Day 49 – Venice, Italy

We were off to Venice on Tuesday 🍕🍝
The Floating City in Italy!Venice31

It’s famous for it’s art and architecture as well as the many canals separating the 118 small islands on which it was built in the fifth century.
There are no cars or roadways so I was very excited to how everyone gets around.

We left Switzerland at 9am in the morning for the 7 hour coach ride into Venice. We had a stop off somewhere (can’t remember where) and had a Top deck picnic again.


We had salsa and corn chips, chicken pasta salad, crackers and cheeses along with a berry pie thing and these really nice chocolate covered biscuits which I had like 5 of haha! They were small though 😕

We had a surprise on the way to Venice, our tour driver took us to Verona on the way which is like an hours drive away from Venice city, it straddles the Adige river in Veneto, northern Italy and it’s where three of Shakespeare’s plays are set, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew.

imageWhen we got to Verona, we walked to the Verona Arena which was built in the 1st century by the Flavian emperors for shows and gladiator games. Today it’s now used for public events, fairs, theater and open-aired opera during the Summer nights.

After the Colosseum in Rome and the amphitheatre in Capua, the Roman arena in Verona is the third largest Roman amphitheatre.
The Arena was built using a cement and rubble mix known as opus coementicum. They also used brick and stone blocks from Valpolicella set in square pillars to create an external façade of 72 arches, each spanning 2 meters. These led directly to an interior corridor 4.4 meters wide which runs around the Arena.imageAfter having a look at the Arena, we headed over to the balcony of Juliet’s house to rub Juliet’s left boob and write on the walls.
Juliet’s house has a balcony and in the small courtyard there’s a bronzed statue of Juliet. The metal of her chest is worn bare because there’s legend that if a person strokes the right breast that person will have good fortune and luck in love.
I did it! So I’m waiting for my good luck 🙂

The picture was slightly blurry because there’s so many people lining up for a picture and a rub you had to be quick!

Also – in the entrance of the court yard there is a wall where everyone writes the names of their beloved. Many believe that writing on that place will make their love everlasting which is sweet.


When everyone had written on the wall, our tour guide promised us all Gelato so we went to a Gelato place and got to choose 3 flavors each, yummy!


I got white chocolate, caramel and chocolate chip 😄 and I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty delish!

Excuse my awful chipped nail polish – I had no Nail Polish remover on the trip!!

With our stomachs full of ice-cream, we headed back to the coach after our 2 hours in Verona so we could continue our journey on to Venice.


imageWe’re staying at this camp ground in cabins called Jolly campgrounds. (Sharing with one other person from the group)
It’s about a half our coach journey from the city of Venice and it’s pretty big. They have lots of cabins and more ‘deluxe’ cabins as well. Thank god we have an en suite shower! I don’t think I’d want to walk all the way to use the communal showers.


Ever since I’ve been at this camp ground though, I’ve hated it!
As soon as we arrived we had to walk all the way to find our cabin (which was confusing enough with all the different pathways) and then when me and my room mate Georgia got to our cabin there was mold all in the shower and a missing light bulb. The room was tidy thank god, but we didn’t have any blankets for our beds – only a sheet each.

The people from our tour across the path from us weren’t so lucky- all their rooms hadn’t even been cleaned so like 4 groups had to go to reception and get new keys to new cabins that were clean.
It’s not as if we arrived early either, by this stage it was 6.30pm.


Then when I went to go and do my washing, a girl was already complaining to one of the staff members about the drier not working and taking her money. She told me after he’d left that they wouldn’t refund her even though it took her money twice already so she was left with no coins!

I went to put a towel and my gym pants into one of the free washing machines when I smelt this really bad stench coming from it. I reached in quickly to grab my 2 items out and reached my hand into the most disgusting water!!
It obviously hadn’t emptied properly and had the grossest, smelliest water in it!
I quickly knew why it was the only free machine.
What’s even worse is that the staff member who was in the Laundry watched the whole thing happen and didn’t say anything when I pulled my towel out and got drenched in this awful water. I was so annoyed!
It went all over the floor too and it was pretty obvious what had happened. No “Oh sorry about that” or “Yeah that machine isn’t working” Grrr.

