Have you ever imagined what it would be like sipping coffee under the Tuscan Sun? If so, Florence is your spot. The Italy you always imagined awaits for you here... winding cobble stone streets, leather merchants, and lots and lots of wine. Getting to Florence from Bologna was super easy and only cost us around 7 euro. This is a good route to take, especially because there are often cheap flights into Bologna. I highly suggest getting lost wherever you are traveling. We attempted to find La Piazza Michael Angelo which was only 15 minutes away, and instead found ourselves on a 4 hour trip through the hills of Florence and ended up on a hilltop drinking a cappuccino surrounded by Italian Villas and a sunlit scape of the entire city. Clooney, we were looking for ya. GET GUSTA PIZZA AND PANINI. It is the best Pizza we had in all of Italy (located right next to Santa Trinita Church). After a lovely day basking the sun, we came home to meet our host, Kylie, for our night out on a religious holiday... (oops).
Italy; The land of food, machismo, and fine leather. After enjoying the true Bolognese of Bologna, we ventured into the streets where we were repeatedly harassed by both young and old Italian men, what a welcoming culture... Bologna is a city based around a University, "The World's Oldest" so they claim. There are a ton of young Italians so if you are looking for an authentic experience and a place to learn the language this is it. Plus, the nightlife is great. We were able to partake in an Italian pregame, which included wine beer and mountains of unreal tasting pizza, which we later found out was equivalent to our Dominoes! Being the Americans we are, we had to show our Halloween spirit on the night of the 31st. Dressed as three kitty cats in a place where no one celebrates Halloween can get awkward, but the Tripsters owned it, and had a great night out in the Clubs of Bologna. If you are planning on going to Bologna, be aware that you will be harassed by Italian men, and take advice from Melissa, just ignore it. McElla can tell you, fighting with them only increases the problem.
Night trains. Who wouldn't want to be locked in a box, with random strangers, in the midst of night for 10 hours? Sign me up. Even though it sounds really awful we thoroughly enjoyed forcing a friendship with an old Italian man sharing our cabin and using sign language to communicate. After securing our stuff from train thieves (they are out there), we had a semi-pleasant slumber and arrived in Bologna at 4:00 am. To keep ourselves occupied until our host, Melissa showed up at 10am we found ourselves riding buses...... but accidentally got kicked off into the middle of a field. Luckily in the distance we saw a bus station, or so we thought. Unfortunately, we walked into the "break room" for the bus staff, talk about awkward. Finding our way back to the train station, we decided to sit in a comforting spot, Mccy d's for the next 2 hours, considering nothing else was open. After Abby passed out on the table, Melissa showed up and took us to her lovely Italian apartment and from there our true Italian adventure began.
Sometimes travel plans change. Sometimes that can make a trip. We decided we would make our travel to Italy by diverting with a train to Austria. We showed up at 8pm with no accomodation plans, and starving. We actually had no idea where we were going so we just decided to get out of the subway at a stop that seemed popular. We ended up in the heart of the city, with absolutely stunning architecture and a disney-land atmosphere. The lights on Vienna are unreal, everything looks castle like and all the people look straight out of Vogue. After walking around Vienna and finally finding something that wasn't a five star hotel (Thank you Westbanhoff Hotel)...guys listen up!! ALWAYS talk to people when you are traveling... don't be afraid to! We spoke to the Receptionist a this hotel, and explained we didn't have much money...she graciously took 30 Euro off of our bill, and pointed us to a place for an authentic Viennese meal.
I know it sounds strange, but saurkraut with sausage and fried potatoes and a glass of wine is a fit for a king! a feast if I've ever had one...We LOVED Viennese food, and we know you will too. Don't count it out, always try the local food, but make sure it's not too touristy, cause it wont be as good and you will be paying the price for it... Now off to Italiaaaaa. ciao
What do you do when you land in Prague at midnight and find a strange Czech man picking you up to take you to an apartment? We could have ran, screamed, and over-reacted to the situation (especially when we got to a sign-less apartment with creepy men stalking the door), instead we took the mature route: spoke about our black belt skills, and how our UFC championship boyfriends were coming to meet us that night.... followed by barricading the door with a bed, a chair, and finally sleeping with knives under our pillows. Yep, mature. But seriously, things can get a little "taken" like you just have to be smart.
After surviving the night, we noticed we were in a lovely area, in an awesome apartment in Prague. Sadly, we embarrassingly knew nothing about this city. What currency did they use? What language do they speak? What is there to see or eat in Prague? Guys, do better than us. Just freaking google it...... (before hand). You can avoid our mistake of taking out 15 dollars at the ATM (400 seemed a lot at the time), 1 euro~ 28 crowns.
Spending the day getting completely lost, but still enjoying some delicious Czech meals. Prague has excellent food, from all different countries. Everything we ate was absolutely delicious, we highly suggest the crepes, golaush, but avoid the speck.