WVB in Europe: Katie Fuller

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Note: Milan was hit by a magnitude 5.8 earthquake, but the Women of Troy had already left for Venice.

Written by senior outside hitter Katie Fuller

Today, we started our morning off early with a 6:30 a.m. wake-up call to begin our journey to Venice. While we had a wonderful time in Milan, we had to pack up our things and head to the gorgeous canals of Venice. After a 2.5 hour train ride we were at our destination and free to roam the city the rest of the day. Mind that the train stations in Milan were much cleaner and well kept than Los Angeles. The only bummer was that it cost money to use the bathroom!

Fuller-Italy.jpegThere was plenty of shopping and food for a lifetime there. The shops were small and full of fine jewelry, leathers, glass animals, or decorated masks. The ways around the city were over bridges and then through small, sometimes smelly alleys, which were either packed with people or completely empty...often meaning you were lost or heading towards a dead end.

One of the most amazing parts was that the whole city is based off of water transportation or by walking. The gondolas were a fantastic experience but very slow as well as the canal-side pizzerias, which had different foods and black pastas that we were not used to. While we could only stay for about a total of four hours, it was worth the travel.

San Marcos square was the happening place for all the tourists and pigeons! I have never been to a more bird-friendly city in my life. They would sit on your table, come up and grab food out of your hand, and poop on you. The architecture of the palace and church were unreal. The amount of time that must have been put into making these historic structures must have been immense due to their handcrafted and unique style. The Realto Bridge was the on the other fabulous side of the city where we did most of our shopping. Without taxes it makes it so much better! Each shop seemed to be family owned and the people hand-made their products in the shop.

The people were very friendly but definitely shorter than we were used to. The people passing by would often stop to ask where we were from or to take a picture with the tall girls with short shorts on. There has only been one person I have encountered that could not speak a word of English, but everyone else seems to know a few words to communicate when traveling around which has been very convenient.

We all had a blast soaking up the sun and exploring the city on our day off. It was a cultural experience I will never forget.

After ANOTHER two hour train ride from Venice (this train a little less nice but with better scenery) and three hours of bus riding through the beautiful countryside (for the first half) and a sudden downpour of rain (for the second half), we finally made it to our current destination... Maribor, Slovenia! We are looking forward to a ropes course in the morning (weather permitting) and getting a chance to play one of the top Slovenian Volleyball teams in the afternoon.

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