Monday, May 16, 2011

Exiting Western Europe... Part 1

So, starting from where I left off last time. I woke up in Florence :-) I think it was Saturday morning. We had decided to go to Venice for the day aтв take a night train from there to Budapest. We had planned to catch the 10:30 train to Venice but it was full and the next train that had spots on it was leaving at 12:10, so we made some reservations on that train. We were kinda bummed because we wouldn't be getting to venice until about 2:30 and we thought that we probably wouldn't have that much time. When we got there we immediately took off into the middle of the city with the intent of getting lost. I guess we kind of got lost but I don't think it was as bad as I thought it would be. We eventually made it across town to St. Marks square. At least I think it was St. Marks....we went to a lot of squares and a lot of places named after saints. Anyways, it was pretty much the main attraction there. We wanted to go into the basilica but we couldn't even get into the square with our backpacks because security wouldn't let us through. I guess the pope was in Venice that day or something. We decided to just drop our bags and go in one at a time and have the other person watch the bags. I went in first and it was really cool. All these old buildings that we saw were just amazing. Well I went up to go see the basilica and apparently it was closed because the pope was in town. That was too bad but not much one could do about that. I went out and found Bryan and told him what was up and that the basilica was closed. He went in anyways and looked around because the outside was really pretty.

After that, we grabbed out our lonely planed guide and with the little map started wandering around to different places. In Venice there are only 3 bridges that cross the main canal. We crossed them all. We went to a music museum and there were all these really old violins and other instruments that were probably worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. That was neat and we learned alot about Vivaldi and some of the other famous musicians that came out of Italy. We walked around the whole day with our packs because we didn't have a hostel to go drop them off at since we were leaving that night on a train. Our train wasn't leaving til almost midnight so we had almost 10 hours to wander the city. I think that was plenty of time actually. We saw the whole city and the only reason to stay longer was if you have an appetite for expensive food and shopping with a wallet to match.

We had originally planned on going to Budapest from Vienna but the train was going to take about 14 hours and neither of us wanted to do that. Instead of Budapest we decided to go to Munich! We arrived in Munich at about 6:30 sunday morning. We slept in the station for a few minutes and then headed off towards the church builing that we had looked up on the internet. We found it but it was just before 8 and nobody was there yet because church didn't start until 9. We took a little nap on the steps and finally somebody got there with keys to open it up about 15-20 minutes before church started. Bryan and I went down to the bathroom to brush our teeth and put some nicer clothes on. I just threw on a wrinkly white shirt and a tie with my jeans. I figured it was better than nothing. The ward was a German speaking ward but there were several Americans there and several of the Germans spoke English. One of them was nice enough to translate for us during preisthood meeting. His name was Sven and he was actually interning at Audi which I thought was pretty cool. Bryan and  were both really tired because on the train the night before, there was this big smelly guy who came into our coupe a few stations into the journey and he was super loud all night long and kept talking on his phone and just making it hard to sleep. Well one of the sister missionaries  translated for us during sunday school and I stayed awake for almost all of it. Bryan was sitting on the other side of me so he couldn't really hear the translation so I think it was a bit more difficult for him to stay awake haha. During sacrament I decided that I was going to take the sacrament and let my body sleep if that's what it needed. Well the next thing I knew, everyone started singing the closing song so it seems that I fell asleep...

After church we were talking to some of the guys there and they said that there was going to be a young single adult dinner thing that night at the building. Apparently it was fast Sunday but Bryan and I had both forgotten and had a scrumpteous breakfast of bread and apples. Well they invited us to that and there was no way that we were going to turn  down a good meal so we immediately agreed. They let us leave our bags there for the day which was nice because then we didn't have to hike around with them. We went out and walked through old town, took a nap on a bench, saw some cool gothic architecture and several music groups performing on the street. We eventually made it to the English Gardens which I guess are frequented by hundreds of nudists for the summer months so thank goodness it wasn't summer yet. We took another nap there on the grass by the river. It was really pretty.

It was now nearing the time of our dinner so we headed back to the branch. When we got there they were just fixing stuff so we jumped in and helped make it. We made Goulash which I guess is Hungarian from what they told us. When we were done helping and just waiting for it to finish cooking, Bryan skyped his mom because it was mothers day. I tried but then realized that because of the time difference my mom was still in church. We ate dinner which was soooooo delicious. I was more full after than than I'd been for the past week or two. After dinner I was finally able to get ahold of mom and wish her a happy mothers day. The guy in charge of dinner, Nathan Winder, whose family actually owns Winder Dairy, offered to let us come over to his apartment to take showers. We were both in dire need of some cleaning so after we washed all the dishes we hopped an S-Bahn train over to his place. He was really nice to let us come over and shower at his place. He's done a lot of traveling and people had always helped him out so he said just to pay it forward and led a hand to someone else. Once we finished showering we headed back to the train station to catch a train to Budapest. End of part 1. Check back for part 2. (I just can't write for this long haha)

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