Sometimes I have an idea so brilliant I feel the need to
brag about it generously share it with the world. This is one of those posts.
For the past few weeks I have been fighting the desire to quit my day job and go into the pet-product industry. This is not the first time that I have seriously considered doing this. However, unlike last time this wasn’t about how hideous everything is, but how impractical everything is.
Days 8 & 9
If Venice was the guy who didn’t quite live up to his online Match.com profile, Barcelona was the guy who appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Barcelona is an absolutely beautiful city. But beyond that, the food, the atmosphere, the art (which is everywhere), I fell in love with all of it. Later I learned that this feeling is universal among people who have traveled there.
We spent the second day in Italy exploring the islands of Murano and Burano. Murano – the more touristy of the islands – is the mecca of glass in Italy. And once again Steve came through with an exclusive Competitours-only challenge: glass blowing on the island. Although Graybeard and I have 4 whole hours of glass blowing under our belts, it did absolutely nothing for our team. Turns out we still can’t make anything out of glass but Graybeard can blow one hell of a bubble.
Venice has been on my Europe bucket-list for quite sometime, so I was more than a little bit excited to find out that we were going there on our Competitours trip. I don’t want to say that I was disappointed – I mean, it’s Venice. The novelty of a floating city alone is worth the trip. But perhaps my expectations were a little high. It is far more touristy than I had expected and after 2 days – which is more than enough time to see the city – I feel very “been there, done that” about it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly isn’t on my list of places I’ll be revisiting anytime soon.
That said, Day 5 was one of – if not the – best day of our trip. Our fearless leader, Steve, managed to get us into the workshop of Tragicomica to paint and decorate our own carnival masks. Mask making was one of several activities that Steve had arranged for our group that was not open to the general public and it was my favorite activity of the trip. We had full access to the Tragicomica’s supplies, ample blank masks to choose from, and a friendly staff to help us. Here’s a quick video of the completed masks:
Days 3 and 4 of our trip were spent in Salzburg, Austria. Though our choice of challenges took place in the outskirts, we had plenty of time in the evening to explore the city. If you’re a fan of quaint mountain towns, Salzburg is the place to go. It only took one evening wandering around downtown before Graybeard and I began contemplating how fast we could learn German and what type of work we could do to earn a living there.