Not to mention 4x driers weren’t working, the detergent dispenser wasn’t working either so I had to go to the camp supermarket to buy some off the rude counter guy. He wouldn’t even swap a €1 for two 50c pieces. Dick. He was too busy standing there chatting up his work colleague.

When I finally got my washing sorted I went back to my cabin to have a shower, (which was either Sahara desert temp or Antarctic) when the power went off!!
My room mate had to go to the reception to sort it out while i shaved my legs in the dark. Dinner was in half an hour so I didn’t want to waste any time.


Dinner was all good though. They have an actual Top Deck tent where we all had dinner so I think this is one of their regular accommodation places as there was another top deck group here as well as a Busabout Tour.


After dinner and the drama with my washing, I ended up having a good night at the Campground bar. The drinks were decent prices, they had good music and a happy hour. Plus since there was the other Top Deck group/Busabout group there was more people. It was my first night I actually stayed up until after 1am haha!


Me and Kara were the last ones at the bar from our group. It got pretty crazy though as one of the guys from our tour ended up getting waaaay too drunk and ended up falling on the dance floor and hitting his head then pretty much passing out. The mood was kinda killed after that as everyone helped him out and the ambulance took him to the hospital. Dramaaa. He’s all good though. Even if he did miss out on Venice the next day.

So that was my first day in Italy! 🙂

Day 48 – Switzerland

Today our tour company Top Deck had an optional activity for a train ride up to Jungfrau which is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps.
It’s 3,466 meters above sea level on the boundary between the cantons of Bern and Valais, halfway between Interlaken (where we were staying) and Fiesch.

Even after I’ve explained all that, I didn’t actually go haha!
It cost like over $200 NZD just to take the train up and back down and I couldn’t spend that much money for those views. My budget for my world wide trip just wouldn’t allow it!
Especially to see some snowy mountains that I can get a picture of online.

Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe

(But yes, I know it’s more for the experience)


Instead, Kara, Kelly & I got ready and went for a walk down to the local town of Interlaken.
I didn’t bring my jacket (just my hoodie) with me so I jogged half of the way to warm myself up as it was freezing!
We browsed a few shops and I bought a magnet. It was far too expensive in Switzerland to buy anything else to take home.

imageAround lunch time we went to Hooters as I’d never been before and had lunch.
We shared nachos and chicken strips and curly fries.
The nachos would have been great it they had more beans on them! 😣

We also went to this really nice chocolate shop and I had the nicest white chocolate passion fruit mousse chocolate!


There were a couple of really yummy cake stores but I restrained myself from all the goodies!!


When we were done looking around we headed back to the hotel and had a stop off at the supermarket to buy lots of Swiss chocolate. 🍫
The girls then had a nap while I did some room exercise 😁
I’ve become so much less toned than I was when I left home so I was feeling a bit yuck about myself. I bought out the 30 day ab challenge and did crunches and toe touches on my bedroom floor 😥
It must have worked a little bit because I woke up the next morning with slightly sore abs haha.

I also wrote a blog and listened to a bit of music. We weren’t really in a place where there was lots happening so it was nice just to chill out for a bit.

When I went downstairs, I bumped into another girl on my trip Ashleigh and she told me how she’d gotten an outfit for Oktoberfest down the road at the Lidhl supermarket.

Oktoberfest is this beer festival in Germany and we’re going to be there when it’s happening but everyone dresses up! I’ve heard outfits are really expensive in Germany so it was good to know that the supermarket was selling some cheap knock off versions of the outfits.


Me and the girls walked down to the supermarket and as Kelly already had one, Kara and I bought the same outfit. They only had Pink or Blue colors to choose from so I got the pink. However mine is quite long though so I’ll see about shortening it if I get the chance.


