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Published: October 22nd 2017
Geo: 45.442, 10.9955
Travel from Venice, Italy to Lucerne, Switzerland via Verona, Italy
"On the road again, just can't wait to be on that road again" Willy rolled through my head as we boarded the bus again for another long day of travel as we made our way from Venice to Lucerne. Our day began a little later as our fellow group from South Carolina had a late night at the dance club while we had a late night playing on the beach near the Adriatic Sea. The bus pulled out of the parking lot a little after 9:30am, and we were back to chewing up the kilometers through northern Italy.
Two hours later, we came upon our first stop in Verona, Italy, where we were given two hours of freedom to explore the city. Manuel did start us out by leading us past the Verona arena (a smaller replica of the Roman coliseum that was used for gladiator games but is now home to a theater company) and on to the famous Juliet balcony that was supposedly the setting for the romantic tragedy we all know. To be honest, I found the balcony a little underwhelming, but the city of Verona itself
was another beautiful stop. The power of Venice actually spread as far as Verona during the peak of its power which was depicted by the winged lion statues that graced some of the medieval walls and building fronts that we passed by through the city. We spent some time at an open air market where we found fresh fruit and sandwiches for lunch, and then happened upon Manuel again. He led our small group to ornate church that housed the tombs that housed the remains of some of Dante's descendants. From there, we were on our own and we again spent time looking in shops and working our way back to the bus.
Our South Carolinian friends happened to bring along a strong collection of Harry Potter movies which occupied some of our time on the bus as the weather was too hot and the views too few to warrant keeping the shades open on the bus as we sped towards Lucerne. We made a brief stop outside of Milan at a convenience stop that sprawled like a small mall, craned our necks to make out Lake Como and George Clooney's Italian get away home, stretched our legs at a small
convenience store shortly after entering Switzerland, and then entered the unimaginable Swiss Alps. Mountains towered around us as we made our way through tunnels that reached up to ten miles in length and cut through the heart of the natural towers that surrounded us. Homes climbed up the sides of the peaks and we marveled at how anyone could fathom living at those heights and what they must do to get down the mountainside to get to work every day.
After nearly eight hours of driving, we arrived at Mohotel Pilatusblik and were greeted with a, “cute little game” as Manuel called it. The game was concerning our room keys and involved obtaining a small key to open a lock that housed the large key that would provide entry to our room. We were strongly counseled not to lose the key as the penalty was something like 350 euro (nearly $450). Dinner consisted of steamed veggies, potatoes, and a chicken in gravy dish that was quite good. After dinner, Erin, Kayla, and I went for a walk around town to stretch our legs. We returned to the hotel at approximately 11pm to call it a night and get some sleep for
the next day.
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