Tag Archives: Italy

Topdeck Travel: Days Ten & Eleven

5 Aug

Day Ten

Austria was a nice quiet day for me. I managed to sleep off some of the quasi-Freshers’ Flu that I’ve been the last to contract, while everyone else paraglided and canyon-jumped to their hearts’ content in Tyrol, Austria. The hostel has more of a homey vibe than a lot of places we’ve stayed.

We also managed to be there for the town’s summer festival. As it was also Vicki’s birthday, we pretty much had to try the ‘ski shots’ (six shotglasses fixed to a single ski) and local beers.

Having improved my drunken German loads, I was ready for Deutschland!

Day Eleven

I’m currently writing this in a freaking castle in the Rhine Valley, Germany. A castle. We just had an excellent chill out sesh with Croc on guitar again.

Today was quite a sombre one though, all things considered. This morning we drove to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. It was probably one of the most emotional experiences of my life. Travelling through the youth hostels of Europe, it’s easy to forget things like this. I’m so glad that Dachau is included on the Topdeck itinerary; it’s so important to remember the past — especially when it’s harrowing — so that it is never repeated.

We were stuck in traffic for a while so Jamie put on Love Actually for us all. I’ve seen it maybe twenty times but amused myself with the recent knowledge that the girl who sung ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ voices Marceline from Adventure Time.

“All I want for Christmas is to bury you in the ground.”

I gotta go now because we’re going to a little place called ‘Amsterdamage’ tomorrow.

Read the rest of my European Wonder adventures here.

Topdeck Travel: Day Nine

3 Aug

Up for breakfast at 9.30 today, which happens to be the longest sleep in we’ve had all trip. Which is new, because usually getting up before noon is a triumph for me. We all headed into the heart of Venice for gondola rides and mask-buying. Apprently the local delicacy is squid ink pasta but I couldn’t find it so we had pizza instead.

Matt, Florence & Little Lion Man on a Venetian gondola.

 

Me, Patricia, Isabella & Laura on a Venetian gondola.

Another short update for me – it’s a masquerade party at the hostel bar. PICS TO FOLLOW!

Read the rest of my European Wonder adventures here.

Topdeck Travel: Day Eight

2 Aug

Ciao bella! Today was also hangover day. Grande grande hangover day.

There was a toga party at the hostel last night. I did not wear a toga, but I did drink until I felt like sheet.

The hostel here has a real Schoolies vibe. It doesn’t feel very ‘authentically Italian’ but it is a nice atmosphere for sure. Loads of Aussies by the pool, in the bar, talking loudly to each other in the toilets…

But I’m missing the important thing about today. T H E  V A T I C A N.

Today Topdeck went to the smallest state in the world. Our tour guide was pretty much the best I’ve ever seen – a bubbly American who never stopped talking for a second. She showed us the Vatican Museum, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistene Chapel, where my grandmother took me once when I was very small. I remember last time it was so packed that we were pushed forward by the crowd so much that I was swept away, like something out of a stampede scene from The Lion King. This time we got to surpass the crowds outside, so there was enough breathing room to truly appreciate Michelangelo’s ceiling frescos and the aesthetics of a room so literally awesome.

I think I’ve watched too much Arrested Development.

I’ve made a decision to not go too overboard for the rest of the trip. After the Vatican we bussed to Venice where we’re staying at Camping Jolly. Everyone’s still at the bar now – some guys from another trip even got naked in the middle of the dancefloor – but I’m not really feeling it. I’m still feeling pretty lovesick. This trip is going really fast – it’s hard to believe we only have six days left. But I’m not used to sleeping alone, I miss my partner, and I’m sleepy so I’ll make this a short one.

Read the rest of my European Wonder adventures here.

Topdeck Travel: Day Five

30 Jul

Last night was definitely the best night of the trip.

A lot of us decided to chill by the ‘lake’ (a tiny stream next to reception where people put their beers to keep them cool), and had a sing-a-long with Croc and his guitar. I had a few beers and might have actually sung a few solos, much my chagrin upon waking…

We were up this morning bright and early to drive to Italy; it was a big bus day today as well. It’s true that there is a lot of time on the road on this tour. Sometimes it’s close to ten hours, but it’s not not every day, and it does let us see a lot of the countryside and catch up on our sleep (or blogging…). Today it also gave us an opportunity to play ‘Bogan Bingo’ and watch some YouTube videos. Having someone sit you down and show you all their favourite YouTube clips is usually boring as hell, but it wasn’t too bad – aside from the rick-rolling.

Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it but Jamie plays ‘Moves Like Jagger‘ every time he wants us to wake up before a stop. We’re going to be like Pavlov’s dogs before the end of the trip, instantly snapping wide awake in clubs for years to come.

Pisa was our first stop after Switzerland, for the standard photographs and bargaining with the vendors (pics to follow: stay tuned). Florence from Boston missed the bus on the way back so she had to make her own way to Florence, which was kind of ironic — but she made it back in one piece.

It’s really interesting to see the relationships forming between everyone on the coach. I think the situation is definitely a crucible to accelerate friendships, but I can also picture us being quite a volatile lot towards the end, after the girls’ periods have synchronised and none of us have had an orgasm in two weeks (saying that though, there are a few couples that have sprung into creation, even this early in the trip).

I’m writing this on the really infuriating internet connection in Florence. The rest of the guys have gone into town for karaoke. There’s also a wet t-shirt competition in the bar downstairs… I can hear it from here, so I don’t feel like I’m missing much (besides, after all the drinks in Switzerland my brain still kinda feels like Swiss cheese).

I wanted to go to Borgo Santa Croce tonight to check out one of the bars but us ladies have been warned against travelling alone at night.It kind of irks me when the burden of responsibility for that sort of thing is put on women instead of men – but I suppose this isn’t my country and I should do as I’m told. It is just a shame that no matter where you go in the world, after a certain time of day the streets are male spaces. I’d hardly touched down on Italian soil for more than a few minutes this morning when a seedy guy tried to chat me up at a truck stop. Shame I didn’t know how to say “I’ve got a lion in my backpack” in Italian.

Read the rest of my European Wonder adventures here.