We didn’t really do too much for the rest of the day. We met everyone for dinner which was Chicken and veges AND we got some apple strudel for dessert, yum! I love it when we get dessert. (Which is why I have to start doing more sit ups)


Happy hour was happening again at the bar underground so we went to that and I used up my last 5 francs of Swiss money on 2 large ciders. I left pretty early after that (around 12pm) and went back to bed for a semi-early night.


Overall it was a pretty chilled out day in Switzerland.
It’s such a beautiful place and everything is so picturesque, the grass is so green, the roads are nice and the streets are clean.
Apart from being it being so beautiful, I felt we were in are pretty quiet place with not much to do. Plus it’s so expensive I couldn’t ever live there.


They do have stuff to do like rafting and helicopter tours etc… so if you like really nice views and adventure sports you’d love Switzerland. Unfortunately we hadn’t had anything planned through Top Deck to do stuff like that.



Day 47 – Switzerland

This won’t be a very long blog because I didn’t do much but sit on a bus.

When I woke up on my last day in Paris, Kara, Kelly and I took  our bags down stairs for the bus and then went out for a breakfast at a cafe for our last morning.
We have provided breakfasts on Top Deck already but we weren’t too keen on it as it was just your typical cereals and breads. They didn’t even have croissants!

Instead, we went down the road and got a table outside a French Cafe and ordered breakfast. It was about €8 each and we got a croissant, piece of baguette, a hot chocolate/coffee and a glass of orange juice. (a bit expensive for New Zealand terms)


When it was about 9am we headed back to the hostel to catch the bus to Switzerland.
I sat at the front (I love sitting there, you can see everything!) But ended up sleeping for the first few hours haha.

We all played a game on the bus ‘2 truths and a lie’ where everyone has to go up one by one and say 2 truths about them and 1 lie but we have to guess what one is the lie.
My lie was that I was home schooled until I was 12 haha. I think I used the same one on my Contiki trip as well when we played that game.

By the end of doing like 40 people I started to drift off and not pay much attention. Some of them were pretty funny though.


We had a stop off for lunch where we had a similar lunch to that of the Eiffel Tower picnic.
There was a chicken salad and coleslaw with crackers and cheese and a chocolate loaf bread thing.
By this stage I still hadn’t had any hot food! I was craaaaving something warm in my tummy!


I did take lots of pictures of our little Top deck mascot, Maggie. She was loving it at the picnic.


When we got back on the bus, I was DJ so I sat up the front with our driver Antonio. I wanted to sleep but he said I had to stay awake and talk to him so as not to be boring. 😣


Switzerland was like a 7 hour coach drive from Paris but it took us about 9 hours because of us stopping for toilet breaks and 2 food stops.


We eventually arrived at our hotel around 6.30pm.



Well, it wasn’t really a hotel. It felt like an a couple of older houses made into rooms, similarly set up like a hostel (4-6 people in each room) and we shared the bathrooms.
They did have an underground bar and kitchen however and a Jacuzzi, hammock area, dining area etc.

I went straight to my room once I was off the bus.
I was sharing with 3 other girls who I hadn’t really talked to before which was fine. I was missing my 2 K girls though! (Kara and Kelly)
I was in desperate need of a hair wash so washed my hair and re-did my make up which ended up making me late for dinner.
I only missed out on the cheese fondue though, and apparantly it wasn’t that nice so I wasn’t too bothered.

Dinner was pork sausage with vegetables which I didn’t actually mind.


After dinner we all headed down the the club where they had a happy hour going for us. 2 beers (or ciders yay!) For 5 Swiss franc.
(Probably ends up being around $11 NZ but it’s cheap for Swizzerland)

The Swiss get paid really well here I heard. The minimum wage is around €22 because the cost of living is so high. Their health care is really good too apparently and I’ve actually never seen one homeless person since I’ve been here.
It’s a really tidy, clean, green, nice country.
Not to mention it being very safe, even if they let everyone here own a gun.


Anyways, we danced the night away (well I did until 1.30am) and then went back to my room after I couldn’t stop coughing from being sick earlier in the week.

Next blog: 1st full day in Switzerland