Million Euro Moments (Europe Trip – A Travelogue)

R. Parvadha Vardhini
Monday, June 10, 2019

Day 7 – Italy – Venice

After our continental breakfast (yes, again bread, croissant and cakes – one week la naakku sethu pochu pa!), we travelled towards new Venice. A long travel for around 4 hours. We had a cruise awaiting our arrival ready with food to be served to us. On reaching the spot, we boarded the cruise; quite a small one as compared to the Seine cruise, the food was already ready on our tables. The boat took us across the sea while we relished our food. We alighted at the Old Venice, but we were stunned at the hot climate. It was blazing hot with around 36 degree Celsius temperature. At Venice, the tour manager took us to Morano for glass demonstration. It was such a delight to watch a piece of glass turned into a flying horse logo of Ferrari. There were several show pieces, jewellery, masks etc at the Glass factory. Our next spot was St. Mark’s Square. The square has a beautiful Church of St. Mark, a bell tower and a huge adjoining space which connects to the commercial centre.

From there we reached the banks of the creek to enjoy the Gondola ride, the specialty of Venice. Venice is connected only through water and there is no road or any other transport service available there. The small boat called Gondola sailed through the narrow canals and passages and we witnessed an age old city withering away, eroding in the water underneath. People seem to stay only from second floor onwards as the ground and first floors looked vacant and unattended.
After the gondola ride, we took a short walk in the small bridges and the huge platform near the boatyard and some shopping here and there. Later we sailed back to New Venice in a big boat. Finished our dinner and checked in to Hotel Venizia at Mestre.

Day 8 – Italy – Pisa Tower

When we stepped out of the hotel after our breakfast to start our tour for the day, we saw several road side shops open early in the morning itself. Before the bus would start, we took a quick look at the shops – belts, handbags, shoes, dresses all in very reasonable and sometimes cheap rates. After heaving a big sigh as we didn’t have enough time to shop there, we started our journey towards the Ferrari Car Museum at Maranello. The fastest car in the world – Ferrari – it was breathtaking to watch the different models of Ferrari cars in stunning colours and shapes. We also had the opportunity to get into one of those beautiful cars and take pictures as well.

The tour manager had arranged packed lunch for us and we had it in the park nearby. Post lunch, we started towards Pisa where one of the wonders of the world ‘the leaning tower’ lies. We reached the ‘Square of Miracles’ which includes the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistery and the Bell tower, which is the leaning tower. The leaning tower is 55.86 metres tall on the lower side and 56.67 metres on the higher side. The Square of Miracles is built with Italian Marble and is a beautiful site to visit. We walked around the tower, the cathedral and the baptistery and took several pictures; of course, posing to push the tower to make it stand erect. :D
We had some coffee outside and later to the Indian and Italian Restaurant for dinner. Later we drove towards Prato to check in to the Hotel Datini.

Day 9 – Italy – Rome & Vatican City

After breakfast we drove towards Rome and our first stop was at the world famous Colosseum at Rome. We have seen this place in many Hollywood movies like Gladiator, Return of the Dragon etc. The Colosseum originally called as Flavian Amphitheatre was built during 7th to 8th Century AD and can accommodate 75000 people at a time. It is the largest amphitheatre ever built. It is an iconic symbol of Rome and is listed in the new wonders of the world. The Colosseum has an arch in front of it which has been the inspiration for many countries to build such structures.

After visiting the Colosseum, the local guide took us on city orientation tour and showed us many places of historical and archealogical value at Rome which dates back to more than 2000 years. Finally we travelled towards the Vatican City. The Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. It is separated from Rome with just a wall around it. The Vatican City has the Vatican Palace where the Pope resides usually and St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic shrines in the world. There’s a tower in Egyptian style just like the one in Paris and is called as the Vatican Obelisk.

We waited in the queue for more than half an hour and entered the Basilica. We were awestruck by the grandeur of the Cathedral. There is a stage setup in front where the Pope meets the people twice a week. The adjoining space can accommodate more than 150000 people at a time. The Basilica had various chapels inside. The ceiling is 150 metres high and is beautifully decorated with sculptures and paintings. It was an awesome experience to pray in one of those chapels and walk around the great historical and religious place.

Later we headed towards ‘Ristorante Gandhi Indiano’ for enjoying our dinner. After dinner, we checked in to Hotel Duca D’Este at Rome. Later in the night, we had a get together of all families. We shared our experience during the trip and also enjoyed the singing and dancing.

Day 10 – Bidding Adieu

It was our last day in Europe. After breakfast we took a small walk around the hotel and caught glimpse of the beautiful landscape. We packed our bags to bid adieu to Europe and drove towards the Fiumicino Airport at Rome. During our three day stay at Italy, we had a chance to taste the Italian Pizza on and off, whenever possible. But we never got to taste the Italian Pasta. That was upsetting me. But thankfully the food court at the airport had Pasta and Lasagna and we tasted there before leaving Europe. After flying for five hours, we reached Kuwait at around 8.30 pm. As we took a taxi to reach our home, we were more delightfully surprised when our dinner was arranged to be delivered at our doorsteps, thanks to the wonderful gesture of Mr. Satish.

The trip did get over but it seeded several memories to cherish in terms of the scenic beauties, wonders of the world, fun and entertainment, friendship and bondage, support and motivation. I am sure I am gonna keep talking about this trip for many more months to come to everyone around me. We had lots of fun games during the travelling hours which made the travel stress free. The organizing committee did a fabulous job; everything was perfectly planned and well executed. The travel agents Thomas Cook did a tremendous job too, very professional tour manager and driver to take us to various places. An awesome trip ended wanting to have many more such trips!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Well explained. Europe always a dream for us. through your detailed travelogue we are experiencing it. How much was the total cost? Schengen visa

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