We finally reached Innsbruck and got a small tour of it. We got to see the Golden Roof, along with many other wonders of the city.
I went into a few churches, and wanted to go into some of the museums but didn't feel I would have enough time to fully enjoy the museums and the actual city in only two hours, so instead I went to the Hofgarten (yes, the same name as the park in Munich. I don't name them, I'm sorry!).
It was here that I got to watch a very interesting game of chess with two-feet high chess-pieces. I kind of felt like I was in a Harry Potter novel, only the pieces weren't killing each other.
Once we were done in Innsbruck, we headed to the Hotel Dollinger, which was a prime 500-years-old.
On the way to the hotel, Flip explained to us that with Muffin's "allowed" daily-driving limit and the time it would take us to get from Venice to Rome, if we wanted to get to Vatican City, we would have to leave at 6:45 AM. By doing that, we could get to Rome before 4 PM, manage to get in line for the Vatican, and possibly get a tour the day before we were supposed to. However, Flip said, there was no guarantee that we could get there that fast so the suffering of getting up at such an ungodly (pun intended) hour may have been in vain. Because the Vatican would be closed that day, this was our one and only shot to get there. We all agreed.
At the hotel in Innsbruck, we had a complimentary supper that included a creamy cheese and broccoli soup, a schnitzel with fried beans and a mashed potato, and a bowl of chocolate mousse for desert.
During supper, I learned that the girl who had missed the bus had gotten to Innsbruck safely. But she was alone. She didn't know her other friends had gone back to get her. We continued to eat, thinking about the friends that had left the tour, but before the mousse was eaten the door of the hotel opened and there they were! They had gotten back safely as well! As happy as I am for them, I sure hope the tour members start becoming more punctual and start catching the bus on time, especially in Venice. I don't want to miss out going to the Vatican!
After supper, I realized that out of the €850 I brought with me to Europe, I only had €470 left! I plan to be conservative for the rest of the trip and only buy things that I absolutely need to buy! (Note: I also put away one bill of each kind (€5, €10, €20, €50 and €100) for my collection back home. I never intended to spend those.)
We leave early tomorrow for Venice and tonight's big supper is getting to me. I'm going to go to bed, even though it's only 9 o'clock. Sorry today's entry is so boring. I really didn't get a chance to explore Innsbruck in the two hours we had. I promise tomorrow's entry -- about Venice -- will be much better!
Goodnight journal. Talk to you later.
PS: I just re-read what I wrote. It's hard to believe I've been in Europe for a week now. It seems like just yesterday I said goodbye to my parents and girlfriend. I wonder what they're doing now...
And I wonder where the next 10 days will take me!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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The Island of the Dolls is in Xochimilco, a borough south of Mexico City. While it would be faster to take a car from Mexico City to Xochimilco, the traffic is dense and the roads are very congested. Instead, if you're going there, I'd recommend taking metro, which is easy and the cheapest in the world. What you gain in comfort, however, you lose in speed, as the train ride takes about 2 hours.
Mexico City and Xochimilco both sit in the Valley of Mexico. Until about a millennium ago, the whole region around Mexico City was surrounded by a massive body of water. Over the centuries due to both climate change and interference by humans, most of this water has dried up, for the exception of Xochimilco. With networks of canals crisscrossing the borough, car transportation is difficult and water transportation is essential. I'm sure there were motorized boats somewhere in the waters of Xochimilco, but I never saw any. Instead, canoes and rafts are common on the water. However, the most popular vessel is a trajinera – a colourful gonadal-like boat that is pushed along the water with a wooden pole.
Xochimilco is known worldwide for their Floating Gardens market, which are essentially canoes floating down the canals, selling wares to tourists on trajineras. These include things like food, drinks, silver rings, trinkets, ponchos and sombreros. Occasionally other trajineras full of Mariachi bands will approach tourists and offer to play beside them on the water.
Cemeteries are a place of solace. All people, regardless of wealth, status, religion or creed are equals within a cemetery. It's a place of remembrance, respect and reconciliation. If you visit a cemetery, you are visiting the graves of lost loved ones. These may be children, pioneers, rebels or everyday people. Every grave has a story, and all are longing to be told.
Because of this, cemeteries are a library of knowledge. They hold the lessons of our past, and the wisdom of our future. As the leaves change and the days get shorter, cemeteries attract a much different crowd than that of just historians and family members. With autumn crisp in the air, cemeteries fill with thrill-seekers and paranormal believers. There is a fine line between what is and isn't acceptable within a cemetery and those who dabble into the affairs of the afterlife know this all too well. Few people go into cemeteries looking to disrespect the graves; instead, most are just hoping they can answer their own questions about life after death.
Not all cemeteries are haunted, but each holds their own stories. Keep this in mind while you read this article. If you end up visiting any of these sites, remember to step softly, speak quietly and respect the surrounding graves. You might not be as alone as you think.
A few articles ago I listed Ogema as one of the top destinations to visit in Saskatchewan. Immediately after I wrote the article, I put my money where my mouth was and booked a weekend trip to Ogema for my girlfriend and me. I figured it wouldn't be fair to my readers to recommend a place for them to visit without actually visiting it myself, and after getting my new Galaxy S7 from TELUS I figured I needed a reason to test it out.
Earlier this year I took my Galaxy S6 to La Ronge, and had very little coverage. I wanted to use Facebook's new Live Video option, but I couldn't get enough service to even send a text message. I was pretty disappointed by the coverage with that provider, so I was interested to see how TELUS' network was in Ogema.
The result was pretty darn good! We streamed Spotify all the way there, were able to do a Live Video from the Deep South Pioneer Museum and took some really great pictures and videos of the trip. It also helped to have a reliable network when I got lost driving there (don't ask me how!). TELUS has invested over $29 billion into their network since 2000 and it has really paid off. It's a great feeling knowing that no matter where you travel, you can rely on TELUS to keep you connected.