Friday, July 27, 2012

Europe Trip: Day 7 & 8 (Venice, cont.)

I know I know, we never finished blogging our trip to Europe.  We've been back home for a couple of weeks and some other things have unfortunately been occupying our life -- but you may have seen that I finished a bunch of videos of our trip.  That should count for something right?

Anyway, on with our trip I guess.

On Thursday morning in Venice we knew that we weren't going to have very much time.  Our train left at 11:30, so we really only had a few hours before we needed to gather our things and grab a vaporetto to catch our train.  We spent the morning enjoying our favorite part of Venice --- just walking around and exploring.  We walked towards St. Mark's square so we could see what things were like when it wasn't mobbed.  We arrived at around 9:15am, which is about 30 minutes before the Basilica opens up and there was already a line across the square.  We had thought about waiting, but ultimately decided that we didn't want to with Henry.  Who cares about old churches anyway?

Instead we decided to take the elevator up to the top of the Campanile, which is a big tower in the middle of the square.  This afforded us some great views.

After that, it was pretty much time for us to get our things together and head out of town.  Before leaving I paused on the Accademia Bridge one last time to take this photo of me and the backpack that my friend Edward let me borrow.  This thing was pretty much invaluable for our time in Italy.  Otherwise we would have looked pretty ridiculous trying to wheel luggage around (which we saw a lot of other tourists doing).  Thanks Edward!!

One last shot of the Grand Canal while waiting for our vaporetto.

"Henry, there's our boat!"
We caught our train and soon found ourselves back in hot, sweaty Milan.  Once again, we didn't really have a plan for what we wanted to do. We knew that we wanted to check out this old castle in the center of Milan.  So we hopped on a train and found ourselves there in a few minutes.
The castle was cool and very old, but there wasn't much to do there.  So we headed to a park just north of the castle.

There wasn't much to do there either.  Outside of the castle we found a fountain (which Henry loved) and also this pedestrian only street which had a lot of outdoor restaurants, stores, and a guy playing Oasis covers.
We walked down the street looking for food, but ultimately we ended up going back to our hotel and eating pizza at the place that we went to on our first night in Milan -- we are boring creatures of habit sometimes -- especially with a kid.

The next day we had to catch a train back to Switzerland pretty early, so we really didn't have time to do too much more in Milan.  We headed out a few blocks to see if we could find a grocery store to buy some italian treats.  We were actually pretty surprised on how hard it was to find a big grocery store in Milan -- We guessed that most people in the city just ate out more or something.

We eventually found a pretty good one and bought some gnocchi, salami, and some other treats for our journey back.

At the train station waiting for our train -- its about 45 minutes late.  We will find out later why.  By the way, Milano Centrale is the bomb -- although the outside looks a little fascist.

Getting the heebie geebies out before the train ride.
So our train ride ended up being much more eventful than we thought.  It turns out our train was delayed because their was an avalanche on the track.  Because of this, we ended up having to take a train to Chiasso then switching to another train.  We took that train to Erstfeld, then got off the train and travelled by bus to Fluelen.  We then took a commuter train from Fluelen to Zug.  And then finally a train from Zug to Zurich.  This wouldn't have been bad beside the fact that most of the directions were in German and it seemed like no one was really giving all of the passengers any clear direction.  We ended up arriving in Zurich 1.5 hours later than we expected to.

Luckily Henry was a trooper -- except for when we tried to give him kisses.
Zurich was beautiful.  It was amazing how different it felt from Italy.  Definitely a lot cleaner -- definitely a lot more expensive.  With the little time that we had before we met up with Monica and Jachen, we decided to cruise around the old town.

We met up with Monica and Jachen at the train station, went to Coop to buy dinner and then had a nice picnic in the middle of Zurich town.  Another thing that we did was go to one of the 5 H&Ms that they had in downtown Zurich  (seriously so many H&Ms).  We ended up buying a couple of shirts for Henry, but I don't think we were in the grown up H&M, so we didn't find anything for ourselves.

After the picnic we drove back to Rorschach, determined to rest for a few days.

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