Ian's Blog Ian's Blog




Last week I continued my travels by hiking in Connemara and then hurrying off to Venice for the weekend. Since I have already written about Connemara, I think that it would be more interesting if I focused on my trip to Italy which was, in a nutshell, absolutely perfect. I arrived in the city early on Friday morning, and I immediately took a boat to my hostel, which was located on an island that was composed of beautiful residential neighborhoods. After checking, I spent the rest of the day wandering the streets, admiring the picturesque alleyways strung with lines of washing hanging out to dry. In the evening, I walked along the edge of the lagoon and watched the sun set over the spires and towers of the main city.

In the morning, I took another boat to the main city, which sprawls across hundreds of tiny islands connected by bridges and gondolas. I went to see St. Mark’s Basilica first, and it was absolutely astonishing. The outside of the church was covered in soaring spires, and the inside of it was plastered with beautiful mosaics and gold leaf. It truly was the most amazing cathedral that I have visited during my travels, which, since every major European city boasts at least one old cathedral, is saying something.

For the rest of the weekend, I spent my time exploring the city on foot. When I got tired, I found an outdoor café where I could drink coffee or wine and soak in the sunshine. When I got hungry, I feasted on the most delicious pasta or pizza in the world. When I was bored (which didn’t happen very often), I marveled at the impossible construction of the city, as it seems to rise right out of the water and, at certain times of the day, actually partially floods.

The end of my trip to Venice was more bittersweet than the end of any of my previous trips, as it will be my last major adventure in Europe before heading back to Portland. While I am excited to return to Portland to see my friends and family, I cannot believe how fast my time in Europe has gone, and I almost wish it could go on forever. That said, I have a little more time left in Galway, so I am going to enjoy as much as humanely possible. With that said, I’m off for a Guinness and some good old fish and chips.  

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Ian Clark is a junior English and Philosophy major. He enjoys backpacking, snowshoeing and cycling, and he loves participating in UP's Outdoor Pursuits Program. In his free time (though he rarely ever has any), he enjoys writing, cooking, sampling pipe tobacco and drinking coffee on the academic quad on a brisk autumn morning. He is also currently studying in Galway, Ireland, and so he is trying to brush up on his knowledge of Irish life and culture. Finally, he really likes basset hound puppies and he thinks it's funny when they trip over their ears. 


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