Sunday, August 18, 2013

MBB European Tour Journal #4 by Andrew McAuliffe

Journal Entry #4 – Sunday, August 18, 2013
By Freshman Andrew McAuliffe

After a few nights where the whole team was all in with Davidson red and black, we enjoyed a relaxing travel day. Another great breakfast at the Grand Union Hotel started our day off right, with everyone, myself included, stuffing our faces with croissants covered in powdered sugar. After an indulgent meal, we loaded up the bus en route to Treviso, Italy.

The infamous Candy Crush Saga was unfortunately not being played on the three-hour bus ride, nor can anyone say what the landscape looked like due to the fact that everyone was knocked out cold. Matt was being pretty stealthy grabbing some great photos of Thon drooling a nice big ball of spit onto the window of the bus, but also being very courteous not to wake anyone, however Jordan was not. I woke up from a nice refreshing nap to the sweet melody of “I bought a Phantom ‘cus I always wanted one” coming from Jordy’s headphones seven rows back.

Photo by Jim Fox
We arrived in the great city of Treviso around 1 p.m. and everyone was ready to grab “The best pizza in the world” according to Foxy. We were pretty skeptical, as we just had delicious Slovenian pizza four days straight and we know that Fox isn’t the most reliable source in the world. However, when we finished our cheesy gift from God we all agreed it was the best; so good that we decided to go back to the same restaurant that same day for dinner.

The beautiful city of Treviso seemed to be dominated mostly by shops, so we spent most of our time walking around admiring the architecture while looking for souvenirs to buy. All the roads were cobblestone and the canals were very interesting to all of us, but we hit a little culture shock. Not culture shock from the U.S. to Treviso, but Slovenia to Treviso. After a long day of travel, the team seemed to be a little frustrated that there wasn’t gelato stands every 20 feet. Treviso is a beautiful city, but the team was very eager to see Venice.

Sunday brought us that very thing as we got to see beautiful Venice. As we stepped out of the train station around 1 p.m. the Grand Canal welcomed us with its beauty. We could have sat there all day just admiring how the entire city was built on the water, however, we walked up a fairly large bridge to grab a few photos to save the memories and then started to make our long journey to the Piazza San Marco.

Instagram: Tom Droney | Jordan Barham | Jake Belford | Brian Sullivan

We walked around the side streets for a while after clearly taking the long way. The streets and alleyways were amazing on their own, but there were plenty of street venders to bargain with, stores to shop in, and places to eat. Many of my teammates purchased European soccer jerseys ranging from Balotelli to Messi, however my favorite item was the ham and cheese sandwich wrap…wrapped in pizza bread. As a team, we also came out of our culture shock and consumed three scoops of gelato each.

Photo by Jake Belford
Arriving in Piazza San Marco was a breathtaking experience. Everything from the watchtower to the statues was mesmerizing. The size of the Plaza is 12,128 meters squared, giving space for beautiful pieces of art such as, a winged lion statue 50 feet in the air, colorful murals, or just magnificent fountains. One aspect of the city we reflected on after walking for what seemed like hours was the lack of cars. It was very convenient as we could walk around freely with no concern for traffic. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of “The Piazza” and channeled our inner Jake “Jimmy Sponge” Belford and soaked it all in.

The end of our trip to Venice truly gifted us with something incredible. A few of us got to cross a major item of our bucket list and ride a gondola through the Grand Canal and the back “roads”. We saw everything from back entrances to hotels, to Mozart’s summer home, to a major opera house. We were even treated to someone on a neighboring gondola singing and playing the accordion. Venice was by far one of the most impressive cities we had ever seen, but we are definitely looking forward to continuing our trip as we leave for the mountains and Bormio tomorrow morning.

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