2013 Spring External Programs France Timothy Knapp

Spring Break Part II

After Naples we took a five hour train ride to Venice. It was unlike any other place I have ever been. The whole city is a system of canals and confusing alleyways that lead to bridges over canals. There are over 400 bridges in Venice. Even when using a map, it’s almost impossible to navigate, and the best activity is just getting lost. They say that even Venetians only know how to get from their houses to their shops


We took a gondola tour through the canals, and I developed a new post-college life plan: become a gondolier. Upon further research, I found out that gondoliers often make the equivalent of 150,000 USD per year, but they generally only come from families of gondoliers. I, alas, was not born into such a family.


We spent most of the time wandering, and on our last night, we saw two familiar faces: the two kids from Quebec we met in Naples! It felt like we had been traveling for months to run into two other tourists that we happened to meet in another city. Quelle chance! We all hung out for the rest of the night, and it was a great farewell to Italy.

In the morning, I had to catch my flight to Barcelona, where I would be by myself for three days. I was looking forward to traveling by myself because it feels more independent, and I’m forced to make my own plans rather than go with the flow as I usually do. It also only occurred to me at this point in the trip how different it is to travel without internet access, or how strange it is just go without it for a week and a half. My travel buddies in Italy all had smartphones, and I was often frustrated with how dependent they were on them. It was great to be able to just look at a map and wander around, rather than formulate specific plans based on internet research.

I spent most of my time wandering around the city by myself or sitting on the beach, but I did manage to make friends in my hostel. I realized how social it is to travel, because every is on a similar page.

We took a walking tour of Gaudi architecture, and saw some very cool buildings that I would have walked right past unless they were pointed out. We also went to Park Guell at sunset, and saw an amazing view of the city while the sun was going down and the city was starting to light up.




My last day in Barcelona before going back to Paris, I had made plans of some final things I wanted to see. When I got outside, I realized I wasn’t going to do any of them, and instead I sat on the beach for three hours. It was best way to end the very crazy week and half I had had, and it felt like a vacation from my vacation.

It was a life-changing trip.

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