Author: Shannon Ilg
Location: Florence/Rome/Venice, Italy; Reutlingen, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands
October 28, 2018
During Fall Break, we continued to travel across Europe. After we left Paris, we went to Florence. Upon arrival I see this magnificent building and am reminded how very, very much I love Italy. I mean, I think mountains are beautiful, but I think that Italian cities have been the most interesting to me.
October 29, 2018
It was a little bit rainy the first full day we were in Florence, but it was just so beautiful! We were staying in the city, but took a bit of a hike just outside the city and were able to see these stunning views.
October 30, 2018
Here is the view from our rooftop Airbnb. It felt like we were in an action movie and could just go run and jump across all the rooftops. I couldn’t get enough. Did I mention how much I love Italy?
October 31, 2018
Next stop? It’s where all roads lead. It’s where you do what the other people do, it’s Rome! The first full day we were there we got to… roam… around quite a bit. We saw the Vatican and all of the ruins, and everything was breathtaking. I really appreciated that anywhere you turned, another building you had seen a million pictures of was right there in front of you, and it’s then that you realize how little pictures actually capture. You can’t tell how beautiful or massive or intricate these places are without visiting them. It’s times like that where I really am just thrilled that I chose to study abroad. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.
Ooh, I almost forgot! This night, we all decided that we wanted to make dinner and mac and cheese was what we came up with. So, we bought three random cheeses, and tried it out. It was by far the weirdest but most delicious mac and cheese I have had. This is because apparently those cheeses were not meant to melt into noodles. Instead it was a cheese block with noodles, but oh man was that cheese block good.
November 1, 2018
The second day in Rome was much less eventful. It was very rainy pretty much the whole day and within the ten or twenty minutes we were actually outside, we decided just to head back with a fresh pineapple and enjoy a day inside. I had to catch up on some homework and lecture videos that I had fallen behind on the previous several days. That and we watched Monty Python’s Life of Brian (What did the Romans ever do for us??). Despite being indoors, it was a great day. It was nice to just relax and also be productive, finishing some homework.
November 2, 2018
This is one of the coolest doors that I have seen abroad. I mean, mostly because of the artistic lighting and dense shadows, but it really caught my eye and I just had to share!
This was on the way back from Rome when we stopped in Venice. Which was beautiful. Originally, we had an Airbnb here for the night, but Venice had just been badly flooded, so we thought it would be best not to stay so we canceled our booking. Instead of finding another train, we kept our reservations and spent a couple hours in Venice anyway. For the record, there was no more flooding, and we totally could have stayed there. But in all honesty, it was nice to sleep in Reutlingen for free in my own bed for a night. (Not this night though.. this night we spent on an awesome overnight train where the seats stretched out into a bed that we somehow managed to fit 6 people on…)
November 3, 2018
Back in Reutlingen, I caught up on homework yet again and relaxed for the day. This was the fall view from a late afternoon walk.
November 4, 2018
Reutlingen with the fall colors truly is beautiful. I just love being able to look out the window and see mountains. It’s wonderful.
November 5, 2018
This is the last leg of our journey for Reutlingen’s fall break. Amsterdam was quite an interesting city to spend a couple days in. Here you see a street performer who used audience volunteers to tie him up in a straitjacket with chains wrapped all around him, and then proceeded to escape. It was quite the show! He was very funny and in general very engaging to his crowd.
November 6, 2018
Amsterdam has quite the collection of museums to choose from! I didn’t end up going into the Van Gogh museum, but I went into two pretty weird museums. One was a torture museum, where they have the history of Medieval torture devices and at the end, a very meaningful message that questions the reader about what we have in society today that is really just other means of torture.
The second museum was that which you see above. It’s from the only microbe museum in the world. It brought you through the history of, well, the world, on a molecular and biological level. It was very interactive, allowing you to look through various microscopes at different stages of growth for all sorts of microbes. All together a very engaging museum, and the coolest bit was the fact that they have a lab in the back of the museum where they grow all of the different organisms.
November 7, 2018
This was our last goodbye look on Amsterdam. Just one of the many pretty canals throughout the city.
Here I also say goodbye to the Valpo Voyager. As you can see by the date of the last photo, I still had over a month to the end of the semester, and I continued to take pictures every day. But by now, you have seen much of the wonders I explored throughout Europe, as well as the boredom of schoolwork, and the nuance of being in a new place. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey and that perhaps it has inspired you to make your own adventures.