it you can get some good info. We were free to have lunch on our own time, which was after I had a really good street hot pretzel and Andrew had a street brat. So we got the grand tour of the city after lunch and came back to Leipzig around dinnertime and saw some of the sights in that city. The next day was Easter Sunday and the group and I went to mass at this old catholic church.. and what do you know? The mass was said in German. I had no idea what was going on.. like the our father, peace, songs, everything in German. It was definitely an experience. After the mass the group was meant to go to Wittenberg (where martin luther posted his 95 theses on a church door), so we all got on the bus and did that.. then they were going to Berlin and they were sooo nice they even dropped me off at the airport on their way, because my flight to Bristol departed from the Berlin Schoenfeld airport.. so we said our goodbyes and were on our separate ways.
They dropped me off at the airport around noon and my flight wasnt until 9:30 pm, and check-in wasnt until 7:30 pm.. so i spent easter sunday sitting, listening to my ipod, and eating candy. I must have gone into the little convenience store 3 times and i ended up eating a huge bag of gummy bears, a square of ritter sport dark chocolate, a toblerone chocolate bar, and a bag of this english candy called wine gums. It was definitely too much sugar for one day. So i flew into bristol airport and my flight was a little late so i got there around 11:30 at night and my roommate here in Trento, Joey, and her dad were waiting there for me to pick me up. We drove back (on the opposite side of the road) to her house which is just outside a city called Bath. When i got there her mom had made us each a little Easter basket with candy.. it was so cute!! Everywhere around their town seemed like it was out of a movie or magazine. It was gorgeous.
The next day they showed me around the city of Bath (named after the roman baths, which are these natural hot springs that the romans used) and we did a little shopping. I saw the Royal Crescent and the river Avon. That night her mom cooked dinner for us, which was roast lamb and it sounds kinda gross but it was soooooooo good! Joey and I and her younger sister went to see STEP UP 2 that night. It was pretty bad acting and story line, but the dancing was really good. The next day we had legit fish n' chips and English tea. I got the full experience. They took me around some small cities around their area but im sooo bad at remembering names of cities. Sirencester and Castle Combe were a couple of them. We drove by the estate and house of the royal family (prince charles, william, and harry!) Unfortunately i didnt see any of them, but their polo fields were HUGE. Then we went into the next town where Prince Charles had opened a shop last week.
Tuesday Joey and I took a train to LONDON, my new favorite city! Our train got in pretty late at night, and I met Jo's boyfriend who was waiting at the station for us. The next day I saw Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and some other places. It was soo pretty. It was a little rainy but not too bad. The public transportation in London is great.. they have regular busses all over, and the subway which is called the Tube. I had bought an unlimited travel card for the day for about 6 pounds, which after the terrible conversion rate is about $12 american. Everything was so expensive after the exchange rate, I tried not to think about it I spent so much! Joey and I went shopping that afternoon, and then met up with her boyfriend and his roommate to go out and get a taste of London's nightlife. The next day I got another grand tour of the city and I saw the place where princess di used to live, went into the V&A museum, and saw Notting Hill and Portobello Road (my favorite place in London!!). We went for dinner at this Thai restaurant called Wagamamas and it was very good. I had a cold and couldnt taste or smell much, but what I could taste was excellent. The next morning we were up early to catch a bus, multiple tubes, and train to the airport, then we were back in Italia. We flew into Verona, and took an hour-long train back to Trento. It was nice to be back, but I cant wait for the day I can return to LONDON!
Yesterday Joey and I didnt have classes so we took a little day trip to Lago di Garda, the biggest lake in Italy. Its a really big vacation spot and has some great sailing and wind surfing. I am lucky to be so close to it.. to be able to go for an afternoon. By bus it takes a little over an hour, but by car its only about twenty minutes. It was a beautiful day, the temperature here is 22 degrees celsius... which is low 70s fahrenheit. The only downside was that when I got to the lake and took out my camera for a picture, I realized that I had left my battery charging back in Trento. oops!
Anyways here are some pictures of my excursions:
Dresden, Leipzig, and Wittenberg Germany
Innsbruck Austria and more from Trento
Classes have picked up a little, but I am still waiting for one more to start. This weekend I am going to Berlin with Joey to see one of her friends DJ at a club, and the following weekend we are going to Barcelona Spain and then Lisbon Portugal to visit our Portuguese friends. Ill try and update more often!!
I just want to pass on a little secret culinary tip that may change salads as you know them. Pesto. Put a spoonful of pesto on the side of any salad and it is sooo good. Just be sure your dressing is balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Changed my world.