Thursday, July 22, 2010

2 Weeks in Europe

Bryan and I spent 16 days in Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey. Upon arrival into Venice, Italy, we spent the first few days at a charming little hotel just of St. Mark's Square. From there we hopped on a week long cruise down the Aegean Sea. We saw so many things, including the Croatian coastline and Cit Walls, the Acropolis, the 1st modern Olympic stadium, the Virgin Mary's last house and burial site, Ephesis and a gorgeous beach town that served as the capital of Greece not too long ago.
Once off the cruise ship we took a train to Rome. Rome is not what we had expected at all. It is very metropolitan and crowded. Between the traffic and the modern buildings lay the Forum and Colliseum. St. Peter's Basilica took our breath away! It is beautiful and stands out as the tallest point in the city. We climbed the dome for a great view of Rome.
From Rome we took a train to Florence, dropped off our bags at our hotel *ahhm hostel* and hopped back on a shorter train to Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa isn't far from Florence and was a site in itself. We're so glad that we were able to squeeze it into our busy schedule. Back in Florence we ate wonderful food, viewed Michaelangelo's 'David' and walked around the town for hours eating massive amounts of gelato. On our last evening in Florence we walked up the bazillion stairs *good thing I've been doing cardio* to Piazzale Michaelangelo, which provides the most wonderful views of the city, including the Ponte Vecchio and the Renaissance era's Santa Maria Del Fiore. Here we ate at the plaza's cafe and drank a hefty amount of Italian red wine. We watched a storm roll into the city and got rained on for a short time. While sitting in this most lovely spot we realized that 1 month prior to that day we were married. This made that moment and evening just that much more enchanting and romantic. On the way back to our hotel *ahhm hostel* we stopped by a lovely plaza and danced to the street performers music, listened to the children laugh on the carousel and ate *more* yummy gelato. Can you tell we loved this evening? I remember EVERY detail of it!
The following morning we packed up our backpacks and took the train back to Venice, which is where we concluded our trip. We spent the day walking around Venice. That evening, our last evening, we went back to the same restaurant that we ate our first dinner at while on this vacation. It has canalside seating and is off the tourist tracks, so it is calm, quiet and romantic. What a great way to end our 2 week journey through Europe.
Although backpacking through Europe exhausted us, we truly did enjoy ourselves. We have now been married for 2 months and these past 2 months of marriage have been some of the best months of our lives. We can't believe all that we've done and accomplished together already... and it's only just begun.
Venice, Italy - amazing food
Venice, Italy - our favorite canalVenice, Italy - St. Mark's Square
cruise ship
Dubrovnik, Croatia - walking the walls that surround the cityDubrovnik, Croatia - walking the City Walls Athens, Greece - 1st Olympic stadium Athens, Greece - the Acropolis Ephesis, Turkey
Ephesis, Turkey - learning how to make Turkish rugs
Ephesis, Turkey - Virgin Mary's home and burial site (recognized by the Vatican)
Nafplion, Greece
Rome, Italy - the very famous and romantic Spanish Steps
Vatican City - St. Peter's Basilica
Rome, Italy - the colliseumBologna, Italy - en route

Florence, Italy - Piazzale Michaelangelo (1 month anniversary!)Florence, Italy - gelato shop Florence, Italy - Piazza del Duomo
Pisa, Italy - Leaning Tower of Pisa
Venice, Italy - last night

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