December 17, 2016: SAIS Trip to Bolzano

Sofia organized a class trip for all of us to Bolzano in northern Italy. Bolzano has a big city-wide Christmas market. It is a Germanic town; though in Italy, everyone in Bolzano (or Bozen in German) speaks German. Some of them don’t even speak Italian. It’s way up north, about 3.5 hours north by bus. It’s a scenic ride, going right into the Dolomtes. The Dolomites might just be the prettiest mountain range in the world. It is a picturesque, postcard pretty mountain range.

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But anyways, I tried to do work on the 3.5 hour bus ride, but I was so unmotivated and dizzy and bored. So I had a very unproductive bus ride. It was really bad timing cause I had a lot of work that weekend. I just looked out the window and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of northern Italy.

The Christmas market starts in the main square where there is a church with a colorful patterned roof (I think that’s a German thing?). Being a German tradition, they are filled with German things. There’s lots of hot wine, hot apple cider, pretzels and sausage and kraut and pastries. There are hand crafted things, most of which are cool but useless. You can buy gloves and socks and warm wintry things. I ate a pretzel with speck and cheese. It was actually really good. Of course, there’s a big tree. But Christmas trees in Europe tend to be less full looking than our American Christmas trees. They’re kind of Charlie Brown-looking.  They have pretty lights strung out all over the city. It is very festive all over town. This is the essence of Christmas. Even without the holidays, it looks like a really pretty town. It is a very rich part of Italy, you can tell easily from the grandeur of the buildings. They even had ponies walking around with little kids riding on their backs. The ponies had braids, which was kind of strangely funny.

We took a trip up to the top of the mountain using the funicular. We bought tickets but no one was ever going to check them. The funicular has stunning views of the mountainous countryside. There was a second Christmas market at the top. It was much smaller. But it was so much cuter. There was a band that stood around in a circle playing horn and whatnot. We found a stand that was selling fresh honey straight from their honeybees. They had flavored honey and it was actually really good.  Sharad was so impressed he bought jars and jars of honey. He was literally there for an hour trying to decide how many jars he was gonna buy and he kept going back for more. He was buying them out. And we all had to wait for him to finish before we could be serviced.

You’ll notice after 5 months, I finally discovered a new setting on Austin’s camera for capturing the actual colors that I see. The color is so much richer and more vibrant. It’s not all blown out by the light.

 

 

 

Photo Album: https://goo.gl/photos/CQ13QrqybG8r8Da29

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